About the Bar
BY-LAWS OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE BAR ASSOCIATION
Approved by Member Vote on July 28, 2011.
Section 1. Membership. The Association shall maintain a membership register for enrollment of members of the Association which shall contain as to each member a record showing address, registration date, class of original membership and each subsequent change of membership status, and such other information as may be required by the Board of Governors from time to time.
Section 2. Enrollment. Each member shall enroll in the Association by signing and filing with the Association a registration card showing the following information concerning the registrant:
(a) Full name.
(b) Residence address.
(c) Address of principal office.
(d) Date of birth.
(e) Date of admission to practice in New Hampshire.
(f) Date of admission to practice in any state or states other than New Hampshire.
(g) Name of law school and year of graduation, if any.
(h) Class of membership.
(i) Email address for all Active status members.
Every change after enrollment in respect of the residence or principal office address of any member shall be promptly reported to the Association. Communications from the Association to any member shall be sent to the latest address furnished by such member.
Section 3. Certification. The Association shall from time to time certify to the Clerk of the Supreme Court any changes in the roll of active members.
Section 1. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Association shall be from June first to May thirty first following, and all membership dues shall be payable within thirty (30) days of the date of the Association's invoice for such or in compliance with any policies as set by the Board of Governors, which shall be deemed the date of mailing for such invoice.
Section 2. Active Members. Effective with the 2003 budget year and thereafter the annual membership fee for all classes of members of the Association, except Honorary Active and Honorary Inactive members, shall be established by a 3/5 vote of the Board of Governors except that the authority to adjust annual membership fees, without a vote of the membership, shall be limited to 15% of the prior year’s dues in each membership category.
Section 3. Full time Judicial Members. Members of this category may attend regular New Hampshire Bar Association Continuing Legal Education programs without payment of additional continuing legal education registration fees beyond the yearly regular CLE fee paid by the Administrative Office of the Courts to the Association to cover such CLE attendance.
Section 4. Honorary Members. Any member of this Association shall, on the fiftieth anniversary of the member's first admission to the Bar of this or any other state, become an Honorary Active Member of the Association entitled to all privileges of active membership or an Honorary Inactive Member of the Association.
Section 5. Newly Admitted Members. Newly admitted members of the Bar shall be required to pay a prorated membership fee for the fraction of the Association's fiscal year during which such original admission shall occur. Such proration shall commence on the first day of the first calendar month following admission such that each newly admitted member shall pay one twelfth of the annual fee for each full calendar month after admission in the initial fiscal year. The annual fee for newly admitted active members for the fiscal year of original admission and the next two fiscal years of the Association shall be set at a reduced level from that of members with four (4) or more years practice. The number of years that a new admittee has already spent as a member of any other Bar shall be subtracted from this three year period. "Newly admitted" shall not include persons re admitted after suspension.
Section 6. Inactive and Inactive Retired Members. To be eligible for this membership fee category, a request to change to Inactive membership status must be made within thirty (30) days of the membership dues billing. The Board of Governors may waive this 30 day deadline for good cause shown.
Inactive members who at the start of the Association's fiscal year are fully retired from the practice of law in all jurisdictions are eligible to request Inactive Retired Status for which the annual membership fee shall not exceed 10% of the Active membership fee. Honorary Inactive Members are exempt from any payment of membership dues.
Section 7. Active Duty with Armed Services. Any member of the Association on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States may, upon written request to the Association, have membership dues abated for the duration of such active service.
Section 8. Limited Active Membership Status for Pro Bono Service through the NHBA Pro Bono Referral System. Members who are otherwise not engaged in the practice of law in any jurisdiction, or who occupy a position the duties of which do not require the giving of legal advice or services in New Hampshire or any other jurisdiction, are eligible to request Limited Active Membership Status for NHBA PBRS Pro Bono Service for the sole purpose of providing civil pro bono legal services to the indigent. The annual membership fee for the Limited Active Membership Status for NHBA PBRS Pro Bono Service shall not exceed 10% of the Active membership fee. The NHBA Board of Governors reserves the right to grant and rescind Limited Active Membership Status for NHBA PBRS, and strongly encourages members requesting or maintaining this membership status to volunteer for approved civil legal services through the NHBA Pro Bono Referral Service for a minimum of 40 hours per year.
Board of Governors
Section 1. Meetings. Regular Meetings of the Board of Governors shall be held at least four (4) times a year and at such times and places as it shall from time to time determine. Special meetings of the Board of Governors may be held at any time upon the call of the President, and shall be called by the President upon written request of at least five (5) members of the Board.
