Alabama State Bar
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THE FAMILY LAW BY-LAWS

Article I: Name and Jurisdiction

Section 1. Name. The name of this Section shall be THE FAMILY LAW SECTION of the Alabama State Bar (hereinafter referred to as "Section").

Section 2. "Section 2. Purpose. The purpose of this Section shall be to promote the objects of the Alabama State Bar within the field of family 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.

Section 3. "Section 3. Mission. The mission of this Section shall be:

To encourage and support a high level of professional and ethical commitment and expertise among those who practice family law in all its substantive branches;

To remain sensitive to the changing needs and mores of families and individual .family members in our society; and

To respond, through reasoned efforts directed toward the appropriate branch of government, und bar and/or the public;

To accomplish understanding of the law as it exists and is applied, or change of that law, where it is needed.

Article II: Membership and Dues

Section 1. Membership: Membership shall be defined by the following classes:

(a) Attorney: Any attorney who is a member in good standing of the Alabama State Bar and who has made application for membership in the Section and is current on their dues;

(b) Judge: All current Appellate, Circuit, District and Probate Judges who preside over juvenile, custody, divorce, family law, adoption or domestic relations cases, who are members in good standing of the Alabama State Bar, upon receipt of application, shall become an ex officio non voting member of the Section at no cost.

(c) Associate Members: The Executive Committee is authorized to establish classes of membership for Associate Members of the Section. Associate Members shall be persons who meet the qualifications and election as set by the Executive Committee and approved by the Section at any regular or special meeting of the Section. Associate Members may include legal assistants, non- attorney academic members and others. Each Associate Member may be required to pay annual dues in an amount to be set by the Executive Committee and approved by the Section as provided herein. Associate Members are non voting ex officio members of the Section.

(d) Other Classes: The Executive Committee shall establish other ex officio non voting classes of membership along with their respective qualifications and election requirements. The establishment of said classes shall be approved by the Section membership at any regular or special meeting of the Section. Said other classes may be required to pay annual dues in an amount to be set by the Executive Committee and approved by the Section as provided herein.

Section 2. Election to Membership

(a) Prospective members and ex officio non voting members of the Section shall submit written application for membership, setting forth the qualifications of the applicant, to the Secretary. The Secretary shall thereupon present such application to the Executive Committee, together with any legitimate objections to the membership of the applicant. The Executive Committee shall approve such application, unless it appears to it that the applicant fails to meet -the requirements for membership as set forth in the Section Charter or in these Bylaws.

(b) Each applicant shall' submit dues (if required) for the first year simultaneously with their application for membership, which sum shall be returned to the applicant if for any reason the applicant is found to be unqualified for membership. No application shall be accepted without payment of the first year's dues.

Section 3. Dues. The amount of the dues for each class of membership shall be fixed by the membership at a regular annual meeting and subject to approval by the Board of Bar Commissioners.

Article III: Officers

Section 1. Officers. The minimum officers of this Section shall be a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. All officers of this Section shall be members of the Alabama State Bar.

Section 2. Executive Committee. There shall be an Executive Committee, which shall consist of the elected officers of the Section, the immediate past chairperson of the Section together with up to four other active members (herein referred to as "At- Large" members of the Executive Committee) of the Section, to be elected as hereinafter set forth.

Section 3. Term of Office. The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and the four "At-Large" members of the Executive Committee 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. No officer of the Section, except the Secretary and Treasurer, shall be eligible to succeed themselves in office.

Section 4. Bonding. The Section shall pay for the Officers, Executive Committee, Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer to be bonded for the performance of their official acts and duties.

Article IV: Nomination, Election and Removal of Officers

Section 1. Nominations. Not less than sixty days before the annual meeting, the Chairperson shall appoint a Nomination Committee consisting of the Chairperson, Vice- Chairperson and the immediate past Chairperson of the Section. The Nominating Committee shall make and report to the Section nominations for any offices and places on the Executive Committee held by members whose terms expire with said annual meeting, or for any offices which are then vacant. The Nomination Committee shall make their recommendation not less than 30 days prior to the Annual Meeting. Other nominations may be made by any Section member in writing provided said nominations are received by the Nomination Committee no less than 45 days prior to the annual meeting.

Section 2. Elections. All elections shall be by written ballot unless otherwise ordered by resolution duly adopted by the Section at the annual meeting at which the election is held. Election shall be by simple majority. In the event no one candidate receives a simple majority then, there shall immediately be a run-off election between the two candidates receiving the largest amount of votes for said election.

Section 3. Removal. The Section may remove any elected member of the Executive Committee, with cause, at any time by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Section.

If any elected member of the Executive Committee shall fail to attend two successive meetings of the Executive Committee without a reason sufficient to a majority of the Executive Committee, or if any member of the Executive Committee should resign, or if any member of the Executive Committee has his/her license to practice law in the State of Alabama either suspended or revoked then, the office held by such member shall be declared vacant by the Chairperson of the Section. Should said office be vacated, the Executive Committee, by majority vote, shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.

