Bylaws

 

ARTICLE I—Name

The name of this organization is the “APPELLATE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION.”

ARTICLE II—Object and Purposes

Section 1. Object.

The object of this Association is to foster and encourage a spirit of camaraderie among appellate lawyers; to promote closer relationships between these lawyers so that they may be mutually helpful to one another and to further their common interests; and to foster and encourage the highest professional and ethical standards in the prosecution and defense of appeals.

Section 2. Purposes.

  1. To be an organization of lawyers concentrating in practice before the courts of review.
  2. To review systematically all pertinent legislation and rules of court affecting jurisdiction and procedure in the appeal of cases with the aim of achieving greater clarity, fairness, and comprehensiveness.
  3. To facilitate closer and more effective relationships between lawyers concentrating in the appeal of cases and the appellate bench.
  4. To improve the standards of quality and competence in the preparation of cases on appeal.

Section 3. Statement of Inclusiveness.

The Association promotes and encourages principles of fairness, equity, and inclusion within our membership.

ARTICLE III—Membership

Section 1. Classes of Membership.

The membership of the Association shall be divided into two classes: (a) active members and (b) honorary members.

Section 2. Active Membership.

  1. Only persons with the following qualifications shall be eligible for active membership in the Association.
     
    1. Lawyers who have been licensed to practice law in any jurisdiction for at least one year and who have actively participated in, and had substantial responsibility for, the prosecution, defense, or disposition of at least three appeals, or
    2. Lawyers who are current or former law clerks, staff attorneys, research attorneys, or the equivalent, in a reviewing court, and had substantial responsibility in assisting the reviewing court in the review or disposition of at least five appeals.
  2. Application for membership shall be made in writing to the Board of Directors in such form as the Board of Directors may from time to time prescribe. The Board of Directors shall satisfy itself as to the qualifications of candidates for membership, including matters pertaining to their competency and integrity. Applications shall be considered by the Board of Directors. No person shall be accepted a member of the Association except by vote of the Board of Directors.
  3. When accepted by the Board of Directors, the names of the new members shall be placed on the membership list.
  4. Only active members shall be eligible to vote or hold office in the Association.

Section 3. Honorary Membership.

  1. All judges of the Illinois Supreme Court, the Illinois Appellate Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit are, by virtue of their judicial office or appointment, honorary members of the Association.
  2. The Board of Directors may choose as an honorary member of the Association any lawyer who has been actively engaged in the prosecution of appeals and whose standing in the profession is pre-eminent, or who has distinguished himself or herself in public service.
  3. The Board of Directors may choose as an honorary member of the Association any person, whether or not a lawyer, whose occupation involves significant participation in the appellate process in state or federal courts.
  4. Honorary members shall be made honorary members by vote of at least two-thirds of the Board of Directors.
  5. Honorary members may attend and participate in all regular and special meetings of the Association, but shall be ineligible to vote or hold office.

ARTICLE IV—Board of Directors

Section 1. General Powers and Duties.

The business of the Association shall be managed by a Board of Directors consisting of its officers, eight directors, and the immediate past President, who shall serve as an ex officio director for one year following the expiration of his or her term as President. Each shall have the right to vote.

Section 2. Eligibility for Director Position.

  1. To be eligible to serve as a director of the Association, a person must be an active member in the Association for at least one year.
  2. At least one director shall be an active member who resides and practices in either the Second or Third Judicial District of the State of Illinois. At least one director shall be an active member who resides and practices in either the Fourth or Fifth Judicial District of the State of Illinois.
  3. No director shall be eligible for re-election until one year after the expiration of his or her two-year term, except as provided in Section 4 of this Article.

Section 3. Term of Office for Director Position.

Each director shall serve a two-year term until such director’s successor is elected or such director’s death, resignation, or removal, whichever is earlier. The terms of the eight directors shall be staggered with four expiring in any given year.

Section 4. Vacancies for Director Positions.

Any vacancies occurring on the Board of Directors shall be filled by vote of the Board of Directors with the assistance of the President, who shall recommend a candidate or candidates to fill that vacancy. A member elected by the Board of Directors to fill any vacancy shall serve for the remaining term of the vacancy and at the expiration of that term is immediately eligible to seek a separate two-year term, notwithstanding Section 2(c) of this Article.

Section 5. Resignation of Director.

Any director may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President. Such resignation shall take effect at the time specified therein, and unless otherwise specified in the notice, the acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.

Section 6. Regular Meetings of Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors shall meet at least once during each of the months of August, September, October, November, January, February, March, April, and May. Board of Directors meetings shall be at the call of the President or by petition of any three members of the Board.

Section 7. Quorum for Meetings of the Board of Directors.

The President and any four members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum. In the absence of the President, seven members of the Board of Directors shall be necessary for a quorum.

Section 8. Remote Participation for Meetings of the Board of Directors.

  1. The officers and directors of the Association may participate in a regular meeting of the Board of Directors through the use of dial-in conferencing or other remote methods of communication by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can communicate with each other simultaneously.
  2. The officers and directors may conduct additional business of the Board of Directors electronically provided that the requirements for a quorum have been satisfied. The Secretary shall provide a written report setting forth the business transacted and any votes taken.

Section 9. Decision By Majority.

The act of a majority of the members of the Board of Directors present in person or participating offsite through the use of dial-in conferencing or other remote methods of communication, for which a quorum exists, shall be the act of the Board of Directors, unless the act of a greater number is required by these bylaws, by the Articles of Incorporation or by law.

ARTICLE V—Officers

Section 1. Officer Positions.

The officers of the Association shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, each of whom shall also be a Director.

Section 2. Eligibility for Officer Positions.

To be eligible to serve as an officer of the Association, a person must be an active member in the Association for at least three years who:

  1. Has spent a substantial portion of his or her professional activities in the handling of appeals; and
  2. Has actively participated in, and has had substantial responsibility for, the prosecution, defense, or disposition of at least fifteen appeals.

Section 3. Term of Office.

Each officer shall be elected annually from among the members in accordance with these bylaws. Each officer shall serve a one-year term until such officer’s successor is elected or until such officer’s death, resignation, or removal, whichever is earlier.

Section 4. Resignations.

Any officer may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President or Secretary. Any resignation shall take effect at the time specified. The acceptance of that resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.

Section 5. Vacancies.

Any vacancy occurring in any office because of death, resignation, or otherwise, shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. An officer elected to fill a vacancy shall be elected for the unexpired term of such officer’s predecessor in office.

Section 6. President.

It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings and to perform such other duties as usually belong to the office of the President. The President shall, in general, supervise and control all of the business and affairs of the Association, and shall see that all orders and resolutions of the Board of Directors are carried into effect. The President shall execute contracts and all other instruments on behalf of the Association except where the signing and execution shall be expressly delegated by the Board of Directors to some other officer or agent of the Association. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.

Section 7. Vice President.

It shall be the duty of the Vice President to preside in the absence of the President. The Vice President shall perform such other duties and have such other powers as the Board of Directors may determine or as may be delegated to the Vice President by the President.

Section 8. Secretary.

The Secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors and the meetings of the members of the Association. The Secretary shall record all resolutions, acts, and votes. The Secretary shall see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws or as required by law, and shall perform all duties as may be assigned to such office. The Secretary shall certify the authenticity of the papers and documents of the Association when such certification is required. The Secretary shall have custody of all books and papers of the Association, except where expressly delegated by the Board of Directors to some other officer or agent of the Association.

Section 9. Treasurer.

The Treasurer shall collect, or direct agents authorized by the Board of Directors to collect, all dues of the members and all monies due or coming to the Association. The Treasurer shall invest the funds of the Association for the account of the Association in such manner as the Board of Directors shall determine. The Treasurer shall dispose of, or direct agents authorized by the Board of Directors to dispose of, funds of the Association as may be ordered by the Board of Directors, and shall render to the Board of Directors, whenever it may require, an account of all the transactions conducted as Treasurer and of the financial condition of the Association. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget for the fiscal year of the Association for approval by the Board of Directors no later than September 30 unless otherwise extended by the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE VI—Nominations and Elections

Section 1. Nominating Committee.

  1. Prior to March 1 of each year, the President shall appoint a Nominating Committee of five members. Two members of the Nominating Committee shall be selected from among the members of the Association at large, and the remaining three shall be selected from among the members of the Board of Directors. The immediate past President shall serve as the Chair of the Nominating Committee.
  2. The Secretary shall publish the names of the Chair and members of the Nominating Committee to all active members no later than March 15.

Section 2. Nominations.

