J. Cliff McKinney II

J. Cliff McKinney II

Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC

Recognized since 2016

Little Rock, Arkansas

Practice Areas

Land Use and Zoning Law

Real Estate Law

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Land Use and Zoning Law Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2020 - Land Use and Zoning Law
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Cliff McKinney is a transactional attorney and managing member at Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC. His primary practice is real estate law and business and regulatory matters related to real estate. A Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and a Fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Mr. McKinney is listed with The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Real Estate Law and Land Use and Zoning Law, is recognized by Chambers USA’s Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as Band 1in the area of Real Estate, and selected as a id-South Super Lawyer in the area of Real Estate by Super Lawyers. He was named the 2020 Little Rock Lawyer of the Year – Land Use and Zoning Law by Best Lawyers® and is rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. McKinney has served as lead counsel on dozens of multi-million dollar transactions throughout the mid-South region. He also represents restaurant owners, including franchisees of national chains.

As part of his real estate practice, Mr. McKinney assists clients with financing, business organization, environmental, and land use issues. He assists clients through the regulatory process, including obtaining zoning changes and other governmental approvals. He has extensive experience assisting clients in obtaining appropriate business licenses and approvals, such as alcohol permits and franchise agreements. He also assists clients with permitting issues related to the Clean Water Act (e.g., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 permits), the National Historic Preservation Act (e.g., Section 106 compliance), and the National Flood Insurance Act (e.g., letters of map revision).

Mr. McKinney also has experience dealing with real estate-related litigation matters, including adverse possession, boundary by acquiescence, prescriptive easements, quiet title, eviction, foreclosure, and restrictive covenant disputes, among others, as well as providing expert witness testimony on real estate issues. Mr. McKinney has also been active in the legislative process, including serving on the Arkansas Bar Association’s Jurisprudence and Law Reform and Legislation Committees. He has testified before the Arkansas General Assembly on many occasions and been involved in drafting and vetting real estate-related legislation.

Mr. McKinney serves as Chair of the Real Estate Law Section of the Arkansas Bar Association, a position he has held many times. Mr. McKinney was the first attorney in the State of Arkansas to obtain the status of LEED® Accredited Professional, which affords him the unique ability to assist clients with environmentally-friendly green building projects. Mr. McKinney served as the U.S. Green Building Council Arkansas Chapter’s Secretary and Treasurer and served on the Arkansas General Assembly’s Legislative Task Force on Sustainable Building Design and Practices.

Additionally, Mr. McKinney serves as a Commissioner to the Uniform Law Commission and holds multiple positions within the Commission. He is a Division Chair and a member of the Legislative Council. He also represents the Uniform Law Commission as a member of the Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Real Property Acts.

Mr. McKinney is also involved in the academic side of real estate law. Mr. McKinney is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law where he teaches Real Estate Finance and Real Estate Transaction Skills. He has written a number of law review articles on real estate topics, including implied covenants, deed drafting, boundary by acquiescence, adverse possession, dower & curtesy, and landlord/tenant rights. He also currently chairs the editorial committee for Standards for Examination of Real Estate Titles in Arkansas and has authored the Arkansas chapter for an American Bar Association book on institutional land use controls.

Mr. McKinney attended the University of Arkansas where he obtained his Juris Doctor (cum laude) and Master of Public Administration degrees. His focus on real estate began while he was a student at Southern Methodist University earning a Master of Laws degree emphasizing real estate. Prior to law school, Mr. McKinney was a National Merit Scholar at Baylor University. He is licensed to practice law in Arkansas (2002, highest score), Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas, and he uses his licenses and experience in these states to assist clients in cross-border transactions.

Mr. McKinney is active in his community, currently serving as the President of the Access to Justice Foundation Board, President of the Salvation Army Central Arkansas Command Advisory Board, and Vice President of the Arkansas Foodbank. He previously served as President of the Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas Board, Chair of the Arkansas Rice Depot Board, and Chair of the Arkansas Bar Association Board of Governors. He has twice been appointed as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas and currently serves on the Arkansas Bar Association's Board of Trustees.