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:

(a) presiding at all meetings of the Section and of the Executive Committee;

(b) formulating and presenting at each annual meeting of the Alabama State Bar a report of the work of the Section for the then past year if requested to do so by the President of the Bar;

(c) appointing such committees as are required or otherwise permitted by these By-laws;

(d) appointing members of the Section to act as liaison to groups and organizations as appropriate;and

(e) performing such other duties as are delegated by the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Vice-Chairperson. Upon the death, resignation, or during the disability of the Chairperson, or upon the Chairperson's refusal to act, the Vice-Chairperson 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 order to assure the greater continuity of the functioning of the Section, it shall be the duty of the Vice-Chairperson, at the direction of the Chairperson, to collect and organize all available information essential and important to the appointment of committees by the Chairperson. Further, the Vice-Chairperson shall attend all meetings of the Section and of the Executive Committee, and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Chairperson. The Vice-Chairperson shall automatically and without the necessity of further vote become the Chairperson of the Section for the year next succeeding his/her term as Vice- Chairperson.

Section 3. 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 complete roll of members of the Section at all times, which shall show the class of membership as to each member. The Secretary shall keep a record of the membership of all committees at all times. 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 assist the Chairperson in issuing 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 4. Assistant-Secretary. The Executive Committee may, if it deems advisable, appoint an Assistant-Secretary of the Section who shall serve at the pleasure of the Executive Committee and who need not be a member of the Section or of the Alabama State Bar. It shall be the duty of the Assistant-Secretary to assist the Chairperson, Secretary and the Executive Committee. The Assistant-Secretary duties shall be largely clerical in nature. Primary duties shall include assisting the Secretary to keep a record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Section, and of all meetings of the Executive Committee, and of all other matters of which a record shall be ordered the Section or by Executive Committee. The Assistant-Secretary shall assist the Secretary keep a roll of members of the Section at all times, which shall show the class of membership as to each member. The Assistant-Secretary shall keep a record of the membership of all committees at all times. The Assistant-Secretary shall perform such other duties as may be assigned him by the Chairperson, Secretary or Executive Committee. Compensation will be paid out of the funds of the Section to the Assistant- Secretary for services rendered as the Section, or the Executive Committee, may from time to time determine to be reasonable.

Section 5. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall keep a complete roll of the members of the Section at all times. The Treasurer shall collect, and under direction of the Section or the Executive Committee, disburse all funds of the Section. The Treasurer shall keep regular and neat accounts in books owned by the Section, which shall be open to the inspection of any member of the Section at all reasonable times. The Treasurer shall report in writing, at each meeting of the Section and of the Executive Committee, the disposition of funds and the amounts thereof by him/her since last reported, the balance of money on hand, and any existing or contingent appropriations or obligations which may affect the same. At the annual meeting the Treasurer shall make full report of the receipts and disbursements of the past year, properly classified, and of all outstanding obligations of the Section, with an estimate of the resources and probable expenses of the coming year, and any suggestions which he may deem proper to make. The Treasurer's accounts shall be audited by the Executive Committee, or their designee, who shall report thereon at the first meeting succeeding such annual meeting.

The Treasurer with approval of the Executive Committee, shall comply with all Alabama State Bar requirements regarding financial and membership reporting.The Treasurer shall also, at the annual meeting, report dues received and report the number of members whose dues are in arrears more than sixty days.

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.

Section 6. Assistant-Treasurer. The Executive Committee may, if it deems advisable, appoint an Assistant-Treasurer of the Section who shall serve at the pleasure of the Executive Committee and who need not be a member of the Section or of the Alabama State Bar. It shall be the duty of the Assistant-Treasurer to assist the Chairperson, Treasurer and Executive Committee in the performance of their duties. The Assistant-Treasurer's duties shall be largely clerical in nature. The Assistant-Treasurer's primary duties shall include keeping books and the records of the Section, maintaining an up to date roll of members of the Section, the preparation of a statement of a11 dues due and payable, and when approved by the Treasurer, present the same to the members for payment, collect all funds due the Section and promptly deposit the same in the authorized depository. The Assistant-Treasurer shall present all bills to the persons authorized to approve the same for payment and shall submit reports at such times as the Chairperson, Treasurer or Executive Committee may require. The Assistant-Treasurer shall perform such other duties as may be assigned him by the Chairperson, Treasurer or Executive Committee. Compensation will be paid out of the funds of the Section to the Assistant-Treasurer for services rendered as the Section, or the Executive Committee, may from time to time determine to be reasonable.

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 or benefit of the Section. It shall not, however, authorize commitments or contracts which shall entail the payment of more money during any fiscal year than 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, during the interim between annual meetings of the Section, may fill vacancies in its own membership or in the offices of the Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer. In the event of a vacancy in both the offices of Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, the Executive Committee may fill the vacancy in the office of Chairperson. Members of the Executive Committee and officers, so elected shall serve until the close of the next annual meeting of the Section.

