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ENVIRONMENTAL LAW BY-LAWS

Article I
Name and Jurisdiction

Section 1. Name. The name of this Section shall be the Section of Environmental Law.

Section 2.  Purpose. The purpose of this Section shall be to promote the objectives of the Alabama State Bar within the field of environmental law not assigned by the Board of Bar Commissioners of the Alabama State Bar to any other Section or to a Committee or Task Force of the Alabama State Bar.

Article II
Membership and Dues

Section 1.  Membership. Any active member of the Alabama State Bar Association who is in good standing upon request to the Alabama State Bar and upon payment of the Section dues for the current year, shall be enrolled as a member of this Section.  Members so enrolled shall constitute the membership of this Section, and shall be a member in good standing.

Section 2.  Dues.  The amount of the dues shall be fixed by the membership of the section at a regular annual meeting.

Article III
Officers

Section 1.  Officers.  The officers of this Section shall be a Chairperson, a Chairperson-Elect, a Vice-Chairperson, a Secretary and a Treasurer.

Section 2.  Executive Committee.  There shall be an executive committee which shall consist of the Chairperson, Chairperson - Elect, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, the immediate past Chairperson, together with no less than fifteen (15) and no more than twenty-one (21) other members.  Members of the Executive Committee, other than officers, shall serve terms of three years with one-third of the Executive Committee positions to be elected annually.  Nominations to fill those seats on the Executive Committee becoming available annually, or in the event of a vacancy occurring for any other reason, shall be made by those remaining members of the Executive Committee whose terms are not scheduled to expire.  Following nominations, all vacant positions on the Executive Committee shall be filled by a majority vote of those same members of the Executive Committee.  Terms for members of the Executive Committee shall commence on July 1 of the beginning of the three-year term, and shall end on June 30 of the third succeeding  year.  In the event that an appointment is made to fill an unexpired term, the appointment shall be effective for the remaining period of the term.  Individuals may serve no more than three successive terms on the Executive Committee.  This limitation shall not count any period during which the individual was a member of the Executive Committee by virtue of serving as an officer of the Section.

Section 3.  Term of  Office.  The Chairperson, Chairperson Elect, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer, shall be nominated and elected in the manner hereinafter provided at each annual meeting of this Section, to hold office for a term beginning at the close of the annual meeting at which they shall have been elected and ending at the close of the next succeeding annual meeting of the Section, or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified.

Article IV
Nomination, Election and Removal of Officers and Members of the Executive Committee

Section 1.  Nominations.  In order to maintain continuity and assure effective coordination and leadership of the Section, officership shall progress by way of succession from Treasurer through Chairperson on an annual basis.  At the end of the Section year, the Chair shall vacate his or her position and the Chair-Elect shall become the Section Chair.  At that time, the Vice-Chair shall ascend to the position of Chair-Elect, the Secretary shall become Vice-Chair, and the Treasurer shall assume the duties of the office of Secretary.  Accordingly, a new person shall be elected to the office of Treasurer each year, and thus begin the process of succession.  At the annual meeting, or before at the Chair's sole discretion, the Chair shall compile and provide to the Executive Committee a list of nominations for the position of Treasurer, any other vacant officer positions, and for the positions on the Executive Committee which are or are about to become vacant.  Other nominations may be made by any member of the Executive Committee during a meeting of that Committee as set forth in Section 2 of Article III.

Section 2.  Elections.  All elections shall be by written ballot unless otherwise ordered by resolution duly adopted by the Executive Committee at the annual meeting at which the election is held.

Section 3. Removal.  The Executive Committee may remove any officer or any member of the Executive Committee, with or without cause, at any time by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Executive Committee.  If any office or any position on the Executive Committee shall be vacated, the Executive Committee shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term in accordance with the provisions of Article VI §3, unless the Executive Committee affirmatively votes otherwise.

Article V
Duties of Officers

Section 1.  Chairperson.  The Chairperson shall be the chief executive officer of the Section and shall have charge of the general direction and promotion of its affairs, with authority to do such acts as are necessary or proper to carry on the business of the Section, including without limitation:

  1. presiding at all meetings of the Section and of the Executive Committee;

  2. formulating and presenting at each annual meeting of the Alabama State Bar a report of the work of the Section for the immediate past year if requested to do so by the President of the Bar;

  3. appointing such committees as are required or otherwise permitted by these By-laws;

  4. appointing members of the Section to act as liaison to groups and organizations as appropriate; and

  5. performing such other duties as are delegated by the Executive Committee.

