RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING GUIDELINES FOR SECTIONS, COMMITTEES AND DIVISIONS TO PARTICIPATE IN PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION ELECTIONS
WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has long promoted fair and open elections for its leadership positions;
WHEREAS, there is a long history of involvement and participation in Bar Association elections (“Bar Elections”) by the Association’s Committees, Sections and Divisions (“Bar Organizations”);
WHEREAS, in 2008 the Philadelphia Bar Association abolished its Nominating Committee;
WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association seeks to formalize certain best practices with respect to Bar Elections;
WHEREAS the Philadelphia Bar Association continues to encourage Bar Organizations, in settings of their choosing, to be involved in Bar Elections and to interact with candidates running for Association offices (“Bar Candidates”);
WHEREAS the Philadelphia Bar Association respects the individual approaches that Bar Organizations take towards meeting and supporting Bar Candidates;
WHEREAS the Philadelphia Bar Association believes more formal procedures are necessary when Bar Organizations intend to endorse Bar Candidates; and
WHEREAS the Philadelphia Bar Association wishes to provide procedures that make it easier for Members to understand the Association’s election process and to be actively involved in that process.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association encourages Bar Organizations to meet with Bar Candidates and to take steps to introduce Bar Candidates to their members.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT:
- Bar Organizations shall encourage Bar Candidates to attend their meetings and/or events.
- Bar Organizations shall give reasonable notice to Bar Candidates of endorsement meetings, processes, and they should try to identify issues that affect the members of each Bar Organization.
- Bar Organizations should publish notice of their meetings related to Bar Candidates in the Philadelphia Bar Association’s calendar of events and they should endeavor to avoid scheduling conflicts with other Bar Organizations that are scheduling similar meetings.
- If a Bar Organizations seeks to formally endorse candidates in Bar Elections, the Bar Organization must:
A. Simultaneously provide notice of any endorsement meeting to all declared Bar Candidates with as much advance notice as is reasonably possible;
B. Provide a reasonable opportunity for Bar Candidates to make their credentials known and that process shall be consistent for all Bar Candidates seeking the same office;
C. Explain to Bar Candidates the process for securing the Bar Organization’s endorsement (e.g. executive committee meeting, open forum, written submissions, etc.);
D. Announce in advance any list of topics or issues that the Bar Organization wants Bar Candidates to address;
E. Provide notice to Bar Candidates of who within the organization can affect or participate in a formal endorsement;
F. Publish the results of the endorsement in a reasonably timely manner, which may include, but is not required, publication of the endorsement in an Association publication; issuance of a press release to the Legal Intelligencer; publication of the endorsement on the Bar Organization’s web site page; sending e-mails or written communications to the Bar Organization’s members, etc.; and
G. Communicate notice of any formal endorsement by the Bar Organization to all Bar Candidates seeking that office as soon as is practical. Bar Organizations are encouraged to use simultaneous transmission of email or posting on a web site, if possible.
H. Hold any meetings with candidates only in facilities that are fully accessible by persons with disabilities.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Executive Director is directed to designate a member of the Association’s staff to serve as a central point of contact for Bar Organizations and Bar Candidates in coordinating the implementation of this Resolution.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION BOARD OF GOVERNORS ADOPTED: September 25, 2008