A. Service of Complaint.
(1) Upon the filing of a formal complaint, the Executive Director shall furnish to
the attorney complained against a copy of the formal complaint and advise the attorney that he or
she may file a written response in affidavit form with any supporting evidence desired. The
attorney's mailing address on record with the Clerk shall constitute the address for service by
mail. Attorneys shall be responsible for informing the Clerk in writing and within a reasonable
time of any change of such address. Certified mailing of the formal complaint to said address
shall be deemed a waiver of confidentiality for purposes of Section 9 (A)(2)(c).
(2) Service may be effected on a respondent attorney by:
(a) Mailing a copy of the formal complaint to attorney's address of record
by certified, restricted delivery, return receipt mail; or,
(b) Personal service, as provided by the Arkansas Rules of Civil
Procedure or by an Investigator with the Office of Professional Conduct or by an affidavit of
service signed by the respondent attorney; or,
(c) When reasonable attempts to accomplish service by Section 9(A)(2)(a)
or Section 9(A)(2)(b) have been unsuccessful, then a warning order, in such form as prescribed
by the Committee, shall be published weekly for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of
general circulation within this State or within the locale of the attorney's address of record. In
addition, a copy of the formal complaint and warning order shall be sent to the respondent
attorney's address of record by regular mail.
(3) An attorney's failure to provide an accurate, current mailing address to the
Clerk, as required by Section 9(A)(1), or the failure or refusal to receive certified mailing of a
formal complaint, shall be deemed a waiver of confidentiality for the purposes of the issuance of
a warning order.
(4) Unless good cause is shown for an attorney's non-receipt of a certified
mailing of a formal complaint, the attorney shall be liable for the actual costs and expenses for
service or the attempted service of a formal complaint, to include all expenses associated with
the effectuation of service. Such sums will be due and payable to the Committee before any
response to a formal complaint will be accepted or considered by the Committee.
(5) After service has been effected by any of the aforementioned means,
subsequent mailings by the Committee to the respondent attorney may be by regular mail to the
attorney's address of record, to the address at which service was accomplished, or to such address
as may have been furnished by the attorney, as the appropriate circumstance may dictate, except
that notices of hearings and letters of caution, reprimand, suspension, or initiation of disbarment
proceedings shall also be sent by certified, return receipt mail.
(6) Service on a non-resident attorney may be accomplished pursuant to Section
9(A)(2)(a), (b), or (c) or in any manner prescribed by the law of the jurisdiction to which the
service is directed.
B. Time and Manner of Response.
(1) Upon service of a formal complaint, pursuant to Section 9(A)(2)(a) or Section
9(A)(2)(b), or the date of the first publication, pursuant to Section 9(A)(2)(c), the attorney shall
have thirty (30) days in which to file a written response consisting of an original and eight (8)
copies with the Executive Director. In the event that the Executive Director has not received a
response within thirty (30) days following the date of service and an extension of time has not
been granted, the Executive Director shall proceed to issue ballots as provided in Section 10.
(2) At the request of an attorney, the Executive Director is authorized to grant an
extension of reasonable length for the filing of a response. Subsequent requests for extensions
must be in written form and will be ruled on by the Chairperson of the Committee or the chair of
the panel to which the matter has been assigned.
(3) Within ten (10) calendar days of receiving the attorney's response to the
complaint, the Executive Director shall provide a copy of the attorney's response to the
complainant and may provide a copy of the attorney's response to any other person who has
provided an affidavit that was attached to the complaint and advise that the complainant and
others have fifteen (15) calendar days in which to rebut or refute any allegations or information
contained in the attorney's response. The Executive Director may include any rebuttal made by
the complainant and other affiants as a part of the material submitted to the Committee for
decision, and any such rebuttal shall be provided to the respondent attorney for informational
purposes only, with no response required. If a response or rebuttal to be submitted to the
Committee contains allegations or proof of violation of the Rules not previously alleged, it may
be placed in the form of a supplemental complaint, and the respondent attorney shall be
provided a copy and permitted to respond in the manner prescribed in subsection B(1) of this
(4) The calculation of the time limitations specified in Section 9(B) shall
commence on the day following service upon the respondent. If the due date of a response falls
on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date will be extended to the next regular
C. Failure to Respond/ Reconsideration.
(1) An attorney's failure to provide, in the prescribed time and manner, a written
response to a formal complaint served in compliance with Section 9(A)(2) shall constitute
separate and distinct grounds for the imposition of sanctions less than a suspension of license,
without regard for the merits of the underlying, substantive allegations of the complaint; or
(2) May be considered for enhancement of sanctions imposed upon a finding of
violation of the Rules.
(3) The separate imposition or the enhancement of sanctions for failure to
respond may be accomplished by the panel's notation of such failure in the appropriate sanction
order and shall not require any separate or additional notice to the respondent attorney.
(4) Failure to respond to a formal complaint shall constitute an admission of the
factual allegations of the complaint and shall extinguish a respondent's right to a public hearing.
(a) Provided, however, that a respondent attorney, within the time
specified in Section 10(E)(3), may file with the Executive Director an original and eight (8)
copies of a petition for reconsideration, stating, on oath, compelling and cogent evidence of
unavoidable circumstances sufficient to excuse or justify the failure to respond. Otherwise, the
panel's decision shall be final and will be filed of record with the Clerk. The Office of
Professional Conduct may respond to any petition for reconsideration within fifteen (15) days
after it is filed.
(b) Upon the filing of a petition for reconsideration and any response, the
Executive Director shall provide each member of the panel a copy of the petition and any
response for vote by written ballot consistent with provisions of Section 10.
(c) If a majority of the panel, upon a finding of clear and convincing
evidence, votes to grant the petition for reconsideration, the panel may:
(i) Permit the attorney to submit a belated affidavit of response to the
substantive allegations of the formal complaint and the matter shall proceed as though the
response had been made timely; and/or
(ii) Set aside any sanction imposed solely on the basis of the attorney's
failure to respond.
(d) If the petition for reconsideration is denied, the panel's original
decision and imposition of sanctions become final and will be filed of record with the Clerk.
Appeal from the Committee's denial of reconsideration and the imposition of sanctions may be
taken in the time and manner prescribed by the applicable provisions of Section 12. Provided,
however, that such appeal cannot attack the substantive allegations of the complaint and shall be
limited to the panel's denial of reconsideration.