OSB Standard Section Bylaws (Revised 11/13)
Article I Definition and Purpose
Section 1. Sections provide Bar members who share interests in particular substantive areas of law an opportunity to develop and improve skills and provide a forum for communication and action in matters of common interest.
Section 2. Sections may adopt a statement of purpose.
Section 3. The Section shall not participate in or take a position with respect to the election or appointment of a candidate for any public office.
Article II Membership
Section 1. Any active or inactive member of the Oregon State Bar may be a regular member upon payment of the membership dues. Any active member of another state bar may be an out-of-state member. Sections are encouraged to offer complimentary membership to 50-year members and to judges and their lawyer staff. Nonlawyers may be associate members as provided in Section 2 of this Article. Only regular members may vote and hold office except as otherwise specifically approved by the Section membership and the Board of Governors.
(A) Associate membership shall be available to: (1) employees of an Oregon lawyer or employees of the legal department of a corporation or government entity who are supervised by an Oregon lawyer, (2) law students, and (3) members of related professions.
(B) Out-of-state members as defined in Section 1 and associate members as defined in Section 2(A) are automatically entitled to membership upon payment of section dues unless the Section votes at its annual meeting to “opt out” and not include either out-of-state members or associate members.
(C) Out-of-state members and associate members shall certify their qualifying status upon initial application for membership and annually upon renewing their membership.
(D) Out-of-state or associate membership shall terminate immediately upon the termination of the member’s qualifying status. There shall be no refund of dues in that event.
Section 3. Membership dues shall be set by the membership of the Section at the annual meeting of the Section or by mail or electronic ballot, subject to subsequent approval of the Board of Governors. Membership dues shall not be prorated for any portion of a year. Dues may be waived for new admittees, law students or any other category designated by the Section. Membership dues for members of the Oregon State Bar shall be collected annually by the Bar with Bar membership fees.
Article III Meetings of Section
Section 1. Meetings of the Section (including meetings of the Executive Committee and its committees) are subject to the Public Meetings Law (ORS 192.610 et seq. and 192.630(4)).ORS 192.630(4) requires that meetings of a public body be held within the geographic boundaries of the state. The Section shall notify the Bar at least twenty (20) days in advance of any meeting, or in the case of special meetings as soon as possible.
Section 2. The Section shall hold at least one membership meeting annually for the purpose of conducting Section business, which meeting shall be known as the Section Annual Business Meeting. The Section Annual Business Meeting may be held electronically. Sections shall elect officers and executive committee members by November 15.
Section 3. Special meetings of the Section may be scheduled from time to time by the Section Executive Committee.
Section 4. A quorum is required to conduct Section Business at all meetings of the Section. At Section meetings other than Section Executive Committee meetings, those members voting shall constitute a quorum and action shall be by majority of those voting.
Section 5. A report to the Section membership shall be presented at the meeting and shall include information about the Section’s activities and use of dues for the previous calendar year, the activities and use of dues contemplated for the next year, the status of the Section’s finances, its budget, long range plan and fiscal reserve policy.
Section 6. The Section shall sponsor or co-sponsor not fewer than one continuing legal education program every two years. The CLE program may, but need not, be held in conjunction with the Section’s Annual Business Meeting. Sections are encouraged to offer complimentary CLE admission to 50-year members and to judges and their lawyer staff.
Article IV Officers
Section 1. The officers of the Section shall be the Chair, Chair-Elect, Immediate Past Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and such other officers as may be determined to be necessary by the membership. Officers of the Section shall be active members of the Oregon State Bar. Sections may establish eligibility requirements or other procedures to ensure rotation of the Chair among specific groups or specialty areas of the membership, such as plaintiff or defense counsel.
Section 2. The Chair, or the Chair-Elect in the absence of the Chair, shall preside at all meetings of the Section and of the Section Executive Committee. The Chair shall appoint the officers and members of all committees of the Section pursuant to Article VII; plan and monitor the programs of the Section; keep the Section Executive Committee informed and carry out its decisions; and perform such other duties as may be designated by the Section Executive Committee.
Section 3. The Chair-Elect will become the Chair on January 1 regardless of the date of the Section Annual Business Meeting or the date of the mailed or electronic ballot election. The Chair-Elect shall aid the Chair in the performance of the Chair’s responsibilities, and shall perform such other duties as may be designated by the Section Executive Committee. In the event of the death, disability, or resignation of the Chair, the Chair-Elect shall perform the duties of the Chair for the remainder of the Chair’s term or disability.
Section 4. The Secretary shall retain and maintain all books, papers, documents and other property pertaining to the work of the Section, and shall keep a true record of proceedings of all meetings and votes of the Section and of the Section Executive Committee. The Secretary shall perform other duties as assigned by the Section Executive Committee.
