CENTRAL KENTUCKY AMERICAN INN OF COURT
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
General Policy on Membership
Membership in the Central Kentucky American Inn of Court should be structured to effectively further the Inn's mission of raising the skills, professionalism, and ethics of the community's bench and bar to the highest levels of excellence.
Membership in the Inn should reflect a balance of judges, practicing lawyers, law professors, and students.
Members should bring to the Inn experience from the private sector and the public sector, from the for-profit practice and the not-for-profit practice, from the solo practitioner's office to the large firm, from the state bench to the federal bench, the trial court and the appellate court, from traditional litigation and trial practice to alternate dispute resolution and administrative law, and all that lies in between.
Membership in the Central Kentucky American Inn of Court should be determined by the Executive Committee upon recommendation of the Membership Committee, which shall have been appointed by the Executive Committee. In making recommendations for membership to the Executive Committee, the Membership Committee shall apply the membership criteria. Selection to membership in the Inn shall be subject to the sound discretion of the Executive Committee.
A. All non-student members of the Inn and all applicants for non-student membership shall be licensed attorneys in good standing with the bars to which they are admitted, shall be of good character and fitness, and shall not be under suspension by any court.
B. For practicing lawyers, membership in the Inn shall be limited to those whose practice is at least one-third committed to litigation, trial practice, or other forms of dispute resolution, including but not limited to administrative law.
C. Membership in the Inn is composed of the following categories, to which members will be assigned by the Membership Committee:
- Masters: Generally, Masters include members of the judiciary, as well as lawyers and law professors who have demonstrated superior character, ability, and competence as trial or appellate advocates. Masters shall have a full sixteen (16) or more years of experience, as measured from their first year of admission to the bar in the case of lawyers or by the equivalent professional experience in the case of law professors. The membership of the Inn may be composed of up to forty-five (45) Masters.
- Master Emeritus. Generally, Master Emeritus status may be conferred upon active members of long and distinguished service to the Inn. Upon the recommendation of the Membership Committee, the Executive Committee shall approve members for Master Emeritus status. Masters Emeritus shall be under no obligation to pay dues, attend meetings, or participate in other programs of the Inn, but shall enjoy all privileges of active membership except the right to vote. Master Emeritus status shall be for the life of the member if so desired. Masters Emeritus shall not count against the target membership number of the Inn. Any person granted Master Emeritus status may again be invited to serve in an active capacity.
- Barristers. Generally, Barristers include lawyers and law professors who have demonstrated good character and a desire to improve and refine their skills as trial and appellate advocates. Barristers shall have at least six (6) through a full fifteen (15) years of experience, as measured from their first year of admission to the bar in the case of lawyers and by the equivalent professional experience in the case of law professors. The membership of the Inn may be composed of up to thirty-five (35) Barristers.
- Associates. Associates include lawyers and law professors with zero (0) through five (5) years of experience, as measured from their first year of admission to the bar in the case of lawyers and by the equivalent professional experience in the case of law professors. The membership of the Inn may be composed of up to thirty-five (35) Associates. Associates shall serve a term of no more than two (2) years and may apply to serve consecutive terms.
- Pupils. Generally, Pupils are current students in their final year at the University of Kentucky College of Law, who are selected to participate in the Inn by a process established by the Dean of the law school. Upon graduation from law school, Pupils do not continue their membership in the Inn and do not become Associate members in the Inn. Rather, they may seek admission through the regular application process. The membership of the Inn may be composed of up to ten (10) Pupils. Pupils shall serve a term of no more than one (1) year.
- Honorary Members. Generally, Honorary Members include members of the judiciary and their attorney staff members, as well as lawyers with long and distinguished service to the bench or bar. Upon the recommendation of the Membership Committee, the Executive Committee shall approve persons for honorary membership. Honorary Members shall be under no obligation to pay dues, attend meetings, or participate in other programs of the Inn, but shall enjoy all the privileges of active membership except the right to vote and shall be assigned to a Pupilage Team. Honorary membership shall be for the life of the member if so desired. Honorary Members shall not count against the target membership number of the Inn. Any person granted honorary membership may be invited to serve in an active capacity.
- Alumni Members. Generally, Alumni Members include members that have rotated out of the Inn or withdrawn for other reasons and do not attend meetings or pay dues. This group of former members can be a resource for the Inn and the Inn should think of ways to keep Alumni Members involved. Alumni Members may join the National Alumni Association to continue their affiliation. Dues for the NAA are $65; one-half of which is returned directly to the alumnus/alumna's Inn for use as scholarships, etc.
