COLLABORATIVE LAW SECTION
STATE BAR OF TEXAS
Name and Purpose
Section 1. Name. This Section shall be known as the Collaborative Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.
Section 2. Purpose. The purpose of this Section shall be to: (1) promote the study and use of collaborative law, (2) study and report on laws and decisions as they may affect the rights of parties in the collaborative law process, (3) provide a forum for members of the profession interested in collaborative law, and (4) provide resources and continuing education for attorneys representing clients participating in collaborative law in the state of Texas.
Section 1. Any member of the State Bar of Texas who desires to become a member of this Section shall, upon request to the Secretary of the Section and payment of the annual Section dues, be enrolled as a member. Members so enrolled shall constitute the membership of this Section.
Section 2. Any member of this Section whose annual dues are more than six months delinquent shall automatically cease to be a member.
Officers and Council
Section 1. Designation of Officers. The Officers of this Section shall be a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Vice President – Family Law, a Vice President – Civil Law, a Secretary and a Treasurer.
Section 2. Council. There shall be a Council which shall consist of the Officers of the Section, together with three other members to be elected as hereinafter provided. The Immediate past Chair shall be an ex-officio non-voting member of the Council. The Chair shall have the right to appoint additional ex-officio members to serve during the Chair’s term.
Section 3. Term of Office for Officers. The Officers shall be nominated and elected at an Annual Meeting of this Section in the manner hereinafter provided to hold office for a one-year term beginning at the close of the Annual Meeting of this Section at which they shall have been elected, and ending at the close of the first succeeding Annual Meeting of this Section after such election and until their successors shall have been elected and qualify.
Section 4. Term of Office for Council Members. At the Annual Meeting of this section at which these Bylaws shall have been amended to adopt Section 2 of this Article III in the form appearing herein above, one member of the Council shall be nominated and elected to serve for one year, one for a term of two years, and one for a term of three years. (The word “year” as herein used means a term beginning at the close of the first, second and third succeeding Annual Meetings of this Section, respectively.) Thereafter, upon the expiration of each of these initial terms, one member of the Council shall be elected at each Annual Meeting of this Section, for a term of three years beginning at the close of the Annual Meeting at which they have been elected and ending at the close of the third succeeding Annual Meeting of this Section.
Section 5. Eligibility to Serve on Council. A member of the Council, who is not an officer, is eligible to be elected to the Council for one additional three-year consecutive term. There is no limit on the number of consecutive terms a member of the Council may serve while serving as an Officer, but no Officer other than the Treasurer may serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office. There is no limit on the number of non-consecutive terms a member of the Council may serve.
Section 6. Required Attendance and Filling of Vacancy. If any elected member of the Council shall fail to attend two consecutive meetings of the Council, the office held by such member shall be deemed automatically vacated unless otherwise decided by the Council in its sole and absolute discretion, and the un-expired term shall be filled by the Council.
Nomination and Election of Officers and Council Members
Section 1. Nomination. A nominating committee consisting of the Officers and Council members shall report a slate of proposed Council members and Officers to this Section at each annual meeting at which a vacancy is to be filled. In addition, nominations from the floor will be accepted.
Section 2. Election. All elections shall be by written ballot unless otherwise ordered by resolution duly adopted by this Section at the Annual Meeting at which the election is held. All officers and members of the Council shall be elected by the majority of the members of the Section held in attendance at the Annual Meeting of the Section.
Duties of Officers
Section 1. Chair. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of this Section and of the Council. The Chair shall formulate and present at each Annual Meeting of the State Bar of Texas a report of the work of this Section for the then past year. The Chair shall perform such other duties and acts as usually pertain to this office.
Section 2. Vice-Chair. The Vice-Chair shall perform, on behalf of this Section, such duties as the Chair may assign. The Vice-Chair shall automatically become the Chair at the end of the term of a Chair. Upon the death, resignation, or during the disability of the Chair or upon any absence or refusal to act, the Vice-Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair.
Section 3. Vice President – Family Law. The Vice President – Family Law shall preside at all meetings of the Family Law Committee and shall otherwise perform such duties as delegated by the Chair.
Section 4. Vice President – Civil Law. The Vice President – Civil Law shall preside at all meetings of the Civil Law Committee and shall otherwise perform such duties as delegated by the Chair.
Section 5. Secretary. The Secretary shall be custodian of the minutes, reports and records of this Section. The Secretary shall keep a correct record of the proceedings of all meetings of this Section and of the Council. With the Chair, the Secretary shall prepare a summary or digest of the proceedings of this Section at its Annual Meeting and shall submit the same to the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas for publication in the annual report. In conjunction with the Chair, as authorized by the Council, the Secretary shall attend generally to the business of the Section.
Section 6. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the funds and accounts of this Section. The Treasurer shall: (1) keep an accurate account of all monies of this Section, (2) pay all bills, (3) take such other action with respect to the finances of this Section as the Council may direct. In performing such duties, the Treasurer shall comply with the provisions of Section 2 of Article VI of these Bylaws.
Duties and Powers of the Council
Section 1. Jurisdiction. The Council shall have general supervision and control of the affairs of this Section subject to the provision of the Constitution and Bylaws of the State Bar of Texas and the further provisions of these Bylaws. The Council shall specifically authorize the expenditure of any monies appropriate for the use or benefit of this Section. It shall not, however, authorize commitments to contracts which shall entail the payment of any money during any fiscal year unless the funds have been previously appropriated to this section for that fiscal year by the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas, or funds are otherwise available.