Section 2.  Chairperson-Elect.  Upon the death, resignation, or during the disability of the Chairperson, or upon the Chairperson’s refusal to act, the Chairperson Elect shall perform the duties of the Chairperson for the remainder of the Chairperson’s term except in the case of the Chairperson’s disability and then only during so much of the term as the disability continues.  In addition to the foregoing, it shall be the primary responsibility of the Chairperson-Elect to organize and coordinate the Section's annual seminar program and related continuing legal education activities.

Section 3.  Vice-Chairperson.  Upon the death, resignation, or during the disability of the Chairperson and Chairperson-Elect, or upon the Chairperson and Chairperson-Elect's refusal to act, the Vice-Chairperson shall perform the duties of the Chairperson.  In order to assure the greater continuity of the functioning of the Section, it shall be the duty of the Vice-Chairperson to collect and organize all available information essential and important to the appointment of committees, to act as the Chairperson Elect in the event of a vacancy in that position, and to exercise such other duties as are assigned by the Chairperson, the Chairperson-Elect, or the Executive Committee.

Section 4.  Secretary.  The Secretary shall be the custodian of all books, papers, documents, and other property of the Section, except funds and membership records.  The Secretary shall keep a true record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Section and of the Executive Committee, whether assembled or acting under submission.  The Secretary shall issue notices of all meetings of the Executive Committee and of the Section.  The Secretary, in conjunction with the Chairperson, as authorized by the Executive Committee, shall attend generally to the business of the Section and shall perform other such duties as are incidental to the Secretary’s office or as delegated to the Secretary by the Chairperson.

Section 5.  Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall be the general custodian of all funds of the Section and shall maintain the Section’s membership records.  The Treasurer shall keep an accurate record of all moneys received, appropriated to, and expended for the use of the Section.  At such times as may be requested by the Chairperson, or the Alabama State Bar, the Treasurer shall render an account of all the Treasurer’s transactions as Treasurer and of the financial condition of the Section.  The treasurer shall perform other such duties as are incidental to the Treasurer’s office or which may be delegated to the Treasurer by the Chairperson.

Article VI
Duties and Powers of the Executive Committee

Section 1.  General Duties and Powers.  The Executive Committee shall have general supervision and control of the affairs of the Section, subject to the direction of the Board of Commissioners of the State Bar, and these By-Laws.  During the interval between meetings of the Section, the Executive Committee shall have full authority to act for the Section in any way in which the Section itself would be authorized to act, and any such action taken by the Executive Committee pursuant to this provision shall be reported to the members of the Section at the next meeting of the Section.  The Executive Committee shall authorize all commitments or contracts which shall entail the payment of money, and shall authorize the expenditures of all moneys appropriated for the use of benefit of the Section.  The Executive Committee may delegate the authority to authorize commitments or contracts to the Chairperson and Treasurer acting in concert.  It shall not, however, authorize commitments or contracts which shall entail the payment of more money during any fiscal year that the amount which shall have been previously received or appropriated to the Section for such fiscal year.

Section 2.  Appointment of Committees.  The Executive Committee may authorize the Chairperson to appoint committees from the Section members to perform such duties and exercise such powers as the Executive Committee may direct, subject to the limitations of these By-Laws and the direction of the Board of Commissioners of the Alabama State Bar.

Section 3.  Filling of Vacancies.  The Executive Committee, shall fill vacancies in its own membership or in the offices of the Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, or Secretary-Treasurer.  In the event of a vacancy in both the offices of Chairperson and Chairperson Elect, the Executive Committee may fill the vacancy in the office of Chairperson.  Members of the Executive Committee and officers, so elected shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term of the vacancy.

Section 4.  Quorum and Voting.  Members of the Executive Committee may participate in Executive Committee meetings either in person or by telephone.  A majority of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.  The Executive Committee may take binding action by a majority vote of those participating in a meeting during which a quorum of the Executive Committee is participating.

