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Morgan “Chip” Welch announces candidacy for 16th Division Circuit Judge | Politics

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Morgan “Chip” Welch announces candidacy for 16th Division Circuit Judge
Morgan “Chip” Welch announces candidacy for 16th Division Circuit Judge

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- North Little Rock attorney Morgan “Chip” Welch today announced his candidacy for Circuit Judge, Sixth Judicial District, 16th Division. Welch, who has acted as a special judge in five different circuit court divisions presiding over criminal, civil and bench trials over his career, is seeking the seat occupied by Judge Ellen Brantley. She has announced her plans to step down.

Surrounded by supporters, Welch announced his candidacy and explained his reasons for seeking the judgeship. “I have always thought that a judge should first and foremost think of the non-lawyers in his courtroom — the ones who don’t go there day in and day out with multiple cases and clients, but for whom their case is the single most important matter they will ever bring to court,” he said. “It’s vital for those folks to leave knowing they got a fair hearing and were treated with respect-win or lose.

“And that's what I pledge to do if elected Circuit Judge for the 16th Division: to make sure every party who comes before me is treated as if his or her case is as important to me as a judge as it is to them and to their family.”

He praised Judge Brantley’s record saying, “she has established an enviable record of service and excellence on the bench. Her record is one to which all would-be judges should aspire.”

Welch has tried nearly 150 jury trials and thousands of hearings and bench trials during his career. He has practiced before the Arkansas Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Arkansas, the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court of Criminal Appeals for the Army, the Court of Criminal Appeals for the Air Force, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Welch also praised a number of former judges who he told the crowd had served as mentors or inspirations and the late Melinda Gilbert, whom he said, “taught us all the meaning of grace.”

Welch was one of three finalists whose nomination to fill a federal judgeship after Judge Billy Roy Wilson took Senior Status was sent to President Obama last year by U.S. Senators Pryor and Lincoln.