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By-Laws

NEW YORK STATE ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS, INC.

 

ARTICLE I

NAME, OFFICES

Section 1. NAME
This name of this organization is the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers,
Inc. (NYSACDL).

Section 2. OFFICES
NYSACDL's offices shall be at such place as the Board of Directors may from time to time
appoint.

 

ARTICLE II

OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSES

NYSACDL is formed exclusively for charitable, scientific and educational purposes, including, without limitation, the following purposes:

a) Provide support for criminal defense lawyers to aid and assist them in any ways involved in
their practice, including but not limited to strike force, amicus and other such services;

b) Protect the individual rights of the citizens of the state as guaranteed by the New York and
United States Constitutions, including most particularly, the right to counsel;

c) Promote the exchange of experience, of legal precedent and of research between criminal
defense lawyers in the state, by providing a network for communication;

d) Enlighten the public as to the point of view of criminal defense lawyers;

e) Maintain the integrity and independence of criminal defense lawyers;

f) Coordinate all efforts with national and local bar associations that are concerned with criminal justice.

 

ARTICLE III

MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. ATTORNEY MEMBERSHIP
a) Attorney membership in the NYSACDL shall be available to those attorneys of professional
competence, integrity and good moral character who are actively engaged in the defense of criminal cases, and who subscribe to the principles of NYSACDL.

b) Applications for membership shall be made on a form prescribed by the Board of Directors.
All applications shall be subject to approval by the President of the Board of Directors.

Section 2. CHARTER MEMBERSHIP
The title of charter member shall be conferred upon an attorney who has joined prior to 9/15/87 and has paid to the Association the sum of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00). That person is a charter member.

Section 3. OTHER MEMBERSHIPS
The Board of Directors may designate additional c lasses of membership from time to time and set the terms and conditions for candidates for such other classes.

Section 4. HONORARY MEMBERS
a) Any person who shall have made an outstanding contribution to the public welfare and aided in the achievement of the goals of this Association, may be proposed for honorary membership by five attorney members of the NYSACDL.

b) The proposal for honorary membership shall be in writing subscribed by five members and
submitted to the President of the NYSACDL.

c) An affirmative vote of a majority of the Board of Directors shall be required to elect any
Honorary Member.

d) In any given year, no more than two honorary members may be elected.

e) In addition to sub-section 4(d), an attorney member or charter member of the NYSACDL who is elected or appointed to the Judiciary may thereafter become an honorary member for a period of three years.

f) Honorary memberships other than in sub-section 4 (e) shall extend for an indefinite period.

Section 5. VOTING
Each attorney member in good standing shall be entitled to one vote. Honorary and other category members shall not be entitled to vote. To be in good standing a member must have paid dues for the most current year.

Section 6. REVOCATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Membership in any of the classes and categories may be revoked for cause by vote calling for such revocation by a three-quarters vote of the members of the Board of Directors.

Section 7. RESIGNATION OF MEMBERSHIP
A Member is deemed to have resigned by becoming a prosecutor in any local, state or federal office or by working in any other capacity which is in conflict with the Objectives and Purposes of the Association, as set forth in Article II of these Bylaws. Any Member who voluntarily accepts an appointment as a temporary prosecutor or as a temporary police legal adviser is not deemed to have resigned from this Association by the acceptance of the appointment. However, should the Member wish to remain as a Member of this Association, that Member shall, within thirty (30) days of accepting the appointment, apply for a waiver of the provisions of this Section. The request for waiver shall be in writing and forwarded to the Executive Director for immediate distribution to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. The request shall state general information about the appointment but must be specific as to the date of the beginning and anticipated date of termination of such temporary appointment. The statement shall likewise include a representation by the applicant that any prosecutorial conduct will be confined to the specific case for which the temporary appointment is made. If no request for a waiver is received by the Executive Director within thirty (30) days of the acceptance of the appointment, the Member shall be deemed to have resigned
from this Association as of the date of the acceptance of the appointment.

