Chapter Constitution

CONSTITUTION

FEDERAL BAR ASSOCIATION
MARYLAND CHAPTER

ARTICLE I — NAME AND LOCATION

This organization shall be known as the Maryland Chapter (the "Chapter") of the Federal Bar Association (the "Association"). The Chapter headquarters shall be located in the State of Maryland and shall be located at a site as determined by the Board of Governors ("BOG") of the Chapter. 

ARTICLE II — SEAL AND INSIGNIA

The official seal and insignia of the Chapter shall be the seal and insignia of the Association, to which shall be added the words "Maryland Chapter".

ARTICLE III — MISSION STATEMENT, GENERAL OBJECTIVES

Section 1.  Mission Statement.  The mission of the Chapter is to advance the science of jurisprudence and to promote the welfare, interests, education, and professional growth and development of the members of the Federal legal profession.

Section 2. General Objectives. The following general objectives of the Maryland Chapter of the Association are not listed in any order of priority:

  1. To serve as the representative of the Federal legal profession in the State of Maryland;
  2. To promote the sound administration of justice;
  3. To enhance the professional growth and development of members of the Federal legal profession;
  4. To promote high standards of professional competence and ethical conduct in the Federal legal profession;
  5. To promote the welfare of attorneys and judges employed by the Government of the United States;
  6. To provide meaningful services for the welfare and benefit of the members of the Association;
  7. To provide quality educational programs to the Federal legal profession and the public;
  8. To keep members informed of developments in their respective fields of interest;
  9. To keep members informed of the affairs of the Association, to encourage their involvement in its activities and to provide members opportunities to assume leadership roles; and,
  10. To promote professional and social interaction among members of the Federal legal profession.

ARTICLE IV — MEMBERSHIP

Section. 1. Active Membership. Any person admitted to the practice of law before a Federal court or a court of record in any of the several states, commonwealths, territories, or possessions of the United States or in the District of Columbia who is thereby eligible for active membership in the Association is eligible for active membership in the Maryland Chapter; provided such person:

  1. is or has been an officer or employee of the United States or of the District of Columbia and, while so serving, performs or has performed the work of a legislator, judge, lawyer, or member of a quasi-judicial board or commission; or,
  2. has a substantial interest in or participates in the area of Federal law.

Section 2. Honorary Membership. Honorary memberships may be offered to persons as provided in Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution of the Association.  Such members shall be exempt from payment of dues and shall have full rights and privileges of membership in the Association and the Chapter.  Any person for whom honorary membership may be bestowed by the Chapter may be elected to honorary membership by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the BOG.   

Section 3. Law Student Associates.  Subject to the limitations contained in the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association, any law student associate of the Association who resides or attends law school in Maryland is eligible to become a law student associate of the Chapter.  However, such associate is not a member of the Chapter, and such associate may not vote or hold any elective office in the Chapter. 

Section 4. Application.

  1. Application for the membership in the Chapter shall be made on a form approved by the National Membership Committee and/or Board of Directors of the Association. Each application must be accompanied by the national dues required by the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association and for Chapter dues if required by the Chapter. The Board of Governors may modify the amount of national dues for any applicant or member, but the Chapter will then be responsible for payment of the national dues to the Association for such person.
  2. Application as an associate of the Association and of the Chapter shall similarly be made on an approved membership form and shall be accompanied by the foregoing fee amounts applicable for membership.

Section 5. Expulsion. Expulsion of any member of the Chapter shall conform to the provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association.

ARTICLE V — FISCAL YEAR

The fiscal year of the Chapter shall begin on July 1 of each calendar year and shall end on June 30 of the following calendar year.

ARTICLE VI — OFFICERS

Section 1. Elective Officers, The elective officers of the Chapter shall be as follows and in the order named:

  1. President
  2. President-Elect
  3. First Vice President
  4. Second Vice-President
  5. Secretary
  6. Treasurer
  7. National Delegate
  8. Younger Lawyers Representative

Section 2. Duties and Powers.

