Lead Counsel | Fort Smith, Arkansas

Kirkman T. Dougherty


5000 Rogers Avenue, Suite 500
Fort Smith, AR 72903
P: 479-452-2200
F: 479-452-9097

AV Preeminent Badge | Hardin, Jesson & Terry
American College of Trial Lawyers

Kirk Dougherty has been trying complex cases as lead counsel for almost 30 years.  Kirk leads the firm’s highly regarded litigation practice, and he has tried over 200 jury trials in four states.  He has defended cases in almost every county in Arkansas, and he has extensive federal court trial experience in Arkansas and Oklahoma.  Kirk has successfully arbitrated dozens of cases in recent years. His clients represent a broad range of diverse industries, and he is regularly entrusted with the defense of high exposure cases involving health care, products liability, commercial disputes, professional and premises liability, class actions, toxic torts, insurance, and transportation, among others.  A lifelong native of Fort Smith, Kirk represents hospitals, physicians, long-term care and assisted living facilities, and many other health care providers.  Kirk has served as lead counsel in the defense of multiple class actions all across Arkansas, and he is routinely associated by national law firms to collaborate in the defense of a wide variety of cases in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Kirk has been the national litigation counsel for a publicly traded transportation company, and he served as regional trial counsel for one of the country’s largest long-term care providers.  He has represented some of the world’s largest tire manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device companies. 

Kirk has carried an AV Preeminent Martindale Hubbell rating since 2003.  He was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, limited to the top 1% of trial attorneys and requiring peer nomination and review, in 2010 at the age of 43.  He received the W.A. Eldredge Award in 1997 as the Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer in the State of Arkansas.  Kirk was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson to serve as Special Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, and he was selected by the Arkansas Supreme Court to serve on the State Board of Law Examiners.

Representative Experience

First chair trial lawyer in high exposure and damage cases for national and international corporations;

National Counsel for a Fortune 500 Transportation Company;

Regional Trial Counsel for one of the nation’s largest Long-Term Care Companies; and

Defense of clients in all stages of class action litigation.


  • B.A., University of Arkansas, 1988
  • J.D., University of Arkansas, 1991

Public Service

  • Special Justice, Arkansas Supreme Court
  • Member, Arkansas State Board of Law Examiners – Appointed by Arkansas Supreme Court
  • Trustee, Arkansas-Oklahoma Regional Promotion Association
  • Board Member, Old Fort History Museum
  • Board Member, Western Arkansas Alzheimer’s Association


  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators (2018-present)
  • Mid-South Super Lawyer (Litigation)
  • Recipient of W.A. Eldredge Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award
  • A.V. Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Rating

Admitted to Practice

  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Western and Eastern Districts of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court, Western and Northern Districts of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas


  • Arkansas Bar Association
  • Oklahoma Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • International Association of Defense Counsel

AV Martindale Hubbell Rating