Section 5. The Treasurer shall keep an accurate record of all receipts and expenditures by the Section as hereinafter provided; report on the Section’s present and projected financial condition at each meeting of the Section Executive Committee; prepare an annual projected budget for approval by the Section Executive Committee; and submit a report of the Section’s financial affairs and financial condition to the members at the Section Annual Business Meeting.
Section 6. Section Chairs shall serve as ex officio voting members of the Oregon State Bar House of Delegates. In the event the section chair holds another position that also serves as an ex officio member of the House of Delegates, the section chair shall designate an alternate to serve in the chair’s stead at any House of Delegates meeting. In all other situations, the section chair may designate an alternate delegate to serve in the chair’s stead at any House of Delegates meeting. An alternate delegate must be a person duly authorized in the section’s bylaws or otherwise to act in the section chair’s stead.
Section Executive Committee
Section 1. The Section Executive Committee shall be composed of the Chair, the Chair-Elect, the Immediate Past Chair, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and not fewer than two (2) nor more than twelve (12) Members-at-Large. The terms of the Members-at-Large shall be staggered as evenly as possible. Suspended members may not serve on the Section Executive Committee.
Section 2. The Section Executive Committee shall supervise and control the affairs of the Section subject to these Bylaws and the Bar’s bylaws.
Section 3. A quorum is required to conduct Executive Committee business. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Executive Committee. Action of the Section Executive Committee shall be by majority vote of those voting.
Section 4. The Chair may, and upon the request of three members of the Executive Committee shall, call meetings of the Executive Committee.
Section 5. Between meetings of the Section, the Section Executive Committee shall have full power to do and perform all acts and functions that the Section itself may perform. Voting on matters of Section business may be done electronically and results of an electronic vote must be recorded in the official minutes of the Section.
Section 6. The Section Executive Committee may direct that a matter be submitted to the members of the Section by a mail or electronic vote or by a vote at the Section Annual Business Meeting; in any such event, binding action of the Section shall be by majority of those voting.
Section 7. No salary or compensation for services shall be paid to any member of the Section Executive Committee or member of any committee with the exception of the Editor and other staff of the Section newsletter (if applicable). Reimbursement may be allowed for travel and other out-of- pocket expenses for members of the Section Executive Committee and members of all Section standing and special committees.
Section 8. The membership of the Section shall have the right to rescind or modify any action or decision by the Section Executive Committee, except for filling a vacancy in the position of Officer or Executive Committee member, and also may instruct the Section Executive Committee as to future action. The Executive Committee shall be bound by any such action of the membership. The right of the membership to direct, modify, or rescind an act of the Section Executive Committee shall not include the power to invalidate contracts or payments previously made under direction of the Executive Committee. Any vote to direct, modify, or rescind an action of the Section Executive Committee must be taken at a meeting at which two-thirds of members voting approve the Motion.
Terms of Office and Elections
Section 1. No member may serve on the Section Executive Committee for more than nine consecutive years.
Section 2. Each term of office shall begin on January 1 regardless of whether the election is held at the Section Annual Business Meeting or a mailed or electronic ballot election.
Section 3. A position on the executive committee, including an officer position, may be, at the option of the Executive Committee, deemed vacant if that member:
A. Fails to attend two consecutive meetings, in the absence of an excuse approved by the chair prior to the meeting; or
B. Fails to attend four consecutive meetings, even if excused.
Section 4. Except as provided by Article IV, Section 3, and except for the office of Chair-Elect, the Section Executive Committee shall fill by appointment until January 1 of the next year any position that becomes vacant.
Section 5. Any officer or Member-at-Large appointed to fill an unexpired term shall serve the unexpired period. Such members shall then be eligible at the next Section Annual Business Meeting or mail or electronic ballot election for election for a first full term, unless the member’s election to the new term will result in a violation of Section 1 of this article.
Section 6. At the Section Annual Business Meeting or a mail or electronic ballot election, the Section membership shall elect:
A. A Chair-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer, each to serve a term of one year; and
B. Members-at-Large to serve terms of two years or less on the Section Executive Committee.
Section 7. The Chair-Elect will succeed to the office of Chair on January 1 and serve a term of one year. If the office of Chair-Elect is vacant at the Section Annual Business Meeting or a mail or electronic ballot election, then a Chair shall be elected by the members. No officer shall serve two successive terms in the same office, except the Treasurer. A Member-at-Large may serve no more than four consecutive years as a Member-at-Large.
