Civil rights: Bylaws | The American Association For Justice

Civil rights: Bylaws

ARTICLE I

NAME AND PURPOSE

Section 1. This Section shall be known as the Section on Civil Rights of the American Association for Justice (AAJ).

Section 2. The purpose of this Section is to promote the objectives of AAJ within the field designated by the name of the Section and to that end to research and study and thereafter educate the membership with respect to available legal remedies to protect civil rights and to provide legal redress to individuals and classes whose civil rights are violated or threatened; in coordination with and subject to the approval of AAJ's Board of Governors and Public Affairs Department, to promote legislation designated for the protection of individual civil rights and to provide legal redress to those individuals and classes whose civil rights are violated or threatened; to stimulate programs of continuing legal education in regard to the role of the lawyer and the law in the improvement and the protection of civil rights; and to promote an expansive enforcement of fundamental constitutional rights and relevant civil rights statutes.

Section 3. The Policies and Procedures published by AAJ for Litigation Groups and Sections as promulgated on December 19, 1990 and as duly amended by AAJ are incorporated herein by reference and the Section shall operate in full conformity with these policies and procedures.

ARTICLE II
MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Every member of AAJ, including paralegals and law students, shall be eligible for membership in the Section on Civil Rights.

Section 2. Every member of AAJ in good standing shall, upon making application by letter or other written communication and paying the applicable dues, be made a member of the Section on Civil Rights.

ARTICLE III
OFFICERS

Section l. The officers of this Section shall be a Chair, a Chair-Elect, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.

Section 2. The officers shall be nominated and elected in the manner hereinafter provided at such annual meeting of the Section to hold office for the term of one year and until their successors shall have been elected at the Section's meeting at the AAJ Annual Convention. Should AAJ change its policy limiting Section officers to a one-year term, the Civil Rights Section shall have the option of extending the terms of its officers without modification of the Section bylaws.

Section 3. No Chair of this Section shall succeed beyond a one-year term and shall not thereafter serve as Chair until at least two years have expired since his/her last one-year term as Chair.

ARTICLE IV
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers, the immediate past Chair of the Section, and the Chairs of each Standing Committee. The Chair of the Section shall be the Chair of the Executive Committee but shall only have one vote on the Executive Committee.

Section 2. The Executive Committee shall be the governing body of the Section and shall exercise general supervision and control of the affairs of the Section. The Executive Committee shall delegate to the officers of the Section the responsibility to carry out the day-to-day operations of the Section and shall delegate to the Committees of the Section the power necessary to carry out their functions.

Section 3. The Executive Committee shall retain the right to authorize any expenditure of Section funds; following approval of AAJ's Board of Governors, to authorize any public statement in the name of the Section; to create or abolish Committees, to remove any officer, Committee Chair or Section member upon a 2/3 vote of the entire membership of the Executive Committee, and to carry out such other functions as are necessary for the fair and efficient operation of the Section.

Section 4. The majority of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at meetings thereof. The meetings may be in person or by conference telephone call. Conference telephone call votes will be recorded by the Secretary and duly entered upon the minutes, with a copy of such minutes being sent to the Executive Committee. Unless otherwise specified in these bylaws, the Executive Committee shall act upon the majority vote of the members present at a duly authorized meeting. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once each year prior to the annual meeting of the Section and during the Annual Convention of AAJ.

ARTICLE V
COMMITTEES

Section 1. Standing Committees devoted to continuing issues related to the operation of the Section shall be established by these bylaws. Additional Standing Committees may be created or existing Committees eliminated by the Executive Committee. The following Standing Committees are hereby established:

a.Membership and Dues
b.Education
c.Publications
d.Information Exchange
e.Liaison with AAJ and Other Sections
f.Long-Range Planning
g.Legislative

Section 2. Ad Hoc Committees shall be established from time to time by the Executive Committee of the Section for the purpose of focusing on matters of interest to the members and legal issues of concern to the members' law practices. The initial Ad Hoc Committees shall be established by the officers of the Section.

Section 3. All litigation groups included within the Section shall also serve as litigation topic committees within the Section. A litigation group shall be included within the Section if it is an AAJ group, it if applies for membership in the Section, if all the litigation group members are members of the Section, and if the Executive Committee of the Section approves the application for membership.

