Sunday, June 6, 2021
The Arkansas Supreme Court accepted a recommendation for judicial discipline
Judge Sims is a circuit court judge for Pulaski and Perry Counties in the Sixth Judicial District of Arkansas and has served in that capacity since 2003. Previously, he served as a district court judge in North Little Rock, Arkansas. In his judicial career, he has presided over criminal, civil, probate, and domestic-relations cases. The report of uncontested sanction arises from complaints filed with the Commission concerning Judge Sims’s courtroom comments and conduct toward members of the Bar.
These matters were resolved without a formal disciplinary hearing. On advice of counsel, Judge Sims has agreed that the sanction of suspension is appropriate for his actions in JDDC case #19-264. The investigation panel approved the disposition and the regular members of the Commission approved the recommendation of suspension without pay for ninety (90) days with sixty (60) of those days held in abeyance for one year on the condition that Judge Sims complete or adhere to the following remedial measures:
1. Attend a class on mindfulness, patience, or civility through the National Judicial College, National Center for State Courts or other reputable judicial training organization and provide proof of attendance no later than December 31, 2021;
2. At his own expense, hire a counselor or life coach to help consult with him about how he treats professionals appearing in his court. Judge Sims or his representative must provide information to the JDDC about his cooperation and progress. No personal details need to be submitted;
3. Have no more complaints that result in public charges or agreed discipline; and
4. Be on notice that future complaints concerning intimidation, bullying, retaliation, or harassment will be investigated as the failure to learn and change from the remedial measures in this agreement will be included as evidence of intent and lack of mistake.
The court majority adopted the recommendation
SHAWN A. WOMACK, Justice, dissenting. Because the constitutional authority by which the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission was created ceased to exist after the passage of Amendment 80, I respectfully dissent from the court’s decision to ratify the actions of an unconstitutional entity. See In re Ark. Jud. Discipline & Disability Comm’n Appointments, 2021 Ark. 27 (per curiam) (Womack, J., concurring).
A Pulaski County Circuit Judge faces suspension from the bench state after he admits to bullying and intimidating at least three female attorneys in his courtroom.
KATV.com reported on the matter and links to the recommendation. (Mike Frisch)