Section 2. Call. Notice of the time and place of all regular and special meetings of the Board of Governors shall be given to each member by the Association by mail, fax, telephone email or any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section, at least forty eight (48) hours before the meeting. At any regular or special meeting of the Board of Governors, any business may be transacted which is within the power of the Board of Governors whether or not such business has been mentioned in the call or notice of the meeting.
Section 3. Quorum. At all meetings of the Board of Governors, a majority of the members must be present in person or by electronic media to constitute a quorum, and the action of a majority of those voting, if a quorum is present, shall decide any question. If a quorum is not present at any regular meeting of the Board of Governors, sufficient Board members to constitute a quorum must ratify in writing, by fax, email or any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section, any action taken by the Board at the meeting in question. Any action taken at any special meeting of the Board of Governors held without previous notice, at which a quorum is present, shall be valid if the absent member or members consent in writing or via email to the recorded proceedings of the meeting.
Section 4. Written Approval. The approval in writing of all the members of the Board of Governors to any proposal presented to them for their consideration, in writing, by fax, email or any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section or otherwise, by the President or the Association shall be as effective for all purposes as the action of a majority at any duly held and constituted meeting of the Board.
Section 5. No Compensation to Governors. No member of the Board of Governors shall receive compensation for services rendered in connection with the performance of Board duties, but the Board of Governors may provide for the reimbursement of officers and members of the Board for their necessary expenses incurred in connection with the performance of their duties.
Section 6. Executive Committee. This committee shall be comprised of the six (6) Officers and the Executive Director (ex-officio, without vote). The Executive Committee shall oversee the work of the Executive Director and the implementation of Association policy between meetings of the Board of Governors and shall perform such other functions of the Board of Governors as shall be assigned to it by the Board.
Section 7. Protocol. The Board of Governors shall adopt a protocol outlining how the Board, committees, sections, task forces, work groups, and any other Bar entities work together to establish, implement and evaluate new and existing projects and initiatives for the organization. The Board may, from time to time, amend the Protocol, as necessary to accomplish the stated goals.
Officers and Employees
Section 1. President. The President shall be the chief elected officer of the Association, shall preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Board of Governors, and shall perform the duties usually belonging to the office. The President shall be the official spokesperson for the Association, and shall appoint and announce as soon as possible after taking office the membership of all committees for the ensuing year, the appointment of which shall not have otherwise been provided for. The President shall be vested with full power to execute whatever functions may be necessary or incident to the full exercise of any powers bestowed by the Board of Governors, not inconsistent with the Constitution and these By Laws. It shall be the duty and obligation of the President to furnish leadership in the accomplishment of the aims and purposes of the Association.
Section 1 A. President Elect. In the absence of the President, the President Elect shall perform the duties of the President. The President Elect shall automatically succeed to the Presidency upon expiration of the President's term of office. The President Elect shall assist the President in the manner prescribed by the President in furtherance of the aims and purposes of the Association. The President Elect shall be responsible for soliciting members for committee assignments after determining the interests of the membership of the Association. The President Elect shall periodically submit recommendations concerning the creation, abolition or modification of the committees to the President. The President Elect shall also perform such other duties as shall from time to time be assigned by the Board of Governors and shall serve as Chair of the Association Finance Committee during president-elect term.
Section 2. Vice President. In the absence of the President and President Elect, the Vice President shall perform the duties of the President. The Vice President shall also perform such other duties as shall from time to time be assigned by the President or by the Board of Governors and shall serve on the Association Finance Committee.
Section 3. Secretary. The Secretary, or designee, shall keep the minutes for all meetings of the Association and of the Board of Governors and shall perform all other duties assigned by the Constitution or these By Laws or prescribed by the Board of Governors.
Section 4. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall meet regularly with the Executive Director or designee and assist in developing and presenting regular financial reports to the Board of Governors at Board meetings and to the membership, as appropriate and shall serve on the Association Finance Committee.
Section 5. Executive Director. The Executive Director shall assist the Board of Governors and officers of the Association in the performance of their respective duties, shall be in charge of the headquarters of the Association, and shall perform such duties as the Board of Governors may prescribe. The Executive Director, or designee, shall serve ex officeo, without vote, on all committees of the Association.
Section 6. Immediate Past President. The Immediate Past President shall perform such duties as shall from time to time be assigned by the President or by the Board of Governors and shall serve on the Association Finance Committee.
Meetings of Association
Section 1. Programs. The programs at regular meetings of the Association shall be arranged by the Board of Governors, with the advice and assistance of the Committee on Continuing Legal Education.
