Scribes Constitution and Bylaws

 
Scribes Constitution
 
Article 1 Name and Goals
 
 
The name of this organization is Scribes — The American Society of Legal Writers. Its goals are:
 
 
   
(1)
to foster a feeling of fraternity among those who write about the law — and especially among its members;
 
   
(2)
to create an interest in writing about the history, philosophy, and language of the law and about those who make, interpret, and enforce it;
 
   
(3)
help and encourage people who write about the law; and
 
   
(4)
to above all, to promote a clear, succinct, and forceful style in legal writing.
 
Article 2 Membership
 
 
1.
Qualifications. A member of the legal profession in any country is eligible for Scribes membership if that person has:
   
(a)
published a book on a legal subject;
 
(b)
published two or more articles on legal subjects in a journal, magazine, or newsletter;
 
(c)
served as an editor of a legal publication; or
 
(d)
published two or more opinions as a judge.
 

 
2.
Categories. The Board of Directors may create categories of membership, including special categories for those who would not otherwise qualify for membership.
 
 
3.
Resignation or Expulsion. A member may resign at any time by filing a written resignation with the Executive Director. A member may be expelled for good reason by a four-fifths vote of the Board.
 
Article 3 Membership Meetings
 
 
1.
Annual Membership Meeting. The annual membership meeting is held during the annual meeting of the American Bar Association, at a time set by the President of Scribes. At least 60 days before the meeting, notice of the time and place must be given to the membership by mail, by publication in The Scrivener or on scribes.org, or by some other appropriate means.
 
 
2.
Special Meetings. On extraordinary occasions, a special membership meeting may be called by a three-fourths vote of the Board or by a petition signed by a majority of members.
 
 
3.
Records. The Secretary, the Executive Director, or a designate must prepare the minutes of the annual membership meeting and any special meeting and must file them with the Executive Director.
 
 
Article 4 Board of Directors
  
 
1.
Function. The governing and administrative body of Scribes is its Board of Directors.
 
 
2.
How Constituted. The Board consists of the following members: the President, Past President, Vice President (President-Elect), Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Director, and Editor in Chief of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, together with nine elected members.
 
 
3.
Terms of Office; Vacancy. The officers serve a two-year term, as stated in Article 5. The Past President serves a two-year term. Each of the nine elected members serves a three-year term. The Executive Director and the Editor in Chief of the Journal serve at the Board’s pleasure. A vacancy in an elected member’s position may be filled by the Board for the rest of that member’s term.
 
 
4.
Board Meetings. The Board meets just before or after each annual membership meeting; at a separate annual Board meeting called by the President with 30 days’ notice to the Board; and at any other time agreed to by a majority of the Board. The President may also call an electronic meeting by asking Board members to vote electronically on a matter. For electronic meetings, the President must give the Board at least 5 days to vote.
 
 
5.
Quorum and Voting. At any Board meeting, a majority of the Board constitutes a quorum. Decisions are by a majority of the Board members present, unless the meeting is an electronic meeting. At electronic meetings, decisions are by a majority of Board members who vote.
 
 
6.
Records. The Secretary, the Executive Director, or a designate must prepare the minutes of a Board meeting and file them with the Executive Director.
 
 
Article 5 Officers
 
 
1.
How Constituted. The officers consist of a President, a Vice President (President-Elect), a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
 
 
2.
Term of Office; Vacancy. Each officer serves a two-year term. If a vacancy occurs in the office of President, the Vice President succeeds to that office for the rest of the President’s term. A vacancy in any other office must be filled by the Board for the rest of that person’s term.
 
 
 Article 6 Nomination and Election of Officers and Directors
 
 
1.
Nominating Committee. The President must appoint a Nominating Committee of at least five members. Every other year, the Nominating Committee must nominate the four officers. Each year, the Nominating Committee must nominate three Board members. The President may treat the Nominating Committee as a standing committee or may name a new committee each year.
 
