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Local Lawyer arrested; Briefly Jailed

Publication:El Dorado News-Times; Date: Wednesday, January 04, 2006 ;
Section:Main; Page:1


Local lawyer arrested, briefly jailed

By KELI JACOBI News-Times Staff A local attorney with a long list of local misdemeanor charges was arrested on felony hot check charges and spent a brief time in the Union County Jail before posting bond Tuesday.

An unknown person posted the $200 bond required to release Don G. Gillaspie, 69, of El Dorado, who allegedly had only $27 left in his name, according to Robert Depper, the attorney placed in a "mentoring" position over Gillaspie by the Arkansas State Supreme Court.

Gillaspie has been reprimanded twice in the last two years by the Arkansas Supreme Court’s office of professional conduct – once for failing to file a timely appeal for a client and once for failing to appear at another client’s trial.

Depper appeared before District Judge George Van Hook Jr. on Tuesday to plead Gillaspie’s case during his first appearance. Van Hook set a sheriff’s only bond of $2,000 for the hot check violations and warned Depper that he was responsible for getting his client to court for future court dates.

"Have I ever failed this court?" Depper asked, smiling.

Van Hook made it clear he had lost confidence in Gillaspie’s skills as a lawyer over the years.

"A r e y ou aware of Mr. Gillaspie’s history?" Van Hook had asked Depper earlier.

"Yes, sir," said Depper.

"He doesn’t need to be practicing law, period," Van Hook stated.

Criminal grievances against Gillaspie go as far back as 1987, when the attorney was found guilty of misdemeanor harassment charges and criminal trespassing and ordered to pay more than $400 in fines.

In November 2005, a warrant was issued for Gillaspie’s arrest for failure to appear and contempt of court charges stemming from several minor traffic violations, including driving on a suspended or revoked license and providing no proof of insurance.

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