Bylaws of the Twenty-Third Judicial District Bar Association

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ARTICLE I

The name of this District Bar shall be THE DISTRICT BAR OF THE TWENTY­ THIRD JUDICIAL DISTRICT and shall be hereinafter referred to as the “District Bar”.

ARTICLE II
Authority and Purpose

The District Bar is formed pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 84 of the North Carolina General Statutes to promote the purposes therein set forth and to comply with the duties and obligations therein or thereunder imposed upon the bar of this District.

ARTICLE III
Membership

The members of the District Bar shall consist of two classes: active and inactive.

Section I: Active Members: The active members shall be all persons who, at the time of the adoption of these bylaws or any time thereafter
are active members in good standing with the North Carolina State Bar and reside in the judicial district, or practice in the judicial district and elect to belong to the District Bar as provided in G.S. b4- l 6.

Section II: Inactive Members: The inactive members shall be all persons, who, at the time of the adoption of these bylaws or at any time thereafter have been granted voluntary inactive status by the North Carolina State Bar and
reside in the judicial district.

ARTICLE IV
Officers

The Officers of the District Bar shall consist of a President, a Vice-President and Secretary/Treasurer.

Section 1: Nominating Committee: The district bar officers shall serve as the nominating committee for officers for the succeeding calendar year. Nominations should be made without regard to the county in which the attorney lives or practices so that all members of the district bar are considered for nomination. Those members who have already served as an officer should not be nominated or elected without that member’s prior approval. New officers assume office on December 31 of each year.

Section 2: President: The President serving at the time these Bylaws become effective shall continue to serve for a term ending December 31, 2003.

Section 3: Vice President: The Vice President serving at the time these Bylaws become effective shall continue to serve for a term ending December 31, 2003, at which time said Vice President shall succeed to the office of the President. The Vice-President shall automatically assume the office of President on January 1 of the year immediately after he or she completes the term of Vice-President.

Section 4: Secretary/Treasurer: The Secretary/Treasurer serving at the time these bylaws are effective shall continue to serve in his/her office for a term ending December 31, 2003. Beginning in 2004, the Secretary/Treasurer shall be elected for a term of one year.

Section 5: Election: District Bar officers shall be elected at a regularly scheduled meeting of the District Bar at such a time to be ready to assume duties on January 1. In addition to the nominations made by the nominating committee, any member may make a nomination from the floor. The candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast shall be elected.

Section 6: Duties: The duties of the officers shall be those usual and customary for such officers, including such duties as may be from time to time designated by resolution of the District Bar, the North Carolina State Bar Council or the laws of the State of North Carolina.

Section 7: Vacancies: If a vacancy in the office of the Vice President or Secretary/Treasurer occurs, the vacancy will be filled by a vote of the members at the next regularly scheduled meeting. The successor shall serve until the expiration of the term of the predecessor. If the office of the President becomes vacant, the Vice President shall succeed to the office of the President and shall serve until the expiration of his/her term in the following year.

Section 8: Notification: The President shall notify the Executive Director of the North Carolina State Bar, of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all newly elected officers of the District Bar within a reasonable time following their election.

Section 9: Record of Bylaws: The president shall ensure that a current copy of these bylaws is filed with the office of the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, with the Twenty-Third Judicial District and with the Executive Director of the North Carolina State Bar.

ARTICLE V
Councilor

The District Bar shall be represented in the State Bar Council by one or more duly elected councilors, the number of councilors being determined pursuant to G.S. 84-17. Any Councilor serving at the time of the adoption of these bylaws shall complete the term of office to which he or she was previously elected. Thereafter, elections shall be held as necessary at the meeting of the District Bar immediately preceding the expiration of a councilor’s term.

The District Bar President shall appoint a nominating committee prior to the expiration of the Councilor’s term. The nominating committee shall consider for nomination all members of the District Bar who have been practicing for at least ten (10) years and have actively participated in bar matters by attending meetings and/or other bar activities. This committee shall then nominate no fewer than two or more than four persons to be considered for election. The nominations shall be made without regard to the county in which the attorney lives or practices and without regard to political affiliation.

In addition, nominations shall be taken from the floor. These nominations are accepted without regard to whether the nominee has practiced for at least ten (10) years or whether the nominee has been active in bar matters.

The election held as provided in North Carolina General Statutes Section § 4-18 and in Section .0800 et seq of Subchapter A of the Rules and Regulations of the North Carolina State Bar. A vacancy in the office of councilor shall be filled as provided by Section .0804 ofSubchapter A of the Rules and Regulations of the North Carolina State Bar.

ARTICLE VI
Annual Membership Fee

Each active member of the District Bar shall:

(a) Pay such annual membership fee, if any, as is prescribed by a majority vote of the active members of the District Bar present arid voting at a duly called meeting of the District Bar, provided, however, that such fee may never exceed the amount of the annual membership fee then imposed by the North Carolina State Bar. Each member shall pay the annual District Bar membership fee at the time and place set forth in the notice thereof mailed to the member by the Secretary-Treasurer. Two-thirds of the total amount of the annual membership fee shall be mandatory and such funds shall be used to
promote and maintain the administration, activities and progress of the District Bar. One-third of the total shall be paid on a voluntary basis, which said funds may be used for social, recreational, entertainment and continuing legal education activities in the discretion of the officers of the district bar.

(b) All members shall keep the Secretary-Treasurer notified of the members’ current mailing address and telephone number.