 

ARTICLE IV

OFFICERS
(President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer)

Section 1. DESIGNATION
The elected officers of the NYSACDL shall consist of a President, a President-Elect, a First Vice-President, five Vice-Presidents and a Secretary. In addition, at the next meeting following the election of officers and Board, the President shall select a Treasurer and the President shall select chairs of the committees.

Section 2. QUALIFICATIONS
Only Attorney Members shall be eligible to become elected officers of the Association.

Section 3. ELECTION AND TERM OF OFFICE
Elected Officers. The elected officers of the NYSACDL shall be elected at the annual meeting of the Association, and shall hold office until the next annual meeting and until their successors are elected and qualified.

Section 4. REMOVAL
An officer may be removed for cause by a vote calling for such removal by a majority vote of the Board of Directors at the next lawfully called meeting.

Section 5. LIMITATION OF TERM
In no event shall a member be a Vice-President for more than three consecutive full one-year terms, commencing February 1, 1996, except that any Vice-President in office on February 1, 1996, who has already served three consecutive full one-year terms my complete service of his or her current term. Nothing in this section shall prevent any member who is otherwise eligible from being elected to a term as Director. Service as First Vice-President shall be excluded from this limitation.

Section 6. DUTIES OF ELECTED OFFICERS
a) President: The President shall be the chief executive officer of the NYSACDL, and shall have the responsibility to oversee and coordinate the activities of the NYSACDL and to preside at its meetings. The President shall be the spokesperson for the NYSACDL and whenever practicable shall publicly appear for the NYSACDL and speak on its behalf.

b) President-Elect: The President-Elect of the NYSACDL shall automatically become the
President of the NYSACDL at the end of the term of the President, except in the case of death, resignation or removal from office of the President, the powers and duties of the President shall devolve upon the President-Elect who shall conclude the term of office of the President in accordance with the provisions of these By-Laws.

During any period of inability to act of the President, the President-Elect shall act as the chief
executive officer of the NYSACDL. An inability to act shall occur whenever the President declares same to exist or whenever three-quarters of the Board of Directors (excluding the past presidents) determines that the President is unable to carry out the responsibilities of his office. The period of a President's inability to act shall terminate upon a declaration of such by the President (if the President's declaration initiated the period) or by a majority of the Board of Directors (excluding the past presidents).

The President-Elect shall assist the President in the performance of the President's duties and shall also perform such other duties as may be prescribed for her by the Board of Directors and President.

c) First Vice-President: The First Vice-President may stand for election to the office of President-Elect at the end of the President-Elect's term. The First Vice-President shall assist the President-Elect.

c) Vice-Presidents: The Vice-Presidents of the NYSACDL shall assist the President in the
performance of the President's duties and shall also perform such other duties as may be prescribed for them by the Board of Directors and President.

d) Secretary: The Secretary shall attend and keep minutes of all meetings of the NYSACDL and shall act as parliamentarian thereat and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as are incident to the office of the Secretary or as may be assigned from time to time by the Board of Directors or by the President.

e) Treasurer: The Treasurer shall serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors and at the expense of the NYSACDL. The duties of the Treasurer are to maintain the funds and pay the obligations of the NYSACDL as directed by the Board of Directors.

Section 7. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee of the NYSACDL shall act on NYSACDL business and transactions during the periods between Board of Directors meetings. The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, President-Elect, Vice Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer and a Board member chosen by the Board of Directors at its first meeting following the elections. Minutes shall be kept of all Executive Committee meetings and shall be distributed to the Board of Directors within seven days of any meeting of the Executive Committee.

 

ARTICLE V

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1. QUALIFICATIONS
Only Attorney Members shall be eligible to become elected members of the Board of Directors.

Section 2. MEMBERS OF BOARD
The Board shall consist of between seventeen (17) and twenty-one (21) voting members of the NYSACDL, the officers thereof as well as a designee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a designee of the New York State Defenders Association and the past Presidents of the NYSACDL.

