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Bar News - October 17, 2008


Digest of Proposed Amendments to NHBA Constitution

Visit www.nhbar.org for the full text of the proposed amendments to the NHBA By-Laws and Constitution to be voted on at a special membership meeting on November 3, 2008.

ARTICLE I

Only one sentence was changed (added language in bold).

Purposes

The purposes of this Association are to improve the administration of justice; to foster and maintain high standards of conduct, integrity, competence and public service on the part of those engaged in the practice of law; to safeguard the proper professional interests of the members of the Bar; to provide a forum for the discussion of subjects pertaining to the practice of law, the science of jurisprudence and law reform, and the relations of the Bar to the public; to carry on a continuing program of legal research and education; and to encourage cordial relations among members of the Bar; all without regard to race, national origin, religion, creed, or gender or sexual orientation, and to the end that the public responsibility of the legal profession may be more effectively discharged. The Association shall confine its activities before the General Court to those matters which are related directly to the administration of justice; the composition and operation of the courts; the practice of law and the legal profession.

ARTICLE II

Minor language changes as noted. Only those Sections with changes are printed below.

Membership

Section 1.

All persons who on the date this Constitution takes effect are admitted to the practice of law in the State of New Hampshire, and all persons who shall thereafter become admitted to the practice of law in this State, shall thereby become members of this Association; subject in each case to due compliance with the requirements of membership. Residence in the State of New Hampshire shall not be a qualification for membership in the Association.

Section 2. Each person admitted to the practice of law in this State shall be enrolled in this Association by registering with the Secretary of the Association within sixty (60) days after the effective date of this Constitution, in accordance with the requirements of the By-Laws. Every person who becomes admitted to the practice of law in this State after the effective date of this Constitution, shall be enrolled in the Association in like manner by registering with the Secretary Association within thirty (30) days twenty-four (24) hours after admission to practice. After such enrollment, each change in any memberís office or residence address contact information shall be promptly reported to the Association Secretary.

(New) For purposes of official notification to the Association, correspondence must be directed to the NH Bar Center of the New Hampshire Bar Association.

Section 3. Sole change in this Section to replace "the Association Secretary" with "the Association."

Section 5. Sole change in this Section replaces "paid to the Treasurer of the Association Secretary" with "paid to the Association."

Section 6. Amended to change delinquency penalties and reinstatement fees from specific amounts ($25 and $100 respectively) to fees set at levels "as set periodically by the Board of Governors." Also, "the Association Secretary" replaced with "the Association."

Section 8. Sole change in this Section replaces "the Association Secretary" with "the Association."

ARTICLE III

Only those sections with amended language are noted below.

Meetings of the Association

Section 2. Special meetings of the Association may be called and held at such times and places as may be determined by the Board of Governors. In addition, the Board of Governors shall call a special meeting of the Association upon petition signed by not less than ten percent of the active members and specifying the purpose of the meeting and such meeting shall be held within thirty (30) days after said petition is filed with the Association Secretary.

Section 3. Written notices of any regular or special meeting of the Association shall be mailed by first class mail, second class, or third class postage prepaid, electronically, or any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of such meeting, and the notice shall specify the purpose of the meeting. The Association Secretary shall include in such notice as a purpose of the meeting any matter requested by petition signed in the manner specified in the preceding section.

ARTICLE IV

Only those sections with amended language are noted below.

Officers and Employees

Section 1. The officers of the Association shall be a President, who shall not thereafter be eligible for election to that office, a President-Elect, who shall not thereafter be eligible for election to that office, a Vice President, who shall not thereafter be eligible for election to that office, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, who shall be nominated and elected respectively in the manner provided in the By-Laws, and the Immediate Past President. Only active members of the Association shall be eligible to serve as officers. No person may hold more than one office at one time. The term of office of each officer shall be one year, with the exception of Secretary and Treasurer who shall serve for terms of three (3) years and having won a regular, full-term election, shall serve not more than two (2) consecutive terms, commencing with adjournment of the Annual Meeting of the Association next following election and ending with the adjournment of the next succeeding Annual Meeting, except that the Immediate Past President shall, without election, serve for the one-year period following vacating the office of President. The officers shall receive no compensation for their services. The duties of the officers shall be as prescribed in the By-Laws.

Section 3. The Board of Governors shall hire appoint an Executive Director and such other staff assistants or employees as the Board may deem advisable. The compensation of the Executive Director all such persons shall be fixed by the Board of Governors, and each shall serve at the pleasure of the Board. Any duties imposed by this Constitution or the By-Laws of the Association upon the Secretary or Treasurer may be performed under the supervision of such officers respectively, by the Executive Director or other employees of the Association as designated by the Executive Director.

ARTICLE V

Only those sections with amended language are noted below.

Board of Governors

One (1) Public Sector Governor elected from the membership at large by the active membership of the Association.

Each elected Public Sector Governor shall be an active member of the Association that meets the established criteria for representing the public sector members of the Association and if following election no longer meets the established criteria, the position shall become vacant automatically. Elected Governors shall be nominated and elected in the manner provided in the By-Laws.

Section 2 is amended to remove obsolete language governing the staggering of terms for Governors.

Section 3. The Board of Governors shall fill any vacancy in the ranks of its elected membership from the county in which the vacancy occurs in the case of vacancy in the office of Governor elected from a county or division and otherwise, from the membership at large, until the next regular election and the Board shall provide for an election at that time for the balance of the unexpired term.

Section 4. Between meetings of the Association, the Board of Governors shall be the governing body of the Association, and shall have the power and authority to do and perform all acts and functions which the Association might itself do or perform, not inconsistent with the Rules of the Supreme Court, this Constitution and the By-Laws or with any action taken by the Association.

Article VI Interim Officers and Board of Governors, and Article IX Adoption, obsolete articles relating to the original adoption of the Constitution, are deleted resulting in a re-numbering of the remaining articles.

ARTICLE VII VI

By-Laws

The Association shall adopt By-Laws for the conduct of its affairs, not inconsistent with the Rules of the Supreme Court or this Constitution.

See proposed revisions of the By-Laws elsewhere on this page.

ARTICLE VIII VII

Amendments

Subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, this Constitution may be amended at any meeting of the Association by the vote of two-thirds of the active members of the Association present and voting. Copies of the proposed amendments shall be mailed, faxed, emailed or provided via any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section to the entire membership of the Association at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting.

ARTICLE X VIII

Takes Effect

This Constitution, if adopted in the manner provided in Article IX hereof, shall take in its original form, took effect on July 1, 1969.

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