ARTICLE VII
Meetings

Section 1: Regular meetings: The District Bar shall meet quarterly at a time and place designated by the president. The Annual Meeting of the District Bar shall be held in the third quarter of the year. Notice of Regularly Scheduled quarterly meetings shall be mailed to the members by the Secretary/Treasurer at least 10 days prior to the meeting. Meetings shall be held in the four counties which make up the Twenty-Third Judicial District on a rotating basis. Meetings shall be held in the Courthouse of the host county or at some other appropriate facility.

Section 2: Special Meetings: Special Meetings, if any, may be called at any time by the President or the Vice President. Upon such occasion, the Secretary or other Officer shall mail or deliver written notice of the special meeting to each active member of the district Bar at the member’s last known mailing address on file with the District Bar at least ten days before the date of any special meeting. Such notice shall set forth the time and place for the special meeting and the purpose(s) thereof. The Secretary shall prepare a certificate of service certifying the necessary mailings, which said certificate of service shall be sufficient to validate a11y action(s) subsequently taken at the special meeting.

Failure to mail or deliver the notice shall invalidate any action taken at a special meeting.

Section 3: Quorum: A quorum shall be those present at any membership meeting for which proper notice was given.

ARTICLE VIII
District Bar Finances

Section 1: Fiscal Year: The District Bar’s fiscal year shall begin on December 30 and end on December 29.

Section 2: Duties of Treasurer: The Treasurer shall maintain the funds of the District Bar on deposit. Initiate any necessary disbursements and keep appropriate financial records. The Secretary-Treasurer shall have the sole authority to sign checks written on the District Bar accounts.

Section 3: Taxpayer Identification Number: The treasurer shall be responsible for obtaining a federal taxpayer identification number for the District Bar.

Section 4: Reconciliation: The District Bar’s financial accounts shall be reconciled by a professional bookkeeper or accountant in the fiscal year in which these Bylaws are adopted and thereafter, permanently maintained by that same professional.

ARTICLE IX
Prohibited Activities

Section 1: Prohibited Expenditures: Mandatory District Bar dues, if any, shall not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages, gifts to public officials, including judges, or charitable contributions. However, such expenditures may be made from funds derived entirely from the voluntary contributions of District Bar members.

Section 2: Political Expenditures: The District Bar shall not make any expenditures to fund political and ideological activities.

Section 3: Political Activities: The District Bar shall not engage in any political or ideological conduct or activity, including the endorsement of candidates and the taking or avocation of positions on political issues, referendums, bond elections, and the like; however, the District Bar, and persons speaking on its behalf, may take positions on, or comment upon, issues relating to the regulation of the legal profession and issues or matters relating to the improvement of the quality and availability of legal services to the general public.

ARTICLE X
Committees

Section 1: Standing Committees: The standing committees shall be the Fee Arbitration Committee and the Grievance Committees, provided that the District meets the State Bar guidelines relating thereto.

Section 2: Fee Arbitration Committee: The Fee Arbitration Committee shall consist of those persons appointed pursuant to the District Bar’s Fee Arbitration Plan.

Section 3: Grievance Committee:

(a) The Grievance Committee shall consist of at least five but not more than thirteen persons appointed by the President to staggered three year terms as provided by the Rules and Regulations of the North Carolina State Bar governing Judicial District Grievance Committee.

(b) The Grievance Committee shall assist the Grievance Committee of the North Carolina State Bar by receiving grievances, investigating grievances, evaluating grievances, informally mediating disputes, facilitating communications between lawyers and clients and referring members of the public to other appropriate committees or agencies for assistance.

(c) The Grievance Committee shall operate in strict accordance with the mies and policies of the North Carolina State Bar with respect to District Bar Grievance Committees.

ARTICLE XI
Amendment of the Bylaws

The membership of the District bar, by a majority vote of the active members present at any duly called meeting may an1end these bylaws in ways not inconsistent with the constitution of the United States, the policies mid rules of the North Carolina Star Bar and the laws of the United States and North Carolina.

ARTICLE XII
Selection of Nominees for District Court Judge

Unless otherwise required by law, the following procedures shall be used to determine the nominees to be recommended to the Governor pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §7A-142 for vacant district court judgeships in the Twenty-Third judicial district.

(a) Meeting for Nominations: The nominees shall be selected by secret, written ballot of those members present at a meeting of the district bar called for this purpose. Fifteen (15) days notice of the meeting shall be given, by mail, to the last known address of each district bar
member. Alternatively, if a bylaw permitting elections by mail is adopted by the district bar, the procedures set forth in the bylaw and in Rule .0804 ofSubchapter IA of the Rules of the North Carolina State Bar (27 N.C.A.C. IA, .0804), shall be followed.

(b) Candidates: Persons who want to be considered for the vacancy shall notify the President in writing five (5) days prior to the meeting at which the election will be conducted or, if the election is by mail, five (5) days prior to the mailing of the ballots.

(c) Voting: Each district bar member may vote for three candidates. Cumulative voting is prohibited.

(d) Submission to Governor: The three candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be the nominees to fill the vacancy on the district court and their names, and vote totals, shall be transmitted to the Governor. In the event of a tie for third place, the nan1es of those candidates involved in the tie shall be transmitted to the Governor together with the names of the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes.

Statutory Authority G.S. 84-18.1; 84-23; 7A-142.

This the 17th day of June, 2008.

WilliamF. Lipscomb, Esq.,
President, Twenty-Third Judicial District Bar

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