Section 8. At least sixty (60) days prior to the Section Annual Business Meeting or a mail or electronic ballot election, the Section Executive Committee shall appoint a nominating committee of not less than three members of the Section, no more than two-thirds of whom may be on the Executive Committee. The nominating committee shall make and report to the Chair at least thirty (30) days prior to the Section Annual Business Meeting or the date of a mail or electronic ballot election one nomination for each position to be filled by election. The nominating committee shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that the members nominated reflect the diversity of the Section membership, the Oregon State Bar and community at large, taking into account all relevant factors including without limitation practice area, office location, age, gender, race, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation.
Section 9. To the extent possible, no more than one person from the same law firm, company or department of a public agency may serve on the Executive Committee at the same time.
Section 10. If elections are held at the Section Annual Business Meeting, the report of the nominating committee shall be distributed to the Section membership along with the notice of the time and place of the Section Annual Business Meeting at least fourteen (14) business days in advance of the meeting. Additional nominations for any position may be made from the floor at the Section Annual Business Meeting. Elections for contested positions may be by written ballot. Each contested position shall be set forth and voted upon separately. In a contested election, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected.
Section 11. Upon approval of the Section Executive Committee, elections may be by mail or electronic ballot of the Section membership provided that: (1) write-in votes are allowed, (2) ballots are returned to an appropriate Section officer for tabulation, and (3) the results are certified to the Bar Center no later than November 15.
Article VII Committees
Section 1. The Section Executive Committee may establish as many standing committees as deemed necessary and may set the names, functions, and duration of such committees. The Chair, with the approval of the Section Executive Committee, shall appoint the Chair and members of all standing committees.
Section 2. In addition to the standing committees provided above, the Executive Committee may appoint as many special committees for particular purposes as deemed appropriate and may set the names, functions, and duration of such committees. The Chair, with the approval of the Section Executive Committee, shall appoint the Chair and members of all special committees.
Article VIII Legislative Activities
Section 1. Legislative activity of the Section, whether initiating legislation or taking positions in support or opposition of pending legislation shall be in compliance with Article 12 of the OSB Bylaws and these bylaws. The Section shall not represent to the legislature or any committee thereof a position or proposal or any bill or act as the position of the Section without the majority approval of the Section Executive Committee and the approval of the Board of Governors, except as provided otherwise below.
Section 2. The Section shall submit proposals for new legislation, together with the full text of the proposals to the Public Affairs Director by April 1, or such date as the Public Affairs Director shall designate. The proposal shall indicate whether the Section requests that it be presented to the legislature under the sponsorship of the Oregon State Bar or of the Section. The Board of Governors will inform the Section whether the legislation should go forward under the sponsorship of the Section or under the sponsorship of the Bar, and whether it will be presented to the House of Delegates or the membership for approval. If the Board of Governors declines to submit the Section’s proposal for Bar-sponsored legislation to the House of Delegates or the membership, any member of the Section may submit the matter to the House of Delegates or the membership in accordance with ORS 9.148(3) and (4) and Article 3 of the OSB Bylaws.
Section 3. During regular legislative sessions the Section Executive Committee may, by majority vote, tentatively approve a position in favor of or in opposition to any pending bill within its general subject area. The proposal shall be submitted to the Bar’s Public Affairs Director or the Chair of the Board of Governors Public Affairs Committee. After receipt of the proposal, the chair of the committee shall have 72 hours to approve the position or to refer it to the entire Public Affairs Committee. If the chair or committee approves the proposal, the action then becomes an official position of the Section and representatives of the Section may testify or make other appropriate statements.
Section 4. When special need is demonstrated, the Public Affairs Committee may expedite the introduction of new Section bills or amendments. The Public Affairs Director shall be kept informed about the status of Section legislative activity.
Article IX Receipts and Expenditures
Section 1. Membership dues shall be collected by the Oregon State Bar and any other receipts of this Section shall be remitted promptly to the Oregon State Bar.
Section 2. The Oregon State Bar shall regularly assess the Section an amount to cover both direct and indirect costs of the Section’s activities performed by the Oregon State Bar staff.
Section 3. Expenditure of the balance of Section funds, after such assessment, shall be as determined by the Executive Committee. Section funds shall be disbursed by the Oregon State Bar as authorized in writing by the Section’s Treasurer using forms and following procedures established by the Bar. If the Treasurer is unavailable for authorization, the Section Chair may authorize disbursement of Section funds followed by written notice to the Treasurer of the action taken. Reimbursement of expenses incurred by the Treasurer or by the Treasurer’s firm must be authorized in writing by the Section chair. Expenditures of Section funds shall not exceed the available Section fund balance, nor shall expenditures be in violation of laws or policies generally applicable to the Oregon State Bar. Expenses of spouses or guests will not be reimbursed except as specifically approved by the Board of Governors.
