Legal Team

Hatfield LawRichard Hatfield, PA

Attorney at Law

Richard “Dick” Hatfield has been practicing probate, guardianships, estate and trust litigation in Arkansas since 1988.

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Richard F. Hatfield (Dick) has a statewide practice exclusively in the areas of trust and estate litigation and administration.  He has been a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Council (ACTEC) since 1988.  Dick is authorized to practice law in all of the Arkansas state courts, U.S. Tax Court, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.  He has devoted a substantial amount of time to the Arkansas Bar and other professional organization and served as President of the Arkansas Bar Association in 1986-1987.

His areas of practice include the prosecution and defense of will and trust contests, compensation disputes, fiduciary liability claims, tortious interference claims, estate and trust accounting proceedings, incapacity proceedings and claims in trusts and estates.

Dick is a lifelong Arkansas resident.  A native of Helena, he graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1965 with a B.S.B.A. (Accounting) and in 1967 from the University of Arkansas School of Law.  He was a three year football letterman for the Arkansas Razorbacks, who were national champions in his senior year, 1964.  He served from 1967 to 1969 as U.S. Army (Armor) Officer stationed at the Football Office, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

In addition to his practice, Dick regularly conducts seminars and classes for ACTEC, the Arkansas Bar Association, the Probate Law Section of the Bar, National Business Institute and other continuing legal education providers.

Born – Texarkana, Texas
Married – Melissa McMath Hatfield
Children – Elizabeth Hatfield Williams and Jeffrey Hatfield
Grandchildren – Matthew, Jackson and Henry Cole, Meredith and Garrett Hatfield
Stepson – Carl Keller, III

 

Education

Helena, (Arkansas) Central High School (1960)
University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) B.S.B.A. (Accounting) (1965)
University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) School of Law, (1967) LL.B.

Honors – University of Arkansas

Omicron Delta Kappa – Leadership Fraternity
President, Vice President, Secretary
Beta Alpha Psi – Honorary Accounting Fraternity
Pi Mu Epsilon – Honorary Mathematics Fraternity
Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities (1965)

Athletics

Varsity Football Letterman – University of Arkansas (1962-63-64)
One of Team Captains – 1964
National Collegiate Football Champions – 1964
Sigma Chi Fraternity, 1961 to date, (Secretary – 1963)

 

Military

Distinguished Military Graduate – ROTC (1965)
Honorable Discharge – U.S. Army, First Lieutenant (Armor)
Active Duty with Football Office, Army Athletic
Association, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York (1967-69)


West Memphis, Arkansas, May, 1969 to May, 1972
Searcy, Arkansas, May 1972 to November 1983
Searcy and Little Rock, Arkansas, November 1983 to June, 1988
Little Rock, Arkansas, June, 1988 to date
Fayetteville, Arkansas, July, 2010 to date

 

Bar Association Activities

Arkansas Bar Association

  • President – 1986-87
  • Chair – Judicial Liaison Committee, 1996-2000, 2001 to date
  • Chair – Executive Council, 1982-83
  • Golden Gavel Award, 1976
  • Chair – Probate Law Section, 1979-81
  • Chair – Trust, Taxation and Estate Planning Section, 1977-78
  • Chair – Prepaid Legal Services Committee, 1975-77
  • Chair – Young Lawyers Section, 1972-73

White County Bar Association

  • President, 1977-78

Federal Tax Institute – Co-Chair, 1977

 

Bar Association Memberships

American Bar Association, Member (1967 to date)

  • Senior Law Section; Elder Law Section;
  • Real Property, Probate and Trust Section;

Arkansas Bar Association, Member (1967 to date)

  • Judicial Liaison Committee; Taxation Section; Probate Law Section;
  • Legal Economics Committee; Specialization and Advertising
  • Committee; Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts Committee

Washington County Bar Association (2011 to date)
Pulaski County Bar Association (1983 to 2014)
White County Bar Association (1972 to 1988)
Crittenden County Bar Association (1969 to 1972)


Board Recognized Specialist in Tax Law – Arkansas Board of Legal Specialization (1986 to 1999)

American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

  • Fellow (1983 to date)
  • Fiduciary Litigation Committee of ACTEC (1994 to 2012)
  • Chair – “Tortious Interference and Related Torts” Subcomittee (2000 to 2006)

Special Justice – Arkansas Supreme Court, (July, 1983 and July, 1990)

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Legal Specialization, Member (1983 to 1988), Chair (1983 to 1985)

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct – (1992 to 2006), Chair (2005)

Campaign Chair for Jack Holt, Jr. for Chief Justice – Arkansas Supreme Court, 1984 and 1992

Campaign Chair for Robert L. Brown for Justice, Arkansas Supreme Court, 1990, Co-Chair, 1998, 2006

Testimony before Committee on Capital Business of the United States Senate on Administration of Tax Reform Proposal (August, 1985)

 

Awards & Honors

Recognized in Legal Publication – The Best Lawyers in America, Naife and Smith, in the area of tax, trusts and estate law, 1983 to date

Continuing Legal Education Award for Outstanding Contributions – 2007-2008 – Arkansas Bar Association

Regions Bank SEC Business Hall of Fame Inductee, 2007

Recognized as Top Probate Law Attorney in Arkansas. – Arkansas Times, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, , 2011, 2012, 2013

Paul Harris Fellow – Rotary Club of Little Rock

Outstanding Discussion Leader Award – Continuing Professional Education – Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants, 1984

