ACDLA ByLaws

ALABAMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION BYLAWS


(As Amended 2014)

 

ARTICLE I

NAME AND STATUS

The name of this organization shall be the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Inc. It shall be a not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Alabama.

ARTICLE II

PURPOSES

The Association is formed exclusively for charitable, scientific and educational purposes, including without limitation, the following purposes:

(a)  To protect and ensure by the rule of law, those individual rights guaranteed by the Alabama and Federal Constitutions in criminal cases; to resist the efforts which are constantly being made to curtail such rights; to encourage cooperation between lawyers engaged in furtherance of such objectives through educational programs and other assistance, to promote justice and the common good; 


(b)  To promote study and research in the field of criminal defense law and the related arts; 


(c)  To disseminate by lecture, seminars, and publications, the advancement of knowledge of the law as it relates and is ancillary to the field of criminal defense practice; 


(d)  To promote and lobby in favor of the proper administration of criminal justice; 


(e)  To foster, maintain and encourage the integrity, independence, and expertise of defense lawyers in criminal cases; and, 


(f)  To foster periodic meetings of defense lawyers and to provide a forum for material exchange of information regarding the administration of criminal justice 


and thereby concern itself with the protection of individual rights and the improvement of criminal law, its practices and procedures.

ARTICLE III

MEMBERSHIP AREAS

Section 1. Membership Areas

Effective on the June 23, 2006, or at such earlier time as the Board of Directors may vote to implement and cause this provision to become effective, the following membership areas shall exist in the State of Alabama:

District I – shall include the following counties: (Huntsville area)

Colbert
DeKalb
Franklin
Jackson
Lauderdale
Lawrence
Limestone
Madison
Marshall
Morgan
 
District II – shall include the following counties: (Birmingham area)
Blount
Calhoun
Cherokee
Clay
Cleburne
Cullman
Etowah
Jefferson
Marion
Randolph
Shelby
St. Clair
Talladega
Winston
 
District III – shall include the following counties: (Montgomery area)
Autauga
Bullock
Butler
Chambers
Chilton
Coosa
Crenshaw
Dallas
Elmore
Lee

Lowndes
Macon
Montgomery
Pike

Russell
Tallapoosa
Wilcox
 
District IV – shall include the following counties: (Mobile area)
Baldwin
Choctaw
Clarke
Conecuh
Escambia
Mobile
Monroe
Washington
District V – shall include the following counties: (Dothan area)
Barbour
Coffee
Coffee
Covington
Dale
Geneva
Henry
Houston
 
District VI – shall include the following counties: (Tuscaloosa area)
Bibb
Fayette
Greene
Hale
Lamar
Marengo
Perry
Pickens
Sumter
Tuscaloosa
Walker

 

ARTICLE IV

MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Application for Membership

(a)  Membership in the Association shall be by application made on a form prescribed by the Board of Directors. Each applicant must be endorsed by one voting member of the Association.

(b)  All applicants for membership must be accompanied by the payment of the appropriate dues and must be approved by the Board of Directors unless this responsibility has been delegated to the President or a Membership Committee. 


(c)  All memberships, with the exception of Life and Honorary Memberships are on a fiscal basis, which begins on January 1st and ends on the following December 31st. 


 

Section 2. Membership Eligibility

(a)  A member of the State Bar of Alabama who is engaged in the defense of criminal cases is eligible to apply for membership in the Association as a Regular Member. 


(b)  A member of the State Bar of Alabama who holds judicial or prosecutorial office or is regularly employed in a prosecutorial office is ineligible to become or remain a member of the Association. 


(c)  A member of the Bar of any state in the Union whose principal occupation consists of defending criminal cases in any Federal District Court within the State of Alabama is eligible to apply for membership in the Association as a member. Such person, upon acceptance in to the Association, may remain a member subject to all of the same terms and conditions as other members, for so long as his or her principal occupation continues unchanged. 


(d)  Persons of integrity and high ethical standards who are not actively involved as attorneys in the defense of criminal cases, but whose duties and responsibilities are part of, or contribute to, the defense of criminal cases and the goals of the Association.

(e) Persons who are enrolled in a law school located within the State of Alabama


Section 3 Charter Members


The Charter Members of the Association shall consist of those persons who contributed $50 or more toward the establishment of the Association.

Section 4. Student Members

Any person who is a student of a law school is eligible for membership as a student member upon payment of the annual dues which are set out in these By-laws.

