Arkansas Court of Appeals
The Arkansas Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court in Arkansas. The court was established by Amendment 58 to the Arkansas Constitution in 1978. It is comprised of twelve judges, who are elected in non-partisan elections from seven appellate court districts to serve renewable eight-year terms.
The court term starts in the middle of August and ends on July 4th of the next year. Opinions issued by the court are available each Wednesday at 9:00 A.M. during the term.
The court is located in the Arkansas Justice Building, 625 Marshall Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201.
|Arkansas Court of Appeals|
|Method:||Non-partisan election of judges|
|Chief Judge Robert Gladwin||2003-2017|
|Judge John Pittman||1993-2014|
|Judge Larry Vaught||2001-2022|
|Judge David Glover||2004-2019|
|Judge Rita Gruber||2009-2016|
|Judge Waymond Brown||2009-2016|
|Judge Rhonda Wood||2013-2019|
|Judge Phillip Whiteaker||2013-2022|
|Justice-elect Robin Wynne||2015-2022|
|Judge-elect Bart Virden||2015-2022|
|Judge Kenneth Hixson||2013-2022|
|Judge Brandon Harrison||2013-2019|
|Judge Bill Walmsley||2013-2014||Gov. Mike Beebe|
To serve on the court, a judge must:
- Be at least 30 years old.
- Be of good moral character.
- Be learned in the law.
- Be a citizen of the United States.
- Have been a resident of Arkansas for more than two years.
- Must have practiced law for at least eight years.
All cases to be appealed are generally filed with the Arkansas Court of Appeals. The types of appeals that are not heard by the Arkansas Court of Appeals, but are instead under the jurisdiction of the Arkansas Supreme Court are appeals regarding:
- the interpretation or construction of the Constitution of Arkansas;
- criminal appeals in which the death penalty or life imprisonment has been imposed;
- petitions for quo warranto, prohibition, injunction, or mandamus directed to the state, county, or municipal officials or to circuit courts;
- elections and election procedures;
- discipline of attorneys-at-law and or arising under the power of the Arkansas Supreme Court to regulate the practice of law;
- discipline and disability of judges;
- second or subsequent appeals following an appeal which has been decided in the Arkansas Supreme Court; and
- appeals required by law to be heard by the Arkansas Supreme Court.
There is no immediate right to appeal a decision made by the Arkansas Court of Appeals to the Arkansas Supreme Court. Instead, an appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court may be granted if the party seeking a review of an opinion applies for an appeal, if the Arkansas Court of Appeals certifies the right to an appeal, or if the Arkansas Supreme Court finds that they, themselves, should have been assigned the original appeal.
| • Court of Appeals overturns rape conviction||Click for summary→|
|On April 30, 2014, the Arkansas Court of Appeals overturned the rape conviction against Russell Wayne Hudson and dismissed the charges against him. Hudson had been charged with the rape of a minor in September 2010 and had been tried and sentenced to twenty years in the Arkansas Department of Correction in December 2012 by the Faulkner County Circuit Court.
In overturning the Faulkner County Circuit Court's decision, the Arkansas Court of Appeals found that the circuit court Judge Charles E. Clawson, Jr. had erred when he granted the state a continuance to postpone the trial. Counsel for Hudson argued that the postponement of the trial violated his right to a speedy trial.The Arkansas Court of Appeals found that the continuance was erroneously granted and that the delay in the trial was prejudicial to Hudson "[b]ecause the continuance was erroneously granted, the State had time to secure the only witness who could provide evidence sufficient to convict appellant, and, that had the continuance not been granted, the charge likely would have otherwise been dropped."
The court was established in 1978 to help ease the overburdened docket of the Arkansas Supreme Court. It originally had six judges, but that number increased to twelve with the passage of legislation in 1993.
The first six judges of the court were appointed by former Governor Bill Clinton. The first judges were: Ernie E. Wright, M. Steele Hays, George Howard, Jr., David Newbern, Marian F. Penix, and James H. Pilkinton. Wright was the first chief judge.
The first opinions available for publication were issued by the court on August 8, 1979. The court regularly hands down a large number of opinions but publishes only the ones that "resolve novel or unusual questions." The court's website contains their decisions from 1994 to the present and can be found here.
