A. Composition/Term of Office.
(1) The Supreme Court shall appoint the members of the Committee on
Professional Conduct to assist in enforcing these Procedures. The Committee shall consist of
two separate seven-member panels, designated Panel A and Panel B. Each panel will include
five attorneys, one chosen from the State at large and one from each of the four Congressional
Districts. Two non-attorneys will be chosen to serve on each panel, and these four lay members
will be chosen from the State at large. Each appointment shall be for a term of six years, unless
otherwise designated by the Supreme Court. Members may be reappointed to one successive
six-year term. Terms shall be staggered. Vacancies occurring from causes other than expiration
of term of office will be filled by the Supreme Court as they occur, and the person so appointed
shall serve the remainder of his or her predecessor's term. If the remainder of the vacant term is
less than two years, the person appointed is eligible for appointment to two successive six-year
terms. Committee members shall serve until their successors are appointed and certified. The
Committee shall elect one of its members as Chairperson and another as Secretary. The
Committee, consistent with these Procedures, may adopt such internal operating rules and
policies as may be necessary to facilitate the performance of its duties, responsibilities, and
administrative functions. All such internal operating rules and policies shall be provided to all
(2) Members shall refrain from taking part in any disciplinary proceeding in
which a judge similarly situated would be required to recuse.
(3) Fourteen reserve members shall be appointed to serve as Panel C and Panel
D, a pool from which replacements may be drawn in those instances in which members of the
Committee are disqualified or unable to serve. Ten of the reserve members shall be lawyers with
at least two from each Congressional District. Four of the reserve members shall not be lawyers
and shall be selected from the State at large. In other respects, the terms of service for reserve
members shall be the same as provided for the Committee. Reserve members shall possess the
authority, powers, immunities, and entitlements provided for the Committee by these Procedures.
The Committee Chairperson or Executive Director shall select reserve members from a rotating
list to serve, individually or collectively, as the situation requires, in those instances in which
members of a panel of the Committee consider themselves disqualified or are unable to serve.
Reserve members serving as replacements shall be selected so as to maintain the appropriate
lawyer/non-lawyer composition. Reserve members do not have to be selected unless the
required quorum of the Committee or a panel thereof is not present. If necessary, the Supreme
Court may appoint additional persons to serve as reserve members to permit the Committee to
discharge its duties.
B. Quorum. A majority of the members of Panels A and B of the Committee shall
constitute a quorum for the conduct of Committee business. The Committee shall not sit en banc
for disciplinary proceedings.
(1) The Committee, through its panels, shall have, and is hereby granted,
authority to impose any sanctions deemed appropriate as provided in Section 7 (Procedure),
Section 17 (Sanctions), and Section 18 (Fines, Costs, and Restitution).
(2) The Committee, through its panels, is authorized to take action by written
ballot, subject to the requirements and limitations set out in Section 10 of these Procedures.
(3) The Committee, through its panels, is authorized to conduct hearings at
(a) The request of the panel; or
(b) The request of the respondent attorney after written ballots are taken.
(4) The Committee is authorized to hold meetings to conduct the business of the
Committee, which consists of, but is not limited to, the election of officers, the determination of
pending complaints, and such administrative matters as required.
(5) The Committee, acting through its Chairperson, may temporarily designate
from the staff attorneys of the Office of Professional Conduct an acting Executive Director in
any case in which the Executive Director or the Deputy Director (pursuant to Section 5(D)(3)) is
unable to act, or recuses, or disqualifies.
(6) The Committee shall maintain a permanent office under the supervision of the
Executive Director for the conduct of its business and the maintenance of the various records of
(7) The seal heretofore adopted by the Committee shall be the official seal for its
use in the performance of the duties imposed by these Procedures.
(8) The Executive Director or the Committee, through its panels, shall have the
authority to issue summonses for any person(s), or subpoenas for any witness(es), including the
production of documents, books, records, or other evidence, in the same manner as is provided
for civil process pursuant to the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure, requiring the presence of any
person, or the attendance of any witness before the Committee for the purpose of testimony, or in
furtherance of an investigation. Such process shall be issued under the seal of the Committee
provided for in subsection C(7) of this Section and be signed by the Chairperson of the
Committee, the Secretary, the chair of a panel of the Committee, or the Executive Director. Any
subpoenas issued herein shall clearly indicate that the subpoenas are issued in connection with a
confidential investigation under these Procedures and that it is regarded as contempt of the
Supreme Court for a person subpoenaed to breach the confidentiality of the investigation. If
found to be in contempt of the Supreme Court under these Procedures, a person may be punished
by incarceration, imposition of a fine, or both. In addition, it shall be grounds for discipline
under these Procedures for a subpoenaed attorney to breach the confidentiality of the
investigation. It shall not be regarded as a breach of confidentiality for a person subpoenaed to
seek or consult with legal counsel in regard to the subpoena, nor shall the confidentiality apply to
subpoenas issued in connection with a public hearing.
(9) The Committee, through the Chairperson or a panel chair, or the Executive
Director, may seek immunity from criminal prosecution for a reluctant witness, using the
procedure of Ark. Code Ann. ?? 16-43-601 to -606 (1987), as amended, and any successor or
other applicable statute.
(10) The Committee may propose changes to these Procedures for promulgation
by the Supreme Court and may comment on existing and proposed Rules.
(11) The Committee shall periodically review the operation of the system with
the Supreme Court.
(12) The Committee, working with the Office of Professional Conduct, shall
inform the public about the existence and operation of the system and the disposition of each
matter in which public discipline has been imposed, a lawyer has been transferred to or from
disability inactive status, or a lawyer has been reinstated. Communication options should include
toll-free telephone and the Internet.
(13) The Committee shall perform administrative oversight over the Office of
Professional Conduct which shall include: reviewing the productivity and efficiency of the
office; assessing caseload management; reviewing and making recommendations concerning
budgetary matters; making recommendations to the Executive Director; and improving the
statistical records of the office. Administrative responsibilities may be delegated to panels of the
Committee on a rotating basis, which may include an Executive Committee selected by the
(14) When so requested by a federal judge under the Uniform Federal Rules of
Disciplinary Enforcement adopted by the United States District Courts of Arkansas on May 1,
1980, or successor rules, the Committee may act as the disciplinary agency, and the Executive
Director as counsel, in a federal disciplinary action. Any additional expense incurred in the
processing of a federal complaint will be paid from the funds arising from the assessments levied
pursuant to the Uniform Federal Rules and available for that purpose. When final action is taken
under a federal complaint, a report of that action will be made to the federal judge who referred
the matter, and the Committee may also furnish to the federal judge any other information from
its files necessary to fulfill its duties as disciplinary agency.
D. Immunity. The Committee, its individual members, its agents, the Executive Director,
and employees and agents of the Office of Professional Conduct are absolutely immune from suit
or action for their activities in discharge of their duties under these Procedures, to the full extent
of judicial immunity in Arkansas.
E. Expenses. From the funds established and appropriated by the Arkansas Supreme
Court, and in accordance with budgetary limitations, members of the Committee shall be entitled
to receive their travel and hotel expenses, reimbursement for postage, stationery,
communications, an attendance allowance, other incidental expenses including stenographic bills
and court costs chargeable against them, and to attend training and continuing education
programs. All such items shall be paid by the Clerk by check on such funds. Accounts must be
itemized and certified by the Chairperson of the Committee, the Secretary, or the Executive
Director as true and correct and for the official business of the Committee or the Office of