Texas Tech University School of Law American Inn of Court
Section 1. Purpose and Operation
The Texas Tech University School of Law American Inn of Court ("Inn") will operate and do business as the Texas Tech University School of Law American Inn of Court. The Inn's purpose is set forth in its Organizational Charter issued by the American Inns of Court Foundation.
Section 2. Principal Location
The Inn is located in Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas.
Section 1. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is composed of the officers, chairs of committees formed by the Executive Committee, and other members as determined by the active Masters. The duties of the Executive Committee, and its members, are set forth in the Organizational Charter and in these Bylaws. The Executive Committee may meet and vote in person, via electronic mail, telephone, or any other method agreed to by a simple majority of the Committee members.
Section 2. Officers
The officers will be the president, the immediate past president, the counselor who will also serve as president-elect, a secretary/treasurer or a secretary and a treasurer, and other officers the active Masters deem necessary. Each officer will be selected by the active Masters in accordance with the Organizational Charter. Unless otherwise determined by the active Masters, each officer will serve a two‑year term. An officer may serve multiple terms and may serve terms in different positions.
Section 3. Committees
The Executive Committee may establish, change, or discontinue standing and ad-hoc committees. The Executive Committee selects the chairs, co-chairs, and committee members. Unless otherwise directed by the Executive Committee, each chair or co-chair will serve a two-year term, but may serve consecutive terms. Committees may create ad-hoc subcommittees.
The founding Executive Committee has created the following standing committees: Membership Committee and Program Committee.
Although the Masters or Executive Committee may assign other duties, each committee will be charged as follows:
(A) Membership Committee- The Membership Committee will solicit and review membership applications and recommend new Inn members to the Executive Committee; recommend changes in member status to the Executive Committee; maintain attendance records and oversee attendance in accordance with Article IV(2) of these Bylaws; and recommend Pupillage Groups to the Executive Committee.
(B) Program Committee- The Program Committee will oversee and approve program topics, submit programs for Continuing Legal Education credit, and when appropriate, submit programs for award consideration.
Section 4. Pupillage Groups
All active members will be assigned to a Pupillage Group. Each Pupillage Group will be chaired by an active Master appointed by the Executive Committee. The Pupillage Groups and chairs will be reassigned every year.
Section 1. Active Members
Membership in this Inn consists of Masters, Barristers, Associates, and Pupils. Masters are the voting members of the Inn. Membership terms, where applicable, run from July 1 of one calendar year to June 30 of the next calendar year, or as otherwise directed by the Executive Committee.
The four classifications of Inn members are as follows. Each member, regardless of classification, must have demonstrated superior character, ability, and competence relative to his or her years of experience.
(A) Masters-consisting of lawyers and law professors of at least ten years' experience, and judges with substantial experience; each Master must have also demonstrated superior character, ability and competence as advocates; Masters who are judges may be referred to as "Benchers" and Masters who are law professors may be referred to as "Academic Masters." Masters serve indefinite terms, but will be asked to renew their interest in serving each year.
(B) Barristers - consisting of lawyers and law professors of at least five years' experience and judges. Barristers serve five-year terms that may not be renewed absent extraordinary circumstances as determined by the Executive Committee; Barristers may be considered as future Masters.
(C) Associates - consisting of lawyers with zero to five years' of experience. Associates serve three-year terms that may not be renewed absent extraordinary circumstances as determined by the Executive Committee; Associates may be considered as future Barristers of the Inn.
(D) Pupils - consisting of second- and third-year law students. Pupils serve one-year terms that may not be renewed absent extraordinary circumstances as determined by the Executive Committee; Pupils may be considered as future Associates of the Inn.
Section 2. Inactive Members
The Executive Committee may confer Emeritus and Honorary memberships for Masters as set forth in the Organizational Charter.
Meetings and Attendance
Section 1. Meetings
The Inn will meet at least six times per year, at times determined by the Executive Committee. The Inn will endeavor to have at least one social event per year wherein members may invite guests. In addition, the Inn will convene at least one meeting of the Masters each year, typically before the regular Inn year begins.
Section 2. Attendance
All active members are expected to attend and participate actively in the Inn's meetings. Each active member will be allowed one absence from the monthly meetings in a year. If an active member anticipates missing, or actually misses, more than one meeting, he or she may petition to the Executive Committee to remain as a member in good standing; the Executive Committee typically will grant such petitions only for good cause, such as illness or extended out-of-town work by the member. Members who do not meet the attendance requirement will lose Inn membership at the end of the Inn year; in addition, the Executive Committee reserves the right to remove that member mid-year and to select a new member to fill that position. No dues will be refunded to a member who misses meetings and/or is removed from membership. In addition, a removed member may not be accepted for future membership absent exceptional circumstances as determined by the Executive Committee.
Voting and Elections
Section 1. Masters
With the exception of Emeritus and Honorary Masters, each Master will have one vote on each matter submitted to the Masters. A majority of voting Masters will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A tie vote means the measure fails. Every act done or decision made by a majority of the Masters attending a meeting will be regarded as the act of all the Masters.
Section 2. Executive Committee
Each member of the Executive Committee will have one vote on each matter submitted to the Committee. In the event of a tie, the President will have the deciding vote. A majority of the members of the Committee will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Every act done or decision made by a majority of the members attending a meeting called for that purpose will be regarded as the act of the entire Committee.
Section 3. Elections
The nomination and election of officers, except for president and immediate past president, will occur in every odd‑numbered year, beginning 2015, in March or April. The vote may occur at a regularly-scheduled Inn meeting, or at a meeting of the active Masters especially called for that purpose.
Section 4. Vacancies
When a position of officer, committee chair, or Pupillage Group chair becomes vacant, the Executive Committee may appoint an active Master to fill the vacancy until the next regular election.
Section 1. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Inn is the same as the fiscal year of the American Inns of Court Foundation, which is from July 1 of one calendar year to June 30 of the next calendar year.
Section 2. Dues
Annual dues may be in an amount consistent with the Organizational Charter and will be levied by the Treasurer during July. Any member who fails to pay dues before the second Inn meeting of the fiscal year and after reasonable notice may be removed from membership by the Executive Committee.
Section 3. Expenses
The Inn will pay all reasonable expenses incurred by members of the Executive Committee for items such as attending at state, regional, or national events of the American Inns of Court Foundation meetings; costs associated with programming; and other costs specifically approved by the Executive Committee. The Committee may authorize payment to a non-Inn member to serve as Executive Director.
Section 4. Banking
All Inn funds will be deposited to the Inn's credit in banks, accounts, and depositories as the Executive Committee may select. All checks, drafts, or orders of the payment of money, notes or other evidence of indebtedness issued in the name of the Inn must be signed by such officer or officers, agent or agents of the Inn, and in such manner and amount that from time-to-time will be determined by resolution of the Executive Committee.
Section 5. Contracts
The Executive Committee may authorize any officer or agent of the Inn to enter into any contracts or execute and deliver any instruments in the name of and on behalf of the Inn, and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.
Adoption and Amendments
Section 1. Adoption
These Bylaws will be adopted by this Inn upon approval by a majority of the active Masters and after being submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Board of Trustees of the American Inns of Court Foundation. The active Masters may make valid decisions by voting by mail, facsimile, electronic mail, or other means when deemed necessary by the Executive Committee or the President.
Section 2. Amendments
Amendments to these Bylaws may be made by a majority of the active Masters of the Inn and must be submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Board of Trustees of the American Inns of Court Foundation. The active Masters may make valid decisions by voting by mail, facsimile, electronic mail, or other means when deemed necessary by the Executive Committee or the President.