Bylaws of The Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association

 Revised February 11, 2014

I. PURPOSE AND MEMBERSHIP

  1. The purposes and objectives of the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association (WTLA) are:

a.  to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Wyoming State Constitution.

             b.  to promote the administration of justice for the public good.

             c.  to preserve the adversary system and the right to trial by jury.

             d.  to advance the cause of people who are injured in person or property.

e.  to educate attorneys and the general public on the importance and use of the adversary and jury trial system.

             f.  to develop and encourage high standards of professional conduct among all attorneys.

  1. Membership in the WTLA shall be open to the following:

      a. Attorneys licensed to practice law in the United States;

b. Paralegals working for attorneys licensed in Wyoming; and

c. Students at the U.W. College of Law, by way of membership in the Student Chapter of the WTLA. 

  1. Only attorneys licensed in the State of Wyoming may sit on the Board of Directors and/or have the right to vote on WTLA business
  2. There shall be the following types of membership: 

            a.  Regular Members;

            b.  Sustaining Members;

            c.  Advocate Members

            d.  Teton Summit Members; and

            e.  Student Members. 

The Board of Directors, by proper vote, may establish other types of membership or levels of contribution to the WTLA.

II. OFFICERS

  1. WTLA shall have the following officers:  President, President-Elect and Secretary-Treasurer.  Officers are elected by majority vote of the members attending the annual election which shall be held in connection with, and at the same time as, the annual convention.  The President shall appoint a member of the board of directors to act as elections chairman.  The elections chairman shall manage the election.  Individuals seeking office may nominate themselves or be nominated by the Nominating Committee or by another lawyer member at any point beginning thirty days prior to the annual election through the time of the voting at the annual election.

 

III. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  1. Composition: The Executive Committee of the WTLA shall be comprised of the President, President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, Immediate Past President and two (2) members of the Board of Directors.  The President and the President-Elect will each appoint one member at large each year to serve a one year term.  The President may temporarily appoint additional members for the purpose of meeting special needs or requirements of the WTLA.
  2. Powers: Between meetings of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee shall be empowered to do all acts and perform all functions which the Board of Directors may itself perform as necessary for the operation and management of the WTLA.
  3. Limits: The Executive Committee shall carry out the policy of the WTLA as established by the Board of Directors.  The Executive Committee shall not countermand actions taken by the Board of Directors and will be bound by specific instructions given to it by the Board of Directors.
  4. Meetings: Meetings may be held in person or by telephone conference.  Voting may also be accomplished by mail and/or email vote.  A majority of the members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum providing all members have been sent 48 hours notice of the meeting or have waived notice.
  5. Notice: Minutes of the Executive Committee will be distributed to the full Board of Directors within ten days after an Executive Committee meeting.

 

IV. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

                 1.  There shall be a Board of Directors of the WTLA with authority as to policy and execution of these By-Laws and any Resolutions of the membership.

2.1    The Board of Directors shall consist of the following: President, President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, Immediate Past President, WTLA’s AAJ State Delegates and Governors, eighteen (18) elected Board members, and active past presidents serving in accordance with paragraph 2.2 of Article IV.

2.2    All past presidents, who are members of the Association and have been continuously members since their tenure as president, shall automatically be eligible to be a member of the Board of Directors without election so long as that past president attends at least one (1) Board meeting or two committee meetings per year.  Each year the executive director shall ascertain from each past president his or her desire to be a member of the Board.  Once a past president has been disqualified for automatic membership on the Board of Directors for failure to attend at least one Board meeting or two (2) committee meetings per year, that past president wishing to serve again shall stand for election as a member chosen at large as provided in Paragraph three (3) of this Article IV.

3.      WTLA recognizes that it is beneficial to the organization for each judicial district in Wyoming to be represented by at least one (1) member of the Board who resides in that district.  The Nominating Committee shall make an effort to recruit candidates from all parts of the State.  Ballots shall contain the judicial district in which each candidate resides. 

3.1    Each of the eighteen (18) elected Board Members shall serve a term of two (2) years; with the terms of  Nine (9) of such Directors being elected in odd years and the other nine (9) in even years.  Members of the Board shall be elected at the annual meeting by a majority vote of the members of the Association in attendance.  Individuals seeking election to the Board may nominate themselves or be nominated by the Nominating Committee or by another lawyer member at any point beginning thirty days prior to the annual election through the time of the voting at the annual election.

4.      Meetings:  The President shall be the Chairman of the Board, and shall call and preside over the meetings of the Board as he or she deems necessary.  Meetings may be held in person or by telephone conference.  Voting may also be accomplished by mail and/or email vote.  At any meeting a majority of the Board Members present may act for the Board.  Board members are required to attend any three meetings of the Board during their term in order to be eligible for reelection.   They are also encouraged to attend one fall planning meeting during their term. 

5.      The Board shall have the authority to create committees as it deems necessary or appropriate.

 

V. COMMITTEES

  1. The President shall have the authority to appoint committees deemed necessary or appropriate.  Chairmen of committees shall be members of the Board, but other members may be appointed from the general membership.

      2.      Standing committees are:

  1. CLE Committee
  2. Legislative Committee
  3. Membership Committee     
  4. Student/Young Lawyer Committee

      3.      All appointments to standing committees shall be subject to ratification by the Board.

VI. AAJ GOVERNORS

Two (2) members of the WTLA shall be elected to the Board of Governors of AAJ.  The term of office for such positions shall be three (3) years, and election shall be by majority vote of the members of the WTLA in attendance at the annual meeting in the year in which the term of office expires.  Terms shall be staggered.

 

VII. AAJ  STATE DELEGATES

There shall be two (2) State Delegates elected to serve in such capacity with AAJ.  The terms of office of the State Delegates shall be two (2) years.  One (1) Delegate shall be elected each year at the annual meeting by majority vote of the members in attendance.

 

VIII. VACANCIES

Vacancies in all elected positions of the WTLA shall be filled for the unexpired term by appointment.  Such appointment shall be by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

 

IX. MEETINGS

There shall be an annual meeting of the members and the Board of Directors which shall be held at the annual convention.  Additional meetings of the Board of Directors shall be set from time to time by the President of WTLA, with feedback from the Board of Directors as to date and place.

 

X. SPECIAL MEETINGS

Special meetings of the members of the WTLA may be called by the President or by the Board of Directors upon ten (10) days written notice to the membership summarizing the agenda to be considered at such meeting.  Resolutions adopted at such special meetings upon proper notice shall be established as the policy of the Association with regard to the subject matter and shall be binding upon the Board of Directors and officers of the WTLA.

 

XI. DUES

The Dues of the Association shall be established by vote of the Board of Directors.

 

XII. BY-LAWS

Any member of the Association may propose amendments to these By-Laws as may be necessary or convenient for the proper government of the affairs of the WTLA.  Such amendments shall become effective upon adoption by a majority vote of the Board of Directors present at any meeting.

 

ATTEST:
       

                         
__________________________                       ________________________
President                                                            Secretary