Southern Methodist University (LL.M., emphasizing Real Estate Financing, 2003)

University of Arkansas School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2002)

University of Arkansas (M.P.A., 2002)

Baylor University (B.A., 1999)

Associations and Affiliations
Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyer
Fellow, American College of Mortgage Attorneys
Arkansas Bar Association
American Bar Association
Commission on Uniform State Laws (2017-2025)
State Bar of Texas
ICSC, Innovating Commerce Serving Communities
Christian Legal Society

Civic Activities

Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation Board, 2017-Present (President, 2019-Present)

Salvation Army, Central Arkansas Area Command, 2018-Present (President, 2020-Present)
Arkansas Food Bank, Board of Directors, 2016-Present (Vice President, 2024-Present)
Old State House Commission (2016-Present)
Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas Board of Directors, 2010-2020 (President, 2015-2018)

Digging Up Bones: Archeological Compliance Issues in Retail Development, with Casey Rockwell, 46 Real Estate Law Journal 533 (2018).

Publications (Partial List)

Chair, Standards for Examination of Real Estate Titles in Arkansas (3rd edition).

Editor, Arkansas Real Estate Review, a publication of the Arkansas Bar Association (2007-Present).

With All My Worldly Goods I Thee Endow: The Law and Statistics of Dower and Curtesy in Arkansas, 38 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 353 (2016).

Justice in the Hinterlands: Arkansas as a Case Study of the Rural Lawyer Shortage and Evidence-Based Solutions to Alleviate It, with Lisa R. Pruitt and Bart Calhoun, 37 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 573 (2015).

Arkansas, in Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites (American Bar Association Book 2012).

Caveat Who?: A Review of the Landlord/Tenant Relationship in the Context of Injuries and Maintenance Obligations, 35 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 1049 (2013).

Adverse Possession and Boundary by Acquiescence in Arkansas: Some Suggestions for Reform, with Prof. Lynn Foster, 33 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 199 (2011).

Deed Covenants of Title and the Preparation of Deeds: Theory, Law, and Practice in Arkansas, with Prof. Lynn Foster, 34 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 53 (2011).

Are You Trying to Imply Something?: Understanding the Various State Approaches to Implied Covenants of Continuous Operation in Commercial Leases, 31 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 427 (2009).

Factoring the Ambiguity: A Futile Attempt to Understand the Ambiguous Nature of the Integration Doctrine's Five Factor Test, 31 Securities Regulation Law Journal 337 (2003).


Presidential Award of Excellence, Arkansas Bar Association, 2018

Golden Gavel Award for Exemplary Service to the Legal Profession, Arkansas Bar Association, 2011, 2015, 2016, and 2020

Frank Elcan Leadership Award, Arkansas Bar Association, 2014

Arkansas Bar Foundation Writing Award, Arkansas Bar Foundation, 2013

Judith Ryan Gray Young Lawyer Service Award, Arkansas Bar Association, 2010

Contact & Links
  • 111 Center Street, Suite 1900
    Little Rock, AR 72201
  • Southern Methodist University, LL.M., emphasizing Real Estate Financing, graduated 2003
  • University of Arkansas, J.D., cum laude, graduated 2002
  • University of Arkansas, M.P.A., graduated 2002
  • Baylor University, B.A., graduated 1999
Bar Admissions
  • Arkansas, 2002
  • Mississippi, 2004
  • Missouri, 2011
  • Oklahoma, 2014
  • Texas, 2003
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers - Fellow
  • American Bar Association - Member
  • Arkansas Bar Association - Member
  • Christian Legal Society - Member
  • ICSC Innovating Commerce Serving Communities - Member

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Land Use and Zoning Law Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2020 - Land Use and Zoning Law
Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:
  • Land Use and Zoning Law, Little Rock (2022)
  • Land Use and Zoning Law, Little Rock (2020)
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for work in:
  • Land Use and Zoning Law
  • Real Estate Law
Additional Areas of Practice:
  • Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law


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