Section 5. New Lawyer Members


Any person who has been a member of the State Bar for less than three years and is admitted to membership shall be eligible to become a New Lawyer Member upon payment of the annual dues which are set out in these Bylaws. Each New Lawyer shall be entitled to all voting rights and other rights of membership. In addition, each New Lawyer Member shall be entitled to attend all seminars of the Association at a reduced registration fee.

Section 6. Regular Members


Any person who has been a member of the State Bar for three years or more and is admitted to membership shall be eligible to become a Regular Member upon payment of the annual dues which are set out in these Bylaws. Each Regular Member shall be entitled to all voting rights and other rights of membership. In addition, each Regular Member shall be entitled to attend all seminars of the Association at a rate to be established by the Board. Regular memberships shall be available to all private attorneys and public defenders who regularly engage in the defense of criminal cases. .

Section 7. President’s Club Members


Any person who is admitted to membership as a Regular Member shall be eligible to become a President’s Club member upon payment of the annual dues as set out in these Bylaws. Each President’s Club member shall be entitled to all voting rights and other rights of Regular Members. Each President’s Club member shall be given one free CLE of his or her choice each year.

Section 8. Foreign Members


An attorney in good standing who has been admitted to practice law in a jurisdiction other than Alabama, and who is otherwise eligible under the terms of these Bylaws for membership, may upon presentation and approval of an application for membership be admitted to a non-voting membership by the payment of the dues which are set out in these Bylaws and shall be designated a Foreign Member.

Section 9. Lifetime Members


Any person who is admitted to membership as a Regular Member shall be eligible to become a Lifetime Member upon the payment of the annual dues which are set out in these Bylaws. Each Lifetime Member shall be entitled to all voting rights and other rights of Regular Members. Each Lifetime Member shall be given an attractive framed membership certificate suitable for hanging in a law office which designates him or her as a Lifetime Member. Lifetime Members shall be entitled to attend all seminars, workshops or CLEs of the Association without paying a registration fee.

Section 10. Honorary Members


A person who has made an outstanding contribution to the public welfare and aided in the achievement of the goals of this Association may be elected an Honorary Member of the Association by an affirmation vote of a majority of the Board of Directors. Honorary Membership shall extend for an indefinite period and is not limited to persons admitted to practice in Alabama. Honorary Members shall not be obligated to pay dues and shall not be entitled to vote; however, if an Honorary Member does elect to pay dues, he shall be entitled to vote.

Section 11. Associate Members


Persons of integrity and high ethical standards who are not actively engaged as attorneys in the defense of criminal cases, but whose duties and responsibilities are part of, or contribute to, the defense of criminal cases and the goals of the Association. Such members might include, but not be limited to experts, paralegals, vendors and investigators. This member receives publications and discounts to all CLEs but does not participate on the listserv and is not entitled to vote.

Section 12. Voting Privileges


All dues-paying members, who are members of the State Bar of Alabama, are entitled to vote in any of the Association’s proceedings

Section 13. Revocation of Membership


Any membership may be revoked for cause by a vote, after notice and hearing, calling for such revocation of three-fourths of the total membership of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE V

FINANCES

Section 1. Annual Dues


The annual dues for membership may range from a minimum of $75.00 to a $7,500.00 maximum for the various categories of membership. All dues shall be payable annually on the 1st day of November. Any member whose annual dues are not paid by January 1 shall cease to be a member of the Association in good standing.

 

Section 2. Dues Schedule


The dues for various memberships in the Association shall be as follows:

(1)  President’s Club Members - $600 


(2)  Lifetime Members - $7,500 paid in 5 one-year installments ($7,000 lump sum) 


(3)  Student Members - $15

(4)  Associate, Honorary, or Foreign Members - $150 


(5) Lawyers (Private/PD)

         0-2      $75

         3-10     $150

         11+     $200

 

Section 3. Voluntary Assessments


Voluntary Assessments are permitted with each dues statement which support extraordinary expenses related to the Association’s legislative program. These volunteer check-off donations are not considered PAC funds and could not be used for political campaigns, but solely for offsetting lobbyist expenses and those activities directly related to ACDLA lobbying efforts. These donations are not considered part of the Associations’ dues and are not mandatory to remain in good membership status with the Association.

ARTICLE VI

MEETINGS

Section 1. Annual Meeting


The annual meeting of the Association shall be held at a time and place fixed by the Board of Directors.

Section 2. Special Meetings


Special meetings of the members of the Association may be held as the Board of Directors shall deem necessary, at a time and place fixed by the Board of Directors.

 

Section 3. Notice of Meetings

(a)  Notice of the annual meeting shall be given to each member at least 30 days in advance of the meeting. 