  1. President: The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Chapter and shall enforce due observance of this Constitution, and
    1. shall be a member of the National Council of the Association along with the National Delegate;
    2. shall have the power to appoint all standing committees and other committees as may be deemed necessary or requisite to carry out the objectives of the Chapter;
    3. shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and subcommittees thereof; except the Nominations and Elections Committee;
    4. shall from time to time, as required by the Board of Governors, provide the members of the Chapter information as to the State of the Chapter, and, as required, shall recommend for their consideration such measures as deemed necessary by the Board of Governors to effectuate the objectives of the Chapter;
    5. shall, pursuant to authority granted by the Board of Governors, have the authority to sign for and on behalf of the Chapter all written contracts and obligations; the President's signature shall bind the Chapter, and the membership thereof, to fulfill the terms and conditions of such contracts and obligations;
    6. shall schedule and preside at meetings of the Board of Governors; and
    7. shall perform other duties as may be required by the Board of Governors, the Constitution or Bylaws adopted pursuant thereto.
  2. President-Elect: In the absence of the President, the President-Elect shall perform the duties of the President and shall perform other duties as may be required by the President, this Constitution or Bylaws adopted pursuant thereto. The President-Elect shall automatically succeed to the office of the President upon the expiration of the incumbent President's term.
  3. First and Second Vice-Presidents: The First and Second Vice-Presidents, in that order, shall perform the duties of the President in the absence of the President and the President-Elect, and shall perform other duties as may be required by the President, this Constitution or Bylaws adopted pursuant thereto.
  4. Secretary: The Secretary shall conduct the general correspondence of the Chapter, give timely notice of all meetings as may be required, record the proceedings of all meetings, maintain a roster of all members of the Chapter; maintain and preserve all Chapter records, except the Treasurer's financial accounts and records; render such reports as may be required by the President; and perform other duties as properly pertain to the office, or as may be required by this Constitution or Bylaws adopted pursuant thereto.
  5. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall collect from Chapter members and other sources all monies due the Chapter, and
    1. shall deposit the same to the credit of the Chapter in a bank or other financial institution as may be designated by the BOG, and make disbursements only as directed by the BOG and as provided in the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association and Chapter;
    2. shall keep an itemized record of all monies received and by whom paid and for what purpose, and shall submit to the Audit Committee of the Chapter reports in writing itemizing all receipts and disbursements for the year. Such reports shall be submitted whenever requested by the Board or the Audit Committee, and after the conclusion of the fiscal year for which he or she served as Treasurer in time for consideration at the September meeting of the BOG.
    3. shall keep all books, vouchers and records, and shall make such documents available to the Audit Committee of the Chapter; and,
    4. shall perform other duties as properly pertain to the office or as may be required by this Constitution or Bylaws adopted pursuant thereto.
  6. National Delegate: The National Delegate
    1. shall be a member of the National Council of the Association along with the President, and such members of the National Council shall be the official representatives of the Chapter at meetings of the National Council of the Association; and,
    2. shall present for consideration of the National Council matters pertaining to the Chapter as the Board of Governors may direct, shall report on the National Council meetings to the BOG, and shall perform other duties as may be required by this Constitution or Bylaws adopted pursuant thereto.
  7. Younger Lawyers Representative: The Younger Lawyers Representative
  8. shall represent the interests of the Chapter members of the Younger Lawyers Division, as provided in Article X, Section 4 of the Constitution of the Association and shall perform other duties as may be required by the President, this Constitution or Bylaws adopted pursuant thereto.

ARTICLE VII — BOARD OF GOVERNORS (BOG)

Section 1. Composition.

The Board of Governors shall consist of the Elective Officers, twenty (20) elected Governors or such greater number up to and including thirty (30) elected Governors as the BOG may determine prior to ballots being mailed for elections for the succeeding fiscal year, and the Immediate Past President of the Chapter.

Section 2. Chairperson.

  1. A member of the BOG shall be elected Chairperson by a majority vote of the membership of the Association. No elective officer shall be eligible for the office of the Chairperson of the BOG;
  2. The Chairperson of the BOG shall serve as a member of the Board, shall  preside at meetings of the BOG in the absence of the President, and shall perform other duties as may be required by the BOG, this Constitution or Bylaws adopted pursuant thereto;
  3. In the absence of the President and the Chairperson from a BOG meeting, the presiding officer shall be an Officer or Governor designated by the President.

Section 3. Duties and Powers.

  1. The BOG shall be the governing body of the Chapter and shall have full power and authority to undertake and conduct any and all activities that it may consider necessary or expedient to further the interests of the Chapter and to achieve the objectives of the Chapter. The BOG shall have charge of the business and financial management of the Chapter. No funds of the Chapter exceeding $250 in amount shall be obligated or disbursed for any purpose without approval of the BOG. Expenditures in amounts of $250 or less may be made by the mutual agreement of the President and Treasurer. The BOG shall also perform other duties as may be required by this Constitution or By-laws adopted pursuant thereto;
  2. The BOG shall have authority to fill any vacancy occurring in its own number due to the death or resignation and to fill any vacancy of an elected Officer or Governor resulting from disability or inability to act, whether permanent or temporary, when an elected officer or governor is unable to fulfill the duties of the respective office; and,
  3. The BOG shall, if it deems necessary, appoint an Assistant Secretary
    and/or an Assistant Treasurer.

Section 4. Meetings.

