by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Supreme Court today issued a couple of rulings of note:
* ARKANSAS LOTTERY: The Supreme Court ruled that the Arkansas Lottery Commission was entitled to sovereign immunity from a lawsuit by Alpha Marketing, owned by Ed Dozier, that the state had infringed its trademark for the words Arkansas Lottery, Lottery Arkansas and Arkansas Lotto. It reversed a lower court and dismissed the case. Here's the decision. Justices Paul Danielson and Courtney Goodson wrote separate dissents, joined by Justice Donald Corbin. They agreed with the lower court that the state had waived immunity when it sought cancellation of the firm's trademarks, held for years before the state lottery was established and used occasionally in advertising promotions.
* UAMS CONTEST OF PROPERTY TAXES: The Supreme Court upheld a lower court's refusal to issue a summary judgment in favor of UAMS in its lawsuit challenging Pulaski County's refusal to exempt some of its property from the property tax. The case will proceed. It's a dispute over 11 acres of undeveloped property UAMS purchased at Cantrell and Rodney Parham. The Supreme Court said UAMS couldn't, at the same time, be a plaintiff in a lawsuit claiming a tax exemption while also claiming sovereign immunity from lawsuit. It may raise the immunity from taxation issue in the trial of the suit.