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Member Update on 2024 Annual Meeting

By Ms. Anna Hubbard posted 29 days ago

  

ArkBar Members:

As most of you know, the Hot Springs Police Department detained and removed one of our members from our annual meeting last week, stating that she violated a Hot Springs Convention Center policy regarding no soliciting or petitioning.

 

With media coverage and discussions among members and on social media, we want to ensure you hear directly from the Arkansas Bar Association and receive frequent updates regarding how we will proceed. We are committed to transparency, and we want to provide you with timely updates as we receive them.

First, it's important for you to know that we are saddened by this situation and concerned about it, alongside many of our members. We are actively working to further evaluate what happened to avoid such an incident in the future and determine how we can better support members who are active in petition initiatives.

From many conversations over the past week, we believe that the incident arose out of enforcement of a policy of the Hot Springs Convention Center. There was absolutely no intent from anyone on our team to interfere with a member's rights. Our team was, instead, focused on not violating the convention center's policy, as required by ArkBar's contract with the convention center.

As we work to ensure that ArkBar is taking the appropriate actions, here are a few updates following last week's meeting:

1)   Earlier this week, we had a special meeting of the Board of Trustees to share information and discuss board members' concerns about the matter.

2)   Also this week, ArkBar's Personnel Committee reviewed information on the events that led to one of our members being detained and removed from the meeting. The work of this committee has now shifted to new legal counsel that we retained this week. Stuart P. Miller of Mitchell Williams Law Firm will assist us with any legal issues that might arise in the coming weeks. We appreciate Stuart's efforts and look forward to working with him.

In response to last week's events, Board of Trustees members called for a Special Meeting. As our bylaws state, the meeting must occur no sooner than 15 days or no further than 45 days from the date of the notice. We are working to determine the specific date for the meeting and to notify members.

Board of Trustee members have requested this Special Meeting to consider the following:

1.) Discuss the events that occurred at our annual meeting leading to the removal of one of our members.

2.) Consider the issuance and content of a statement by the Board regarding the removal of the member.

3.) Discuss the Association's future relationship with the Hot Springs Convention Center.

4.) Review all available materials related to the member's removal (which are not precluded by possible forthcoming litigation).

5.) Receive a briefing from the advisory team about their strategy and advice.

6.) Discuss taking a Board stance on the FOIA proposals for which petitions are being circulated by Arkansas Citizens for Transparency.

7.) Explore the possibility of a quick resolution to any anticipated litigation.

8.) Review and discuss what measures should be taken related to actions or inactions by Bar staff and board members. 

It is the intent of these Board members for the ArkBar Board of Trustees to receive and vote on any motions pertaining to these items.

We understand many members have questions about last week's annual meeting, and we are working to answer those questions and to determine our actions moving forward.  These are important conversations, and we look forward to continuing to have them.

The Arkansas Bar Association is committed to the right to free speech, the rule of law, government transparency, and upholding the U.S. and Arkansas Constitutions.

If you have questions or concerns, please email President Kristin Pawlik at kpawlik@arkattorneys.com.

Kristin Pawlik

2024-2025 President

Arkansas Bar Association Executive Committee:

Jamie Huffman Jones, President-Elect

Glen Hoggard, Secretary

Evelyn E. Brooks, District A

Patrick Wilson, District B

J. Tyler Henderson, District C

Frank LaPorte-Jenner, Chair YLS


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