Accountant of Year Award (Industry), 1984 – Alpha Iota Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi Accounting Fraternity – University ofArkansas, Fayetteville

Outstanding Alumnus – University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) School of Law, October, 1983

Golden Gavel Award, Arkansas Bar Association, 1976

 

Author

Arkansas Lawyer

“11 Ways to Contest a Will (Hopefully Not One You Prepared)”, January, 1990

“Significant Developments in Probate & Trusts in the Past 25 Years”, January, 1992

Arkansas Law Review

“Federal Tax – Lump Sum Pension Payments as Capital Gains” – 20 Ark. L. Rev. 185

Civic Clubs

  • West Memphis Rotary Club (1969-1972)
  • Searcy Rotary Club (1972-1988); President (1976-1977)
  • Little Rock Rotary Club (1988 to 2013)
  • Fayetteville Noon Rotary Club (2014 to date)

Civic Activities

  • Searcy Chamber of Commerce
    • President, 1978, Director 1974-1979
  • United Way of White County, Inc.
    • President, 1979 and 1980
    • Director 1979-1983
  • Sunshine School, Inc., of Searcy, Arkansas
    • President, 1975-1976
    • Director 1973-1976
  • Searcy Baseball Association
    • President, 1981 and 1982
  • Searcy School Board
    • Member, 1983-1985

University of Arkansas

  • Razorback “A” Club (Lettermen’s Association)
    • President (2014 to date)
    • Board of Directors (1989-1991)
  • Alumni Association
    • President, 1992-93
    • Board Member, 1973-75 and 1987-1994

Other Activities

  • Participant – National Security Seminar – U.S. Army War College, 1990
  • Member – Board of Directors of National Conference of Christians and Jews, (1984 to 1986)
  • Member – Council for International Visitors, Inc. (1989)
  • Literacy Council of Central Arkansas (1989-1991)
  • Church Affiliation – First United Methodist (Searcy) 1972 to 1988
    • Finance Chairman (1975 and 1976)
  • Arkansas Commission on Bicentennial of the United States Constitution
  • Youth Baseball Coach (1977-1981)
  • Youth Basketball Coach (1979-1981)
  • Board of Directors – Central Arkansas Estate Council (1974-76)

 

Kristin Anderson

Paralegal/Office Manager

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(501) 374-9010 ext 2

Kristin Anderson has been employed by Richard F. Hatfield since November 15, 1989.  For over 25 years, she has traveled to law offices and courthouses across the state to assist Mr. Hatfield in depositions and at trial.  As a paralegal, she has worked on hundreds of probate and trust litigation cases and has assisted in drafting over a dozen appellate briefs.  She is both paralegal and office manager.  Of the many aspects of her job, she enjoys legal research and trial preparation the most.  Developing a good relationship with clients and working toward a positive outcome of each case is her goal.

Kristin has volunteered for several non-profit organizations over the years.  She served as an officer of the Board of Directors of ACCESS, Inc. for six years and is currently president of the Board of Directors at Integrity, Inc., a community services organization providing a variety of services for individuals with disabilities from preschool to the elderly.

Kristin was born in Colorado, grew up in Columbia, Missouri and graduated from Hickman High School, home of the Kewpies.  She attended the University of Missouri and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  She moved from Boulder, Colorado to Little Rock in 1984.  She has two adult daughters, Adrienne and Brynne.  She has a passion for travel and photography and is happiest when combining the two.


Cindy May

Paralegal

 Email

(501) 374-9010 ext 4

Cindy May has worked in the legal field since 2000.   She has been a legal assistant to Richard F. Hatfield since September 3, 2013.  Her duties include preparation of pleadings, including interrogatories, transcription of documents, gathering information for cases, working with clients and providing overall administrative assistance.  Her main areas of experience are in probate administration, client communication and assistance, and legal billing.  From 2006 to 2013, she was employed by Humphries & Lewis in White Hall.  Prior to that, she was employed by Bridges, Young, Matthews and Drake in Pine Bluff from 2000-2006.

Cindy is a graduate of Pine Bluff High School and attended the University of Arkansas in Monticello and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

When Cindy is not at work, she can be found serving as the Music Director for Greenlee Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, cooking, cheering for the Razorbacks and spending time with her family and her dogs.


Cara J. Smith

Paralegal

 Email

(501) 374-9010 ext 3

Cara is a native Arkansan who has been with the firm since October 1, 1994.  She works primarily with financial analysis, preparation of accountings and inventories, estate and fiduciary income tax preparation and analysis, and appeals.  She also assists with depositions, trials, legal research, and preparation of briefs and pleadings.

When she’s not loving the law, Cara dabbles in drawing and local community theater. She’s been a proud performer in the biennial Gridiron Show produced by both the Pulaski Bar Association, and now Gridiron Productions, Inc. Although she’s performed in many theatrical productions, she enjoys most assisting with the youth theater program of The Royal Players in Benton, Arkansas. Some of Cara’s previous volunteer hours were spent with the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America and Band Parents Association with Benton public schools.

Cara graduated with honors from Arkadelphia High School in 1978, received her undergraduate degree from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas 1982 majoring in Accounting, and her Masters in Business Administration from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas 1990.  She served in the Arkansas National Guard, and later the U.S. Army as a Transportation Officer at Fort Hood, Texas. Upon release from active duty she served in the National Guard Ready Reserve.


Richard F. Hatfield, P.A. Firm Statement

We (1) have the expertise and experience to handle your estate or trust matter, (2) will personally care about you and your case, and (3) will give our best effort to you as a client.