  1. The BOG shall meet no less often than nine (9) times during a Chapter fiscal year. One of such meetings shall be held in June at which election results shall be announced and a Chairperson of the Board shall be elected for the next Chapter fiscal year.  The date, time and place of such meetings shall be fixed by the President upon consultation with the members of the BOG.  Members of the BOG shall be given twenty (20) days prior notice of such meetings; and
  2. An affirmative vote of no less than a majority of all BOG members present and voting at a BOG meeting is required for passage of any matter acted upon by the BOG unless otherwise provided in this Constitution.
  3. One representative from each law student division of the Maryland Chapter may attend the BOG meetings at the invitation of the President. 

Section 5.  Quorum.

Ten (10) members of the BOG shall constitute a quorum of the transaction of business.

ARTICLE VIII - ELECTION AND TENURE

Section 1.  Nominations.

  1. The Nominations and Elections Committee shall consist of five (5) persons appointed by the President with one such person designated as Chairperson of the Committee;
  2. The Committee shall nominate one (1) candidate for each office and for each elected Governor position, including Chairperson of the BOG, except that no member of the Nominations and Elections Committee shall participate in the consideration of nomination of a candidate for any office for which that person is being considered. The Committee shall report its list of nominees to the Board, which may make changes of any such selected nominees upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the BOG members present and voting; and
  3. To be eligible for nomination, a candidate must be a member of the Association in good standing prior to the date of nomination as a candidate for election to office or elected Governor position for the next fiscal year.

Section 2.  Elections.

  1. The elections of all Officers and Governors, including the Chairperson of the BOG, shall be by ballot.  The Nominations and Elections Committee, not later than June 1 of each year, shall cause to be mailed to each member of the Chapter in good standing a ballot containing the names of each candidate nominated, appropriately listed under the respective office for which each has been nominated.  Provision shall be made on the ballot under each office for the writing in of names by members; and
  2. The Nominations and Elections Committee shall establish the date for return of the ballots, shall count and tally all ballots received and shall make a written report of the results of the election to the BOG on or before June 30.  The election of each office shall be by a plurality of all votes cast.  All ballots shall be delivered by the Nominations and Elections Committee to the Secretary, who shall retain the ballots for a period of thirty (30) calendar days following receipt by him of such ballots, for inspection by the membership.

Section 3.  Term of Office.  The Officers and Governors elected shall assume the duties of their respective offices at the beginning of the fiscal year to which they are elected and shall serve through the end of the fiscal year when their terms will expire or until their successors shall have been duly elected and installed in office.  The President shall not be eligible to succeed in office for the succeeding fiscal year.

Section 4.  Resignations.  If an Officer or Governor resigns prior to the expiration of his or her term, the BOG may elect a person to fill the position until the expiration of the term.  Nominations for the position may be made by any member of the BOG, and election shall be by a plurality of the votes cast by the members of the BOG then present and voting.

Section 5.  Removal from Office and Appeal.

  1. The BOG shall have the power and authority to remove from office for cause any Officer or Governor of this Chapter;
    1. A written statement of cause may be presented to the BOG by any three (3) members of the BOG or by any other fifteen (15) members of the Chapter.  The person whose removal from office is proposed shall not be eligible to sit on the BOG during its consideration of the statement of cause;
    2. To consider a proposed removal, such Officer or Governor shall be given thirty (30) days notice, and the written statement of cause for removal, prior to the next regular meeting of the BOG at which such action shall be considered by the BOG.  The person whose removal is proposed shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard before the BOG prior to a vote taken thereon.  Removal of such person from office shall be effected by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of members of the BOG present and voting;
  2. Any Officer or Governor who is removed from office by the BOG shall be promptly notified by registered mail of his removal and of his right to appeal such action to the Chapter membership;
    1. Such notice shall be sent to such person's last address of record in the Chapter; and
    2. Appeal of a removal may be made to the Chapter membership by filing notice of such appeal with the Secretary within thirty (30) days from receipt of notice of such removal.  The appeal shall be heard thereafter at a special meeting of the Chapter membership promptly called by the President for such consideration.  The removal action of the BOG may be reversed by a majority vote thereon by the Chapter members present and voting at such meeting.

ARTICLE IX - COMMITTEES

Section 1.  Standing Committees.

  1. The President shall, during September of each Chapter fiscal year, appoint five (5) members of the Chapter in good standing, one whom shall be designated Chairperson, to each of the Standing Committees of the Chapter. Such appointments shall be subject to approval of the BOG. The Standing Committees of the Chapter shall be:
    1. Nominations and Elections Committee
    2. Membership Committee
    3. Audit Committee
  2. Duties:
    1. The Nominations and Elections Committee shall have responsibility for the nomination and election of Officers and Governors, as provided in Article VIII entitled, "Elections and Tenure";
    2. The Membership Committee shall determine the eligibility for membership of all applicants in the Chapter, or, alternatively, shall forward applications of applicants to the offices of the Association for such determination; and
    3. The Audit Committee shall audit, at times as the BOG shall direct, but not less often than annually following the conclusion of a fiscal year, the books of the Treasurer and all other Officers or committees entrusted with the funds of the Chapter.  Following each audit the Audit Committee shall make a report of its findings in writing to the BOG.  The report following the year-end audit of a fiscal year shall be made no later than the BOG meeting in September of the following fiscal year.

