Name of Association
Section 1. This Association shall be known as the Henrico County Bar Association (the Association).
Section 1. The purpose of the Henrico County Bar Association is to instill in the members of the legal profession a high standard of honor and integrity to the client, the courts and to the community; to promote reform in the law and in the judicial procedure; to participate in the affairs of Henrico County and the State of Virginia to ensure the orderly and fair administration of justice; and to encourage social intercourse among the members of the Bar.
Section 1. The following shall constitute the membership of the Association:
A. Active Members
(1) Shall be admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Virginia; (2) Shall maintain a bona fide law office in Henrico County, or shall reside in Henrico County, or shall devote a substantial portion of the member's time to the general practice of law in Henrico County; (3) Shall pay in advance dues as prescribed by the By-Laws; and (4) Shall be a member of the Virginia State Bar. Any person meeting the above requirements shall be eligible to active membership in the Association upon a majority vote of the Committee on Admissions and upon subscribing to the By-Laws.
The Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney, the Henrico County Attorney, and their full-time assistant attorneys may be active members upon payment in advance of dues as prescribed by the By-Laws and upon a majority vote of the Committee on Admissions and upon subscribing to the By-Laws.
Any member who has been an active member for two years or more may retain such active membership, regardless of change of location of office or residence, so long as all other requirements are met.
B. Honorary Members.
Shall be the active and retired Henrico Judges of the Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court and such other honorary members may be added from time to time as recommended by the Committee on Admissions and approved by the Board of Directors. Such members shall not be subject to the payment of dues and shall be without power to vote.
An applicant for Active membership shall fill out and submit an application to the Committee on Admissions on a form prescribed by that Committee before their application will be considered. Active members of the Association who for any reason cease to comply with any one or more of the requirements for admission to Active membership may be transferred to Honorary membership and/or dropped from membership upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors.
Section 2. Honorary members shall have all the privileges of the Association except those of voting, holding office, and except as otherwise expressly limited to Active members by the By-Laws of the Association.
Section 1. The officers of the Association shall be a President, President-Elect (to take office as President at the first regularly scheduled meeting after the election of officers), Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.
Section 2. The duties of these officers shall be such as are usually imposed upon such officers or such duties as may be specially prescribed by the By-Laws.
Section 3. All officers of the Association shall be elected for a term of one year commencing in May of each year and no person shall be President for two successive terms. Election of officers shall be held on the second Wednesday in April, or such other time during April as the Board of Directors may designate, at a time and place designated by the Board of Directors. Upon the tally of the election results by Tellers appointed for the purpose by the President of the Association, the Secretary shall immediately make known to the membership the results of the election and the officers elected.
Section 4. The President shall appoint a nominating committee to nominate persons for the offices of President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The nominating committee shall submit the names of those nominated to the Secretary of the Association, and the Secretary shall notify the members of the Association at least thirty days prior to the election. A majority of those voting in the election shall be required to elect; provided, however, that in the event no candidate receives the majority of the votes cast, the President shall arrange for an immediate run off between the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes.
A. There shall be a Board of Directors which shall consist of the President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate Past President and five Directors elected at large from the Active Membership of the Association. The President shall act as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
B. Each Director shall serve one (1) year. All elections for the office of Board of Directors at large shall be conducted in accordance with Article IV, Sections 3 and 4 of the By-Laws. Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of the Board of Directors, for reason other than expiration of the incumbent’s term, the remaining members of the Board of Directors shall fill the same by interim appointment.
Section 2. There shall be the following standing committees appointed by the President, whose members shall serve for the President’s term: Committee on Admissions, Judicial Committee, and Grievance Committee.
Section 1. These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any regular or special meeting of the Association provided that the text of the proposed amendment, subscribed by five members, be mailed to the Active membership at least 10 days prior to the meeting. The proposed amendment may be modified at the meeting.
Section 2. These By-Laws, and any amendments thereto, shall be effective immediately upon adoption.
Section 1. The regular meetings of the Association shall be held at such times and places fixed by the Board of Directors, except as herein provided.
Section 2. Special meetings may be called at any time by the President and shall be called upon the written request of five (5) Active members of the Association. At such special meetings no business shall be transacted except such as shall be specified in the call therefor. Reasonable notice thereof must be given the members of the Association.
Section 3. Ten percent (10%) (but not less than 25 individuals) of the Active members in good standing shall constitute a quorum. A majority present shall have power to decide all questions coming before the Association except as otherwise provided in these By-Laws.
Section 4. The usual parliamentary rules shall, unless otherwise herein provided, govern all meetings of the Association.
Section 5. For the election of officers, or any other vote as determined by the President, the President shall appoint not less than two (2) Tellers, who shall ensure that all persons voting are duly qualified to vote in accordance with these By-Laws and tally the voting results.
Section 1. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association and perform the ordinary functions of the presiding officer.
Section 2. The President-Elect shall succeed the President at the termination of the President’s term.
Section 3. The Vice-President shall preside in the absence of the President and shall succeed to the office of President in the event a vacancy occurs during the President’s normal term.
Section 4. The Secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of all meetings, and of all other matters of which a record shall be deemed advisable by the Association. He shall keep a roll of all the officers and members, and shall issue notices of all meetings other than regular meetings, and shall conduct the correspondence of the Association, with the concurrence of the President.
Section 5. The Treasurer shall collect, and, under the direction of the Board of Directors, disburse all funds of the Association; he shall report annually, or more often if required; he shall keep regular accounts; which shall be open at all time to the inspection of any member of the Association; and his accounts shall be audited by a committee of three (3) Active members to be appointed by the President.
Board of Directors
Section 6. The Board of Directors shall have control of all assets and property of the Association and shall have power to impose charges and establish regulations for the use of the property in the control of the Association; shall have power to appropriate and expend the monies thereof; and to regulate the time and place of meetings of the Association; to regulate the time, place, manner of electing new members; shall present business for the action of the affairs of the Association, subject, however, to the limitations and divisions of these By-Laws.
Section 7. The Board of Directors may appoint from its members an Executive Committee to act on its behalf.
Section 1. The annual dues shall be fixed by the Association.
Section 2. If annual dues are not paid by a member on or before October 1 of each year, the Treasurer shall notify such member in writing that his name shall be dropped from the list of the Association members and that he will cease to be a member of the Association as of December 1 of such year, provided, that upon his written application and payment of all dues current and in default, the Board of Directors, in its discretion, and upon such terms as it may think necessary, may reinstate him.
Section 3. In case of such forfeiture of membership, said delinquent member shall cease to be a member of the Association, and notice of such fact shall be forwarded to him in writing, copy being retained, that he had ceased to be a member, specifying the reason thereof, and he shall thereupon forfeit all his right, title and interest in and to all the property and assets of the Association.
Section 1. Any member of the Association may be suspended or expelled by two-thirds vote of the Association, after notice and haring, for misconduct, and all interest in the property of the Association of persons resigning, or otherwise ceasing to be members, shall vest in the Association.
Section 2. The Association adopts such professional ethics as are adopted and promulgated by the Supreme Court of Virginia and all amendments thereto.
Section 1 - Policy. The Association shall recommend and support for judicial office those persons who by their character, temperament and professional aptitude and experiences have demonstrated their special qualifications for judicial office, and shall not recommend or support the selection for judicial office those person who do not possess these qualifications. The Association shall actively encourage those person most qualified for judicial office to agree to accept appointment.
Section 2 - Judiciary Committee
A. There shall be a Judiciary Committee of six (6) members of the Association.
B. The members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Association’s President. Insofar as possible these appointments shall represent a broad cross section of the Board consisting of persons of recognized standing, judgment and independence.
C. The appointments of the members of the Committee shall be made at the commencement of each President’s term. The terms of the members of the Committee shall be three (3) years, but such terms shall be staggered so that two (2) members shall be appointed annually. Of the members to be appointed initially, two (2) shall be appointed for three year terms, two (2) for two year terms, and two (2) for one year term.
D. The Chairman of the Committee shall be elected by the Committee and shall serve for a term of one (1) year. No person shall be elected Chairman who has not served as a member of the Committee for at least one (1) full year prior to the beginning of this term as Chairman.
E. Four (4) members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum.
F. Vacancies in the Committee shall be filled by appointment of the President of the Association as provided in (b) above.
G. No member of the Committee shall be eligible for reappointment to the Committee until after a lapse of one (1) year from the expiration of his term, provided, however, that upon the expiration of the term of a member who has been appointed for a term of less than three (3) years, whether to fill a vacancy or otherwise, he may be reappointed for a full three (3) year term.
H. No person shall be appointed to the Committee who, at the time of such appointment, is being considered for judicial office. Any member of the Committee who authorizes the Committee to consider his qualifications of judicial office shall forthwith cease to be a member of the Committee and shall be ineligible for appointment to the Committee for a period of two (2) years thereafter.
I. Any member of the Committee may be removed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Association’s Board of Directors for violation of any of the duties specified in Section 3, but such Committee member whose removal is sought shall first be given a hearing by the Board of Directors upon thirty (30) days written notice thereof, setting forth the violation charged.
Section 3 - Member’s Duty of Fidelity
A. No member of the Committee shall make any advance commitment concerning how he will vote at any Committee meeting concerning qualifications of any person to be considered by the Committee.
B. Except as herein otherwise provided, the discussions at the Committee meetings pertaining to the qualifications of persons to be considered by the Committee shall be completely confidential. No member of the Committee shall disclose to anyone not a member of the Committee any action taken by the Committee or any statement made at a Committee meeting pertaining to the qualifications of any person whose name has been submitted to, or has been considered by, the Committee.
C. It shall be regarded as a violation of the duty of fidelity a member owes to the other members of the Committee and to the public trust he undertakes upon becoming a member of the Committee for any member to make a commitment or disclosure in violation of this section. Any member who make such a commitment or disclosure shall be subject to removal as a member of the Committee by the Board of Directors of the Association.
Section 4 - Duties of the Committee; Minimum Vote Required
A. The Committee shall implement, in the manner provided herein, the policies of the Association concerning endorsement of candidates for judicial office.
B. The Committee shall take no action recommending or approving any person for judicial office without the affirmative vote of at least four (4) members of the Committee.
Section 5 - Scope of Committee’s Activities. The Committee shall be concerned with the selection of judges for all state courts sitting in Henrico County. The Committee may also consider the selection of judges for any other court if requested to do so by the Board of Directors.
Section 6 - Procedure for Recommending Candidates.
A. Whenever a vacancy exists, or is about to occur, in any of the courts specified in Section 5, the Committee, by publication in any newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the Richmond metropolitan area and by notification to all members of the Association, shall advise the bench, the Bar and the public of the vacancy, and shall invite suggestions of names of qualified persons to be considered by the Committee. The Committee shall also actively encourage persons believed by the Committee to possess the requisite special qualifications for judicial office to agree to have their names submitted and to accept appointment if tendered. No person shall be recommended by the Committee unless the Committee shall have received such person’s assurance that he will accept the appointment if tendered.
B. The Committee shall investigate the background, experience and other qualifications of each person under consideration for a judicial vacancy, and shall, where the Committee deems it advisable, interview each such person. Candidates shall submit a resume and a statement detailing their qualifications for consideration by the Judiciary Committee. Such statement shall not exceed one side of one page. The Committee shall carefully consider whether or not each person under consideration possesses the qualities prescribed in Section 1(a) hereof, and after a closed meeting of the Committee at which opportunity is given for full and open discussion, the Committee shall determine whether each such person is so qualified. The Committee shall then recommend to the President of the Association the names of those persons whom the Committee finds to be best qualified and qualified to fill the vacancy.
C. The Committee shall make every effort to meet and make its report and recommendations promptly after a vacancy is announced.
Section 7 - Assembly of the Association
A. Upon receiving the Committee’s report, the President of the Association, or in the event of his absence or disqualification the officer acting as President, promptly shall call an assembly of the Association for the purpose of endorsing a candidate to fill such vacancy. The notice of such assembly shall include the names recommended as best qualified and qualified by the Committee. The Committee shall report the names of all the candidates it considered. Only those person whose qualifications were considered by the Committee may be nominated.
B. At such meeting there may be but one nominating speech of not more than five minutes duration for each candidate for such vacancy. The person nominating a candidate shall be a member of the Association and shall state that the candidate is willing to accept the appointment if made.
C. The Committee shall provide copies of the candidate’s statement of qualifications and resume for each candidate deemed to be best qualified or qualified to the Administrator of the Henrico Bar Association, which shall be made available to any member upon request.
D. Only those members who are in good standing with the Henrico Bar Association and have fully paid their dues by 5:00 p.m. two business days prior to the Association’s assembly shall be eligible to vote.
Section 8 - Voting Procedures.
A. Voting shall be by secret written ballot. There shall be no voting proxy. Tellers shall be appointed by the President of the Association, who shall count the votes and report the number of votes cast for each candidate to the President. The President shall not announce to the assembly the number of votes cast for each candidate to the President. The President shall not announce to the assembly the number of votes cast for each candidate but shall report the candidates for the next ballot in the order of votes received.
B. If there be but one candidate, he shall upon receiving a majority of the votes cast, by the nominee of the Association.
C. If there be two candidates, the candidate receiving the greater number of votes shall be the nominee of the Association. If the other candidate receives at least 40% of the votes, that candidate shall be the alternate nominee. In the event there is a tie vote, both candidates shall be the nominees of the Association.
D. If there be three candidates, any candidate receiving at least 65% of the votes cast on the first ballot shall be the sole nominee of the Association. If any candidate receives more than 50% of the votes on the first ballot, that candidate shall be the nominee of the Association and any candidate receiving at least 40% of the votes shall be the alternate nominee. If no candidate receives at least 50% of the votes, the candidate receiving the least number of votes shall be eliminated and the voting shall proceed as prescribed in Section 8(c). If there is a tie between all three candidates, all three candidates shall be the nominees of the Association.
E. If there be more than three (3) candidates, any candidate receiving at least 65% of the votes cast on the first ballot shall be the sole nominee of the Association. If any candidate receives at least 50% of the votes on the first ballot, that candidate shall be the nominee of the Association and any candidate receiving at least 40% of the votes shall be the alternate nominee. If no candidate receives at least 50% of the votes, all candidates except the three receiving the most votes on the first ballot shall be eliminated and those three candidates shall be voted on as prescribed in Section 8(d). If there is a tie between all the candidates, the voting shall continue until the tie is broken.
F. If an alternate nominee is not selected, a motion may be entertained by the chair making the nomination unanimous.
Section 9 - Results of Nomination. The President of the Association shall certify to the members of the General Assembly representing Henrico County, the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Henrico County and to such other persons and organizations deemed appropriate by the President, the name of the nominee or nominees in case of a tie, and if nominated, the name of the alternate nominee, together with the request of the Association that its nominee be selected to fill the vacancy. The President of the Association shall also forward the names of the members of the Committee, a copy of the resume, and the candidate’s statement of qualifications for each candidate the Committee deemed to be best qualified and qualified.
The above is a true copy of the By-Laws of the Henrico County Bar Association in effect and as amended as of April 16, 2009