Born in Little Rock, Mike Rainwater’s family roots go back to Crawford and White County. Mike graduated from North Little Rock High School and attended college at Henderson State University and Louisiana Tech. After college, Mike lived and worked in Colorado, Louisiana, and Texas. Mike is licensed to practice law in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
In 1973, Mike joined Texas Eastern Corporation as a computer programmer, working in Shreveport. “When I was working as a computer programmer fresh out of college, I realized that I liked to talk to people more than computers,” he said. “This was in the early 1970s when there was a lot of social unrest and I developed a desire to go to law school.”
He knew if he didn’t attend, he would regret it the rest of his life. He soon enrolled in South Texas College of Law in Houston. As it turned out, Mike loved the law and loved law school. He continued to work for Texas Eastern Corporation during the day while taking law school classes at night.
Upon graduation, Mike moved back to Arkansas with his wife to practice law and start a family. Mike worked as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Little Rock and built relationships with local judges, court personnel, and lawyers. He then moved on to a private practice and learned about commercial law, including bankruptcy. During this time, he learned about commercial transactions and built relationships with many of the commercial entities in Central Arkansas.
Mike then joined Little Rock attorney John Gill at his new law firm, a spin-off from the Mitchell Law Firm. Gill hired Mike to represent Arkansas’ city officials through the Arkansas Municipal League Defense Fund Program, one of Gill’s long-term clients. Mike worked with city officials all over Arkansas and fell in love with constitutional law.
In 1985, he approached the Association of Arkansas Counties with the idea of forming its own liability defense program for Arkansas’ counties. That program started in 1987, and Mike and his law firm served as litigation counsel for the Association of Arkansas Counties. He represented county officials for 31 years was involved in over 6,000 cases. He is still Outside General Counsel to the AAC Risk Management Fund.
In 1993, Mike formed his own law firm to tackle the plaintiff’s personal injury practice. He joined Little Rock personal injury lawyer Phillip Duncan and for the next 13 years he and Duncan worked together as personal injury lawyers on catastrophic injury cases.
“I feel called to help individuals who are hurting from injury or other situations that have them on the sidelines of life,” Mike said. “I really enjoy building relationships. I love when the representation ends with a fully satisfied client and we have made a difference in someone’s life.”
On January 1, 2006, Mike, Stephen Holt, and Bob Sexton formed Rainwater, Holt & Sexton. Today, Rainwater, Holt and Sexton is over 25 lawyers strong. Unfortunately, Stephen Holt passed away in 2014 from ALS. The firm name remains Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, with the Holt name being retained as a tribute to Mike and Bob’s beloved law partner, Stephen Holt.
What began as only a handful of lawyers has now grown to over 25 attorneys and over 100 support staff. The growth, according to Mike, is because of the care and compassion shown to each client.
“Everything we do is all about putting clients first,” Mike said. “That is the foundation of the firm. We know if we put our clients first, then everything else will take care of itself.”
Mike calls all of Arkansas “home.” He has represented cities, counties, and over 30,000 of Arkansas’ citizens – all over the state. He wants to be there for injured people and their families and strives to care for his fellow Arkansans.
“At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, we are all in this together,” Mike said. “We are grateful to be able to come alongside and support our neighbors when they are facing a dark or difficult situation.”
Mike and his wife enjoy spending time with three sons and daughters in law and their six grandchildren. When he needs to get away, you can often find him hard at work on the family farm in Clark County, fishing on the Little Red River in Cleburne County or duck hunting in Arkansas County.
Born: Little Rock, Arkansas
Education And Work History:
Louisiana Tech University, B.S.B.A., 1972, Outstanding Senior in College of Business Administration
Corporate Planning Analyst, Texas Eastern Corporation, 1972-1978
South Texas College of Law, J.D., 1979
Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges
Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
Vice Justice, 1977—1978
Private law practice since 1980
Licensed to practice law in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi
Memberships and Service:
Debtor-Creditor Bar of Central Arkansas
Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association
Arkansas Bar, 1979
U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, 1982
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1982
U.S. Supreme Court, 1986
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Sixth Judicial District, Pulaski County, Arkansas, 1979-1980
Pulaski County Bar Association, Board Member, 1988-1990
Arkansas Bar Association
American Association for Justice
Arkansas Bar Foundation, Fellow
Arkansas Supreme Court Special Justice:
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield v. Hicks, 349 Ark. 269, 78 S.W.3d 58 (June 13, 2002)
Farm Bureau Policy Holders and Members v. Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. of Arkansas, Inc., 335 Ark. 285, 984 S.W.2d 6 (December 3, 1998)
Arkansas County Farm Bureau v. McKinney, 334 Ark. 582, 976 S.W.2d 945 (October 29, 1998)
Awards and Peer Reviews:
Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2006-present
Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Arkansas Life Top Attorney, 2015-present
Arkansas Democrat Gazette Best Attorney, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Little Rock Soiree Best Lawyer, 2015-2019
100 Best Lawyers, Soirée Magazine
Arkansas Super Lawyers®, 2006-present
AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®, 1995 – present
Avvo® Superb 10 Rating, 2013-present
The Best Lawyers in America©, recognized since 2006
Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
American Association for Justice Leaders Forum
Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Life Member
Super Lawyers of the South, 2006
U.S.News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”, 2012-present