Section 2.  Special Committees.  The President shall have authority to appoint other committees considered proper, having duties not inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution and By-laws adopted pursuant thereto.

ARTICLE X - MEETINGS

Section 1.  Annual Meeting.

  1. There shall be an annual meeting of the Chapter membership held each year in the State of Maryland and located at a place within the State as the BOG may determine.  The date, time and place of such annual meeting shall be set by the BOG; and
  2. The annual meeting shall be held for the purpose of the transaction of the Chapter business as the President may direct and for the transaction of other business as may be recommended by the BOG, the membership, the national Association, or as may be required by this Constitution or Bylaws adopted pursuant thereto.

Section 2.  Special Meetings.  Special meetings of the Chapter membership may be called by the President or the BOG for purposes not inconsistent with this 'Constitution or By-laws adopted pursuant thereto.

Section 3.  Notice Meetings.  Notice of the date, time and place of all meetings of the Chapter and the business to be presented shall be mailed by the Secretary to each member in good standing at least twenty (20) calendar days prior to such meeting.

Section 4.  Quorum and Voting.  Thirty (30) members of the Chapter in good standing shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at all authorized meetings of the Chapter.  Unless otherwise provided in this Constitution or Bylaws adopted pursuant thereto, a majority vote of the members present and voting shall be required for the passage of any matter presented at such meetings.

Section 5.  Presiding Officer.  The President shall preside at the annual meeting and all special meetings of the Chapter membership.

ARTICLE XI - ADMISSION AND FEES

Section 1.  Initial admission fee and annual Association dues shall conform to the requirements of the Association's Constitution and Bylaws.  Annual Association dues as so established shall be paid to the Association by each member of the Chapter, other than an honorary member.  The BOG may establish a separate dues amount for each member as Chapter dues that shall not exceed ten percent (10%) of each member's Association dues.

Section 2.  If a member fails to make payment of dues or other indebtedness to the Association or the Chapter within sixty (60) calendar days after the same is due and payable, such member may be suspended from all rights, benefits and privileges of membership in the Association and the Chapter.

ARTICLE XII - GENERAL

Section 1.  This Constitution shall be the supreme governing and controlling authority for the conduct of the Chapter affairs, and all acts performed or purported to be performed on behalf of the Chapter that are in conflict with the provisions of this Constitution shall be void and shall not bind the Chapter.

Section 2.  The Chapter shall not engage in activities that are or may be in conflict with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association.

Section 3.  All resolutions or actions of the Chapter respecting proposed legislation or other matters affecting the national policy of the Association shall be submitted to the Association's Board of Directors and/or the National Council.  As to any such resolution or action, the Chapter may publicly present a position in its name but shall not make public such position in the name of the Association to any national, state or municipal authority without the consent of the Board of Directors and/or the National Council of the Association.

Section 4.  The Chapter shall incur no indebtedness on behalf of or on the faith and credit of the Association, and the Association shall not be responsible for any deficits or indebtedness of the Chapter unless otherwise agreed to by the Executive Committee and/or National Council of the Association.

ARTICLE XIII - AMENDMENTS

Section 1.  Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed at any time by the BOG or by petition of not less than 5% of the members of the Chapter in good standing.  The BOG shall submit all such proposed amendments promptly to the general membership for consideration and balloting.

Section 2.  The Constitution shall be adopted and/or amended by two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the ballots cast by members in good standing in attendance at an annual meeting, a special meeting called for such purpose, or by mail balloting.  A publication of this proposed Constitution and/or amendment(s) shall be mailed to each member in good standing at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to the date of the meeting at which ballots are to be cast or date of return of the mail ballots.

Section 3.  A copy of this Constitution and amendments thereto when adopted by the Chapter shall be submitted to and filed with the offices of the Association.

ARTICLE XIV - BYLAWS

The BOG shall have power and authority to issue and enforce Bylaws that are not in conflict with this Constitution.  Proposed Bylaws or amendments thereto shall be mailed to each member of the BOG at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to a regular or special Board meeting at which provisions will be considered.  Adoption shall be by two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members present and voting at such Board meeting.

ARTICLE XV - EFFECTIVE DATE

This Constitution shall take effect on the day when the Chapter membership, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the ballots cast by members in good standing, shall have signified their ratification and approval thereof.  The Secretary shall enter the ratification by the Chapter membership in the official records of the Chapter.  The Officers and Governors of the Chapter in office on the effective date of ratification of this Constitution shall continue in office until their successors shall be duly elected and qualified. 

Revised June 2013

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