(b)  Written notice of a special meeting shall be mailed to each member at least ten days but not more than 30 days in advance of the meeting together with the purpose and proposed agenda for the meeting. 


Section 4. Quorum


Those voting members present at any annual or special meeting of the Association shall constitute a quorum of the Association for the transaction of business at such meeting.

ARTICLE VII

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1. Powers and Membership

(a)  The business and affairs of this Association shall be managed by a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall consist of the elected officers of the Association and the two next most immediate past Presidents of the Association. 


(b)  There shall be District Vice Presidents for each of the six areas designated in Section I of Article III. There shall be two District Vice Presidents for each area designated in Section 1 of Article III with seventy-five (75) members or more. There shall be one District Vice President for each area designated in Section I Article III with seventy-four (74) or less members. The District Vice Presidents shall be elected by the Board of Directors. 


(c)  There shall be a Public Defender Organization Vice President. The Public Defender Organization Vice President shall be elected from among the members working in public defender organizations by the Board of Directors. 


Section 2. Regular Meetings

The Board of Directors shall hold regular quarterly meetings at such time and place designated by the President with the concurrence of a majority of the Executive Committee.

Section 3. Special Meetings

The Board of Directors shall hold such special meetings as may be called by the President upon written request or at least four members of the Board of Directors.

Section 4. Notice

The Secretary of the Association shall notify the Directors of each regular and special meeting by motion given at least seven days in advance of the date of the meeting along with a proposed agenda.

Section 5. Quorum

A quorum for the transaction of business shall be five members of the Board of Directors of the Association.

Section 6. Organization

The President of the Association shall serve as Chairman of the meetings of the Board of Directors. In the absence of the President, the President-elect shall serve as Chairman.

Section 7. Procedure

The Board of Directors may act at meetings or by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the Executive Director of the Association.

Section 8. Vacancies

In the event of death, resignation, or removal of an officer of the Association other than the President, the vacancy may be filled by appointment by the President, subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors. Confirmation or rejection may, at the option of the President, be either by a majority vote of the quorum of the Directors or by a poll of the directors by mail. In the latter event, the failure of any director to send in his vote within ten days after the poll is placed in the mail to him shall be counted as a vote for confirmation.

Section 9. Removal

An elected officer or director may be removed for cause by a vote calling for such removal by three-quarters vote of the members of the Board of Directors, after notice and hearing. Cause for removal includes failure to attend two consecutive meetings of the Board of Directors without good cause. The Board of Directors shall determine whether or not the Director had “good cause” for his failure to attend.

Section 10. Executive Committee

The President, subject to approval of the Board of Directors, shall appoint an Executive Committee including the President, Vice President, and two members of the Board ofDirectors. The Executive Committee shall have such powers and duties as are provided in these Bylaws and as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE VIII

OFFICERS

Section 1. Officers

The officers of the Association shall consist of a President, a President-Elect, and Vice President, and District Vice Presidents from each of the areas designated in Article III, Section 1, a Secretary and a Treasurer.

Section 2. Appointment of Executive Director

Upon recommendation of the President, the Board of Directors may appoint an Executive Director. If appointed he or she shall serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors and be paid such salary and benefits as set by the Board of Directors.

Section 3. Duties of the President

The President is the chief executive officer of the Association, and it is his responsibility to effectively supervise, coordinate, and help carry out the activities and programs of the Association and to preside at its meetings. The President shall also preside at meetings of the Board of Directors.

Section 4. Duties of the President-Elect

The President-Elect shall perform such duties as the President may delegate to him and such duties as the Board of Directors may assign him. Generally, the President-Elect shall assist the President in performing the duties of his office and shall fully inform himself of the activities of the Association. In the event of the absence or disability of the President, the President-Elect shall preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Board of Directors and shall perform all other duties of the President. The President-Elect shall take an active part in the affairs of the Association during his term in office. The President shall utilize the services of the President-Elect, and the President-Elect shall join with the President in carrying out an effective program. In the event of the death or resignation of the President, the President-Elect shall automatically become President of the Association and shall hold office during the remainder of his term as President-Elect and during his one year term as President.

Section 5. Duties of the Vice President

The Vice President shall assist the President and President-Elect in the performance of their duties and shall perform other duties as may be prescribed for him by the Board of Directors. In case of the absence or disability of the President or the President-Elect, he shall preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Board of Directors and shall perform all other duties of the President and President-Elect. In the case of the death or resignation of the President and President-Elect, the Vice President shall become President and hold office until his successor is elected and qualified.

