Approved by the 2011 Board of Governors
Adopted January 2011
Effective March 29, 2011
ARTICLE I. NAME AND JURISDICTION
Section 1. Name. The name of the Section shall be the Criminal Justice Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association.
Section 2. Purpose. The purpose of this Section is to concern itself with every aspect of the substantive and procedural criminal law and law enforcement, and to further the achievement of fair, speedy, and effective administration of criminal justice.
ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP AND DUES
Section 1. Enrollment. Any attorney admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and practicing in the County of Philadelphia, any judge of the Supreme, Superior or Commonwealth Courts of Pennsylvania, or of any Court in Philadelphia County, as well as any other person employed by or associated with any organization concerned with the criminal justice system of Philadelphia, upon payment of the initial dues prescribed in these By-Laws, shall be entitled to become a member or associate member in the Section. Once so enrolled, the member or associate member shall remain in the Section, provided that he or she remains a member in good standing of the Philadelphia Bar Association and pays the annual dues of the Section as prescribed in these By-Laws. Members and associate members so enrolled shall constitute the membership of this Section.
Section 2. Dues.
(a) No member of the judiciary shall be required to pay dues to the Section. Any attorney applying for membership in this Section within the first three years of his or her admission to practice shall pay dues for his or her initial year in the Section in the sum of $5.00. Annual dues for all other attorneys who are members in good standing of the Philadelphia Bar Association shall be $30.00. Dues may be changed by Amendment of these By-Laws as provided hereinafter. Any member of the Section whose annual dues shall be more than six months past due shall thereupon cease to be a member of this Section, after reasonable notice from the Secretary concerning his or her delinquency.
(b) Any other person who is not an attorney may be an associate member of the Section by payment of the annual dues of $30.00, provided that he or she is employed by or associated with any organization concerned with the criminal justice system, or is a member in good standing of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Associate members may participate in discussions at all Section meetings, but shall not vote.
ARTICLE III. OFFICERS, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. Officers. The officers of this Section shall be a Chair, or Co-Chairs, Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. Pending the first regular election, temporary officers shall be appointed by the Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. There shall be Co-Chairs of this section if, and only if, there is consent of the Executive Committee by a majority vote of two-thirds. This vote, if made, shall take place only in the year immediately preceding that year in which the Co-Chairs are to serve.
Section 2. Term of Office. Each officer of the Section shall hold office for a term beginning on the first day of January next following the annual meeting of the Section at which he or she is elected and ending at the close of that calendar year, and until his or her successor shall have been elected and qualified. Any officer elected in the course of such a term to fill a vacancy shall serve only until the close of the calendar year in which such election occurs, unless elected again for a regular term.
Section 3. Duties. Subject to the direction and control of the Chancellor and the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the functions, duties, and authorities of the officers of this Section shall be as follows:
(a) The Chair, or Co-Chairs, shall preside at all meetings of the Section and of the Executive Committee, and shall perform the usual duties and functions of a Chair, or Co-Chairs, including but not limited to keeping the Executive Committee duly informed and carrying out its policies and decisions.
(b) The Chair-Elect, or Co-Chairs-Elect, shall automatically succeed to the office of Chair or Co-Chairs, upon completion of the Chair’s or Co-Chairs’ one-year term. In case of the death, resignation or disability of the Chair, the Chair-Elect shall immediately succeed to the office of Chair for the remainder of the Chair’s term or disability, and shall continue in that office until completion of his or her own term. He or she shall perform the usual duties and functions pertaining to his or her office or such responsibilities as may be designated by the Executive Committee or the Chair. In a year where there are Co-Chairs serving, in case of the death, resignation or disability of one Co-Chair, the other Co-Chair shall immediately succeed to the office of Chair for the remainder of the other Co-Chair’s term or disability, and shall continue in said office until the completion of his own term.
(c) The Secretary shall perform the usual duties and functions pertaining to his or her office. The Secretary shall be the custodian of all principal books and documents of the Section, but not of money. He or she shall keep records of all meetings of the Section and its Executive Committee, and make a record of all action that may be taken by consent without a meeting, and shall promptly forward copies thereof to the Chair or Co-Chairs, Chancellor and to the Chancellor-Elect. The Secretary shall perform such further duties and have such further powers as may be designated by the Executive Committee or the Chair.
(d) The Treasurer shall keep an accurate record of all monies appropriated to and expended for the use of this Section. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget which shall be submitted to the Executive Committee for its approval, and shall present to the membership at its annual meeting a Financial Report, and to the Executive Committee such interim financial reports as it may request.
Section 4. Executive Committee.