Section 4. Meetings, Quorum and Voting. The Executive Committee shall meet regularly at such time and place as its members shall find convenient. Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the Chairperson. The Chairperson shall call a special meeting of the Executive Committee when required to do so by any two members of the Executive Committee. Notice of any regular or special meeting of the Executive Committee shall be given in writing or by electronic means to each member not less than three (3) days before the meeting. The Notice shall state the time, place and purpose, or purposes, for which the meeting is called. Members of the Executive Committee may participate in Executive Committee meetings either in person or by telephone or other electronic means. 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, or other electronic means, 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, Meetings and Scope. All members appointed to Committees shall be members in good standing of the section. The chairperson of each committee will be appointed by the Chairperson of the Section, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee. The chairperson 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 chairperson of said committee or as the Executive Committee may direct. All activities of all committees shall be consistent with and within the framework of actual authority given by the Section, the Executive Committee and the Board of Bar Commissioners of the Alabama State Bar. No activity shall be undertaken by any committee contrary to policies of the Section, the Executive Committee and the Board of Bar Commissioners of the Alabama State Bar. In instances where the function of a committee relates closely to the function of any other committee of this Section or committee of the Alabama State Bar, the committee should coordinate its functions with the similar function of such other structure, so as to avoid duplication of effort.

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 Standing Committee. There shall be a standing committee designated as the Legislative Committee 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. The chairperson 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 each annual meeting all matters of legislation enacted or under consideration by the Legislature of Alabama that is within the scope of this Section, together with any proposals for legislation in the field of law within the scope of this Section. This committee shall perform such other duties as are delegated to it by the Executive Committee. It shall be the function of this committee to consider any and all proposed State and Federal legislation in the area of Family Law and the law of Domestic Relations; to consider the need for change in such law; to coordinate with other structures of the Alabama State Bar and the American Bar Association and directly with the Legislature and the Congress in making known to the Legislature the desires of the Section with regard to such pending legislation and needed legislation. It shall be the further function of this committee to coordinate its activities with appropriate state and federal agencies, so as to establish a community of understanding between the Bar and said agencies.

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. 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 scope of this Section. The Committee shall perform such other duties as are delegated to it by the Executive Committee.

Section 5. Membership Standing Committee. There shall be a standing committee designated as the Membership Standing Committee of this Section. It shall consist of the Chairperson and such other officers and as many members with terms fixed by the Executive Committee. The chairperson and members of this committee shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Section, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee. It shall be the function of the Membership Standing Committee to encourage new membership, to promote interest in the Section on the part of existing members, and to make known to the Section what type of activities are likely to attract interest in the Section.

Section 6. Continuing Legal Education Standing Committee. There shall be a standing committee designated as the Continuing Lega1 Education Standing Committee of this Section. It shall consist of the Chairperson and such other officers and as many members with terms fixed by the Executive Committee. The chairperson and members of this committee shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Section, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee. It shall be the function of the Continuing Legal Standing Committee to, foster and promote such education programs as it may deem appropriate or as directed by the Executive Committee or the Section. It shall be the further function of the Continuing Legal Education Standing Committee to implement the publication of such newsletters, circulars, pamphlets, releases, periodicals, and such other publications as the Section or the Executive Committee shall deem advisable from time to time, and to make recommendations as to what types of publications are needed to the Executive Committee and the Section.

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 excepting the reimbursement or advancement of expenses approved by the Section or the Executive Committee. The Assistant-Secretary and Assistant-Treasurer shall be compensated as provided herein.

Section 4. Awards. On behalf of the Section, the Section or Executive Committee may honor a person or persons by Resolution, Recognition or Award for outstanding accomplishments (i.e.: Lawyer of the Year, Judge of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, and other such recognitions or awards) as deemed appropriate. Said Resolutions, Recognitions and Awards shall be made in the name of the Section. Said Resolutions, Recognitions and Awards shall not be made in the name of the Alabama State Bar without the approval of the Board of Bar Commissioners.

Section 5. Section Action Effective as Bar Action. Any action of the Section, except as provided for herein, 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 6. 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 by a majority vote of the active Section members present and voting at any annual or special meeting of the Section of which meeting at least ten (10) days written notice of the proposed amendment has been previously given, provided such proposed amendment shall first have been approved by a majority of the Executive Committee and provided, further, that no amendment so adopted shall become effective until approved by the Board of Commissioners of the Alabama State Bar."

AS ADOPTED BY THE UNDERSIGNED MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ON MAY 10, 2007; AND, AS AMENDED AND APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF BAR COMMISSIONERS ON JULY 21, 2007.

For further information, contact Sections at (334) 269-1515 or Mary Frances Garner.