D. Membership in the Inn is limited to no more than one hundred twenty-five (125) members from the Master, Barrister, Associate, and Pupil categories.
E. Inns do not pay dues to the Foundation for Honorary Members, Masters Emeritus, or Alumni Members nor do those members receiveThe Bencher.
F. Associates and Barristers are not permitted to change their membership category, but may be placed in a different category with the approval of the Executive Committee upon the recommendation of the Membership Committee.
Masters: $450.00 (Initial Year)
Barristers: $300.00 (Initial Year)
Associates: $200.00(Initial Year)
Pupils: $100.00 (Initial Year)
Annual Membership dues are renewable and established by the Executive Committee annually. Members of the judiciary and their attorney staff members may be considered Honorary Members and, as such, are not required to pay dues although a contribution toward Inn functions is encouraged and the cost of food at said events may be passed along to Honorary Members as determined by the Executive Committee.
Nominations and Applications for Membership in the Inn
Any member of the Inn may submit nominations for membership in the Inn to the Inn Secretary. Nomination forms for members of the judiciary and their attorney staff members, law professors, lawyers, and law students, can be found in this handbook or on our website: www.websitehere.com. Nominations received throughout the year will be filed and reviewed prior to the commencement of the following term. Persons nominated for membership in the Inn shall be invited to apply for membership. All applicants for membership in the Inn must be sponsored by either a Master or a Barrister. Prospective members may attend meetings of the current year with the permission of the Executive Committee. For additional information, please contact the Inn Secretary.
Use of Personal Information
Inn members have provided confidential information for directory listings. Such information may be used only for Inn business. In particular, use of Inn e-mails must be limited to Inn business. Unauthorized use or distribution by Inn members of information could result in termination of the membership.
Corrections and Changes in Personal Information, Firms, and Addresses
Inn members may change their Inn profiles, including firms and addresses, through the national website at www.innsofcourt.org. In addition to making the changes online, Inn members should e-mail their updated information to the Inn Secretary.
For first time users of the national website, please type your professional email address in the member log-in and click "Don't Know Password?" Your log-in password will be sent to your email address. Once logged in, you will see a "My Page" link where your personal profile (including your website password) may be modified.
All members are expected to attend and to participate actively in the Inn's meetings. There will be no less than six (6) meetings of the Inn per year. Members who are unable to attend a particular meeting must inform the Executive Committee or the Secretary of their anticipated absence by the applicable deadline. Absences without advance notice to and waiver for good cause by the Executive Committee are considered to be unexcused. Each member will be allowed at least two excused absences per program year. For an absence to be excused, the member shall send to the Executive Committee or the Secretary an explanation of the reason for the absence. Four unexcused absences during the program year will be deemed to be a resignation by the respective Inn member. This policy shall not apply to Honorary Members or Masters Emeritus of the Inn. Should a member who has been deemed to have resigned because of such absences nevertheless desire to remain a member of the Inn, he or she may request that the Executive Committee waive the attendance policy upon a showing of good cause.
Additionally, all members are included in one of the Pupilage Teams. Please note that these teams are integral to the program year, and all members are expected to participate actively within their Pupilage Team and its subgroups, if any.
Up to five Masters at any given time may take a leave of absence from active Inn participation upon approval of the Executive Committee. Masters on leave must still pay their full dues. If a Master's request for leave is granted, then his or her return to active membership can only be effected if there is a Master position open when he or she seeks to return.
Unless otherwise provided, out of respect for encouraging full membership to the Inn as well as maintaining costs, members are generally discouraged, but not prohibited, from bringing non-member practitioners to meetings. However, out-of-town guests and law students are welcome to attend the CLE portion of the meetings. If an Inn member wishes to bring a guest, he or she should contact the Inn Secretary prior to the deadline to RSVP for the specific program. Guest attendance for dinners requires that the dinner be covered by the hosting Inn member. Dinner costs are approximately $25 per plate.
Members may receive CLE credit for monthly Inn programs, depending on the length of the program. Additional ethics credits may be awarded by the state bar depending on the content of the program. Each Pupilage Team should strive to have 30 minutes of its program dedicated to enhanced ethics credits.
To receive credit, members must sign and return the attendance certification for each monthly meeting attended.
