by Max Brantley
Busy day at the Supreme Court.recommendation of a deal with Circuit Judge Sam Pope of Hamburg for a 30-day unpaid suspension, an apology and other steps as a result of his physical run-in with his estranged wife's boyfriend in the Crossett Walmart.
Also today for the lawyers: The court upheld, in a 4-3 decision, a Saline circuit court ruling that gave plaintiffs in a lawsuit against a Bryant nursing home limited access to communications between the nursing home and the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, a peer review organization that is not a party to the suit. Its job is contributing to quality of Medicare and much of its review work is confidential by law. Dissenters said releasing information it gathered could jeopardize the program. The majority characterized the matter as a discovery dispute that could be resolved later without an extraordinary writ of certiorari and said the lower court ruling had taken sufficient steps to protect the information in dispute.