To no one’s surprise, the U.S. District Court in Little Rock, Arkansas is trying to make my bar grievance against Hillary Clinton go away. I don’t intend to make that easy.
On Monday evening, I received a three-line letter from the court clerk stating that my bar grievance was being returned because Mrs. Clinton is an inactive member of the federal court’s bar. I called the clerk’s office yesterday morning and learned that my letter had not even been shared with the judges of the court, so I sent a letter directly to Chief Judge Brian S. Miller arguing that Mrs. Clinton’s inactive status was not grounds for rejecting the complaint. An hour later, I received an email from one of his clerks informing me that “this court is not the proper route” for filing an ethical complaint and directing me to file my grievance with the state disciplinary authority for Arkansas.
Well, that’s not what the court’s own rules say. I’ve already filed a grievance against Mrs. Clinton with state officials (for the reasons cited on last week’s post, I don’t have much confidence in Stark Ligon, the executive director of the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct), and this morning I sent another letter to Chief Judge Miller explaining that the rules of his court do not give him the latitude to reject my grievance so casually. Local Rule 83.5(e) of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas adopts the Uniform Federal Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement, and the relevant disciplinary rule states as follows:
When misconduct or allegations of misconduct which, if substantiated, would warrant discipline on the part of an attorney admitted to practice before this Court shall come to the attention of a Judge of this Court, whether by complaint or otherwise, and the applicable procedure is not otherwise mandated by these Rules, the Judge shall refer the matter to counsel for investigation and the prosecution of a formal disciplinary proceeding or the formulation of such other recommendation as may be appropriate.
Uniform Federal Rule of Disciplinary Enforcement V(A). … Read more