Court rules of procedure
The following is a list of the rules of practice and procedure used by Arkansas courts:
- Arkansas Rules of Evidence
- Rules of Appellate Procedure: Civil
- Rules of Appellate Procedure: Criminal
- Rules of Civil Procedure 
|“||The Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct establishes standards for the ethical conduct of judges and judicial candidates. It is not intended as an exhaustive guide for the conduct of judges and judicial candidates, who are governed in their judicial and personal conduct by general ethical standards as well as by the Code. The Code is intended, however, to provide guidance and assist judges in maintaining the highest standards of judicial and personal conduct, and to provide a basis for regulating their conduct through disciplinary agencies.||”|
The full text of the Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct can be found here.
Removal of judges
In Arkansas, a judge can be removed from the bench in three ways:
- The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, comprised of nine members (three judges appointed by the Arkansas Supreme Court, three lawyers licensed in Arkansas, and three members of the public appointed by the governor) may investigate a report of misconduct, issue its findings and conduct a hearing. A majority vote of the commission may then recommend the removal or suspension of a judge to the Arkansas Supreme Court who then determines the outcome.
- A judge may be removed after the impeachment by the Arkansas House of Representatives and a subsequent conviction by a two-thirds vote of the Arkansas Senate.
- The governor can remove a judge after a finding of good cause and with the concurrent resolution of two-thirds of the members of both the Arkansas House of Representatives and the Arkansas Senate.
- Courts in Arkansas
- Arkansas counties
- News: Arkansas appellate court allows Facebook photos as evidence, February 15, 2012
- The Arkansas Judiciary, "Arkansas Court of Appeals"
- The Arkansas Judiciary, "Opinions and disciplinary decisions of the court of appeals"
- The Arkansas Judiciary, "Court of appeals districts map"
- The Arkansas Judiciary, "Court of appeals"
- May vary for chief judge
- The Arkansas Judiciary, "Rule 1-2. Appellate jurisdiction of the supreme court and court of appeals"
- Arkansas News.com, "Court of appeals tosses Faulkner County rape conviction," April 30, 2014
- Arkansas Court of Appeals, "Russel Wayne Hudson v. State of Arkansas, No. CR-13-568," April 30, 2014
- The Arkansas Judiciary, "Court rules"
- The Arkansas Judiciary, "Arkansas code of judicial conduct"
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Arkansas.gov, "The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission: Membership"
- American Judicature Society, "Methods of judicial selection: Removal of judges"
Robert Gladwin • John Pittman • Larry Vaught • David Glover • Rita Gruber • Waymond Brown • Rhonda Wood • Phillip Whiteaker • Robin Wynne • Bart Virden • Kenneth Hixson • Brandon Harrison • Bill Walmsley •
|Former||Donald Corbin • John Robbins • D.P. Marshall • Karen R. Baker • Wendell Griffen • Sam Bird • Josephine Hart • Eugene Hunt • Sarah Heffley • Michael Kinard • Courtney Hudson Goodson • Doug Martin • Raymond Abramson • Cliff Hoofman •|
|Unopposed||Raymond Abramson (District 1, Position 1)|
|Unopposed||Judge Phillip Whiteaker (District 1, Position 2)|
|Unopposed||Bart Virden (District 2, Position 1)|
|Unopposed||Judge Kenneth Hixson (District 3, Position 2)|
|Unopposed||Judge Larry Vaught (District 6, Position 2)|
|Candidate||Incumbency||Position||Primary Vote||Election Vote|
|Brandon Harrison||No||District 4, Position 1||52.6%|
|David Glover||Yes||District 4, Position 2||100%|
|J.W. Looney||No||District 4, Position 1||47.4%|
|Jeannette Robertson||No||District 1, Position 2||32.4%||46.2%|
|Kenneth Hixson||No||District 3, Position 2||51.5%|
|Mitch Cash||No||District 2, Position 2||37.2%|
|Niki Cung||No||District 3, Position 2||48.5%|
|Phillip Whiteaker||No||District 1, Position 2||38.1%||53.8%|
|Richard Lusby||No||District 1, Position 2||29.5%|
- See also: Arkansas judicial elections, 2012