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Our Tradition of Service

A Legal Heritage Spanning Four Generations

At the Deacon Law Firm, our attorneys have deep Arkansas roots. When firm founder, Joe C. Barrett, established his modest law practice in Jonesboro, Arkansas in 1932, he had no idea he was founding a legal dynasty that would end up spanning four generations of the Barrett and Deacon families.

That firm, which started out as Barrett & Wheatley, grew to include Mr. Barrett’s son-in-law, Jack Deacon in 1952. Barry, now the firm’s principal, joined in 1976, followed by great-grandson, Barrett, in 2001. Today, our attorneys practice law the way Mr. Barrett believed it should be practiced – with the highest professional and ethical standards, personal integrity, and a passionate commitment to serving the public.

Joe C. Barrett (1879-1980)

Joe-BarrettAccording to Robert A. Leflar, distinguished professor of law at the University of Arkansas, there were “few lawyers in America, and none in Arkansas, more loved and respected than Joe Barrett.” After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas, Mr. Barrett attended George Washington University, where he earned his law degree, with honors, in 1924. While attending law school, he also served as a representative of the United States Department of Agriculture in Rome, Italy in 1923.

Throughout his career, Mr. Barrett continued to accumulate a list of accomplishments and professional awards. Although he was an Arkansas lawyer through and through, he traveled extensively, representing the American legal profession all over the world.

  • President of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, 1954
  • Chairman, Special Committee on Unification of Private International Law, 1957-1961
  • First Arkansas lawyer to be awarded an Honorary LL.D., University of Arkansas 1953
  • Member of the Permanent editorial board of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and served on the committee to review Article IX of the UCC code, 1959
  • U.S. Delegate to seven international law conferences, the Hague, Netherlands and Rome, Italy
  • Chairman of the ABA International and Comparative Law Section, 1967
  • Prestigious Fifty-Year award of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, 1979

John C. (Jack) Deacon (1920-2011)

jack-deaconJack Deacon was known as much for his community service as he was for his accomplishments in the legal community. He was a founding member of the United Way of Jonesboro and a member of its board of directors for over 25 years. He also served as president and district governor of Rotary and sat on the advisory board of St. Bernard’s hospital in Jonesboro for more than 40 years. As Stacy Leeds, the dean of Robert A. Leflar Law Center at the University of Arkansas, put it: “Mr. Deacon exemplifies all we hope our students become.”

Mr. Deacon was also an exemplary trial lawyer with a reputation for professional courtesy and determined advocacy in the courtroom. “He owned the courtroom. He was universally respected by judges and other lawyers because of his integrity.” – D. Price Marshall, Judge, United States Federal Court, Arkansas, Eastern District.

  • B.A. University of Arkansas, 1941
  • LL.B., University of Arkansas, 1948
  • Chairman of the ABA Young Lawyers’ Section, 1954
  • President, Arkansas Bar Association, 1970
  • Chairman, National College of Defense Lawyers, 1977
  • President, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, 1979-81
  • Member of ABA Board of Governors Eleventh District (AR, TX & OK), 1980-1993
  • President, American Bar Foundation, 1980-1993, President, 1971 and 1996

The Deacon Law Firm

“It is hard to imagine how these… ‘country’ lawyers could have so consistently and so effectively contributed to the development of state, national and international professional concerns.” – The Arkansas Lawyer.

At the Deacon Law Firm, we are proud of our unique legal heritage, which combines a deep local presence with a knowledge base that draws upon legal resources from around the world. Call us today at (870) 336-9300 to discover what makes us different and how we can help you with your legal concerns.