December 12, 2019

Council of Appellate Staff Attorneys Bylaws

MISSION STATEMENT

The Council of Appellate Staff Attorneys is devoted to the professional development of appellate court attorneys and the exchange of information about state and federal appellate courts and procedures.  The Council sponsors and develops continuing legal education seminars and publications specifically designed for the needs and functions of appellate court attorneys, promotes the use and enhanced visibility of appellate court attorneys, and examines and fosters discussions on proposals for improvement of the appellate courts.

The Council is committed to ensuring the highest quality possible in all sponsored programs and publications, to extending services and opportunities for involvement to appellate court attorneys throughout the appellate court system, and to enhancing the quality and integrity of the appellate process.

BYLAWS OF THE COUNCIL OF APPELLATE STAFF ATTORNEYS

ARTICLE 1: Name and Purpose

1.1 The name of this organization is the Council of Appellate Staff Attorneys, which will be referred to in these bylaws as the Council.  The Council is an affiliate of the Appellate Judges Conference of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association.

1.2 The objectives of the Council are:

(a)  to provide professional continuing legal education to appellate court staff  attorneys, career law clerks, and other attorneys regularly employed by appellate courts;

(b) to promote the exchange of information and ideas among appellate court attorneys’ offices;

(c) to assist the practicing bar and courts from which appeals are taken in gaining an appreciation for the role of appellate court attorneys; and

(d) to improve the administration of justice.

ARTICLE 2: Membership

2.1 Membership shall be open to any associate advocate of the Appellate Judges Conference who functions as an attorney in an appellate court, including any attorney regularly employed by an appellate court for the purpose of providing legal advice or services to the court or any of its members or offices.

2.2 Any associate advocate or member of the Appellate Judges Conference who is not eligible for membership under section 2.1 of these bylaws may become an associate of the Council and may participate in the affairs of the Council, but may not hold office or vote.

2.3 A person shall cease to be a member of the Council if the person: (a) resigns in writing from the Council;  (b) fails to maintain his/her membership in the American Bar Association and as an associate advocate of the Appellate Judges Conference; or (c) except as provided in section 2.4 of these bylaws, ceases to function as an appellate court attorney.

2.4  An officer of the Council or other member of the Executive Board who ceases to function as an attorney employed by an appellate court, and whose membership in the Council would otherwise automatically terminate, may, at the invitation of the Executive Board, continue as a member of the Council and as an officer of the Council or other member of the Executive Board for the remainder of that person's elected term.

ARTICLE 3: Meetings and Voting

3.1 The Council shall meet annually, in conjunction with its annual educational seminar, at a time and place designated by the Executive Board.  The date, time and place of the annual meeting shall be published in the final program of the annual seminar.  The Chair shall give the membership written notice of the tentative agenda for the annual meeting no later than the beginning of the annual seminar.

3.2 Special meetings of the Council and other educational seminars may be held during the year, at a time and place or by electronic means as designated by the Executive Board.  The Chair shall give the membership at least 30 days notice of the date, time, place and purpose of any special meeting.

3.3 A minimum of twenty-five percent of the members of the Council present at a meeting of the membership shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.  All matters coming before any meeting of the Council shall be determined by a majority vote of the members present.  There shall be neither absentee nor proxy voting, except as authorized by the Executive Board.

3.4 The agenda of the annual meeting of the Council shall consist of reports from the standing committees of the Council and any ad hoc committees appointed by the Chair, the election of officers and of members of the Executive Board, and such other matters as the Chair of the Council deems appropriate.  The agenda of any special meeting of the Council shall be reasonably related to those matters of which notice has been given in accordance with section 3.2 of these bylaws.

3.5  Unless otherwise specified, any notice required by any provision of these bylaws may be given by publication in the newsletter of the Council or by mail to each member or by e-mail dissemination to the members via the Council’s e-mail list.

3.6 The Chair of the Council shall preside at all meetings of the Council.  In the absence of the Chair, the Chair‑elect shall preside; in the absence of the Chair and the Chair‑elect, the presiding officer shall be selected by a majority of the members present.

