A. Composition of Commission. In accordance with Ark. Const. Amend. 66 and Act 637 of 1989, the Commission on Judicial Discipline and Disability shall have nine members who shall be residents of Arkansas. Three members shall be justices or judges appointed by the Supreme Court (judicial members); three shall be lawyers admitted to practice in this state, who are not justices or judges, one appointed by the Attorney General, one by the President of the Senate, and one by the Speaker of the House of Representatives (lawyer members); and three members who are neither lawyers nor sitting or retired justices or judges shall be appointed by the Governor (public members).
B. Meetings. The Commission shall hold an organization meeting immediately upon establishment and biannually thereafter, and shall meet at least monthly at announced dates and places, except when there is no business to be conducted. Meetings shall be called by the Chair or upon the written request of three members of the Commission.
C. Terms of Commission Members and Alternates. With the exception of the initial appointees, whose initial terms shall be made so that reappointments and later appointments are to be staggered, Commission members and alternates shall serve for terms of six (6) years and shall be eligible for reappointment to second full terms. (Initial appointees shall be eligible for second terms of six (6) years.) At its organization meeting, the members of the Commission shall draw for lengths of initial terms so that one member in each group of members, judicial, lawyer, and public, shall have a four (4) year initial term, one member in each group shall have a five (5) year term, and one member in each group shall have a six (6) year term. After the terms of the initial appointees have been established, slips of paper, each with the name of the alternate, shall be placed in a container. Each member shall draw one of the slips of paper, and the alternate whose name is thus drawn shall have the same length of term as the member who drew his or her name.
D. Officers. At the organization meeting the members of the Commission shall elect one among them to serve as chair and another to serve as vicechair.
The vicechair shall perform the duties of the chair whenever he is absent or unable to act.
E. Quorum; Voting Requirements. Five members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A finding of probable cause shall require the concurrence of a majority of the members present. Any alternate member may serve in the place of any member of the same category whenever such
member is disqualified or unable to serve and upon the call of, or on behalf of, the chair. An alternate member who is present at a Commission meeting but who has not been called to serve may neither be included in a quorum count nor vote on any matter being considered at such meeting. Whenever an alternate member is called to serve in the place of a member of the Commission, an announcement with respect thereto shall be made at the commencement of the meeting. A recommendation that discipline be imposed shall require the concurrence of a majority of the members of the Commission.
F. Investigation Panels and Hearing Panels. The initial review and investigation of complaints shall be conducted by and at the direction of an Investigation Panel, which shall act only by majority vote of the Panel. At the regular organization meetings of the Commission, the chair shall appoint from the nine Commission members and nine Alternates no fewer than three Investigation Panels of three members, each consisting of one judicial member, one lawyer member, and one public member. Thus constituted, these Investigation Panels shall conduct and direct the initial review and investigation of complaints without the knowledge or involvement of the Commission whose members shall serve as the Hearing Panel and conduct the formal proceedings to inquire into charges against a judge.
Complaints shall be allocated among the Investigation Panels in rotation. No Commission member or Alternate shall serve on a Hearing Panel involving any matter considered by an Investigation Panel of which he or she was a member.