Section 6. Duties of the District Vice Presidents

A District Vice President shall be elected from each of the Districts set out in Article III Section 1. These District Vice Presidents shall serve in a liaison capacity (1) between the Association and its members in such District, (2) between the Association and other criminal defense lawyers in said District, and (3) between the Association and the judiciary in said District. The District Vice Presidents shall also perform such additional duties as are assigned by the Board of Directors.

Section 7. Duties of the Secretary

The Secretary of the Association shall attend the meetings of the Association and shall be responsible for seeing that minutes of these meetings are maintained and that other necessary records of the Association are kept. The Secretary shall also perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Board of Directors.

Section 8. Duties of the Treasurer

The Treasurer shall oversee the collection of moneys due the Association and the payment of obligations of the Association in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall serve in his/her position for a term of four years and may be elected to that position for consecutive terms at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

Section 9. Duties of the Executive Director

The Executive Director shall be hired by, report to, and be supervised by the Board of Directors. The primary responsibilities of this person shall be to do all things necessary to:

(a)  Assist the officers and other members of the Board of Directors in the performance of their duties. 


(b)  Communicate with and coordinate all activities of the Board of Directors and ACDLA Committees. 


(c)  Help plan and coordinate CLE seminars. 


(d)  Edit and produce the Association newsletter. 


(e)  Act as liaison with the community, government agencies, and other bar associations. 


(f)  Monitor news in the criminal justice field. Maintain and develop knowledge and expertise in local, state and national criminal justice issues and trends through reading, attending conferences, and networking with other professionals in the field. 


(g)  Performing general office duties including picking up the mail, answering the phone, disseminating and responding to correspondence, filling resource orders, as needed. 


(h)  Attending all meetings of the Board of Directors. 


(i)  Facilitating the printing and distribution of mail, notices, and publications of the Association. 


ARTICLE IX

ELECTIONS 


Section 1. Election

At each annual meeting, the Association shall elect officers to take office immediately after adjournment of the Annual Meeting. The officers are to serve for one-year or until their successors take office, however, the President-Elect , after having served his one- year in that capacity shall automatically become President of the Association and shall serve in that capacity for one year.

            The office of the Treasurer shall serve for a period of four years and shall stand for election every fourth year.

 

Section 2. Nominating Committee

Prior to the annual meeting of the Association, the President shall appoint a Nominating Committee of at least three members of the Association. The Chairman of the Nominating Committee shall be designated by the President. The Nominating Committee shall make and report to the membership at or before the annual meeting its nominations for the officers.

Section 3. Nominations


A voting member may nominate a qualified member for an office from the floor.

Section 4. Procedure

Election shall be by a majority vote of the voting members present and voting at each annual meeting. Upon demand by any members present, the election shall be by secret ballot.

ARTICLE X

POLICIES OF THE CORPORATION AND POLLING OF THE MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Pronouncement of Declaration of Policy

No member of the Association shall officially make any pronouncement or declaration on a question of policy until it has been authorized by the Board of Directors except as provided in Section 2.

Section 2. Special Circumstances

When, in the President’s discretion, he determines that it is necessary to make a pronouncement or declaration of policy and the circumstances do not permit a meeting or poll of the Board of Directors, he may, after obtaining the consent of a majority of the Executive Committee by telephone or otherwise, make the pronouncement or declaration.

Section 3. Inauguration of Poll

The Board of Directors may on its own motion, or shall upon presentment to the Board of a petition requesting such action and signed by at least fifty voting members, poll the membership of the Association on any question.

Section 4. Polling Procedure

The Secretary or the Executive Director shall take a poll of the membership by mailing the inquiries necessary to obtain the information designed and canvassing the votes on the poll at least then, but not more than fourteen days after the mailing of the inquiries.

ARTICLE XI

COMMITTEES

Section 1. Standing Committees - There shall be the following standing committees:

(a) Membership

(b) Legislative


(c) Publications

(d) Amicus Curiae

(e) CLE

(f) Motions

(g) Budget

.     

Section 2. Special Committees

There shall be such special or study committees as determined necessary by the President or the Board of Directors.

Section 3. Appointments

The President shall appoint the membership of each committee and designate the chairman of each committee.

ARTICLE XII

AMENDMENT

These Bylaws may be amended at any annual meeting of the Association, provided the Board of Directors adopts a resolution which sets forth the proposed amendment and copies of the proposed amendment are sent to the membership at least fifteen (15) days prior to the annual convention, and provided a majority of the members present vote in favor of the amendment.