Section 2. President's Annual Address. At any Annual Meeting of the Association, the President may deliver an address upon such topic as the President may select.
Section 3. Resolutions. Every resolution offered for consideration of the Association by any member shall be in writing and in duplicate, shall be concise in form, and shall be pertinent to the legal profession or to the purposes of the Association or in relation to its internal affairs. Between meetings but at least seven days prior to any meeting, any member may file any resolution of the character prescribed with the Association, it shall thereupon be referred to the Board of Governors for its consideration. Any resolution rejected by the Board of Governors may be presented to the membership if such presentation is requested by a petition signed by ten percent of the voting membership.
Nomination and Election of Governors and Officers
Section 1. Governors Representing Counties. Nominations for Governors representing counties or divisions shall be made by petition signed by at least ten (10) active members having their principal offices in the county or division concerned, and filed with the Association not later than March 1. No member may sign more than one such petition.
Section 2. Governors at Large. Nominations for Governors at Large to be elected in any year shall be made by petition signed by any twenty five (25) or more active members filed with the Association not later than March 1.
Section 3. Public Sector Governor. Nominations for Governor, meeting the criteria as established by the Public Sector/Public Interest Task Force1
for representing public sector members, shall be made by petition signed by any twenty-five (25) or more active members filed with the Association not later than March 1.
Section 4. Officers and Delegate. Nominations for Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Delegate(s) to the American Bar Association House of Delegates shall be made by petition signed by any twenty five (25) or more active members of the Association, filed with the Association not later than March 1. On or before December 31st in each year, the members of the Board of Governors shall nominate a candidate for President Elect.
Section 5. Ballots and Voting. The Association shall prepare separate ballots for each county or division which shall contain the names of all persons nominated for the Office of Governor from that county or division; and a ballot for the election at large of the officers of the Association, delegate(s) to the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, and Governors to be elected at large, which shall list below each office the names of the nominees therefore. Below the name of each office shall be printed the words "Vote for not more than" followed by a number designating how many persons are to be voted for. All ballots shall designate briefly the manner in which each nominee was nominated, as "Nominated by Petition," or "Board of Governors Nominee." The names of the nominees shall be arranged in the alphabetical order of their surnames, and at the right of the name of each candidate and on the same line there shall be a square. Following the names printed on the ballots, after the name of each office to be filled, shall be as many blank lines for write in votes, without squares at the end thereof, as there are persons to be elected to that office. The Association shall mail, either by first class mail, electronically or any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section, the county or division ballots to the active members of the Association having their principal offices in the county or division concerned and the ballots for elections at large to all active members, in each case not later than April 1. Voting shall be by secret ballot according to the double envelope system, via electronic voting or any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section. The ballots shall be returned to the Association not later than April 15th unless a weekend or holiday, upon which the following business day will be used; and no ballots received after that date shall be counted.
Section 6. Certification of Elections. If paper ballots are used and returned to the Association, the President may designate a ballot observer. The ballots shall forthwith be canvassed by a board of at least three (3) tellers, the count shall be certified to the Executive Director, and the candidates receiving the highest number of votes for their respective offices shall be declared elected, subject only to the limitation that not more than three (3) Governors at Large shall have their principal offices within the same county. If any person is elected Governor at Large but is ineligible to serve because of such limitation, the person receiving the next highest number of votes for such office shall be declared elected. In case of a tie vote, the tellers shall determine the successful candidate by a lot drawn by the candidates. In the case of electronic voting, the certified results will be provided to the Executive Director no later than 10 am on the first business day following the close of balloting. A write-in candidate must receive at least the same number of write-in votes as the number of signatures required on a Nomination Petition to be eligible for election to that office.
Receipt and Disbursement of Funds
Section 1. Receipt. Funds received by the Association shall be deposited in such depositories as the Board of Governors may designate.
The Association shall report on the first day of November in each year, the names of members then delinquent in payment of dues; and shall further report payments thereafter received from such delinquent members.
Section 2. Approval. Unless specifically approved by the Board no funds of the Association shall be disbursed without the approval of the Executive Director or designee and in accordance with these By Laws, the approved budget and any regulations as may be adopted by the Board of Governors.
Section 3. Disbursement. The disbursement of funds of the Association may be made by check, electronic transfer of the Association executed by an authorized Association representative as approved by the Board of Governors.
Section 4. Reporting. The Executive Director shall designate a staff member to maintain a current record of receipts and disbursements, available for periodic audit by the Board, and shall make regular reports to the Board and Association as requested and shall furnish a surety bond at the expense of the Association in such amount as may be required by the Board of Governors.
There shall be a New Hampshire Bar News, and such other publications as the Association may, from time to time, determine shall be published.
Section 1. Classes. The classes of Committees of the Association shall be: (a) Standing Committees, created by the By Laws for the investigation and study of matters relating to the accomplishment of the general purposes, business and objects of the Association of a continuous and recurring character, within the limitations of the power conferred.
(b) Special Committees, task forces or other work groups, created or extended by the President, or created by resolution of the Association or the Board of Governors, defining the powers and duties of such Committees, to investigate and study matters relating to specific purposes, business and objects of the Association of an immediate and non recurring character. The life of any Special Committee shall continue until the end of the next annual meeting following its creation unless continued by vote of the Association or the Board of Governors.
Section 2. Committee Appointments. Unless otherwise stated in the provision creating a Committee, appointment of members to serve on Committees of the Association shall be made by the President. The Chair of every Committee shall be designated annually by the President, and the President shall have the power to fill vacancies in any Committees. Voting membership of all committees shall be limited to active members of the Association.
Section 3. Composition of Committees. The number and tenure of members of the Committees of the Association shall be:
(a) Standing Committees. Unless otherwise stated in the provisions creating a Committee, the size of the Standing Committees shall be determined by the President, and each member shall serve until the adjournment of the Annual Meeting or until a new committee is appointed.
(b) Special Committees, Task Forces or Other Work Groups. The size of each Special Committee, Task Force or Other Work Group shall be set forth in the resolution creating such Special Committee, and each member shall serve until the adjournment of the Annual Meeting following his or her appointment or until a new committee is appointed.
Section 4. Committee Meetings. Meetings of each Committee shall be held upon the call of its Chair or upon written request signed by three or more members of the Committee. No report, recommendation, or other action of any Committee shall be considered as the action of the Association or publicized as such, unless and until it shall have been approved or authorized by the Board of Governors.
Section 5. Standing Committees. There shall be Standing Committees on:
Continuing Legal Education
Cooperation with the Courts
Group Insurance and Pension Plans
Delivery of Legal Services
Section 6. Jurisdictions of Standing Committees. The jurisdiction and special tenures of Standing Committees shall be as follows:
(a) Committee on Finance. This committee shall consist of at least eleven (11) members, the following five (5) members from the Board of Governors: President, President-elect, Vice President, Immediate Past President and Treasurer and six (6) additional Association members. The President-elect will Chair the Committee. It shall be the duty of this Committee to prepare and submit a proposed budget to the Board for each fiscal year. Except by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Governors, no unbudgeted commitment exceeding $10,000 shall be authorized by the Board until the Finance Committee has vetted the proposal and provides it’s recommendation to the Board of Governors.
Unless undertaken by the Board of Governors, or a committee thereof, the Finance Committee shall annually oversee an audit of the books and records of the Association, and shall review the financial procedures and policies and make any recommendations deemed appropriate for the improvement of such procedures and policies, including the investment policy approved by the Board of Governors.
(b) Committee on Continuing Legal Education. It shall be the duty of this Committee to arrange for and advise in the content of, to staff and to facilitate production of lectures, seminars, institutes and other instruction on legal subjects to keep the members of the Association abreast of progress of the law. The Committee shall also assist the Board of Governors in planning the programs at regular meetings of the Association.
(c) Committee on Cooperation with the Courts. It shall be the duty of this Committee to consult with the Courts upon invitation, to study such matters as may be referred to it by the Courts, to study the rules of practice and procedure in New Hampshire, and to make recommendations to the Association with respect thereto.
(d) Committee on Ethics. This Committee: (1) may express its opinion on proper professional conduct, either on its own initiative or when requested to do so by a member of the Bar, the New Hampshire Superior Court, the New Hampshire Supreme Court or its Committee on Professional Conduct, or the U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire; (2) shall periodically publish its issued opinions to the legal profession in summary or complete form; (3) may recommend appropriate amendments to or clarifications of the Code of Professional Responsibility; and (4) shall adopt rules and procedures approved by the Board of Governors, appropriate to the carrying out of its charge.
(e) Committee on Group Insurance and Pension Plans. Shall be comprised of the NHBA Insurance Agency Board and it shall be the duty of this Committee to study group insurance coverage and pension plans that may be made available to members of the legal profession and report its recommendations to the Association.
(f) Committee on Delivery of Legal Services. This Committee shall have jurisdiction in all questions in the field of legal aid, lawyer referral, group legal services to persons to whom legal services are not readily available, apparently or in fact. Its primary responsibilities shall include (1) overseeing the goals and operation of Bar sponsored lawyer referral plans, and (2) overseeing those policies adopted by the Association for the continuing review of legal service delivery programs operating in the State, and ad hoc review and preview of Bar sponsored delivery programs.