ARTICLE 4: Officers

4.1 The officers of the Council shall be the Chair, the Chair‑elect and the Secretary.

4.2 The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Council and of the Executive Board.  Except as provided in sections 6.4 and 7.1 of these bylaws, the Chair shall appoint the chairs of all committees of the Council.  The Chair shall plan and supervise the activities of the Council, subject to the direction and approval of the Executive Board.  The Chair shall keep the Executive Board informed of the activities of the Council and shall implement decisions of the Executive Board.  The Chair shall be the Council’s liaison with the Judicial Division, the Appellate Judges Conference, and the Appellate Judges Education Institute (“AJEI”); to the extent authorized by the bylaws of the Conference and the AJEI, the Chair shall serve as the Council’s representative on the respective governing committees of those entities.

4.3 The Chair‑elect shall assist the Chair in the performance of the Chair's duties to the extent the Chair requests.  In the absence of the Chair, the Chair‑elect shall perform the duties of the Chair.

4.4 The Secretary shall consult with and assist the Chair and Chair‑elect in the performance of their duties to the extent requested.  The Secretary shall keep a true record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Council and of the Executive Board.

4.5 At each annual meeting, the Chair‑elect and Secretary shall be elected as provided in Article 7 of these bylaws.

4.6 The Chair‑elect shall succeed to the office of Chair at the adjournment of the annual meeting following the annual meeting at which the person was elected Chair‑elect.

4.7 The Chair, Chair‑elect and Secretary shall serve from the adjournment of the annual meeting at which they are elected (or, in the case of the Chair, the annual meeting at which the Chair has succeeded to that office) until the adjournment of the following annual meeting.

4.8 If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair, the Chair‑elect shall become Chair for the balance of the term and shall then serve the regular term as Chair, except as provided in section 4.9.

4.9 If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair-elect, the Executive Board shall appoint a Council member as Chair-elect Pro Tem to fill the unexpired term of the Chair-elect.  The Chair-elect Pro Tem shall not automatically succeed to the office of Chair pursuant to section 4.6; in such case, the succeeding Chair shall be elected by a vote of a majority of the members present at the annual meeting.

4.10 If a vacancy occurs in the position of immediate past Chair, the Executive Board shall appoint a Council member to serve as a sixth member-at-large (pro tem) to fill the unexpired term of the immediate past Chair, which person shall serve as chair of the Nominating Committee, consistent with the provisions of Article 7 of these bylaws.

4.11 If a vacancy occurs in the office of Secretary, the Executive Board shall appoint a Council member to serve as Secretary until the following annual meeting.

ARTICLE 5: Executive Board

5.1 The Executive Board shall consist of the officers of the Council, the immediate past Chair of the Council and five members‑at‑large.  The members‑at‑large of the Executive Board shall be elected at the annual meeting as provided in Article 7 of these bylaws.  If a vacancy occurs in one of the at‑large positions on the Executive Board, the Board shall appoint a Council member to fill the position until the following annual meeting.

5.2 The Executive Board shall direct the affairs of the Council.  It shall hold at least one regular midyear meeting at a date, time and place designated by the Chair, and may meet at other times at the call of the Chair.  The Chair shall give the members of the Executive Board reasonable notice of any meeting.  Any special meeting may be conducted by telephone conference call or by other electronic means.  If a special meeting is not feasible, the Chair may, and, upon written request of four members of the Board, shall, submit to the Executive Board for a vote by written ballot any questions on which the Board may vote, the vote to be recorded by the Secretary.

5.3 The Council or the Executive Board may authorize the appointment of individuals or committees to accomplish the purposes of the Council.  Such appointments shall be made by the Chair.

5.4 All matters before the Executive Board shall be determined by a majority vote of the members of the Board present at the meeting.  There shall be neither absentee nor proxy voting.

ARTICLE 6: Committees

6.1 The standing committees of the Council shall be: (a) the Nominating Committee; (b) the Education Committee; (c) the Membership Committee; (d) the Publications Committee; and (e) the Long Range Planning Committee.

6.2 There shall be such ad hoc committees as the Chair or Executive Board may direct.

6.3 The Chair has discretion to appoint the members of any committee or to delegate appointment of the members to the chair of that committee.