(a) There shall be an Executive Committee which shall consist of the four officers of this Section, or five officers if there are Co-Chairs, together with the most recently retired and available Chair or Co-Chairs of the Section, and eight (8) elected members. The elected members shall serve for a two-year period, with four (4) being elected at each annual election, other than the 2010 election. In 2010, four (4) members shall be elected to a one-year term and four (4) members to a two-year term. No elected member of the Executive Committee shall be permitted to serve for more than two consecutive terms; however, any member elected for a one-year term, or appointed or elected to fill an unexpired term of one year or less, may thereafter be elected for two successive two-year terms. No person who has served four or more years as an elected member of the Executive Committee shall be qualified to serve as an elected member of the Executive Committee until at least two years have elapsed from the expiration of the last term for which he or she was elected. Service as an Officer of the Section shall never preclude subsequent service on the Executive Committee.
(b) Ad Hoc members. The Section Chair or Co-Chairs may appoint subcommittee chairs (e.g. Education Chair, Juvenile Justice Chair, Young Lawyers Division Liason) to serve as ad hoc members of the Executive Committee. Ad hoc members may attend Executive Committee meetings, and participate in any discussion, but shall not vote. However, when any vote is taken, the Executive Committee may authorize ad hoc members to vote.
Section 5. Ex-Officio members. The Chancellor, the Chancellor-Elect, and the Vice Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and the past chairs of this Section, not members of the Executive Committee in any other capacity shall be ex-officio members thereof. As such, they shall be given notice of and shall have the right to attend any and all meetings of the Executive Committee and to participate in any discussion. Only the past section chairs may vote.
Section 6. Vacancies. Vacancies during a term, including vacancies resulting from an increase in size of the Executive Committee, occurring more than one month prior to the annual meeting, may be filled by action of a majority of the Executive Committee remaining in office.
Section 7. Attendance. Any elected Executive Committee member or officer who misses three (3) Executive Committee meetings in any twelve-month period may be removed and replaced by the Chair, subject to the Executive Committee’s approval and following an opportunity for the member or officer to appear and explain.
Section 8. Duties. The Executive Committee shall, subject to action of the members taken at annual meetings of this Section and to any action of the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association, have general supervision and control over the affairs of this Section, and shall set policy for it, but only in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Philadelphia Bar Association and the By-Laws of this Section. The Executive Committee may create and terminate standing committees or ad hoc committees. The Executive Committee, upon majority vote, may delegate its decision-making power on a particular matter to a standing committee or ad hoc committee. Such committee’s decision under that circumstance would, accordingly, be the decision of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall authorize the expenditure of all moneys of this Section appropriated for its use, but may submit any such expenditures, in its discretion, to the membership of this Section for approval.
Section 9. Executive Committee Meetings. The Executive Committee shall meet monthly from January through December at any place fixed from time to time by resolution of the Committee and upon not less than five (5) days oral or written notice to all persons entitled to notice. The Executive Committee may meet in a special session at any time and place on the call of the Chair or Co-Chairs, or any three (3) members of the Committee on not less than three (3) days oral or written notice to all members entitled to notice.
Section 10. Quorum. A majority of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. No business may be transacted at a meeting while a quorum is not present. All binding action of the Committee shall be by majority vote of the members present and voting. Ex-officio and ad hoc members shall not be counted in determining whether a quorum is present.
Section 11. Proxies. All action of the Executive Committee shall be by a majority vote of the whole Committee. Members of the Committee, personally present at any meeting and choosing to vote, shall vote in person, but, if absent, may submit in writing to the Chair or one of the Co-Chairs a proxy authorizing him or her to vote as the absent member so directs. If the Chair or Co-Chair is unable to vote, or choose to abstain from the vote, then the Chair-Elect will automatically be authorized to vote the proxy, as directed by the absent member.
Section 12. Plebiscite of Executive Committee. The Chair or Co-Chairs of the Section may, and upon the request of any member of the Executive Committee shall, submit or cause to be submitted in writing to each of the members of this Committee, any proposition upon which the Committee may be authorized to act, and the members of the Committee may vote upon such proposition(s) so submitted by communicating their vote thereon, in writing over their respective signatures or electronic equivalent, to the Secretary, who should report upon the Secretary’s minutes each proposition so submitted, when, how, at whose request it was submitted, the votes of each member of the Committee thereof, and keep on file such written and signed votes. If the votes of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Committee so recorded shall be in favor of such proposition, such votes will constitute the binding action of the Executive Committee.