 
2.
Report of the Committee; Other Nominations; Elections. The Nominating Committee’s report must be filed with the Executive Director and presented at the annual membership meeting. Other nominations may be made from the floor. Election to each position is decided by a majority of members present at the meeting. 
 
 
Article 7 — Committees
 
 
With the Board’s advice, the President may appoint the committees that seem necessary to carry out the goals of Scribes. The life of each committee ends at the annual membership meeting, after which the President may appoint the same or reconstituted committees.
 
 
Article 8 Adopting and Amending Bylaws
 
 
Bylaws may be adopted, amended, or rescinded at any annual membership meeting by a majority of members present. The proposed action may be submitted to the Executive Director by the Board or by any member. At least 60 days before the meeting, notice of the proposed action must be given to the membership by mail, by publication in The Scrivener or on scribes.org, or by some other appropriate means.
 
 
Article 9 Amending This Constitution
 
 
This Constitution may be amended in the same manner as the bylaws, except that a two-thirds vote of members present is required.
 
 
 
Scribes Bylaws
 
Article 1 Membership
 
 
1.
Full Members
 
   
a.
Four Categories. There are four categories of full membership:
 
 
 
regular member
 
sustaining member
 
life member
 
institutional member
 
 
Any ABA-approved law school or any federal or state appellate court may become an institutional member — in which case each faculty member or judge who meets the eligibility requirements of the Constitution, Article 2, section 1, becomes a Scribes member. In appropriate circumstances, any other deserving legal organization may become an institutional member by a majority vote of the Board — in which case each of its members who is eligible becomes a Scribes member.
 
 b.
Determining Eligibility. The Executive Director must determine whether a person meets the eligibility requirements for full membership. The requirements should be liberally construed, and the Executive Director may rely on the information provided in the application form.
 
 
2.
Associate Members
 
   
a.
Members of the Legal Profession. A member of the legal profession who is not otherwise qualified for membership but shares the goals in the Constitution, Article 1, may be approved for associate membership on the Executive Director’s recommendation.
 
b.
Persons Who Are Not Members of the Legal Profession. A person who is not a member of the legal profession but is otherwise qualified for membership may be approved for associate membership on the Executive Director’s recommendation.
 
c.
Dues and Rights. An associate member must pay the same dues as a regular member. An associate member has no right to vote or to be elected to the Board but has all the other rights of membership.
 
 
3.
Student-Editor Members. Any student member of a law journal may become a student-editor member for one year by paying $15. After one year, the membership may be renewed for another year only if the student is still in law school. A student-editor has no right to vote or to be elected to the Board but has all the other rights of membership.
 
Article 2 — Dues
 
 
1.
Amount. Each full member must pay dues as follows:
 
   
 
regular member — $65 annually
 
sustaining member — $100 annually
 
life member — $1,000 as a one-time contribution
 
institutional member — $350 annually for an institution with fewer than 10 eligible members of its own; $650 annually for an institution with 10 to 100 eligible members; and for an organization with more than 100 eligible members, $650 annually plus $20 for each additional member over 100
 
 
2.
When Payable. Dues are payable each year on August 1. A person or institution who joins less than 6 months before that date is treated as having paid for the year after that date. The Board may remit a member’s dues under special circumstances.
 
 
3.
Default. A member in default must be given at least one notice of the default. A member in default for a year or more becomes a nonvoting member. A member in default for two years ceases to be a member.
 
Article 3 Officers
 
 
1.
Duties. The officers must perform the duties ordinarily performed by such officers, together with the duties prescribed by the Constitution and these bylaws, or by a decision of the Board that does not conflict with the Constitution or these bylaws.
 
 
2.
Finances. At each annual membership meeting, at each annual Board meeting, and at any other time the Board requests, the Treasurer must report on the finances of Scribes and the funds passing through the Treasurer’s hands. Throughout the year, the Executive Director must keep accurate records of the income and expenses of Scribes. The President may ask a licensed public accountant to examine and audit any Treasurer’s report, along with the records of Scribes.