Ark. R. App. P. Civ. 2
Addition to Reporter's Notes, 2012 Amendment: Arkansas Rules of Appellate Procedure-Civil 2(b) andcontained an ambiguity (same language in both rules) that could have been misconstrued as creating, under limited circumstances, a 180-day period in which to file the notice of appeal of a judgment (or intermediate order). Both rules stated that "[a]n appeal from an order disposing of a postjudgment motion under Rule brings up for review the judgment and any intermediate order involving the merits and necessarily affecting the judgment, as well as the order appealed from." The reference in Rules 2(b) and to orders disposing of postjudgment motions under Rule (without designation of a specific subdivision under Rule ) was intended to apply only to orders disposing of the postjudgment motions included in Rule (motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, motions to amend the court's findings of fact or to make additional findings, or any other motions to vacate, alter, or amend the judgment).
However, the general reference to Rulein Rules 2(b) and could have been read as allowing appellate review of the original judgment (or intermediate order) "brought up for review" by an order disposing of any postjudgment motion allowed under Rule . Since motions for extension of time to file a belated appeal are also included under Rule (Rule ), orders denying belated appeal motions could have been considered to bring up for review the original judgment (or intermediate order). Because belated appeal motions under Rule may be filed up to 180 days following the judgment, the effect would have been to create a 180-day period in which to appeal the original judgment (or intermediate order). The amendment clarifies the original intent of Rules 2(b) and by specifically limiting the postjudgment motions that bring up for review original judgments or intermediate orders to the postjudgment motions included in Rule . The addition of new paragraph (f) gives the Arkansas Supreme Court discretion to grant permission to take an interlocutory appeal of an order under Ark. R. Civ. P. compelling production of materials or information or an order under Ark. R. Civ. P. denying a motion to quash production of materials for which a privilege or opinion-work-product is claimed. In part the rule is modeled on the successful federal court discretionary interlocutory appeal procedures found in Title and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure . The availability of interlocutory appellate review of privilege and work product matters was previously restricted by statements in several Arkansas cases that interlocutory review will not be allowed "even when the alleged discovery violation pertains to material the petitioning party claims are privileged." Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. v. Phillips Cnty. Circuit Court, 2011 Ark. 9 Cite as 2012 Ark. 236 183, at 6, _________ S.W.3d _________ ; Monticello Healthcare Center, LLC v. Goodman, 2010 Ark. 339, at 18, _________ S.W.3d _________ ; Baptist Health v. Circuit Court of Pulaski Cnty., 373 Ark. 455, 284 S.W.3d 499 (2008). The concern expressed by the court was that allowing interlocutory review could lead to its having to make piecemeal decisions whenever an application for discovery is unsuccessfully resisted at the trial court level. However, a privilege issue that arises within the context of a discovery request also implicates substantive rights that extend well beyond the scope of discovery concerns. See generally Sarah Blassingame Leflar, Reviving the Privilege Doctrine: The appealability of Orders Compelling the Production of Privileged Information, 62 Ark. L. Rev. 283, 288 (2009). See also Jonathan P. Rich, Note, The Attorney-Client Privilege in Congressional Investigations, 88 Colum. L. Rev. 145, 165 (1988). In addition, the Arkansas Supreme Court has recognized an exception to the general doctrine barring interlocutory appellate review of discovery matters where the issue is not merely the resolution of a discovery matter but involves another area of law that could be impacted by the resolution of the discovery matter. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. v. Phillips Cnty. Circuit Court, 2011 Ark. 183, at 6. (Cooper involved an order to produce confidential trade secret information for which privilege protection is recognized under Rule of the Arkansas Rules of Evidence.) New subdivision (f)(1) recognizes that the integrity of certain relationships and information will be irretrievably compromised if appellate review of a privilege-contested order allowing discovery must wait until after the circuit court enters a final judgment. Belated vindication cannot re-cloak the disclosed information. The amendment establishes a mechanism by which the court can balance the interest of judicial efficiency and the values inherent in substantive-privilege law. The concern with allowing piecemeal interlocutory appeals of discovery matters is addressed by narrowly limiting the appeal process to privilege matters and by giving the court authority to allow an appeal only if in the court's discretion the matter is worthy of further appellate consideration. Subdivision (f)(1) establishes guidelines for the court's decision whether to allow the appeal. To help ensure development of an adequate record for the Supreme Court's consideration of whether to allow an appeal, the trial court is required to make factual findings and address the guideline factors (a) through (f) (see also corresponding Ark. R. Civ. P. ). In contrast to the factual findings required under Ark. R. Civ. P. , subdivision (f)(1) does not make the findings a requirement of the court's jurisdiction on appeal (see Ark. R. Civ. P. ).The contents of the petition to allow an appeal and associated procedures are prescribed, in part, by subdivision (f)(2). The subdivision (f)(2) procedures allow the filing of a response but prohibit a reply or a petition for rehearing. Under subdivision (f)(3) appeal proceedings are not to delay trial or other lower-court proceedings unless ordered by the circuit court or the Supreme Court. The initial procedures to be followed if the court allows an appeal are also prescribed by subdivision (f)(3).
Addition to Reporter's Notes, 2014 Amendment: A 2012 amendment to Ark. R. App. P.-Civil 2 created a new paragraph (f) that gave the Arkansas Supreme Court discretion to grant permission to take an interlocutory appeal of an order under Ark. R. Civ. P.compelling production of materials or information or an order under Ark. R. Civ. P. denying a motion to quash production of materials for which a privilege or opinion-work-product is claimed. Paragraph (f) is now amended to add appeals from orders denying motions for a protective order under Ark. R. Civ. P. to the list of permissive interlocutory appeals of privilege issues allowed under Ark. R. App. P-Civil 2(f). Adding denial of motions for protective orders to the list of permissive interlocutory appeals allowed under the rule is consistent with the policy underlying paragraph (f) of balancing the interests of judicial efficiency and the values inherent in substantive-privilege law and will not significantly enhance the likelihood of piecemeal interlocutory appeals of discovery matters.
Addition to Reporter's Notes, 2018 Amendment: Act 695 of 2011 completely revised the Uniform Arbitration Act, and the appeals provision, formerly appearing at Ark. Code Ann. § 16-108-219, was recodified at § 16-108-228. Subsection (a)(12) of the rule was amended to reflect this change.