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Arkansas Court of Appeals

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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 composed of twelve judges, who are elected in nonpartisan elections from seven appellate court districts to serve renewable eight-year terms.[1]

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.[1]

Arkansas Court of Appeals
Court information
Judges:   12
Founded:   1978
Salary:   $144,000[2]
Judicial selection
Method:   Nonpartisan election of judges
Term:   8 years
Arkansas Justice Building, Front
Arkansas Justice Building, Rotunda


Current judges

JudgeTermAppointed by
Chief Judge Robert Gladwin2003-2017
Judge Larry Vaught2001-2022
Judge David Glover2004-2019
Judge Michael Kinard2009-2010; 2015-12/31/2016Gov. Mike Beebe
Judge Rita Gruber2009-2016
Judge Waymond Brown2009-2016
Judge Phillip Whiteaker2013-2022
Justice Robin Wynne2015-2022
Judge Bart Virden2015-2022
Judge Cliff Hoofman2015-2016Gov. Mike Beebe
Judge Kenneth Hixson2013-2022
Judge Brandon Harrison2013-2019
Judges of the Arkansas Court of Appeals

Chief judge

The chief judge of the court of appeals serves a four-year term and is appointed by the chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Judge Robert Gladwin is the court's current chief judge.


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.[1]


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.[3]

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.[1]

Notable cases


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."[1] 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:


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.[7][8]

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:

See also

External links


ArkansasArkansas Supreme CourtArkansas Court of AppealsArkansas Circuit CourtsArkansas District CourtsArkansas City CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of ArkansasUnited States District Court for the Western District of ArkansasUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern and Western Districts of ArkansasUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eighth CircuitArkansas countiesArkansas judicial newsArkansas judicial electionsJudicial selection in ArkansasArkansasTemplate.jpg


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)


CandidateIncumbencyPositionPrimary VoteElection Vote
HarrisonBrandon Harrison   ApprovedANoDistrict 4, Position 152.6%ApprovedA   ApprovedA
GloverDavid Glover   ApprovedAYesDistrict 4, Position 2100%ApprovedA   ApprovedA
LooneyJ.W. Looney    NoDistrict 4, Position 147.4% 
RobertsonJeannette Robertson    NoDistrict 1, Position 232.4%ApprovedA46.2%   DefeatedD
HixsonKenneth Hixson   ApprovedANoDistrict 3, Position 251.5%ApprovedA   ApprovedA
CashMitch Cash    NoDistrict 2, Position 237.2% 
CungNiki Cung    NoDistrict 3, Position 248.5% 
WhiteakerPhillip Whiteaker   ApprovedANoDistrict 1, Position 238.1%ApprovedA53.8%   ApprovedA
LusbyRichard Lusby    NoDistrict 1, Position 229.5% 
WynneRobin Wynne       
See also: Arkansas judicial elections, 2012