RULE 12.

REVIEW OF FORMAL PROCEEDINGS.


(a) A recommendation of the commission for the removal or retirement, of a judge shall be determined by a review tribunal of seven justices selected from the courts of appeals. Members of the review tribunal shall be selected by lot by the chief justice of the supreme court from all appeals justices sitting at the time of selection. Each court of appeals shall designate one of its members for inclusion in the list from which the selection is made, except that no justice who is a member of the commission shall serve on the review tribunal. The justice whose name is drawn first shall be chairman of the review tribunal. The clerk of the supreme court will serve as the review tribunal's staff, and will notify the commission when selection of the review tribunal is complete.

(b) After receipt of notice that the review tribunal has been constituted, the commission shall promptly file a copy of its recommendation certified by the chairman or secretary of the commission, together with the transcript and the findings and conclusions, with the clerk of the supreme court. The commission shall immediately send the judge notice of such filing and a copy of the recommendation, findings, and conclusions.

(c) A petition to reject the recommendation of the commission for removal or retirement of a judge or justice may be filed with the clerk of the supreme court within 30 days after the filing with the clerk of the supreme court of a certified copy of the commission's recommendation. The petition shall be verified, shall be based on the record, shall specify the grounds relied on and shall be accompanied by seven copies of petitioner's brief and proof of service of one copy of the petition and of the brief on the chairman of the commission. Within 20 days after the filing of the petition and supporting brief, the commission shall file seven copies of the commission's brief, and shall serve a copy thereof on the judge.

(d) Failure to file a petition within the time provided may be deemed a consent to a determination on the merits based upon the record filed by the commission.

(e) Rules 4 and 74, Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, shall govern the form and contents of briefs except where express provision is made to the contrary or where the application of a particular rule would be clearly impracticable, inappropriate, or inconsistent.

(f) The review tribunal, may, in its discretion and for good cause shown, permit the introduction of additional evidence, and may direct that the same be introduced before the special master or the commission and be filed as a part of the record in the court.

(g) Oral argument on a petition of a judge to reject a recommendation of the commission shall, upon receipt of the petition, be set on a date not less than 30 days nor more than 40 days from the date of receipt thereof. The order and length of time of argument shall, if not otherwise ordered or permitted by the review tribunal, be governed by Rule 172, Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(h) Within 90 days after the date on which the record is filed with the review tribunal, it shall order public censure, retirement, or removal, as it finds just and proper, or wholly reject the recommendation. The review tribunal, in an order for involuntary retirement for disability or an order for removal, may also prohibit such person from holding judicial office in the future.

(i) The opinion by the review tribunal shall be published if, in the judgment of a majority of the justices participating in the decision, it is one that (1) establishes a new rule of ethics or law, alters or modifies an existing rule, or applies an existing rule to a novel fact situation likely to recur in future cases; (2) involves a legal or ethical issue of continuing public interest; (3) criticizes existing legal or ethical principles; or (4) resolves an apparent conflict of authority. A concurring or dissenting opinion may be published if, in the judgment of its author, it meets one of the above indicated criteria, but in such event the majority opinion shall be published as well.