Section 2. Finances. This Section is authorized to collect membership dues and govern expenditures of any income. The establishment of or any revision in this Section’s dues requires approval by the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas. This Section shall submit to the Executive Director of the State Bar of Texas by July 15 each year, a complete financial report for the preceding fiscal year ending May 31 and a Section budget for the current fiscal year. Funds of this Section may only be invested within the parameters outlined in the State Bar of Texas Investment Policy as set forth in Section 10.05 of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors Policy Manual. This Section shall deposit dues income into either a branch of the State Bar of Texas Banking depository, or it shall instruct the depository to provide directly to the State Bar of Texas a duplicate of the bank statements, cancelled checks, and deposit slips. Any expense incurred in providing duplicates to the State Bar of Texas shall be borne by the Section. This section may request the accounting department of the State Bar of Texas to prepare a monthly and year-to-date Section financial reports. This Section may opt to have the State Bar of Texas manage Section funds, including depositing dues, managing operating expenses, issuing checks, and preparing financial reports and budgets. This optional latter service will be provided by the State Bar of Texas for a per capita fee per member not to exceed $1.00
Section 3. Committees. The Family Law Committee and Civil Law Committee shall be standing committees of the Section with members appointed by the Vice President – Family Law and Vice President – Civil Law respectively. In addition, the Council may create such additional committees each year as the Council seems appropriate. Each such additional committee shall terminate at the close of the year unless re-established by the incoming Council the following year. The Council may authorize the Chair to appoint members of the Section to the non-standing committees to perform such duties and exercise such powers as the council may direct, subject to the limitations of these Bylaws and the Constitution and Bylaws of the State Bar of Texas.
Section 4. Vacancies. The Council may fill vacancies in its own membership. Members of the Council so selected shall serve until the expiration of the term which vacancy is filled.
Section 5. Required Vote. Unless otherwise expressly provided for in these Bylaws, all binding action of the Council shall be by a majority vote of the whole Council.
Section 6. Manner of Voting. Members of the Council when present at a meeting of the Council shall vote in person or via teleconference or video conference. The Council may also conduct business and vote via electronic mail or other electronic means as they deem appropriate.
Section 7. Notice of Required Vote. The Chair may, and upon the request of any member of the Council shall, submit or cause to be submitted in writing to each member of the Council, any proposition upon which the Council may be authorized to act, and the members of the Council may vote upon such proposition so submitted by communicating their vote thereon in writing over their respective signatures to the Secretary who shall record upon the Minutes each proposition so submitted, when, how, at whose request submitted, and the vote of each member of the Council thereon, and keep on file such written and signed votes.
Section 1. Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting of this Section shall be held during the Annual Meeting of the State Bar of Texas, in the same city, and at such time and place as may be fixed by the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas, with such program and order of business as may be arranged by the Council.
Section 2. Special Meetings. Special meetings of this Section may be called by the Chair upon approval of the Council, at such time and place as the Council may determine.
Section 3. Quorum. The members of this Section present at any meeting shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and all binding action of this Section shall be by a majority vote of the members present.
Section 4. Meeting Attendance. A member who attends a meeting by teleconference or video conference shall be counted as present at such meeting.
Section 1. Section Action is No Action of State Bar of Texas. No action, policy determination, or recommendation of this Section or any committee thereof shall be deemed to be, or be referred t as, the action of the State Bar of Texas or duly-authorized referendum of the State Bar of Texas. Any resolution adopted or action taken by this Section may on request of this Section be reported by the Chair to the State Bar of Texas for action thereon.
Section 2. Governmental Authority Process. This Section, through the process called “Governmental Authority,” may seek the authority to present a position of the State Bar of Texas before a public, judicial, executive or legislative body.
Section 3. Required Council Action. A position of this Section with respect to which the Governmental Authority process is desired shall be authorized by the Council only after written notice to all members of the Council of the proposed position to be adopted and the date at which the position will be considered by the Council. The proposed position must be adopted by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Council.
Section 4. Compliance with Governmental Authority Handbook. If a proposed position is adopted by the Council as provided in Section 3 immediately proceeding, thereafter all requirements and procedures set forth in the governmental Authority Handbook dated January 30 1981 as amended from time to time with respect to application, notice, circulation, clearance, objections, disclaimer, presentation, filing and all other matters shall be strictly followed.
Section 1. Approval by State Bar of Texas. Any action by this Section must be approved by the State Bar of Texas before it becomes effective as action of the State Bar. Any resolution adopted or action taken by this Section may, on request of the Section, be reported by the Chair of this Section to the Annual Meeting of the state Bar of Texas for action thereon by the State Bar of Texas.
Section 2. Effectiveness. These Bylaws shall become effective upon approval thereof by the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas, and upon adoption by this Section.
Section 3. Printing. All printing for this Section of for any committee of this Section shall be done under the supervision of the headquarters office of the State Bar of Texas.
Section 4. Electronically Communicated Notices. In addition to notice by postal service, hand-delivery, or courier service, notice via email, facsimile, and other electronic communication shall constitute notice for all purposes of these Bylaws.
Section 5. Cooperation With Other Sections. In order to facilitate cooperation and communications with other Sections of the State Bar of Texas, the Council may appoint an ex-officio member to or a liaison with any Section of the State Bar of Texas.
Section 6. Confidentiality of Information. All information concerning any section member that is deemed confidential by state or federal law, including Tex. Govt. Code Ch. 552 and Tex. Occ. Code Ch. 59, including email addresses, may be used only for official section business and may not be disclosed to the public. The Section shall take reasonable, necessary precautions to protect the confidentiality of such information.
These Bylaws may be amended at any annual meeting of this Section by a majority vote of the members of this Section present and voting, provided such proposed amendment shall first have been approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Council of the Section and provided, further, that no amendments so adopted shall be come effective until it has been approved by a majority of the members of the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas.
Approved by the Collaborative Law Section on June 26, 2014; technical corrections approved by the Collaborative Law Section Council on November 19, 2014.