Six weeks after forming an exploratory committee, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Morgan “Chip” Welch said he plans to run for the Arkansas Supreme Court, Position 4.
“Six weeks ago I set up an exploratory committee to see what folks might think about me running for the Arkansas Supreme Court. The response around the state has been gratifying and humbling. The Arkansans I’ve talked to want to keep the Supreme Court independent, non partisan and fair to everyone just like our state constitution provides. So today I’m announcing my non partisan candidacy for Position 4 on the Arkansas Supreme Court,” Welch said.
The seat is presently held by Justice Josephine “Jo” Hart, who has not indicated if she will seek re-election in 2020.
Currently, Welch is the 16th Division Circuit Judge for the 6th Judicial Circuit which consists of Pulaski and Perry counties. He has served in private practice for several decades as a trial attorney participating in more than 125 jury trials.
Welch was president of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers’ Association in 1990-91 and was a member of the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) for 16 years. In addition, he was also President of the William Overton Inn of Court and served for six years on the Supreme Court Committee on Model Jury Instructions (Civil). He served three years as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association.
Welch was appointed by Chief Justice Kemp to chair the Supreme Court Sub-Committee on Complex Litigation in 2017, a position he continues to hold. In 2015, Judge Welch received the “Trial Judge of the Year” award from the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association.
A 1968 Hall High graduate, Welch received his bachelor’s degree from Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. in 1972, and his juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1975.