BYLAWS OF THE ANIMAL LAW SECTION OF THE STATE BAR OF TEXAS (last updated Sept. 2015)
Name and Purpose
Section 1. This section shall be known as the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.
Section 2. The purpose of this section is to:
(1) promote and assist members of the profession in the study and understanding of the laws, regulations, and court decisions dealing with legal issues involving animals; and
(2) provide a forum for members of the profession to consider and discuss the legal issues involved in human beings’ relationship and coexistence with animals.
Section 1. Each member of the section must pay to the Treasurer of the section annual dues of $20.00.
Section 2. Upon request to the Secretary of the section and upon payment to the Treasurer of dues for the current year, any eligible person shall be enrolled as a member of this section; thereafter, dues must be paid in advance each year beginning on July 1. The following persons shall be eligible for membership in the following classes:
a. Voting Member: Any member of the State Bar of Texas.
b. Associate Member: Without regard to domicile or place of business: a member of a bar association other than the State Bar of Texas; a student enrolled in law school; a paralegal, legal secretary, legal assistant, or law clerk; a court clerk, deputy or assistant court clerk, court staff member, or court reporter; or a law school, bar association, or an agency of a law school or bar association. Associate members may not hold themselves out as being members of the State Bar or make any representation that they are licensed by the State Bar. An Associate Member shall not have voting rights in the sectio
Section 3. Any member of this section whose annual dues are more than six months past due ceases to be a member of this section. Enrolled members whose dues have been paid constitute the membership of this section.
Section 4. Any member of this section may be expelled from membership in the section by a majority vote of the Council.
Section 1. The officers of this section are as follows: Chair; Vice-Chair; Secretary; and Treasurer.
Section 2. There shall be a Council which shall consist of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer, and all former Chairs, all of whom are members, ex-officio, together with eight other members to be elected by the section as provided by these bylaws.
Section 3. The nominations for Chair; Vice-Chair; Secretary; and Treasurer shall be made not less than thirty days prior to each annual meeting of this section. Officers shall be elected at the annual meeting for terms for one year beginning at the close of the annual meeting at which they were elected and ending at the close of the next annual meeting.
Section 4. The nominations for non-officer Council positions shall be made not less than 30 days prior to each annual meeting of the section. Four non-officer members of the Council shall be elected at each annual meeting of the section for terms of two years beginning at the close of the annual meeting at which they were elected and ending at the close of the second succeeding annual meeting of the section.
Section 5. If any elected member of the council fails to attend two successive meetings of the Council, the office held by that member is automatically vacated, and the Council shall fill the vacancy for the expired term.
Nomination and Election of Officers
Section 1. Nominations. Not less than 60 days before each Annual Meeting the Chair shall appoint a nominating committee of three section members. The committee shall make and report its nominations for officers and council to the Section Members. Other nominations may be made by section members if made in writing and submitted to the Chair or nominating committee not less than 15 days prior to the annual meeting.
Section 2. Elections. All elections must be by written or electronic ballot unless ordered by resolution duly adopted by the section at the annual meeting at which the election is held.
Duties of Officers
Section 1. Chair. The Chair shall: (1) preside at all meetings of the section and of the Council; (2) formulate and present at each annual meeting of the State Bar of Texas a report of the work of the section for the past year; and (3) perform other duties customary for the Chair.
Section 2. Vice-Chair. Upon the death, resignation, or during the disability of the Chair, or upon the Chair’s refusal to act, the Vice-Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair for the remainder of the Chair’s term except in case of the Chair’s disability, and then only so long as the disability continues.
Section 3. Secretary. The Secretary is the custodian of all books, papers, documents, and other property of the section. The Secretary shall keep a true record of the proceedings of all meetings of the section and the Council, whether assembled or acting under submission. The Chair, Vice- Chair, and Secretary shall prepare a summary or digest of the proceedings of the section at its annual meeting. In conjunction with the Chair and the Vice-Chair, the Secretary as authorized by the council, shall attend generally to the business of the section.
Section 4. Treasurer. The Treasurer is the custodian of all financial books, papers, documents, and funds of the section. The Treasurer shall deposit the funds of the section in a separate account in any bank to be selected by the Council, generally in the city where the Treasurer resides, and shall make disbursements from funds as directed and authorized by the Council on checks signed by the Treasurer or either the Chair or Vice-Chair. The Treasurer shall keep an accurate record of all funds appropriated to and expended for the use of the section. The Treasurer shall submit to the State Bar accounting department on a monthly basis all bank statements, along with all canceled checks and deposit slips and the check register.
Duties and Powers of the Council
Section 1. The Council shall have general supervision and control of the affairs of the section subject to the rules governing the State Bar of Texas and the bylaws of this section. The Council shall authorize all commitments or contracts which require the payment of money, and shall authorize the expenditure of all funds.
Section 2. The Council may authorize the Chair, with the Vice-Chair, to appoint committees from section members to perform duties and exercise the powers as the Council may direct, subject to the limitations of these bylaws and rules governing the State Bar of Texas.
