Rob Ratton, chief deputy prosecuting attorney for the Third Judicial District, will seek to become the Third Judicial District Circuit Judge, Division 3. District Judge Adam Weeks announced his candidacy for the position in April.
Ratton has served the Third Judicial District as chief deputy prosecuting attorney since 2003. Additionally, Ratton serves as the Newport city attorney where he prosecutes misdemeanor cases, as well as advises the city and the Newport Economic Development Commission on civil matters. He also prosecutes misdemeanor cases for the cities of Tuckerman and Swifton.
“I’m running for Third District Circuit Judge because I have the experience necessary to be your next Circuit Judge,” Ratton said. “The circuit court has five divisions: criminal, civil, probate, domestic relations and juvenile. During my 21 years of practicing law, I have gained valuable trial experience by handling cases in each of these divisions, I have handled thousands of cases ranging from misdemeanor to murder.”
The Third Judicial District currently has drug courts in Jackson, Lawrence and Randolph counties.
“We need a drug court in each county … These courts are designed to deal with drug addicts and give them the opportunity to become productive members of society. I have handled the cases in the Jackson County Drug Court since its creation in 2006 and worked in the Lawrence County Drug Court. I look forward to continuing to visit with Jackson, Lawrence, Randolph, and Sharp County residents over the next few months earning their vote.”
Ratton earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He began his legal career with the Newport law firm of Thaxton, Hout and Howard where he maintained a general practice of law, including criminal defense, business law, real estate law, estate planning and domestic relations.
Ratton is a member of the Jackson County Bar Association, Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Arkansas City Attorneys Association, First United Methodist Church of Newport and a member and past-president of the Newport Rotary Club. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Legal Services of Northeast Arkansas.
Ratton is seeking to replace Judge Tom Garner who is ineligible to run for the Division 3 seat. Garner had been appointed to serve the remainder of the term left vacant after the death of Judge Kevin King in January.
Weeks grew up in Walnut Ridge and graduated from Walnut Ridge High School. He graduated from the University of Central Arkansas earning a BA in English, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law.
“As Judge, I hold a piece of the public trust and I hand out decisions on behalf of members of our community in a fair and impartial manner,” said Weeks. “Serving as District Judge gives me the experience and temperament to become our next Circuit Judge. Circuit Judges preside over complex civil and criminal cases. Their rulings can have an immediate and profound impact on those who appear before the court, and sometimes the community as a whole.”
“I take those responsibilities seriously because the power to make these decisions is not mine. They are the powers of the people of Arkansas and the laws they have created. If elected, I promise never to forget that.”
Weeks was elected as a Lawrence County District Judge in 2014, and prior to that was the owner of the Weeks Law Firm. Weeks has served as the City Attorney for Walnut Ridge and for the city of Hardy. From 2000 to 2006, Weeks was a City Council Alderman for Conway. Prior to becoming an attorney, Judge Weeks worked at Hendrix College as the Assistant Director of Educational Media.