BY-LAWS FOR NETWORK OF BAR LEADERS
ADOPTED JANUARY 13, 1981, AS AMENDED
APRIL 13, 1983, JUNE 26, 1984,
NOVEMBER 2, 1985, JANUARY 14, 1987,
JUNE 1998 & NOVEMBER 1, 2005
Whereas, it is desirable that a forum be established for improved and expanded communication among the various local county, minority, ethnic, specialty and women's bar associations in the greater New York Metropolitan area, concerning matters of importance to the legal profession and the public,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Network of Bar Leaders be established, as follows:
ARTICLE 1. NAME AND PRINCIPAL OFFICE
The organization will be called the “Network of Bar Leaders” (hereinafter the “Network”). The principal place of business of the Network will be through the Public Relations Office at the New York County Lawyers' Association or such other location as the Executive Council shall choose.
ARTICLE II. MISSION
The purposes of the Network are to promote the objectives and purposes of the respective member bar associations and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas of mutual interest to Metropolitan Bar Associations; to develop a cordial relationship and spirit of unity and common understanding between the various member bar associations for the benefit of the public and the profession; to secure a closer coordination of the bar activities of the various member bar associations; to sponsor events and to take positions in the name of the Network and to advance commonly shared views pertaining to the administration of justice, both civil and criminal, pertaining to the delivery to the public of legal services and bearing upon the public image of the judicial system and of the Bar.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
Network shall be open to designated representatives of eligible bar associations, as set forth hereinafter:
- QUALIFIED MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS. Eligible bar associations shall include the county bar associations from each of the five counties comprising the City of New York, the county bar associations of Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk County, and other bar associations and bar groups, including specialized bar associations with 50 [fifty] or more attorney members in good standing, provided such bar groups or associations shall apply and be accepted by the Network as participants.
- NEW MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS. Any bar association seeking admission shall submit a request in writing, which shall be voted upon at the next regular meeting of the Network. A majority of the present representatives shall be required for the acceptance of any new applicant after it is shown that they meet all other requirements.
- INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS. Eligible representatives will include the President, the Vice-Presidents or President-Elect and the immediate Past President of all qualified member organization, that have accepted the rights and obligations of participation in the Network, for so long as such acceptance continues in effect. The President of any qualified member organization may, in writing, designate a representative who, in the absence of an otherwise eligible representative, is authorized to act on behalf of such association for specified meetings. Such designee is eligible to serve in any office in the administration of Network.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS OF NETWORK
- OFFICERS. The President, two Vice-Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer, together with up to seven additional members, shall constitute the Executive Council and will administer The Network.
- TERM OF OFFICE. Each officer will be elected for a term of one (1) year. The term of office shall run from July 1 to June 30. A representative eligible at the time of nomination or election shall remain eligible for participation in the Network during such term of office, and for any re-elected term. Officers of members of the executive council shall not be charged as a representative of their respective qualified association but will be counted as a member at large.
- REPLACING OFFICERS WHO ARE UNABLE TO SERVE. In the event that any officer resigns, fails to, or is unable to complete the balance of his or her elected term, an election shall be held to fill the vacancy. Any officer elected under this provision shall serve out the balance of the term of his or her predecessor.
- ROTATION OF EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS. To afford an opportunity for increased participation of member organizations on the Executive Council, there will be a policy of rotation of the non-officer Executive Council positions among the member bar associations, with no non-officer executive council member from a bar association serving more than two consecutive years. Those members of the Executive Council who rotate off shall be recognized for their service to Network at the annual Meet and Greet reception and they remain eligible for reappointment in the future.
- PAST PRESIDENTS. Past Presidents of Network are ex-officio non-voting members of the Executive Council and emeritus members of the network.
- ELECTIONS AND NOMINATIONS. It is the policy of Network that there is no automatic ladder of succession to any position. Rather, each year candidates for all officers will be evaluated based on their interest and participation in Network activities. During the year, the President shall appoint a nominating committee. It shall be comprised of the Hon. Harold Baer as founder, two immediate past presidents, and two members appointed by the president. The President shall chair the committee but will not have a vote on nominations unless a tie exists. The results of the nominating committee shall be announced no later than the April meeting and elections shall be held at the May meeting or any adjourned date thereafter. At the election meeting, the selections of the nominating committee shall be nominated and any additional nominations shall be entertained from the floor.
ARTICLE V. MEETINGS
The Network will meet at least quarterly, and more frequently on the call of the President or a majority of the Executive Council, but only on a minimum of five (5) days notice. The association shall not meet during the summer months of July and August unless a special meeting is called, and it is suggested that the first meeting of each year be a “Meet and Greet” for new Presidents and representatives, and the last meeting shall be the installation of New Officers. A quorum at any membership meeting shall consist of one-third (1/3) of the number of qualified member associations in good standing.
ARTICLE VI. FUNDING OF THE NETWORK
- ANNUAL DUES. Funds to manage the Network and execute its work will be contributed annually from each Association as follows:
Association of the Bar of the City of New York……………$500.00
County Bar Associations……………………………………..$250.00
Specialized Bar Associations………………………………..$125.00
- USE OF FUNDS. No portion of the income of the organization shall inure to the benefit of any member.
- DISSOLUTION. Upon dissolution, all assets of the organization remaining after the payment of debts shall be distributed to non-profit organizations designated by a majority of the members, provided, however, only organizations which are then qualified under the provisions of Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code to receive contributions on a tax-free basis may be designated.
- FISCAL YEAR. The fiscal year of the Network shall be the calendar year for all purposes.
ARTICLE VII. ACTIONS BY THE NETWORK
- FULL VOTE RESOLUTIONS. One method by which Network may voice its collective opinion to the legal community is by a FULL VOTE of Network. A FULL VOTE RESOLUTION voices the opinion of the qualified member associations. A FULL VOTE of the Network, requires a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members present, provided there is a quorum. Each member Association will have one vote, and their representatives shall determine among themselves how the vote is cast. If the representatives of a qualified association cannot reach a consensus, the President of the Association or his or her appointed representative shall cast the vote. For any FULL VOTE RESOLUTION, any Bar Association represented at the vote shall have the right to cast a dissenting vote, which will be noted in any report of the results of the vote and will be afforded equal publicity by Network. Additionally, any of the County Bar Associations has the right to veto the resolutions with respect to positions or issues. For the purposes of this paragraph, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York will be deemed a County Bar Association. When a FULL VOTE is proposed, any qualified member association may ask for time to consult with his or her Association, Executive Committee or Board, and the vote on the matter or issue will be tabled to the next meeting, or at the member’s discretion. If a FULL VOTE is time sensitive as determined by a majority of the qualified associations present, at a member’s request, that member association can defer their vote for ten (10) business days to report his or her vote to the Network secretary and no final results will be announced until the end of such period. Failure to contact the Network secretary in the appropriate time will result in the vote being counted as an abstention.
- CONSENSUS RESOLUTION. As an alternative method of voting, the Network can reach a consensus resolution, which requires a simple majority of the members then present. All qualified members are permitted to cast a consensus vote, with the understanding that any such vote in no way reflects the opinions or views of the qualified membership associations but only a consensus of the designated bar leaders present and voting. All Consensus resolutions shall contain a statement that the vote in no way reflects the view of the actual member bar associations. A CONSENSUS RESOLUTION can be proposed and voted upon, even if a similar resolution has been proposed as a FULL VOTE and been tabled.
ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS
These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote at a properly called meeting, provided notice of any proposed amendment has been given at least three days before the meeting.