A. An action for disbarment shall be filed as an original action with the Clerk of the
Supreme Court. Upon such filing, the Arkansas Supreme Court, pursuant to Amendment 28 of
the Arkansas Constitution, shall assign a special judge to preside over the disbarment
proceedings. The special judge, the Executive Director, or the Clerk shall arrange for a
courtroom or other suitable facility in Pulaski County in which the proceedings shall be heard.
The special judge may hear preliminary and post-trial matters and take other such actions outside
of Pulaski County to the same extent that the law permits judges sitting by assignment or on
exchange to do so. With the consent of all the parties, the judge may conduct the proceedings
outside of Pulaski County. All allegations of violation(s) of the Rules by the attorney,
notwithstanding the situs of the alleged conduct, shall be heard in this proceeding. In disbarment
suits, the action shall proceed as an action between the Executive Director and the respondent.
Proceedings shall be held in compliance with the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure and the
Arkansas Rules of Evidence, and trial shall be had without a jury. A disbarment proceeding may
be tried on the original petition for disbarment, any amended petitions for disbarment, and such
other allegations and charges as to which the respondent has been given adequate notice and
opportunity to defend. After a Committee panel votes to initiate disbarment, it shall not be
required that any additional charges or allegations in the disbarment proceeding be considered
and voted on by a Committee panel.
B. The judge shall first hear all evidence relevant to the alleged misconduct and shall
then make and file with the Clerk a written determination as to whether the allegations have been
proven. Upon a finding of misconduct, the judge shall then hear all evidence relevant to an
appropriate sanction to be imposed, including evidence related to the factors listed in Section 19
and the aggravating and mitigating factors set out in the American Bar Association's Model
Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions, ?? 9.22 and 9.32 (1992). See Wilson v. Neal, 332
Ark. 148, 964 S.W.2d 199 (1998).
C. The judge shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law with respect to the
alleged misconduct of the respondent attorney and the imposition of sanctions, including the
factors discussed in Section 13(B). Before filing the findings and conclusions, the judge may
solicit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law from the parties and may submit a draft
thereof to the parties or counsel for all parties for the purpose of receiving their objections and
suggestions. The judge shall make a recommendation as to the appropriate sanction from those
set out in Section 17(D).
D. The findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation of an appropriate
sanction shall be filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court along with a transcript and the record
of the proceedings, which shall include all pleadings, orders, and other appropriate materials
filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court. Upon the filing, the parties shall file briefs as in other
cases. If any sanction is recommended by the special judge, the respondent attorney shall brief
first, as the appellant. The findings of fact filed by the special judge shall be accepted by the
Supreme Court unless clearly erroneous. The Supreme Court shall impose the appropriate
sanction, if any, as the evidence may warrant. In imposing the sanction of suspension of law
license, the attorney may be suspended for a period not exceeding five (5) years. There is no
appeal from the decision of the Supreme Court, except as may be available under federal law.