  1. The immediate past Secretary and Treasurer shall be slated for the offices of Vice President and Secretary, respectively.
  2. Nominations for the office of Treasurer and the four expiring director positions may be submitted by any member of the Association to the Chair of the Nominating Committee, provided that the nomination is in writing, signed by the nominator, and warrants that the candidate meets the qualifications for the office and will serve if elected.
  3. Nominations will open with receipt of the notice appointing the Nominating Committee and close on April 1, regardless of whether this date falls on a Sunday or a holiday.
  4. The Nominating Committee shall consider all nominations received from the members. Following due deliberations, the Nominating Committee shall nominate one candidate for office of Treasurer and, subject to the requirements of Article IV, Section 2(b), one candidate for each of the four expiring director positions.
  5. The Nominating Committee shall submit a written report of its nominations to the Secretary for publication to the membership on or before April 15.
  6. Nominees of the Nominating Committee are automatically candidates for election.

Section 3. Contested Election.

  1. Any active member who meets the requisite qualifications is eligible to run for the offices of Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, or, subject to the requirements of Article IV, Section 2(b), for an expiring Director position.
  2. To run for any office, the qualifying active member must file a candidacy petition with the Chair of the Nominating Committee on or before May 15. The petition must be signed by the member, designate the office sought and warrant that the candidate meets the qualifications for the office and will serve if elected. The petition must be signed by five other active members.
  3. The Chair of the Nominating Committee shall file all candidacy petitions with the Secretary on or before May 20. In the event of a contest for any elective office, a secret ballot shall be taken. Ballots shall be sent electronically to all active members on or before June 1 and must be cast on or before June 10. A majority of the votes cast shall be decisive.

Section 4. Uncontested Elections.

  1. In the event no elective office is contested, the slate shall be formally proposed at the June meeting and elected by a majority of those members present at the June meeting.
  2. At the June meeting, the immediate past Vice President shall be installed as the President.
  3. In the event the immediate past Vice President declines or cannot become President, the office of President shall be added to the process set forth in Section 2(b).

ARTICLE VII—Official Year

The official year of the Association shall govern the terms of the officers and directors. The fiscal year of the Association shall begin on July 1 and end on the succeeding June 30.

ARTICLE VIII—Dues and Funds

Section 1. Dues and Fees.

All members of the Association are required to pay initiation fees, dues, and other charges as determined by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors.

Section 2. Dues Notifications.

  1. An annual dues notification shall be electronically delivered by the Association on or before July 1 of each year to every member at his or her last known electronic address.
  2. All dues are payable on or before August 31 of each year (the “due date”).

Section 3. New Members.

  1. Each new member will be billed an initiation fee and membership dues, which must be paid within one month of acceptance to membership.
  2. Members who are accepted to membership during the last quarter of the Association’s fiscal year, April 1 through June 30, will be billed the full amount of the annual dues to be applied to the next fiscal year.

Section 4. Funds of the Association.

Receipts from dues, fees, and other sources shall be used for the current expenses of the Association.

ARTICLE IX—Inactive Membership

Section 1. Failure to Pay Dues or Other Charges.

  1. The failure of any new member to pay his or her initiation fee and membership dues within one month from the date of his or her acceptance to membership shall automatically terminate his or her provisional membership and his or her name shall not be placed on the membership roll.
  2. Any member who fails to pay his or her yearly membership dues by September 30 will immediately become an inactive member.
  3. Any member who fails to pay any other charges owed to the Association within one month from the date the charge becomes due will become ineligible to register for Association events at the member rate until the outstanding charge is paid.
  4. The Association shall electronically notify a member of a prospective inactive status of his or her membership for non-payment of membership dues or other charges no fewer than 15 days prior to the date of the inactive status.
  5. An inactive member may not hold office or any position in the Association, serve as a member of any committee, attend any meeting or event of the Association at the member rate, have any vote, or exercise any of the privileges of membership, nor shall his or her name be included in any roster of members published while he or she is inactive.

Section 2. Reinstatement to Active Membership.

At the direction of the Board of Directors, an inactive member may be reinstated to active membership. Each inactive member will be billed a reinstatement fee, set by the Board of Directors, along with any outstanding membership dues or charges.

ARTICLE X—Amendments

These bylaws may be amended from time to time by an electronic vote of all active members. Following approval by the Board, the proposed amendment to the bylaws shall be sent electronically to all active members. Members shall vote electronically on the proposed amendment within 30 days of sending that proposed amendment. The amendment shall be adopted if two-thirds of responding active members vote in its favor.

 

Amended July of 2017.

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Christine Teed

Program Administrator

Appellate Lawyers Association

1717 N. Naper Blvd., Suite 102

Naperville, IL 60563

P: (630) 416-1166, ext. #303

F: (630) 596-1418

cteed@wmrhq.com

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