A. General. The Supreme Court shall employ the Executive Director of the Office of
Professional Conduct, who shall be an attorney actively licensed to practice law in the State of
Arkansas, shall serve at the will of the Court, and shall devote full time and effort to promptly
and efficiently perform the duties stated in this Section, and such other duties as directed by the
Court or the Committee.
(1) The Executive Director may attend and, at the request of the Committee, act
as counsel in presenting testimony and other evidence at any hearing pursuant to these
(2) The Executive Director, or, in his or her absence or disqualification from a
case, the acting Executive Director, shall have power to administer oaths in all matters incident
to the duties imposed by these Procedures, and such power and authority shall be coextensive
with the State.
(3) The Executive Director shall be responsible for the administration of the
business office and the security of the records. As authorized by and upon such terms as the
Court shall direct, the Executive Director may employ such personnel, including staff attorneys,
investigators, and temporary employees, and may retain independent counsel, as may be
required to perform the administrative, investigative, and legal functions of the Committee and
the Office of Professional Conduct. The Executive Director and the professional staff of the
Office of Professional Conduct shall periodically attend training and continuing education
(4) The Executive Director shall receive reports from financial institutions
pursuant to Rule 1.15(d)(1) indicating that a properly payable instrument has been presented
against a lawyer's trust account containing insufficient funds, irrespective of whether or not the
instrument is honored, and take appropriate action in response to such information.
(1) It shall be the duty of the Office of Professional Conduct to receive and
investigate all complaints against any member of the Bar. Such complaints shall be docketed
and assigned a permanent file number. The Office of Professional Conduct and the Committee
may accept and treat as a complaint any writing signed by a judge of a court of record in this
State regardless of whether such signature is verified or any per curiam order or opinion issued
by any appellate court. The Executive Director may initiate a complaint at his or her own
(2) In lieu of filing and serving a formal complaint, the Executive Director may
refer matters involving lesser misconduct, as defined in Section 17(C), to alternatives-todiscipline programs approved by the Supreme Court. Such programs may include, in addition to
the Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, programs for fee arbitration, arbitration,
mediation, law office management assistance, psychological counseling, continuing education,
(3) Upon a determination by the Executive Director that a complaint sets out
allegations falling within the purview of the Committee and that those allegations are supported
by sufficient evidence, the Executive Director shall provide any assistance needed in the
preparation of the complainant's affidavit and shall process a formal complaint pursuant to these
(4) If the Executive Director determines that a complaint does not set forth
sufficient grounds to reasonably support preparation of a formal complaint but contains
information indicative of a misunderstanding or controversy between an attorney and a client or
a third party who may be aggrieved by the conduct or circumstances and the best interests of the
integrity of the profession and the valid concerns of the complainant would be served by
reconciliation or communication between the parties, the Executive Director may, at the request
of the complainant or in the judgment of the Executive Director, contact the attorney by
telephone or letter advising the attorney of the nature of the complaint and may attempt an
informal resolution. Such a procedure will not be considered a formal complaint.
(5) Review of the Executive Director's Decision.
(a) A complainant who is not satisfied with the Executive Director's
determination that the allegations of the complaint fall outside the purview of the Committee or
that the allegations are not supported by sufficient evidence to file a formal complaint may
request a review of that determination by Panel C.
(b) The request for review shall be filed with the Executive Director in
writing within twenty (20) days from the date of mailing of the letter to the address provided by
the complainant in the grievance or other document of initial complaint, unless notified by the
complainant in writing of a new address prior to the mailing of the letter, notifying the
complainant of the determination of the lack of a basis for filing a formal complaint.
(c) The written request will set out in general terms the complainant's
grounds for objection to the Executive Director's decision.
(d) Upon receipt of a request for review, the Executive Director will
acknowledge in writing the request and shall forward the complaint information, including the
complainant's grounds for objection to the Executive Director's decision, to five members of
Panel C, one of whom will be a nonlawyer, directing that they review the Executive Director's
disposition of the matter.
(e) The reviewing members, by majority vote, may (1) approve the
Executive Director's disposition of the matter, (2) direct that a formal complaint be prepared, or
(3) request further investigation of the matter by the Executive Director. Votes may be taken by
written ballots on forms supplied by the Office of Professional Conduct or by telephone. With
the administrative assistance of the Office of Professional Conduct, the result of the vote will be
made known to the Executive Director by the chair of Panel C. If a formal complaint is
instituted, members of the five-member reviewing body shall not participate in subsequent
proceedings in the matter.
(f) The Executive Director shall then notify the complainant in writing of
the results of the review and dismiss the complaint, initiate a formal complaint, or investigate
further, as appropriate.
(g) There shall be no further review or appeal of Panel C's final decision
on a review.
D. Staff Attorneys.
(1) All Staff Attorneys employed by the Executive Director shall be actively
licensed to practice law in the State of Arkansas.
(2) Staff Attorneys shall serve at the direction and pleasure of the Executive
Director and may perform all duties and possess all authority of the Executive Director as the
Executive Director may delegate, except for the final determination of sufficiency of formal
complaints and the authority and responsibilities provided in Sections 3(C)(8) (subpoenas) and
5(B)(2) (oaths), which authority may be exercised by the acting Executive Director in the
absence of, or upon the disqualification from a case by, the Executive Director.
(3) In the event of the temporary inability of the Executive Director to fully
discharge the duties of office, or when a vacancy exists in that office, the Deputy Director shall
discharge such duties as the acting Executive Director. If the Executive Director determines that
a conflict of interest exists for the Executive Director with regard to a particular complaint,
complainant, or respondent, the Executive Director may recuse from the matter, and the Deputy
Director shall discharge such duties as the acting Executive Director for that matter.
E. Compensation/Expenses. The Executive Director and staff of the Office of
Professional Conduct shall be paid such reasonable salary and expenses as deemed necessary and
appropriate by the Supreme Court. Employee salaries, benefits, and expenses of the Office shall
be payable from funds budgeted to the Committee by the Supreme Court.