- Council members serve three-year terms and are expected to participate in four quarterly meetings of the Council.
- The Section Revenue Officer, Budget Officer, Vice-chair and Chair-Elect positions serve one-year terms. Althoughnot automatic, there has historically been a presumed succession from Budget Officer to Vice-chair to Chair-elect.
- The Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates serves a three-year term.
Eligibility: To be eligible for the elected Council and Executive Committee positions, nominees must have been Dispute Resolution Section members for at least one year prior to nomination.
Other Officers: The Section Bylaws state that the Section council may create other officer positions. These positions serve at the pleasure of the Section Council and are approved by the Council. “Other officer” positions currently include the Educational Programming Officer, Membership Officer and Marketing Officer.
Council Member Description
Pursuant to Section Bylaws, the Council of the Section of Dispute Resolution is charged with the powers and duties necessary for the administration of the activities of the Section, subject to the provisions of these bylaws and the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association. This includes such matters as addressing the Section’s structure, addressing financial matters, developing member benefits, products or services, and planning long-term and short-term strategically, both long-term and short-term, as a governing body.
The appointment of Council members is one of the primary responsibilities of the Section’s Nominating Committee, and the development of future Council members is an important priority for the Section. Council members have often served in other leadership positions in the Section, such as committee or task force chairs, prior to being nominated to the Council.
The Council is composed of the Section Officers, and 12 at-large members elected to the Council to serve staggered three-year terms. The Council is elected by Section membership via a vote taken at the Section of Dispute Resolution membership meeting at the ABA Annual Meeting in August of each year. Terms begin at the conclusion of the Section of Dispute Resolution events at the Annual Meeting and run to the conclusion of the Section of Dispute Resolution Annual Meeting the year the term expires.
In order for the Council to perform its function, it is required that Council members actively participate, and accept the following responsibilities:
Attend every meeting (virtual Fall, virtual Midyear, virtual Annual and in-person Spring). Action of the Council is by majority vote of those present and a quorum is required to conduct its business.
Identify and advise the Section Officers on matters relevant to the operations of the Section.
By acceptance of a seat on the Council, the Council member acknowledges that his or her Council responsibilities may conflict with other Section activity and agrees that Council responsibilities shall be accepted as such member’s primary Section obligation.
Promote the development and maintenance of key information resources for Section members through various programs.
Read and analyze all matters coming before the Council, including relevant matters on the agenda of the ABA House of Delegates which have been identified by the Section Delegates and with respect to such House of Delegates matters, recommend the Section’s support or opposition.
- Represent and advocate the interests of the Section.
- Promote and attend Section business and social events.
- Promote the Section’s membership enhancement initiatives and its diversity goals and objectives.
- Mentor future Council members and be available as a resource to Section Committee Chairs and other members of Section leadership as appropriate.
Officer Position Descriptions
The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the members of the Section, Executive Committee and Council. The Chair shall appoint the chairs and members of all committees of the Section who are to hold office during the Association year. The Chair shall plan and supervise the activities of the Section subject to the directions and approval of the Council. The Chair shall keep the Council informed of the activities of the Section and implement its decisions. The Chair shall perform such other duties and acts as usually pertain to the office or as may be designated by the Council.
The Chair-Elect shall aid the Chair in the performance of the responsibilities of the Chair in such manner and to such extent as the Chair may request. The Chair-Elect shall preside at meetings of the Section, Executive Committee, Council in the absence of the Chair. The Chair-Elect shall perform such duties and have such powers as usually pertain to the office or as may be designated by the Council or the Chair. In case of the death, resignation, or disability of the Chair, the Chair-Elect shall perform the duties of the Chair for the remainder of the Chair's term or disability.
The Vice-Chair shall aid the Chair in the performance of the responsibilities of the Chair in the manner and to the extent the Chair may request. The Vice-Chair shall preside at meetings of the Section, Executive Committee, and Council in the absence of the Chair and Chair-Elect. The Vice-Chair shall be the liaison between the Section and the Association staff with respect to the retention and maintenance of books, records, papers, documents, and information in any form and other property pertaining to the work of the Section. The Vice-Chair shall keep a true record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Section and of the Council. The Vice-Chair will chair the Section Advisory Committee.
The Budget Officer shall keep an accurate record of all income and expenditures of the Section. The Budget Officer shall monitor all accounts, reports, and other documents relating to Section funds, revenues, and expenditures and shall seek to make certain that all such accounts, reports, and documents are accurate and correct. The Budget Officer shall advise the officers and the Council as to the effect of any proposed action by the officers, Council or Section which in the judgment of the Budget Officer would have a significant impact on the financial condition of the Section. With the assistance of the Director, the Budget Officer shall prepare a projected budget for presentation to the Council at the time of the Annual Meeting or such other time as may be expressly fixed by the Council.
The Revenue Officer shall lead all partnership and sponsorship efforts of the Section. The Revenue Officer shall monitor all prospects, contracts, and other documents relating to Section non-dues revenues efforts. The Revenue Officer shall advise the officers and the Council as to the effect of any proposed partnerships action by the officers, Council or Section which in the judgment of the Revenue Officer would have a significant impact on the financial condition of the Section. The Revenue Officer shall prepare a report for presentation to the Council at the time of the Annual Meeting or such other time as may be expressly fixed by the Council.
The Section Delegate shall represent the Section in the House of Delegates. At appropriate times, as determined by the Section Officers Conference, the Section Delegate shall serve on the Nominating Committee of the House of Delegates.
Educational Programming Officer
The Educational Programming Officer shall oversee the Section educational programming including CLE and planning calendar. The Educational Programming Officer shall review requests for co-sponsorship. This position is appointed by the Chair, not by election of the membership. The Educational Programming Officer serves a one-year renewable term. This position is an “other officer” position as provided by the Section bylaws and the Chair of this committee serves at the pleasure of the council/executive Committee.
Marketing Committee Chair/Officer
The Marketing Chair serves a two-year term and oversees the operation of the Marketing Committee. This position is appointed by the Chair of the Section and not by election of the membership. This is an “other officer” position as provided by the Section bylaws and the Chair of this committee serves at the pleasure of the Executive Committee.
Membership Chair is in charge of proposing and implementing membership initiatives, tracking current membership numbers, implementation of ABA Membership initiatives, reporting to the Executive Committee and Council on membership progress, and serves a two-year renewable term. This position is appointed by the Chair and is not elected by the membership. This is an “other officer position” as provided by the Section bylaws and the Chair of this committee serves at the pleasure of the Executive Committee and/or Council.
Next Steps & Timeline
The nomination window closes on February 9, 2024.
The Nominating Committee will vet applicants, pursuant to Bylaws 6.1, as led by Section Chair-Elect Susan Guthrie.
The 2024-2025 Nominating Committee includes Incoming Chair Susan Guthrie and Section Members Myra Selby, Joan Sterns Johnson, Merril Hirsh, Harrie Samaras, Jim Alflini, and Gary Doernhoefer.
The Nominating Committee will provide a nomination slate with the membership April 5, 2024.
The slate will be presented for adoption at the 2024 Annual Section Membership meeting August 2, 2024.