A. Grounds for Discipline. It shall be grounds for discipline for a lawyer to:
(1) Violate or attempt to violate the Rules or any other rules of Arkansas
regarding professional conduct of lawyers; or
(2) Engage in conduct violating applicable rules of professional conduct of
another jurisdiction in which the attorney is licensed or practices.
B. Serious Misconduct. Serious misconduct is conduct in violation of the Rules that
would warrant a sanction terminating or restricting the lawyer's license to practice law. Conduct
will be considered serious misconduct if any of the following considerations apply:
(1) The misconduct involves the misappropriation of funds;
(2) The misconduct results in, or is likely to result in, substantial prejudice to a
client or other person;
(3) The misconduct involves dishonesty, deceit, fraud, or misrepresentation by
(4) The misconduct is part of a pattern of similar misconduct;
(5) The attorney's prior record of public sanctions demonstrates a substantial
disregard of the attorney's professional duties and responsibilities; or
(6) The misconduct constitutes a "Serious Crime," as defined in these Procedures.
C. Lesser Misconduct. Lesser misconduct is conduct in violation of the Rules that would
not warrant a sanction terminating or restricting the lawyer's license to practice law.
D. Types of Sanctions. Misconduct shall be grounds for one or more of the following
(1) DISBARMENT: The termination of the attorney's privilege to practice law
and removal of the attorney's name from the list of licensed attorneys.
(2) SUSPENSION: A limitation for a fixed period of time on the attorney's
privilege to engage in the practice of law.
(3) INTERIM SUSPENSION: A temporary suspension for an indeterminate
period of time of the attorney's privilege to engage in the practice of law pending the final
adjudication of a disciplinary matter.
(4) REPRIMAND: A severe public censure issued against the attorney.
(5) CAUTION: A public warning issued against the attorney.
(6) WARNING: A non-public caution issued against the attorney.
(7) PROBATION: Written conditions imposed for a fixed period of time, and
with the attorney's consent, permitting the attorney to engage in the practice of law under the
supervision of another attorney.
E. Imposition of Sanctions. When a panel of the Committee finds that an attorney has
violated any provision of the Rules, the panel is authorized:
(1) To cause a complaint for disbarment to be prepared and filed against the
lawyer in accordance with Section 13. Disbarment proceedings are appropriate when mandated
by Section 15(C) of the Procedures or upon a finding of "serious misconduct" for which a lesser
sanction would be inappropriate. A finding that a lawyer has committed acts against a client
which constitute theft of property under Ark. Code Ann. ? 5-36-103 (or its replacement),
regardless of whether the attorney has been criminally charged or convicted, shall result in the
automatic filing of disbarment proceedings. Actions for disbarment address the overall fitness of
a lawyer to hold a license to practice law. The Committee's written notice to institute a
disbarment proceeding need not state specific findings as to the misconduct or Rule violations.
(2) To suspend the lawyer's privilege to practice law for a fixed period of time
not less than thirty (30) days and not in excess of five (5) years. Suspension is appropriate when
a panel of the Committee finds that the lawyer has engaged in "serious misconduct," and,
consonant with the pertinent factors listed in Section 19, the nature and degree of such
misconduct do not warrant disbarment.
(3) To temporarily suspend the lawyer's privilege to practice law pending final
adjudication and disposition of a disciplinary matter. Interim suspension shall be appropriate in
the following situations:
(a) Immediately on decision to initiate disbarment;
(b) Immediately upon proof that the attorney has been found guilty of a
Serious Crime in any jurisdiction, notwithstanding pending post-conviction actions; and,
(c) When a panel of the Committee is in receipt of sufficient evidence
demonstrating that the lawyer has engaged or is engaging in misconduct involving:
(i) Misappropriation of funds or property;
(ii) Abandonment of the practice of law; or,
(iii) Substantial threat of serious harm to the public or to
the lawyer's clients.
(4) To issue the lawyer a letter of reprimand. A reprimand is appropriate when a
panel of the Committee finds that a lawyer has engaged in "lesser misconduct" that, by
application of the factors listed in Section 19, warrants a sanction more severe than a caution.
Additionally, in certain very limited circumstances, a panel of the Committee may find that a
reprimand is appropriate for conduct otherwise falling within the definition of "serious
misconduct" when application of the aforementioned factors substantially demonstrates clear and
compelling grounds for sanctions less severe than restriction of the privilege to practice law.
(5) To issue the lawyer a letter of caution. A caution is appropriate when a panel
of the Committee finds that a lawyer has engaged in "lesser misconduct" and application of the
aforementioned factors does not warrant a reprimand.
(6) To issue a letter of warning. Prior to the preparation of an affidavit of
complaint, or subsequent to a lawyer's affidavit of response but before a panel of the Committee
has issued a formal letter of disposition in a pending matter, the Executive Director, with the
written consent of the attorney and with the approval of the chair of a panel, is authorized to
issue a non-public letter of warning to the lawyer. Only in cases of "lesser misconduct" of a
minor nature, when there is little or no injury to a client, the public, the legal system, or the
profession, and when there is little likelihood of repetition by the lawyer, should a warning be
imposed. A warning is not a sanction available to a panel of the Committee when issuing a
formal order of disposition following public adjudication of the disciplinary matter.
(7) To impose probationary conditions. Before or after the filing of a formal
complaint, a panel of the Committee may, with the written consent of the lawyer, place the
lawyer on probation for a period not exceeding two (2) years. Probation shall be used only in
cases where there is little likelihood that the lawyer will harm the public during the period of
rehabilitation and the conditions of probation can be adequately supervised. Probation may be
utilized concurrently with imposition of other sanctions not restricting the privilege to practice
law or may follow a period of suspension. The probationary conditions shall be in writing and
acknowledged, in writing, by the lawyer. A lawyer amenable to probation shall be responsible
for obtaining the agreement of another lawyer, acceptable to a panel of the Committee, to
supervise, monitor, and assist the lawyer as required to fulfill the conditions of probation, or for
obtaining a Monitoring Contract with the Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program,
acceptable to a panel of the Committee, to accomplish the same things. Assent to undertake
supervision shall be acknowledged in writing to a panel of the Committee. Probation shall be
terminated upon the filing of an affidavit by the lawyer showing compliance with the conditions
and an affidavit by the supervising lawyer or an authorized representative of the Arkansas Judges
and Lawyers Assistance Program stating probation is no longer necessary and summarizing the
basis for that statement. Willful or unjustified non-compliance with the conditions of probation
will terminate the probation and subject the lawyer to further disciplinary action, to include
imposition of a more severe sanction which could have been imposed originally but for the
agreement to probation. An attorney subjected to such further disciplinary action may only offer
evidence or argument relating to the willful or unjustified nature of the non-compliance.
Unsuccessful rehabilitation or non-completion of the probation conditions will subject the lawyer
to further disciplinary proceedings consistent with these Procedures. Except as necessary to the
Committee's discharge of its responsibilities, terms and conditions of probation and reports
related thereto which involve the lawyer's mental, physical, or psychological condition shall be