The Inn program may also be eligible for CLE credit in other states. Applications for such credit must be made by the individual Inn member.
Members of each Pupilage Team are encouraged to help defray expenses such as copying. This may be accomplished by the contribution of such items by members' firms and/or by e-mailing communications instead of using U.S. mail. To the extent that a Pupilage Team or individual Inn member intends to expend costs for which reimbursement will be sought,priorapproval by the Inn Secretary is required.
The Inn is going green! Written program materials will be made available by e-mail and through the Inn's website, but will not be duplicated for distribution at the Inn meetings. Written materials should be less than 50 pages and must be provided to the Inn Secretary for electronic distribution before noon on the date immediately preceding the monthly Inn meeting for which the materials are needed.
No officer or member of the Inn, other than the President or Secretary, shall sign any contract on behalf of the Inn.
Dues; Tax Exempt Status
Annual dues will be established by the Executive Committee. Statements for annual dues will be sent to Inn members in late August or early September. Dues may be paid in two (2) equal installments by October and February of each Inn year. Full payment is due within six (6) weeks. Late payments are not accepted and failure to pay dues timely may result in termination of membership.
The American Inns of Court Foundation is a tax-exempt organization as defined in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This provides that (i) the Foundation is not required to pay federal or state tax on its income, except on income derived through activities that are unrelated to its central mission, and (ii) dues made to the American Inns of Court Foundation are considered tax-deductible.
Further, the Foundation has been granted a group exemption ruling that may include any of its "subordinate organizations." The Central Kentucky American Inn of Court has "opted in" to the Foundation's group exemption, therefore, it is considered a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and our dues are tax deductible. The method by which an individual may deduct these dues vary depending on the individual circumstances, so be sure to check with a tax advisor as to the proper method.
Every donation reduces our Inn's expenses and frees funds for other projects. If you wish to make a donation to the Inn, please contact the Inn Secretary.
The Central Kentucky Inn of Court reserves the right to remove or restrict the participation prerogatives of any member. Upon complaint or suggestion of any Inn member or Committee, or on its own initiative, the Executive Committee may decide to remove or restrict a member's participation in the Inn. The Executive Committee must provide fair notice of the reason(s) and proposed action to the member (i.e., proposed removal or level of restriction), and provide the member a fair opportunity to respond to the reason(s) and proposed action. The Executive Committee may decide in its sole discretion whether to permit the member an oral hearing, or to consider the member's response in writing only. Any decision to remove a member or restrict a member's participation must be by majority vote of a quorum of the Executive Committee, and shall be final. An administrative decision to remove a member due to non-compliance with the Inn's attendance policy or non-payment of dues will normally be made without hearing. Any removal or restriction decision shall not result in a dues refund unless the Executive Committee specifically orders.
Conflict of Interest Policy
The Conflict of Interest Policy of the Central Kentucky American Inn of Court (the "Organization") (A) defines conflicts of interest; (B) identifies classes of individuals within the Organization covered by this policy; (C) facilitates the disclosure of information that may help identify conflicts of interest; and (D) specifies procedures to be followed in managing conflicts of interest.
A. Definition of Conflicts of Interest. A conflict of interest arises when a person in a position of authority over the Organization may benefit financially from a decision he or she could make in that capacity, including indirect benefits such as to family members or businesses with which the person is closely associated. This policy is focused upon material financial interest of, or benefit to, such persons.
B. Individuals Covered. Persons covered by this policy include the Organization's Executive Committee and/or any other individual deemed by the Executive Committee to be acting in a position equivalent to that of a member of the Executive Committee.
C. Facilitation of Disclosure. Persons covered by this policy will annually disclose or update to the Executive Committee their interests that could give rise to conflicts of interest, such as a list of family members, substantial business or investment holdings, and other transactions or affiliations with businesses and other organizations or those of family members. Should any potential conflict of interest not previously disclosed arise during the course of the Organization's program year, such potentially conflicted person shall provide immediate notice of such potential conflicts to the Executive Committee.
D. Procedures to Manage Conflicts. For each interest disclosed to the Executive Committee, the President (or where such interest is one disclosed by the President, the acting Secretary/Treasurer) will determine whether to: (1) take no action; (2) assure full disclosure to the Executive Committee and other individuals covered by this policy; (3) ask the person to recuse him or herself from participation in related discussions or decisions within the Organization; or (4) ask the person to resign from his or her position in the Organization or, if the person refuses to resign, refer the matter to the Executive Committee for its review or investigation and possible removal of such person from the Inn. The Organization's acting Secretary/Treasurer will monitor proposed or ongoing transactions for conflicts of interest and disclose them to the Executive Committee in order to deal with potential or actual conflicts, whether discovered before or after the transaction has occurred.