Section 3. The Council, during the interim between annual meetings of the section, may fill vacancies in its own membership or in the offices of Secretary and Treasurer; or, in the event of a vacancy in both the office of Chair and Vice-Chair, then in the office of Chair. Members of the Council, and officers, so selected serve until the close of the next annual meeting of the section or until their successors have been elected and qualified.
Section 4. Members of the Council when personally present at a meeting of the Council shall vote in person, but when absent may communicate their vote, in writing, regarding any proposition, to the Secretary and have the vote counted with the same effect as if cast personally at the meeting.
Section 5. The Chair of the section may, and upon the request of any member of the Council shall, submit or cause to be submitted, in writing, to each of the members of the Council, any proposition upon which the Council may be authorized to act, and the members of the Council may vote regarding that proposition by communicating their vote, in writing to the Secretary. The Secretary shall record the vote of each member of the Council and keep on file the written votes. A vote conducted under this section of these bylaws constitutes the vote of the Council the same as if the vote was conducted under Article VI, Section 4 of these bylaws.
Section 6. Seven (7) members of the Council shall constitute a quorum at a meeting of the Council. All binding action of the Council shall be by vote of the majority of those members present at a meeting at which a quorum is present.
Section 1. The annual meeting of the section shall be held at such time and place as determined by the Chair and approved by the Council. The annual meeting may be held during the annual meeting of the State Bar of Texas or at such other time and place as the Chair and Council shall agree with the program and order of business as may be arranged by the Council. Notice of the annual meeting shall be delivered to the section members by electronic mail, U.S. mail, overnight delivery service, or posting on the section’s website (or a combination thereof) at least 20 days prior to the date designated for such meeting.
Section 2. Special meetings of the section may be called by the Chair upon approval of the Council, at a time and place the Council determines.
Section 3. So long as at least seven (7) members of the Council are present, the members of the section present at any meeting constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Section 4. A binding action of the section requires a majority vote of the members present.
Section 5. Any recommendation or declaration of the section regarding existing or proposed legislation, or regarding proposed governmental regulations or administration, in order to constitute the action of the section, must first be approved by two-thirds of the members of the Council provided that the action must also be submitted for approval to the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas.
Section 6. At any meeting the Chair, upon majority vote of the Voting Members present at the meeting, or by majority vote of the Council prior to the meeting, may remove any Associate Member from the meeting or may limit attendance at the meeting to Voting Members only.
Section 1. Section funds must be invested consistent with the State Bar’s Investment Policy as set forth in the State Bar Board of Directors Policy Manual, as the same may be amended from time to time. Section funds must be deposited into either a branch of the State Bar banking depository or an alternative banking depository meeting the requirements of the State Bar’s Investment Policy.
Section 2. The Section must maintain accurate financial books and records and have appropriate controls on the maintenance and disbursement of the Section’s funds, all in a fashion that permits the inclusion of the Section’s financial information in the State Bar’s financial statements and audit. The Section must provide to the State Bar such financial information as may be required for compliance with the requirements for the independent financial and/or internal audits of the State Bar as required by applicable law, rules and regulations, and pursuant to the State Bar’s procedures for reporting section financial reporting, as such procedures may be amended from time to time. The Section will submit to the Executive Director of the State Bar by July 15th of each year a budget for the then current fiscal year.
Section 3. To the extent required by law, the Section will collect sales tax on goods or services that it sells, and will remit monthly to the State Bar all sales tax collected during the immediately preceding month, along with a report listing the price, quantity and description of the goods or services so sold in such detail as the State Bar Accounting Department reasonably may require to ensure compliance with applicable law, rules and regulations.
Section 4. The Section may request the State Bar Accounting Department to manage Section funds, including depositing dues, managing operating expenses, issuing checks and preparing financial reports and budgets.
Section 1. No position may be taken by the Section or its members in the name of the Section or the State Bar that advocates or advances a political or social policy position in violation of State Bar policies, the State Bar Act, the State Bar Rules, or any other applicable state or federal law.
Section 2. The Section may not change its name without the approval of the State Bar Board of Directors in accordance with the then current State Bar policies and procedures.
Section 3. 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 or any third party. The Section will take reasonable and necessary precautions to protect the confidentiality of all such information.
Section 4. The fiscal year of the section is the same as that of the State Bar of Texas.
Section 5. No salary or compensation may be paid to any officer or member of this section. Any individual item of expense of the section’s members, speakers, or volunteers not exceeding $1,000.00 may be reimbursed if approved by either the Chair, the Treasurer, or the Council. Individual items of expense over $1,000.00 must be approved by either the Council or by both the Chair and Treasurer. No person may approve his or her own expense.
Approved September 2015 by the State Bar Board of Directors.
Section 6. These Bylaws shall be construed to comply with and include all financial disclosure requirements and other requirements governing sections of the State Bar of Texas, which requirements are incorporated herein.
Section 7. Any provision in these bylaws that requires an act be “written” or “in writing” shall include electronic communication.
These Bylaws may be amended at any annual meeting of the section by a majority vote of the members of the section present and voting, provided each proposed amendment must have been approved by two-thirds of the members of the Council. No amendment may become effective until approved by the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas.