Bylaws of the Legal Services Staff Section
Article I - Name
The name of this organization is the Legal Services Staff Section (section) of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
Article II - Purposes
The purposes of this section are to:
A. provide a national forum for the recognition of the contributions of legal staff to the legislative process;
B. improve legal services to legislatures;
C. enhance communication and information sharing among those providing legal services to legislatures;
D. provide professional development opportunities for legal staff to legislatures;
E. improve the skills of legal staff to legislatures; and
F. offer a forum for discussion of how legal services staff can better serve their legislatures.
Article III - Membership
Any person employed by a member legislature of NCSL, or by a legislative agency to provide legal services to it, is a member of the section. Members of the section include attorneys, paralegals, support staff, and others who are engaged in bill drafting, code revision, legal research, administrative rules review, litigation, statutory or administrative rule compilation and publication, and other legal services.
Article IV - Meetings
The section shall meet annually in conjunction with the annual meeting of NCSL. Notice of the date, time, and place of the section's annual meeting must be contained in the announcements of the annual meeting of the NCSL. Notice of other meetings, including place and time, shall be given in writing at least 30 days before the meeting. Meetings of the section other than the annual meeting shall be called only upon a two-thirds vote of the executive committee.
Article V - Quorum and Voting
A quorum for the transaction of business of the section and voting at section meetings shall comply with the NCSL permanent rules as they apply to staff sections and as they may be in effect at the time of the meeting.
Article VI - Election of Officers and Executive Committee
The officers of the section shall be a chair, a vice-chair, and six directors.
The vice-chair and three directors shall be elected at the annual meeting. The vice-chair shall be elected for a term of one year and shall automatically succeed the following year to the office of chair to serve as chair for a term of one year. The secretary shall be appointed by the chair from among the directors and shall serve at the pleasure of the chair. Directors shall be elected for a term of two years and may be reelected for a second consecutive term. Three directors shall be elected each year. As far as possible, the six directors elected should represent bill drafters, researchers, staff members doing bill drafting, code revision, administrative rules review work, litigation counsel, statutory or administrative rule compilers or publishers, and persons doing another kind of legislative legal work.
In the case of a vacancy in the office of chair or vice-chair, the executive committee shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy for the balance of the term. However, if the vacancy is in the position of vice-chair, the appointment shall be only as vice-chair, and shall not include the chair-elect. At the next annual meeting of the section, the person appointed vice-chair is eligible for election as chair for the ensuing year. In the case of a vacancy in the office of director, the chair, with the approval of the executive committee, shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.
The chair shall appoint a nominating committee consisting of the immediate past section chair, who shall serve as chair of the nominating committee, the vice-chair, one director and two other members for the purpose of presenting a slate of nominees at the annual meeting for the consideration of the membership. If the immediate past section chair is unable to serve, the executive committee shall appoint another person to chair the nominating committee. Additional nominations for section officers may be made from the floor by the members of the section. For the purposes of this article, "year" means the period of time between the annual meetings of the NCSL.
Article VII - Executive Committee
The executive committee of the section shall be composed of the chair, the vice-chair, the immediate past chair, any person elected to the NCSL executive committee who is a member ofthe section, the editor of the staff section newsletter and six directors elected by the membership at the annual meeting as provided in the preceding article. The chair, with the approval of the executive committee, shall appoint the editor of the staff section newsletter, who shall serve at the pleasure of the chair. The chair shall preside over meetings of the executive committee and the membership and have the general management and control of the business and affairs of the section. The chair is a nonvoting member of all standing committees of the section. The vice-chair shall preside in the absence of the chair.
The executive committee shall meet at the call of the chair during the annual meeting of the NCSL. The executive committee shall also meet at least once during the interim between annual meetings. Meetings of the executive committee other than the meeting held in conjunction with the annual meeting may be conducted by any means in which all members may simultaneously communicate with all other members. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a majority of the members of the executive committee.
The executive committee shall prepare and present the section's program at the annual meeting of NCSL, keep the membership informed of the developments that relate to the special interests of the section's members, recommend to the membership at the annual meeting such action as the executive committee deems appropriate, and call special meetings of the full membership, subject to Article IV of these bylaws.
The chair may appoint committees and committee chairs with the approval of the executive committee and may make assignments to any member of committees as may be necessary for carrying out the purposes of the section. If the chair or vice chair is unable to attend a meeting of the NCSL Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee, the chair may appoint a member of the section to attend the meeting and represent the section.
The executive committee shall monitor the composition of the NCSL Executive Committee and attempt to ensure that at least one member of the NCSL Executive Committee is a representative of the section.
Article VIII - Amendments
Amendments to these bylaws require a two-thirds vote of the member jurisdictions present and voting during the annual meeting at which they are presented. The amendments must be submitted to the executive committee at least 30 days before the annual meeting at which they are to be considered for the purpose of review and the executive committee's recommendation to the annual meeting.
(Originally Adopted, Chicago, IL7/27/82) - (Amended, New Orleans, LA 8/7/86) - (Amended, Tulsa, OK8/10/89)(Amended, Cincinnati, OH 7/29/92) - (Amended, Las Vegas, NV7/22/98) - (Amended, Salt Lake City, UT7/22/04)
For more information, contact: Kae Warnock, NCSL Staff Liaison to Legal Services.