Membership in the Barney Masterson American Inn of Court
The Barney Masterson American Inn of Court generally has between
65 and 75 active members, divided into three classifications.
Masters include lawyers with fifteen or more years of experience
and judges of various courts. Barristers include lawyers with more
than four but less than fourteen years of experience. Associates
include lawyers with less than four years of experience. Students
attending law school, or "pupils", are also admitted to the Inn on
a limited basis through a partnership with Stetson University
College of Law.
In addition to its active members, the Barney Masterson Inn has
also created a classification for Inactive Sustaining Members.
These individuals must have been members of the Barney Masterson
Inn for a period of three years prior to becoming Inactive
Sustaining Members. Inactive Sustaining Members are not members of
the American Inn of Court, but are members locally of the Barney
Masterson Inn. Inactive Sustaining Members who are also masters may
attend masters meetings. All Inactive Sustaining Members may attend
two dinner meetings per year, the Barney-B-Q and the year end
While members are expected and encouraged to continue their
membership in the Inn for a number of years, a portion of the
membership of the Inn is expected to change from year to year.
Masters are encouraged to continue their participation in the Inn
indefinitely; however, the Inn grows and flourishes through both
the strength of its established members and the addition of new
members to rejuvenate the Inn. Some members will choose to become
Inactive Sustaining Members for a period and then return as active
members. Others will leave the Inn and return years later. The Inn
of Court is a living organization that changes and grows with its
ever-changing membership. The participation of each and every Inn
member is crucial to the livelihood of the Inn.
Each member is selected for a one-year term. Members are selected
each year through the application process by the Executive
Committee. Renewal of membership is contingent upon each member's
level of participation in the Inn the previous year and that
member's commitment to the Inn.
Selection of Members
Beginning in January of each year, the Executive Committee
encourages current members of the Barney Masterson Inn to renew
their membership for another year. The Executive Committee then
begins soliciting nominations for new members and begins accepting
applications for membership from prospective new members on or
about March 1 of each year. New members are identified through
current members of the Inn, local judges, and other respected
members of the legal community.
In the Summer, when the pool of returning members and new
applicants has been identified, the Executive Committee selects the
membership for the following year. Consideration is given to the
following factors in the selection process: level of participation
and commitment to the Inn (for current members only), diversity (of
practice area, nature of firm affiliation, sex, gender, race, etc),
classification of membership (for balance between the three primary
levels of membership), interest and involvement in developing
personal professional skills and improving the judicial system,
level of interest in the Inn (for new members), and ability to
fulfill a commitment to the Inn.
Students are chosen by the Stetson University College of Law based
on the applicants' qualifications giving consideration to the
student's ability to participate fully in the Inn, academic
performance, participation in extracurricular and community
activities, and professionalism.
Bareny Masterson Inn Governance
Governance of the Barney Masterson Inn is entrusted to the
officers and the Executive Committee. The officers include the
Judicial Co-President, Attorney Co-President, President(s)-Elect,
Immediate Past President(s), Secretary, and Treasurer. In addition
to the officers, members of the Executive Committee include the
Executive Director, three at-large committee members, and the
Counselor. One of the at-large committee members will serve as
Mentor Liaison and one will serve as Pupilage Group/CLE Liaison,
with the selections made at the discretion of the President.
The Executive Committee nominates a slate of officers each spring.
The slate of officers is presented to the masters at a masters
meeting for approval. Officers serve a one year term and are
eligible for successive terms. Inn members are encouraged to
contact Executive Committee members with regard to any questions or
comments concerning any aspect of the Inn or suggestions regarding
The masters of the Inn are entrusted with the power to make
decisions concerning the governance of the Inn. Masters may present
proposed changes with regard to Inn policy and must approve
significant changes to the operation of the Inn. The Executive
Committee will submit proposed changes in policy or procedure to
the masters at masters meetings for approval and discussion. The
masters are expected to provide guidance and direction to the
Barney Masterson Inn.
Barney Masterson Inn Pupillage Groups
The Barney Masterson Inn is organized annually into pupilage
groups, a structure basic to the English Inns of Court. Each
pupilage group is composed of a judge, one or more masters, a
number of barristers and associates, and one or two pupils.
Barney Masterson Inn Attendance Policy
All active members are expected to attend and to participate in
the Inn's meetings and functions throughout the year. The Inn
recognizes that judges and lawyers must occasionally be absent, but
requests advance notice. Members who are unable to attend a
particular meeting must, therefore, inform their pupilage group
leader prior to the meeting of the reason for their absence.
Absences without advanced notice are unexcused. Two or more
unexcused absences will have a significant bearing on whether a
member is re-invited for membership in a succeeding year.
Some masters may choose to "go inactive." Inactive Sustaining
Masters must still pay partial dues. Inactive Sustaining Masters
may attend two of the monthly dinner meetings without cost. They
are also invited to attend the Barney-B-Q and end of year
Barney Masterson Inn Guest Policy
The Inn's programs are primarily for the benefit of its members.
However, members may invite guests from time to time. Members who
wish to invite guests must inform the Executive Director in advance
of the meeting of their guests' names. They must also agree to be
responsible for the cost of the guests' meals, which for 2011 is
$25.00. Members may pay for their guest prior to or at the meeting
Continuing Legal Education Credit
- The Inn is a CLE provider.
- Members may earn CLE credit, including ethics credit, by
attending and participating in the Inn's programs.
- The number of credit hours available for participating in or
attending a program is one hour.
- Members and guests desiring to obtain CLE credit must document
their attendance at each program.
- The CLE fees are included in members' dues.
Barney Masterson Meetings & Programs
Although each Executive Committee designs its Inn year
differently, the program year usually begins in August with a
meeting of the pupilage group leaders. Thereafter, the Inn as a
whole gathers eight times a year on the Fourth Thursday of every
month, except for the Stetson Distinguished Speaker banquet, and
the Barney-B-Q, In addition, the Inn meets for its End of the Year
Banquet in June. Meetings are held at Bascom's Chophouse, unless
otherwise noted. Each meeting begins with a cocktail reception with
a cash bar from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. Following the cocktail reception,
there are announcements and introductions. Dinner follows beginning
no later than 6:30 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. sharp, one of the Inn's
pupilage groups presents a fifty to sixty minute program dealing
with a practical aspect of the practice of law. The program should
last no longer than one hour. At 8:00 p.m., further announcements
shall be made and adjournment will take place by 8:10 p.m.
The programs are the heart of the monthly meetings. They involve
practical legal skills with an emphasis on ethics, civility, and
professionalism in lawyering. They are generally comprised of a
demonstration or presentation of principles, skills, techniques,
and relationships involved in trial or appellate court proceedings
or in activities preliminary to courtroom appearances, although
there is no set format. The programs also incorporate opportunities
for critique and discussion.
Another crucial aspect of the Inn's focus is the individual
pupilage group meetings, organized by the pupilage group leader.
These meetings should take place monthly at breakfast, lunch,
dinner, or after work, both in preparation for that pupilage
group's demonstration and simply to