WOMEN TRIAL LAWYERS CAUCUS
ARTICLE I - NAME AND PURPOSE
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be Women Trial Lawyers Caucus (Caucus) of The American Association for Justice (AAJ).
Section 2. The purpose of the Caucus is to advance the admirable and selfless philosophy in AAJ's Mission, to strive to provide positive role models as women trial lawyers, to broaden AAJ’s membership base and to increase the number of women, to provide a support system of women lawyers to network, socialize, form professional relationships and develop female leadership for AAJ, to provide fellowship and mentorship to newly-licensed female lawyers who embark on a career of trial law, and to uphold the honor and dignity of the legal profession.
Section 3. The Policies and Procedures published by AAJ for Sections promulgated on December 19, 1990 and as duly amended thereafter are incorporated by reference and the Caucus shall operate in conformity with these policies and procedures.
ARTICLE II - MEMBERSHIP
Any female lawyer who is a member in good standing of AAJ is a member of the Caucus.
ARTICLE III - OFFICERS
Section 1. The Officers of the Caucus shall be Chair, Chair-Elect, First Vice Chair, Second Vice Chair and Secretary.
Section 2. The Offices of Secretary, Second Vice Chair, First Vice Chair and Chair-Elect shall be nominated and elected at the membership meeting of the Caucus held during the AAJ Annual Convention (annual meeting). Such election will be conducted by the outgoing Chair. The outgoing Chair-Elect shall automatically become the Chair-Elect without election at the conclusion of the annual meeting. Each Officer shall hold office for the term of one year or until her successor is elected.
Section 3. The Chair shall have the power to fill vacancies among the Officers by appointment, such appointee serving until the next annual meeting of the Caucus.
Section 4. The Officers are entrusted with the responsible management of the Caucus. Being an Officer should not be considered a perfunctory or honorary position. Each Officer must be willing to contribute time, effort, ideas, energy, presence and funds in furtherance of the Missions of AAJ and the Caucus. The Officers are expected to participate (1) in all Caucus meetings, (2) in Caucus efforts to recruit AAJ members, (3) in active service on one or more Caucus committees, (4) in Caucus fundraising priorities as they arise, either by contributing or raising funds or both, (5) in supporting AAJ’s political fundraising needs by contributing to AAJ PAC, and (6) in other Caucus activities at the request of the Chair in furtherance of Caucus programs and priorities.
ARTICLE IV - NOMINATIONS AND ELECTION
Section 1. Only members as defined in Article II above are eligible to vote and hold office.
Section 2. Prior to the election of new Officers at the annual meeting, the outgoing Executive Committee members shall select the Caucus representative to the AAJ Executive Committee for the coming year. The term of the Executive Committee Representative shall take effect at the conclusion of the annual meeting.
Section 3. Elections of Officers shall be held in the following order: Secretary, Second Vice Chair, First Vice Chair, and Chair-Elect. Following the election of Officers, the Caucus shall elect two (2) members to serve two-year terms on the AAJ Board of Governors (Board of Representatives) as authorized under the AAJ Bylaws.
Section 4. If a Caucus representative to the AAJ Board of Governors relinquishes or vacates her seat during her two-year term, the Current Chair shall appoint a replacement to serve the duration of the term.
Section 5. Notice of the election for Officers and Board of Governors Representatives shall be given to the Caucus membership by publication and posting on the Web site at least sixty (60) days in advance of the annual meeting. Only AAJ members of the Caucus as defined in Article II who are members of the Caucus are entitled to vote.
Section 6. All nominations shall be given to the Chair in writing no later than thirty (30) days before the Caucus annual meeting. In the event that no nomination is received for the office of Secretary, Second Vice Chair, First Vice Chair, or Chair-Elect, or for one of the open Board of Governor seats, the Executive Committee shall identify potential nominees for the open positions, and such persons shall be eligible to run for election at the annual meeting without having provided advance notice.
Section 7. Elections shall be conducted consistent with the AAJ Election Rules applicable to Sections.
ARTICLE V - COMMITTEES
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall be composed of all Officers of the Caucus and the Board Representatives and the Immediate Past Chair and the second year Past Chair.
Section 2. The Executive Committee shall be the governing body of the Caucus. The majority of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at Caucus meetings. The voting of the Executive Committee, other than at the annual meeting, may be in person or by conference telephone call.
Section 3. There shall be such other committees designated as the Executive Committee or Chair deem necessary.
ARTICLE VI - MEETINGS
Section 1. The annual membership meeting of the Caucus shall be held each year during the AAJ Annual Convention. The Caucus shall hold additional membership meetings at the Fall, Winter and Spring AAJ Board of Governor’s meetings. Membership meeting minutes shall be recorded by the Secretary or other person designated by the Chair.
Section 2. The Chair may call special meetings of the Caucus as necessary for the proper conduct of Caucus affairs. Conference telephone call votes of the Caucus will be recorded by the Secretary or other person designated by the Chair and duly entered into the minutes, with a copy of such minutes being sent to participants of the conference call meeting.
Section 3. The Chair may call special meetings of the Executive Committee in person or by conference telephone call as necessary for the proper conduct of Caucus affairs. Minutes of the Executive Committee meetings shall be recorded by the Chair and sent to all Executive Committee members.
ARTICLE VII - BYLAWS AND AMENDMENTS
Section 1. These Bylaws shall be adopted by the Officers of the Caucus and shall become effective upon the approval of the AAJ Board of Governors.
Section 2. These Bylaws may be amended at the annual meeting of the Caucus, by two-thirds vote of the members present, which amendments, however, shall take effect only upon approval by the AAJ Board of Governors.
Section 3. All amendments must be offered to the Chair and Secretary of the Caucus in writing not less than sixty (60) days before the annual meeting and shall be circulated in writing to the Caucus membership at the expense of the person offering the amendment.