(g) Committee on Legislation. It shall be the duty of this Committee to present in the proper committee of the Legislature the position of the Association on legislation pending before such committee, either as directed by the Association, or, as the Board of Governors shall direct, provided that directions by the Board of Governors shall not be inconsistent with the Constitution and By Laws of, or with any action taken by, the Association.
(h) Committee on New Lawyers. It shall be the duty of this Committee to assist candidates for admission to, and newly admitted members of the Bar, in office placement, to orient and assist newly admitted members in legal practice and procedure, and to impart to them an appreciation of their privileges and responsibilities with respect to the professional conduct of lawyers and ethics of the profession.
(i) Committee on Publications. This Committee shall advise the Board of governors and staff regarding the management and administration of all publications.
(j) Dispute Resolution Committee. The committee shall administer a procedure, as approved by the Board of Governors, for the resolution of disputes between attorneys or between New Hampshire lawyers and their clients. The Committee shall also be responsible for recommending amendments to such procedures as necessary.
(k) Committee on Gender Equality. The committee shall study and investigate issues of gender discrimination and equality in the legal profession and in the legal system. The Committee may undertake such projects as deemed necessary or appropriate to insure fair treatment and equality of all members of the legal profession and all participants in the legal system.
(l) Committee on Professionalism. This Committee shall develop, coordinate and oversee initiatives to support and encourage lawyers to exercise the highest level of professional integrity as Officers of the Court and in their relationships with their clients, other lawyers, and the public and to fulfill their obligations to improve the law and legal systems and to ensure access to that system.
Section 1. Sections devoted to the improvement of the professional knowledge and skill of the members thereof in particular fields of law may be organized subject to Association approval, upon the written application of 30 or more members setting forth the following:
- Proposed first year and long term objectives;
- Proposed first year and long term budget;
- Proposed By Laws, conforming in general with the MODEL SECTION BY LAWS, subject to Board approval.
Sections so established agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in the Procedure Manual for Sections as approved by the Board.
Section 2. Any member of this Association may become a member of any Section, upon enrollment in that Section and payment of Section dues.
Section 3. Interested professionals or paralegals in related fields may subscribe to section mailings and attend section activities, paying section subscription fees as established by the Association. Section subscribers shall have no vote in Section affairs, and may be excluded from any or all meetings by vote of the Section. Section subscribers shall not hold office in the Section. Specific section subscribers may be removed from participation by vote of the Section, with no subscription fee refund required.
Section 4. Section dues and section subscription fees shall be paid to and held by the Association. Proposed Section expenditures must be approved by the Executive Director, or designee, and then by a vote of the affected Section. Sections shall incur no obligation unless approved by the Executive Director, or designee.
Section 5. No report, recommendation or other action of any Section shall be considered as the action of the Association or publicized as such unless or until approved or authorized by the Board of Governors.
Section 6. Sections shall be responsible for publishing reports of meeting at least quarterly, and may jointly sponsor, in cooperation with the CLE Committee, at least one CLE program for general Association Membership. Sections shall hold at least two general membership meetings per year, one being between January 15 and March 15 for the purpose of election of officers.
Section 7. Upon vote of the Association Board of Governors, a Section may be dissolved or suspended, and all uncommitted funds shall inure to the Association.
Section 1. Authorization. The Board of Governors may at any time by a majority vote of its members, and shall, if directed by vote at any meeting of the Association take a referendum of the active members of the Association upon any matter affecting the administration of justice or policy of the Association.
Section 2. Method. Ballots for use in any such referendum shall be prepared, distributed, returned and counted in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Board of Governors. The result of a referendum, as determined by a majority of the votes cast, when duly ascertained shall be published in the New Hampshire Bar News, and shall control the action of the Association, the Board, the Governors, the Officers, Committees and Sections.
These By Laws may be amended at any regular or special meeting of the Association provided that notice of any such proposed action reasonably sufficient to indicate the nature and purpose thereof is contained in the notice of the meeting.
Candidates have to meet the following criteria: Must currently be employed in a qualifying position: in government service, military service, law enforcement, public interest law services (including prosecution, public defense, legal advocacy in low-income communities or for individuals with disabilities at a nonprofit organization), or at an organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code, or at an organization recognized by the IRS as tax exempt under section 115.
incorporating amendments through 6/92; 6/93; 6/01; 6/03, 2/05; 11/08; 7/11.