1st Amendment prevails on lawyer complaints | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 24, 2013

1st Amendment prevails on lawyer complaints

Posted By on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 9:39 AM

In a brief opinion today, the Arkansas Supreme Court modified the rules governing lawyer conduct to explicitly allow complainants to discuss misconduct complaints they've filed against lawyers.

This is the final — and properly inevitable — conclusion of Mara Leveritt'sprotest of the confidentiality rule when she complained about conduct of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel in the West Memphis Three case. The complaint itself was dismissed, but it gave rise to the question of whether complainants could talk about their actions. Leveritt sued over the confidentiality rule and the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct settled the suit by agreeing to ask the Supreme Court to change the rule, which it has now done.

Confidentiality continues to exist for all others in the investigative process until it reaches the probable cause stage. A similar confidentiality rule remains in place on complaints filed about public officials with the state Ethics Commission. I and others have routinely ignored it, believing it an unconstitutional prohibition. As yet, the commission hasn't asked the legislature to make the law comport with the 1st Amendment (or tried to punish scofflaws). The legislature is too busy worrying about the 2nd to fix this affront to the 1st.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation