Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Criminal Law

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Bylaws of the Section on Criminal Law of the Virginia State Bar

Approved by Council October 1967
(Amended by Council February 1990)
(Amended by Council October 1992)
(Amended by Council, July 2000)
(Amended June 2011)


ARTICLE I
Name and Jurisdiction

Section 1. The name of this Section shall be the Section on Criminal Law.
Section 2. The purpose of this Section shall be to concern itself with the problems of crime, criminology, and the administration of criminal law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, except those subjects specifically excluded by direction of the President of the Virginia State Bar.


ARTICLE II
Membership and Dues

Section 1. Each member of this Section shall pay to the Treasurer of the Virginia State Bar an enrollment fee of twenty dollars ($20.00) [as approved January 1990] and such annual dues as shall be assessed by the Board of Governors up to the limit set by Council. Any member in good standing of the Virginia State Bar upon request to the Secretary of this Section, shall be enrolled as a member of this Section. Judicial membership shall be available at no charge to any active or retired judge of the United States or of the Commonwealth. Members so enrolled shall so constitute the membership of this Section.
 

ARTICLE III
Officers and Board of Governors

Section 1. The officers of this Section shall be a Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary.

Section 2. There shall be a Board of Governors consisting of up to twenty-three (23) members selected as follows: ten (10) shall be elected at the Annual Meeting in Accordance with Article III, Section 4 of these bylaws; up to thirteen (13) shall serve ex-officio, including the Attorney General or his duly designated representative; the Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Virginia Bar Association or his duly designated representative; the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern or Western District of Virginia or his duly designated representative; a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Eastern or Western District of Virginia; the (3) officers and immediate past Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Virginia State Bar, if their elected terms on the Board shall have ended; the Executive Director of the Virginia State Bar; three (3) Virginia state judges, one (1) from a circuit court, one (1) from a general district court, and one (1) from a juvenile and domestic relations court; and up to two (2) additional members. The three (3) Virginia judges and the two (2) additional members shall be elected by the Board at the Annual Meeting of the Section for such terms as the Board shall provide in its discretion. [As amended by Council October 1992] [8/95: Board added U.S. Attorney as ex officio member; 6/00: Section approved U.S. Magistrate Judge seat].

Section 3. The Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary shall be elected by the Board of Governors from among their number, at the original meeting of this Section, to hold office until the next Annual Meeting or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified. Thereafter, the said officers shall be elected at each Annual Meeting of this Section, to hold office for a term beginning July 1 of each year and ending on June 30 of the next succeeding year, or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified. Any elected officer of the section who is not also serving a term as an elected member of the Board shall serve as a full voting member of the Board, ex officio.

Section 4. At the Annual Meeting of this Section following the adoption of these bylaws by the original Board of Governors, the ten (10) members of the Board of Governors as set forth in Article III, Section 2, shall be elected by the membership of this Section. The President of the Virginia State Bar shall then forthwith designate two members of the Board of Governors to serve for a term of one year; two for two years; two for three years; two for four years; and two for five years ("Year" as herein used meaning a term beginning July 1 after the Annual Meeting at which they shall have been elected and ending on June 30 of the succeeding first, second, third, fourth, or fifth year, respectively). Thereafter, upon the expiration of each of these initial terms, members of the Board of Governors shall be elected at each Annual Meeting of the Section, for terms of four years, beginning July 1 following the Annual Meeting at which they have been elected and ending June 30 four years later.

Section 5. No person shall be eligible for election as a member of the Board of Governors if he is then a member of the Board of Governors and has been such member continuously for a period of three or more years.

Section 6. If any member of the Board of Governors shall fail to attend two successive meetings of the Board without a reason sufficient to the Board, or if any member of the Board of Governors should resign or be declared incapacitated by the President of the Virginia State Bar, the office held by such member shall be automatically vacated.


ARTICLE IV
Nomination and Election of Officers

Section 1.  Nominations   Not less than sixty days (60) before the Annual Meeting, the Chair shall appoint a nominating committee of at least five members not more than three of whom may be members of the Board of Governors. The Immediate Past Chair of the Section shall serve as chair of the nominating committee. The current Chair and Vice Chair also shall serve as “ex officio” members of the committee.
   
The nominating committee shall meet at the place of the Annual Meeting at a time designated by the Chair of the Section and shall make and report to the Section nominations for any offices held by members whose terms expire on the 30th day of June following the Annual Meeting, or for any offices which are then vacant.
    
Three members of the nominating committee shall constitute a quorum, and, if less than a quorum is present, the Chair of the Section shall appoint new members sufficient to constitute a quorum.  Other nominations may be made from the floor of the Section meeting.


ARTICLE V
Duties of Officers

Section 1. Chair - The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Section and of the Board of Governors. The Chair shall formulate and present at each Annual Meeting of the Virginia State Bar a report of the work of the Section for the then past year. The Chair shall perform such other duties and acts as usually pertain to his office.

Section 2. Vice-Chair - Upon the death, resignation, or during the disability of the Chair, or upon his refusal to act, the Vice-Chairman shall perform the duties of the Chair for the remainder of the Chairman's term except in case of the Chair's disability, and then only during so much of the term as the disability continues.
In order to assure greater community of the functioning of the Section, it shall be the duty of the Vice-Chair to collect and organize all available information essential and important to the appointment of committees, and he/she shall further perform all duties assigned to him/her by the Chair of the Board of Governors.

Section 3. Secretary - The Secretary shall be the custodian of all books, papers, documents, and other property of the Section, except money. The Secretary shall keep a true record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Section and of the Board of Governors, whether assembled or acting under submission. With the Chair, he/she shall prepare a summary or digest of the proceedings of the Section at its Annual Meeting for publication in the Annual Report of the Virginia State Bar, after approval by the Executive Committee, or the Council, or a committee designated by either the Executive Committee or Council to give such approval. He/she, in conjunction with the Chair, as authorized by the Board of Governors, shall attend generally to the business of the Section. He/she shall keep an accurate record of all monies appropriated to and expended for the use of the Section.


ARTICLE VI
Duties and Powers of the Board of Governors

Section 1. The Board of Governors shall have general supervision and control of the affairs of the Section subject to the provisions of the Rules for Integration of and bylaws of the Virginia State Bar. It shall especially authorize all commitments or contracts which shall entail the payment of money, and shall authorize the expenditures of all monies appropriated for the use or benefit of the Section. It shall not authorize commitments or contracts which shall entail the payment of more money during any fiscal year than the amount which shall have been previously appropriated to the Section for such fiscal year.

Section 2. The Board of Governors may authorize the Chair to appoint committees from Section members to perform such duties and exercise such powers as the Board of Governors shall direct, subject to the limitations of these bylaws and the bylaws of the Virginia State Bar.

Section 3. The Board of Governors, during the interim between Annual Meetings of the Section, may fill vacancies in its own membership and the office of Secretary, or in the event of a vacancy of both the office of Chair and Vice-Chair, and the office of Chair. Members of the Board of Governors, and officers, so selected shall serve until the June 30th following the close of the Annual Meeting following such selection. Members elected at the Annual Meeting to fill vacancies shall serve for the unexpired term of the vacant position.
 

ARTICLE VII
Meetings

Section 1. The Annual Meeting of the Section shall be held at the Annual Meeting of the Virginia State Bar, in the same city or place as such Annual Meeting of the Virginia State Bar, with such program and order of business as may be arranged by the Board of Governors.

Section 2. Special meetings of this Section may be called by the Chair upon approval of a majority of the Board of Governors, at such time and place as the Chair may determine. The members of the Section present at any meeting shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Section 3. All binding actions of the Section shall be by a majority vote of the members present.

Section 4. Regular meetings of the Board of Governors of this Section shall be held on the call of the Chair at least once in each quarter of the fiscal year of this Section, the exact time and place of the meeting to be designated by the Chair.

Section 5. Special meetings of the Board of Governors shall be held as set by the Board of Governors at any meeting thereof; at the request of the majority of the Board of Governors; or at the call of the Chair.

Section 6. A majority of the Board of Governors shall constitute a quorum, and all binding action of the Board of Governors shall be by a majority vote of the whole Board.

Section 7. Members of the Board of Governors, when personally present at a meeting of the Board, shall vote in person, but when absent may communicate their vote, in writing or by telegram, upon any proposition to the Secretary and have it counted, with the same effect as if cast personally at such meeting.

Section 8. The Chair of the Section may, and upon the request of any member of the Board of Governors shall, submit or cause to be submitted in writing to each of the members of the Board of Governors any proposition upon which the Board may be authorized to act, and the members of the Board may vote upon such proposition or propositions, by communicating their vote thereon in writing or with their respective signatures, to the Secretary who shall record upon the minutes each proposition so submitted, when, how, at whose request same is submitted, and the vote of each member of the Board thereon, and keep on file such written and signed votes. If the votes of a majority of the members of the Board so recorded shall be in favor of such proposition or if such majority shall be against such proposition, such majority vote shall constitute the binding action of the Board.

Section 9. All voting at meetings of the Section and the Board of Governors, except as set forth in Article IV, Section 2, shall be open, unless specifically changed by a motion passed by a majority vote of those present.

Section 10. Criminal Law Seminars may be held at such times and places as the Board of Governors may determine.


ARTICLE VIII
Miscellaneous Provisions

Section 1. The fiscal year of the Section shall be the same as that of the Virginia State Bar.

Section 2. All bills incurred by the Section, before being forwarded to the Treasurer of the Virginia State Bar for payment, shall be approved by the Chair or the Secretary, or, if the Board of Governors shall so direct, by both of them.

Section 3. No salary or compensation shall be paid to any officer of member of the Board of Governors for their services.

Section 4. Any action of this Section must be approved by the Council of the Virginia State Bar before the same becomes effective as the action of the Virginia State Bar. Any resolution adopted or action taken by this Section may, on request of the Section, be reported by the Chair of the Section to any meeting of the Council of the Virginia State Bar for the Bar's action thereon.

Section 5. These bylaws shall become effective upon approval thereof by the Council upon recommendation of the Executive Committee of the Virginia State Bar and by this Section.

Section 6. All printing for the Section or for the Board of Governors or by committees of this Section shall be done under the supervision of the headquarters office of the Virginia State Bar.


ARTICLE IX

Except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the procedure at meetings of this Section and its Board of Governors.


ARTICLE X

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 such proposed amendment shall first have been approved by a majority of the Board of Governors and provided, further, that no amendment so adopted shall become effective until approved by the Council upon recommendation of the Executive Committee of the Virginia State Bar.