Section 5.  Informal Action.  The Chairperson of the Section may, or 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 the Executive Committee, any proposition upon which the Executive Committee may be authorized to act.  The members of the Executive Committee may vote upon such proposition so submitted by communicating their vote thereon in writing, by facsimile, or by electronic mail to the Secretary, who shall record upon the minutes each proposition so submitted, when, how, at whose request same was submitted, and the vote of each member of the Executive Committee thereon, and keep on file such written and signed votes.  In such event, a majority vote of the Executive Committee shall constitute the binding action of the Executive Committee.

Article VII
Committees

Section 1.  Eligibility, Appointment, and Meetings.  All members appointed to Committees shall be members in good standing of the Section.  The chair of each committee will be appointed by the Chairperson of the Section, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee.  The chair of each committee shall decide the appropriate number of members to serve on his or her committee and shall appoint such members with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee. Meetings shall be at such time and place as designated by the chair.

Section 2.  Executive Committee Approval.  No recommendation of any committee may be adopted by this Section without the prior approval of the Executive Committee.

Section 3.  Legislative and Special Purposes Standing Committee.  There shall be a standing committee designated as the Legislative and Special Purposes Committee of this Section.  It shall consist of the Chairperson and such other officers and as many members with terms as fixed by the Executive Committee at the annual meeting.  The chairman and members of this committee shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Section, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee.  For purposes of continuity, preference for membership shall be given to former Section Chairpersons and former members of the Executive Committee.  This committee shall report to the Section at each annual meeting all matters of legislation enacted or under consideration by the Legislature of Alabama that is within the jurisdiction of this Section, together with any proposals for legislation in the field of law within the scope of this Section.  The Committee shall perform such other duties as are delegated to it by the Executive Committee.

Section 4.  Significant  Decisions Standing Committee.  There shall be a standing committee designated as the Significant Decisions Standing Committee of this Section.  It shall consist of the Chairperson and such other officers and as many members with terms as fixed by the Executive Committee at the annual meeting.  The chairman and members of this committee shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Section, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee.  This committee shall report to the Section at its annual meeting all significant decisions by the courts within the jurisdiction of this Section. The Committee shall perform such other duties as are delegated to it by the Executive Committee.

Article VIII
Meetings

Section 1.  Annual Meeting. The annual meeting of the Section shall be held at the time and place of the annual convention of the Alabama State Bar or at such other time and place as the Executive Committee may determine, upon such written notice as prescribed by the Executive Committee. 

Section 2.  Special Meetings.  A special meeting of the Section may be called by the Chairperson upon approval of a majority of the Executive Committee, at such time and place as the Executive Committee may determine, upon such written notice as prescribed by the Executive Committee.

Section 3.  Quorum.  The members of the Section present at any meeting shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Section 4.  Voting.  All binding action of the Section shall be by a majority vote of the members present.

Article IX Miscellaneous Provisions

Section 1.  Fiscal Year.  The fiscal year of the Section shall be July 1 through June 30.

Section 2.  Approval of Section Liabilities.  All bills incurred by the Section, before being paid by the Treasurer or the Alabama State Bar, shall be approved by the Chairperson or such other person as the Executive Committee or the Alabama State Bar may direct.

Section 3.  Compensation.  No salary or compensation shall be paid to any officer or member of the Executive Committee.

Section 4.  Section Action Effective as Bar Action.  Any action of the Section must be approved by the Board of Bar Commissioners of the State Bar before the same becomes effective as the action of the Alabama State Bar.  Any resolution adopted or action taken by this Section may, on request of the Section, be reported by the Chairperson of the Section to any meeting of the Board of Bar Commissioners for its action thereon.

Section 5.  Effective Date of By-Laws.  These By-Laws shall become effective upon approval by the Board of Bar Commissioners.

Article X Amendments

Section 1. Amendments.  These By-Laws may be amended at any annual meeting of the Section by a majority vote of the Executive Committee present and voting, provided that no amendment so adopted shall become effective until approved by the Board of Commissioners of the Alabama State Bar.

 

For further information, contact Sections at (334) 269-1515 or Christina Butler