Senate Judiciary backs Fayetteville lawyer for federal court


WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted in support of Timothy L. Brooks filling a vacancy in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas.

The committee, by voice vote, agreed to send Brooks’ nomination to the Senate floor for final confirmation. President Barack Obama nominated him in June to serve on the federal court that oversees 34 Arkansas counties.

The Judiciary Committee held over taking a vote in support of Pulaski County Circuit Judge James “Jay” Moody Jr., until its next business meeting. A vote on a nomination customarily is taken up after the name is on the committee agenda for a second time.

Obama nominated Moody to serve as a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas. If confirmed, Moody’s father would retire from his position on the court.

Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Mark Pryor, D-Ark., have spoken in favor of confirming Brooks and Moody to the federal bench during separate confirmation hearings the Judiciary Committee held in September.

Brooks is a partner at Taylor Law Partners in Fayetteville where he has worked since 1989 after graduating from the University of Arkansas School of Law. He has been a partner since 1993 and has focused on civil litigation since 2000, mostly medical malpractice cases, according to a questionnaire he filled out for the committee.

As a state judge, Moody presides almost exclusively over civil cases. Before being elected to the court, Moody worked for more than a dozen years at the Wright Lindsey & Jennings law firm in Little Rock. He was named a partner in the firm in 1994.

Moody is the son of U.S. District James Moody, 73, who has served 18 years as a judge in the same district. Federal rules prohibit family members from serving together in the same district court.