6.4 The Nominating Committee shall have the powers and duties identified in Article 7 of these bylaws.  The Education Committee shall be responsible for planning the annual educational seminar of the Council and any special seminars the Executive Board may designate; the Education Committee also shall coordinate planning for any joint educational seminar with the appropriate program committee of the Appellate Judges Conference or the AJEI.  The Membership Committee shall be responsible for maintaining and increasing the membership of the Council.  The chair of the Membership Committee, with the assistance of Council staff, shall maintain a current roster of all Council members.  The Publications Committee shall be responsible for the publication of the newsletter of the Council.  The Long Range Planning Committee shall undertake projects at the direction of the Chair and Executive Board.  The Chair‑elect shall be ex officio the chair of the Long Range Planning Committee.

6.5 The chair of each committee shall submit a written report of the committee's activities to the Executive Board at the Board's midyear meeting and to the Council at the annual meeting.

ARTICLE 7: Nominations and Elections

7.1 Nominations for officers and members‑at‑large of the Executive Board shall be made by the Nominating Committee.  The Nominating Committee shall consist of the immediate past Chair, the Chair‑elect and three members of the Council appointed by the Chair.  No other present officer  or member of the Executive Board shall be appointed to the Nominating Committee, and no member of the Nominating Committee may be chosen by it as a candidate for election to any position.  A Chair-elect Pro Tem, appointed pursuant to section 4.9, may be nominated as a candidate, but shall not participate in the Nominating Committee’s deliberations as to that nomination.  The immediate past Chair of the Council shall be ex officio the chair of the Nominating Committee.

7.2 The chair of the Nominating Committee shall, at least 90 days in advance of the annual meeting, give the membership of the Council an opportunity to recommend to the Nominating Committee potential nominees for officers and members‑at‑large of the Executive Board.  One or more candidates may be nominated by the Nominating Committee for each position to be filled by election.  The Nominating Committee shall report in writing to the membership of the Council, no later than the beginning of the annual seminar, the identity of each nominee and shall provide a brief statement of each nominee's activities in the Council and in the legal profession.

7.3 All elections shall be held at the annual meeting of the Council.  The chair of the Nominating Committee, or the chair's designated representative, shall present from the floor the committee's nominees for each position to be filled by election.  Any council member may nominate from the floor another candidate for any position to be filled by election.  No nomination may proceed unless the individual nominated agrees to the nomination.

7.4 If there is more than one nominee for the position of Chair‑elect, the election for that position shall be by written ballot and shall proceed separately from the election for any other position.  Election shall be by a majority of the votes cast, and a run‑off election to choose between the two leading candidates shall be held if a majority vote is not initially obtained by any candidate.

7.5 If there is more than one nominee for the position of Secretary, the election for that position shall be by written ballot and shall proceed separately from the election for any other position.  Election shall be by a majority of the votes cast, and a run‑off election to choose between the two leading candidates shall be held if a majority vote is not initially obtained by any candidate.

7.6  If there are more nominees than positions to be filled as member‑at‑large of the Executive Board, the election of the members‑at‑large shall be by written ballot and shall proceed separately from the election of officers.  Election shall be by a majority of the votes cast, and any candidate obtaining a majority initially or in a run‑off election shall be declared elected.  As many run‑off elections as necessary shall be held between the candidates then remaining until all positions as member‑at‑large have been filled.

7.7 For all officer and member-at-large positions for which there is only one nominee, the election may be held by a single vote on the slate of candidates and may be held by acclamation or by show-of-hands of the members voting.

7.8 It shall be the goal of the Council to maintain diversity among the officers and members‑at‑large of the Board, as well as a balance of members from state courts of last resort, state intermediate appellate courts and federal appellate courts.

ARTICLE 8:Amendments

8.1 These bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the Council by a majority vote of the members of the Council present at voting, provided that any proposed amendment shall first have been approved by a majority of the Executive Board.

8.2 No amendment or amendments shall take effect until approved by the Executive Committee of the Appellate Judges Conference.

Revised, effective February 15, 2009