The Whistleblower Policy of the Organization (A) encourages the Executive Committee and members of the Organization to come forward with credible information on illegal practices or serious violations of adopted policies of the Organization or the American Inns of Court; (B) specifies that the Organization will protect the person from retaliation; and (C) identifies where such information can be reported.
A. Encouragement of Reporting. The Organization encourages complaints, reports or inquiries about illegal practices or serious violations of the Organization's policies, including illegal or improper conduct by the Organization itself, by its leadership or by others on its behalf. Appropriate subjects to raise under this Whistleblower Policy would include financial improprieties, accounting or audit matters, ethical violations or other similar illegal or improper practices or policies.
B. Protection from Retaliation. The Organization prohibits retaliation by or on behalf of the Organization against any member of the Executive Committee or Organization for making good faith complaints, reports, or inquiries under this policy or for participating in a review or investigation under this Whistleblower Policy. This protection extends to those whose allegations are made in good faith but prove to be mistaken. The Organization reserves the right to discipline persons who make bad faith, knowingly false, or vexatious complaints, reports, or inquiries or who otherwise abuse this policy.
C. Where to Report. Complaints, reports, or inquiries may be made under this policy on a confidential or anonymous basis. They should describe in detail the specific facts demonstrating the bases for the complaints, reports, or inquiries. They should be directed to the Organization's President or Secretary. However, if both of those persons are implicated in the complaint, report, or inquiry, they should be directed to any other member of the Executive Committee. The Organization will conduct a prompt, discreet, and objective review or investigation. The person making the complaint, report, or inquiry must recognize that the Organization may be unable to fully evaluate a vague or general complaint, report, or inquiry that is made anonymously.
Document Retention and Destruction Policy
The Document Retention and Destruction Policy of the Organization identifies the record retention responsibilities of the Executive Committee (or any person acting on behalf of or at the direction of the Executive Committee) for maintaining and documenting the storage and destruction of the Organization's documents and records.
A. Rules. The Organization's Executive Committee (or any person acting on behalf of or at the direction of the Executive Committee) is/are required to honor the following rules: (1) paper or electronic documents indicated under the "Terms for Retention" set forth below will be transferred to and maintained jointly by the Secretary/Treasurer and/or the Assistant Secretary/Treasurer and their staff in accordance with the "Terms for Retention" set forth below; (2) all other paper documents may, in the sole discretion of the Executive Committee, be destroyed after three years; (3) all other electronic documents may, in the sole discretion of the Executive Committee, be deleted from all individual computers, databases, networks, and back-up storage after one year; and (4) no paper or electronic documents will be destroyed or deleted if pertinent to any ongoing or anticipated government investigation or proceeding or private litigation.
B. Terms for Retention.
1. Documents to Retain Permanently:
a) Governance records- Charter and amendments, Bylaws, other organizational documents, governing board and board committee minutes.
b) Tax records- Filed state and federal tax returns reports and supporting records, tax exemption determination letter and related correspondence, files related to tax audits.
c) Intellectual property records- Copyright and trademark registrations and samples of protected works.
d) Financial records- Audited financial statements and attorney contingent liability letters.
2. Documents to Retain for at Least Three Years:
a) Any Employee/employment records- Employee names, addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth, INS Form 1-9, resume application materials, job descriptions, dates of hire and termination/separation, evaluations, compensation information, promotions, transfers, disciplinary matters, time/payroll records, leave/comp time/FMLA, engagement and discharge correspondence and documentation of basis for independent contractor status. The Organization shall retain the foregoing documents for all current employees and independent contractors and for three years after the departure of each individual.
b) Lease, insurance, and contract/license records- Software license agreements, vendor, hotel, and service agreements, independent contractor agreements, employment agreements, consultant agreements and all other agreements. The Organization shall retain the foregoing documents during the term of the each agreement and for at least three years after the termination, expiration and/or nonrenewal of each agreement.
3. Documents to Retain for at Least One Year:
a) All other electronic records, documents and files- e.g., correspondence files, past budgets, bank statements, publications, employee manuals/policies and procedures and survey information.