Section 4. Contracts for Section newsletter editors or other providers of personal services must be reviewed and signed by the Oregon State Bar Executive Director or the Director’s designee. Individuals who attend a section program or event for the purpose of providing a significant service to the section are eligible for expense reimbursement pursuant to Section 7.5 of the OSB Bylaws, with approval from the Executive Committee.
Section 5. (A) The Section serves as an education, communication and networking forum in the areas of law or other law related activity for which the Board of Governors approved its establishment. If the Section receives support from the Bar on other than a fee for service basis, it shall comply with the expenditure restrictions applicable to the Bar as set forth in Keller v. State Bar of California, 496 US 1 (1990) and related board policies.
(B) If the Section wishes to spend Section funds free from the restrictions imposed by Keller and related board policies it may do so if it pays the full cost of administration and other support provided by the Bar, so that the Section is entirely self-supported by voluntary dues of its members. The Section must obtain approval of its members to such election by mail or electronic vote or at a regular or special meeting. Upon exercising its right under this policy, the Section shall be provided administrative and other services by the bar on a fee for service basis only. The election shall be effective until rescinded by a vote of the Section membership.
Notice of Meetings, Minutes and Reports
Section 1. The Chair or Secretary shall distribute notice of scheduled Section Executive Committee meetings together with an agenda and minutes of the previous meeting to all Section Executive Committee members and to the Bar at least ten (10) business days prior to such meetings, or if ten days’ notice is not practicable, then such lesser notice as is practicable. Minutes of all meetings of the Section and of the Section Executive Committee shall be distributed to all members of the Section Executive Committee and to the Bar no later than thirty (30) days after the meeting and are subject to amendment and approval at the next meeting of the Section or the Section Executive Meeting.
Section 2. Whenever the Section desires to request action by the Board of Governors, the requested action shall be reflected in the minutes and shall in addition be set forth in a letter accompanying the minutes and delivered to the Board of Governors in care of the Executive Director. If the vote on the requested action is not unanimous, the votes for and against shall be set forth in the minutes and the dissenting members shall be afforded the opportunity to explain their positions.
Section 3. Not later than December 1, the Chair shall file with the Executive Director of the Oregon State Bar a concise report summarizing the activities of the current year and anticipated activities for the ensuing year.
Section 4. A proposed annual budget and proposed annual dues for approval by the Board of Governors shall be provided to the Executive Director no later than October 15 of each year if it contains a proposal for a change in membership dues, or no later than December 1 of each year if no change in membership dues is proposed. Alternatively, this budget information may be included with the Section’s annual report submitted December 1, pursuant to Section 3 of this Article.
Section 5. The proposed budget shall have attached to it a short description of the Section’s long range plans for programs and activities which require accumulation of funds and the Executive Committee’s reserve plan, including the target reserve calculated to protect the Section from foreseeable financial loss.
Section 6. At the request of the Board of Governors, the Section Chair shall present a report in person to the Board of Governors concerning the activities of the Section for the current and succeeding years.
Article XI Amendments to Bylaws
Section 1. These Bylaws may be amended by the Board of Governors. Notice of intent to promulgate and pass Bylaw Amendments shall be given to the Section Executive Committee Chair in sufficient time to allow for review and comment. Bylaw amendments passed by the Board of Governors become effective upon passage.
Section 2. These Bylaws may be amended by the Section by a majority of those voting in a mail or electronic ballot or at any membership meeting of the Section to become effective upon subsequent approval of the Board of Governors. Notice of intent to amend bylaws and the text of proposed amendments shall be distributed to all Section members at least fourteen (14) business days prior to the meeting or mail or electronic balloting.
Article XII Sunsetting the Section
Section 1. A Section Executive Committee may recommend that the Board of Governors sunset the section if it has accomplished its goals or is otherwise deemed no longer necessary. A sunset recommendation submitted to the Board of Governors must include a proposal for distribution of any section assets.
Section 2. The Section has a duty to its members, and at a minimum each year, must:
A. Hold regular Executive Committee meetings.
B. Appoint a Nominating Committee.
C. Hold a Section Annual Business Meeting.
D. Elect officers and executive committee members at large by November 15 of each year.
E. Submit an annual budget.
F. File an annual report.
If the Section fails to meet the above minimum requirements, it is subject to restructuring or sunsetting by the Board of Governors.
Article XIII Rules of Order
Section 1. Except as otherwise provided herein, meetings of this Section shall be conducted in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
Section 2. All references in these Bylaws to “mail” or “mailing” or “mail ballot” shall also include electronic email to a member or addressee who has an email address on file with the Oregon State Bar.