Section 13. Powers. Between meetings of the Section the Executive Committee shall have full power to do and perform all acts and functions which the Section itself might do or perform, not inconsistent with any action taken by the Section. Any action taken by the Executive Committee shall be reported to the Section at its next meeting.
ARTICLE IV. QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES, NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Section 1. Qualification of Candidates. Any member of the Section in good standing is eligible for any office.
Section 2. Nominating Committee. At least sixty (60) days before the annual meeting of the Section, the Chair or Co-Chairs, with the advice and consent of the Chancellor-Elect, shall appoint and nominate a committee consisting of past Section Chairs and the Chair-Elect – there shall be at least five (5) such members of this committee who may not become candidates for office or the Executive Committee. The Chair or Co-Chairs shall designate one member of the Nominating Committee as its Chair. The Nominating Committee shall seek out, select, and report to the Chair or Co-Chairs, the Chancellor, and the Chancellor-Elect nominations for the offices of Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer, and elected members of the Executive Committee, together with such further nominations as may be necessary to fill vacancies then existing or to occur at the close of the calendar year. The Committee shall meet as often as necessary, at the call of its Chair, or Co-Chairs, to receive suggestions from the membership and to select its slate. The Nominating Committee shall make a report of its nominees to the Section by written notice to members of the Section, and by publication in the Bar Reporter Online, not less fourteen (14) days before the annual meeting. Additional candidates may be nominated for any office by written or oral nomination. The Secretary, the Chair, or a Co-Chair shall notify the Section in writing of the candidates nominated by the Executive Committee. Such notification shall be sent to each member of the Section at least ten (10) days prior to the annual meeting, and include the full list of candidates. All votes shall be counted before the conclusion of the annual meeting. Voting at the meeting shall be by written or oral ballot. The ballots, if written, shall be counted by five (5) tellers appointed by the Executive Committee prior to the annual meeting, none of whom shall be a candidate for office.
Section 3. Counting of Ballots. The tellers shall first count the ballots cast for the office of Chair-Elect, then for Secretary, then for Treasurer, then for the Executive Committee. If there be more than two candidates for office, then the one receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected.
ARTICLE V. MEETINGS OF THE SECTION
Section 1. Annual Meeting. The annual meeting of the Section shall be held during the month of November or December at a time and place in the City of Philadelphia to be designated by the Executive Committee.
Section 2. Section Meetings. The Section shall have monthly membership meetings unless the Executive Committee determines that a meeting shall not be held during a particular month.
Section 3. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Section may be called by the Chair or Co-Chairs, upon approval of the Executive Committee, at such time(s) and place(s) as the Executive Committee may determine, whenever such program and order of business may need to be arranged by the Chair or Co-Chairs, subject to the direction and approval of the Executive Committee. Section 4. Quorum and Proxies. The members of the Section present at any meeting shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. All binding action of the Section shall be by a majority vote of the members present. Proxy votes shall be permitted in accordance with rules established by the Executive Committee.
Section 5. Plebiscite of Section. The Executive Committee may direct that a proposition be submitted to the members of the Section for a vote. In such event, adoption by the Section shall be by a majority of votes received, or such greater proportion of the vote as the Executive Committee may fix for the purpose, in accordance with rules fixed by the Executive Committee; otherwise, the proposition shall be rejected.
ARTICLE VI. [Reserved]
ARTICLE VII. MISCELLANEOUS
Section 1. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Section shall be the same as that of the Philadelphia Bar Association.
Section 2. Bills. All bills incurred by the Section, before being forwarded to the Treasurer of the Philadelphia Bar Association for payment, shall be approved by the Chair or Co-Chairs, or the Treasurer, and, if the Executive Committee shall so direct, by any combination of them.
Section 3. Salaries. No salary or compensation shall be paid to any officer of this Section, member of its Executive Committee, or member of any other Committee.
Section 4. Approval of Bar. No action by this Section shall become effective as the action of the Philadelphia Bar Association until it is approved by the Philadelphia Bar Association. Any resolution adopted or action taken by the Section may, on request of this Section, or its Chair or Co-Chairs, be reported by the Chair or Co-Chairs to the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association for approval or other necessary action. Section 5. Effective Date. These By-Laws shall become effective upon approval by the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association.
ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS
These By-Laws may be amended at any annual or special meeting of the Section by a majority vote of the members of the Section present and voting, provided that such proposed amendment shall first have been approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. No amendment shall be permitted that creates a conflict with the Charter, By-Laws or resolutions of the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association.
ARTICLE IX. TERMINATION
The existence of this Section shall automatically terminate whenever the total membership falls below fifty (50) members, or whenever the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association shall, by resolution, so determine.