Section 3. VOTING
Each Officer and Director shall be entitled to cast one vote. The immediate Past-President shall be entitled to cast one vote. All Past-Presidents present at a meeting shall be entitled to vote unless the number of Past-Presidents, excluding the immediate Past-President, shall exceed four. If there are more than four Past-Presidents present at any meeting, then each vote of a Past-President shall be counted in proportionate to a total of four.

Section 4. POWERS
The Board of Directors shall manage the business and affairs of the NYSACDL. Any act of a majority of those present at a meeting shall be the act of the Board of Directors.

Section 5. TERM OF OFFICE
At the next election following adoption of this amendment, terms of 1, 2 and 3 years shall be assigned to elected Directors elected, by lot, so that no more than seven Directors' terms will expire in a single year. Thereafter, any director elected to fill a vacancy due to expiration of a term shall serve for a three year term as if there had been no vacancy.

Section 6. LIMITATION OF SERVICE
In no event shall a director hold that office for more than two consecutive complete three-year terms nor serve more than eight consecutive years including service as a vice-president. Service as First Vice President, President-Elect or President are excluded from this limitation.

Section 7. ABSENCE
Any director who has not attended fifty percent of the Board meetings in any calendar year, without good cause, shall be deemed to have resigned, as shall any director who has not attended seventy-five percent of the Board meetings. Good cause for non-attendance shall be determined by the President and recorded in the minutes. The Board may grant exemptions from the application of this rule, based upon extraordinary circumstances. Past-Presidents, including the immediate Past-President are not subject to the attendance requirement.

Section 8. QUORUM
At each meeting of the Board of Directors, a majority of the Board and officers shall constitute a quorum. The past NYSACDL Presidents, the designee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the designee of the New York State Defender Association shall not be counted for quorum purposes. A majority of those voting shall be required for action.

Section 9. ORGANIZATION
The President of the NYSACDL shall serve as chair at meetings of the Board of Directors. In the absence of the President, the President-Elect shall serve as chair. The Secretary of the NYSACDL shall act as Secretary of the Board of Directors.

Section 10. REMOVAL
A director may be removed for cause by a vote calling for such removal by a three-fourths vote of the members of the Board of Directors.

Section 11. NUMBER OF MEETINGS
There shall be no less than four and no more than six regular meetings of the Board of Directors, as determined by the President, who shall fix the times and places for the meetings. At least 40% of the meetings shall be held outside the jurisdiction of the First and Second Judicial Departments.

 

ARTICLE VI

NOMINATIONS AND ELECTION

Section 1. NOMINATIONS
Prior to the election of officers and directors, the President-Elect shall appoint a nominating committee, subject to the approval of the Board. The nominating committee shall nominate voting members for officers and directors. Any fifteen voting members of the NYSACDL may, by writing signed by them and delivered to the Secretary of the NYSACDL, propose any voting members for election as officers and directors. The Secretary shall cause ballots listing all members nominated for election as officers and directors to be distributed to all voting members of the NYSACDL.

Section 2. ELECTIONS
The annual elections of the NYSACDL shall be held when designated by Board of Directors. Officers and directors shall be elected by a majority vote by secret ballot of voting members actually casting a ballot. Balloting may be done by mail, as prescribed by the Board.

 

ARTICLE VII

MEETINGS OF THE MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. TIME AND PLACE
The annual meeting of the NYSACDL shall be held when designated by the Board of Directors and additional meetings may be held when, in the opinion of the President or the Board of Directors, same would forward the objectives of the NYSACDL. The meeting shall be held at such time and place as may be fixed by the President with the concurrence of the Board of Directors.

Section 2. QUORUM
Those voting members present at any annual meeting of the NYSACDL shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at said meeting and a majority of those voting is required for action. Voting may be in person or by mail.

Section 3. PROGRAM
The program of the annual meeting shall be devoted primarily to the furtherance of the aims, purposes and objectives of the NYSACDL.

 

ARTICLE VIII

FISCAL YEAR

The fiscal year of the NYSACDL shall begin on the first day of July and on the last day of June the following year.

 

ARTICLE IX

FINANCES

Section 1. ANNUAL DUES
The amount of annual dues of all classes of membership shall be set by the Board of Directors.