Section 4. Membership in a committee other than litigation groups shall be determined by the Chair of the Section except as otherwise provided in these bylaws. Except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, the committee membership shall elect its own officers for such terms and to perform such functions as each committee deems appropriate. However, the chair of a committee shall not serve for a term of more than two years consecutively and may not be reelected chair of the committee until at least two years after he/she was last chair. This limitation shall not apply to those chairs who hold the chair ex officio.


ARTICLE VI
ELECTION OF OFFICERS


Section 1. Election of officers for the Section shall be undertaken during the Annual Convention of AAJ in accordance with the AAJ Section Election Rules as directed by the Bylaws of AAJ. 

Section 2. Only those members of AAJ who are in good standing and who have applied for membership in the Section sixty (60) days or more prior to the registration date of the Annual Convention of AAJ shall be eligible to vote at the Annual Meeting of this Section.  There shall be no voting by proxy.

Section 3. The Chairperson of the Section shall have the power to fill vacancies among the officers by appointment, such appointee serving until the next Annual Meeting of the Section at the Annual Convention of AAJ.

ARTICLE VII
DUES

The Executive Committee shall have the power to establish and set membership dues as necessary for the operation of the Section and the furtherance of its goals, subject to the approval of the AAJ Board of Governors and in accordance with the AAJ Budget Procedures.

ARTICLE VIII
DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Section 1Chair: The Chair shall be charged with the responsibility of carrying out the purposes of this Section as set forth in these bylaws. The Chair shall serve on the Executive Committee of the Section, shall be the chief executive officer of the Section during his/her term of office, and shall preside at all meetings of the Section and the Executive Committee. The Chair shall appoint such regional or state Chairs as he/she deems necessary and proper to carry out the affairs of the Section within each Circuit or each State.

Section 2Chair-Elect: The Chair-Elect shall be charged with the responsibility of carrying out the purposes of this Section as set forth in these bylaws, particularly by assisting the Chair in all his/her responsibilities to the Section. The Chair-Elect shall serve on the Executive Committee of the Section.

Section 3Vice-Chair: The Vice-Chair shall be charged with the responsibility of carrying out the purposes of this Section as set forth in these bylaws, particularly by presenting a report of the Section, as requested, for the Annual Convention of AAJ and for each meeting of the Board of Governors of AAJ. The Vice-Chair shall serve on the Executive Committee of the Section and as Chair of the Liaison Committee. He/she shall be responsible for all communications with AAJ regarding the business of the Section.

Section 4Secretary: The Secretary shall be charged with the responsibility of carrying out the purposes of this Section as set forth in these bylaws, particularly by being present at all meetings of the Section and recording and keeping minutes of all the Section meetings.

Section 5Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be charged with the responsibility of carrying out the purposes of this Section as set forth in these bylaws, particularly by being the custodian of all books, papers, documents, and other property of the Section, subject to the general supervision of the Chair of the Section and the Secretary of AAJ. He/she shall keep appropriate records of the receipts of the Section and shall be responsible for such funds, together with such other funds as may come into the possession of the Section by allocation from the Board of Governors of AAJ or from any other sources. He/she shall be responsible for the depositing of such funds with such banking institution as may be designated to be depository by the Executive Committee of this Section. He/she shall be responsible for the disbursements and records of the accounts of such funds.


ARTICLE IX
MEETINGS

Section 1. The regular Annual Meeting of the Executive Committee and the Section shall be held each year during the Annual Convention of AAJ.

Section 2. The Chair may call special meetings of the Executive Committee at such times as he/she considers necessary for the proper conduct of the affairs of the Section. The Executive Committee shall call special meetings of the Section at such times as it considers necessary for the proper conduct of the affairs of the Section.

ARTICLE X
BYLAWS AND AMENDMENTS

Section 1. These bylaws shall become effective upon approval of the Board of Governors of AAJ.

Section 2. These bylaws may be amended at the Annual Meeting of the Section, by a two-thirds vote of the members present, which amendments, however, shall take effect only upon approval by the Board of Governors of AAJ.

Section 3. All amendments must be offered to the Chair and Secretary of the Section in writing not less than sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Meeting of the Section and shall be circulated in printed form to all Section members in good standing who register for the Annual Convention of AAJ at the expense of the person offering the amendment.