Section 2. PAYMENT OF DUES
a) New Members. Dues are payable upon rendering of an application for membership and its
acceptance.

b) Old Members. Dues are payable in advance on or before the first day of the fiscal year.

 

ARTICLE X

AMENDMENTS TO BY-LAWS

These By-Laws may be amended by a majority vote of those voting members present and voting at a regular meeting of the NYSACDL. Additionally these By-Laws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the directors present and voting at a meeting of the Board of Directors.

 

ARTICLE XI

VACANCIES

In the event that an officer, officer-elect, director or director-elect is incapable of serving and will remain so for a substantial period of their term, such person shall be deemed to have vacated their office. The determination of said vacancy shall be made by a majority of the members of the Board of Directors actually present at a scheduled meeting.

If an officer or director has been deemed to have vacated his or her office or has resigned, the position shall be filled by appointment by the President with the approval of a majority of the Board of Directors or not filled as determined by the President. In the event of a vacancy created by the creation of new position(s) through a bylaw change, the position(s) shall be filled by appointment by the President with the approval of a majority of the Board of Directors.

 

ARTICLE XII

COMMITTEES

Section 1.
Standing committees shall be chaired by a member in good standing who shall be appointed to such position by the President upon the commencement of the President's term. Persons so appointed shall serve during the term of the President who appointed them. Members of standing committees shall be appointed by the President after consultation with the chairperson. The standing committee may include, along with others:

a) Lawyers Assistance/Strike Force

b) Amicus Curiae

 c) By-Laws

d) Continuing Legal Education

e) Court Oversight

f) Employee Review and Compensation

g) Federal Legislation

h) Finance

i) Membership

j) Publications

k) Public Relations

l) Experts Resource Panel

m) State Legislation


Section 2.
The President from time to time may establish such committees and for such periods of time as she deems appropriate to further the business of the Association, and may appoint the chairperson and members in the same manner as provided for standing committees.

Section 3.
The President of the Association shall be a member, ex officio, of every standing and special committee of the Association. The President shall receive notice of, and shall be entitled to attend, every committee meeting and to be kept informed of the actions taken by each committee. The President shall be bound by any confidentiality rules governing the operation of any committee. The President shall not be entitled to vote at any such meeting unless he or she is a regular member of the committee and is not attending in his or her ex officio capacity.

 

ARTICLE XIII

AFFILIATE ASSOCIATIONS

Section 1. OTHER ASSOCIATIONS
The Board of Directors may establish procedures by which other voluntary bar associations may affiliate with this association.

Section 2. QUALIFICATIONS OF AFFILIATE ASSOCIATIONS
To be eligible to become an affiliate association, a voluntary bar association must:

a) Be comprised of persons of professional competency, integrity, and good moral character who are actively engaged in the defense of criminal cases and who would otherwise qualify for membership in this association;

b) Have aims, objectives and purposes, as part of its own By-Laws or operating rules, which are consistent with the By-Laws, objectives and purposes of this Association, as determined by the Board of Directors.

Section 3. APPLICATION FOR AFFILIATION
a) Voluntary bar associations may request affiliation with this Association by submitting an
application, on a form prescribed by the Board of Directors to the Executive Director.

b) An Application for affiliation shall be referred by the Executive Director to a committee
designated for such purpose, which shall review it and make a recommendation for approval or denial to the Board of Directors.

c) Approval or denial of an application for affiliation shall be by majority vote of the Board of
Directors. The president may direct that such vote be conducted by mail or telephone.

Section 4. RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES OF AFFILIATE ASSOCIATIONS
a) The Board of Directors of this Association may, by a majority vote, grant such rights and
privileges to affiliate associations as it deems necessary and proper.

b) Any rights and privileges granted to affiliate associations shall be reduced to writing as a
standing Board policy and shall be made available to any member or Affiliate Association upon request.

Section 5. REVOCATION OF AFFILIATION
Affiliate association status may be revoked for cause by a majority vote of the Board of Directors at the next lawfully called meeting.