Bylaws

ARTICLE I
CLASSES OF MEMBERSHIP

Section 1.  Active Members: Any person admitted to the Bar who practices law in American Samoa and who is not an honorary member shall be an active member of the Bar Association.  Only active members may practice law or vote in Bar Association meetings.

Section 2.  Inactive Members:  Any person admitted to the Bar who is not a judge and who does not practice law in American Samoa may be an inactive member.

Section 3.  Honorary members: Judges and distinguished non-resident lawyers may be elected honorary members.


ARTICLE II
DUES

Section 1.  Annual dues are payable on or before January 1st for each calendar year at the following rates:

  • Regular members: $75 per annum
  • Inactive members: $35 per annum
  • Honorary members: No dues

Dues paid after January 1 of  each year but on or before March 1st of each year shall be subject to a late fee of $25.  On March 1st of each year, members who have not paid all dues and late fees owing shall cease to be members of the Bar Association.  Not later than April 1st of each year, the Treasurer shall transmit to the Chief Justice of the High Court of American Samoa the names of all persons who have ceased to be members in accordance with this paragraph.

Amended on November 19, 2003.

Section 2.  Members in Military Service.  Members who are in the military service of the United States shall be exempt from the payment of dues unless such service becomes a member's permanent avocation.


ARTICLE III
MEETINGS

Section 1.  Annual Meeting.  The annual meeting of the Association shall be held at a place and on a date to be selected by the executive committee in the month of April.  The time and place of the annual meeting shall be announced at 1east one month in advance of the meeting with notice being given the members by letter.  At the annua1 meeting , annua1 reports of the officers and committees shall be delivered and officers and the executive committees shall be selected.

Notes:  The notice requirements in the Constitution and Bylaws are to be understood as follows:  (1) "Written notice" and notice by letter may be satisfied through traditional US Postal Service delivery (or other delivery service), written documents placed in the Court folders, or through electronic mail.  (2) "Mail" shall include traditional mail, electronic mail, or court folder.  Adopted April 2011.

Section 2.  Meetings.  Meetings shall be held at a time and place to be designated by the executive committee at least once every two months.

Section 3.  Special Meetings.  Special meetings may be called by the president or by a majority of the executive committee or may be called by the secretary on request of two-thirds of the members in writing.  Members shall have fourteen days advance written notice of the time, place, and object of the meeting.

Notes:  The notice requirements in the Constitution and Bylaws are to be understood as follows:  (1) "Written notice" and notice by letter may be satisfied through traditional US Postal Service delivery (or other delivery service), written documents placed in the Court folders, or through electronic mail.  (2) "Mail" shall include traditional mail, electronic mail, or court folder.  Adopted April 2011.

Section 4.  Quorum.  At all meetings ten active members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.  The latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the proceedings.

Section 5.  Order of Business.  At the annual meeting the order of business shall be as follows:

  1. Report of the President
  2. Report of the Secretary
  3. Report of the Treasurer
  4. Reports of the Standing Committees
  5. Reports of the Special Committees
  6. Old business
  7. New business
  8. Election of officers


ARTICLE IV
OFFICERS

Section 1.  President.  The president shall preside at all meetings of the Association and meetings of the Executive committee.  He shall perform all duties ordinarily incident to his office, and shall recommend such action as he deems proper.

Section 2.  Vice President.  The vice president shall act as president in the absence of the president, plan programs in cooperation with the executive committee and perform such other duties as may be assigned him by the president of the Association.

Section 3.  Secretary.  The secretary shall keep minutes of meetings, send out notices, and shall be custodian of correspondence files. He shall act as administrative assistant to the president, shall assist committee chairman in carrying out the work of committees and, shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the executive committee.  Upon being succeeded in office he must turn over all Association records and correspondence to his successor.

Section 4.  Treasurer.  The treasurer shall receive and disburse all funds of the Association, and shall deposit or invest its money in a manner approved by the executive committee.  He shall submit at the annual meeting a report of monies received and expended, amounts due the Association and an estimate of the resources and expenditures for the ensuing year.

Section 5.  Executive Director or Secretary.  The executive committee may hire and assign duties to an executive director or secretary of the Association, who shall be assigned duties and given compensation as the executive committee directs and such person shall served at the pleasure of the executive committee.

Section 6.  American Bar Association Delegate.  The delegate will work to gain a seat in the American Bar Association House of Delegates.  When a seat has been secured, the delegate shall act as the American Samoa Bar Association's liaison with the American Bar Association.  The delegate shall confer with the officers and vote for the benefit of American Samoa in the ABA House of Delegates.  The delegate will serve a term of two years.  There shall also be elected an alternate, to appear at American Bar Association events when the delegate is unavailable.

Section 7.  With the exception of the American Bar Association Delegate, no person may be elected to any office for more than two consecutive terms.  The American Bar Association Delegate does not have term limits.

Amendments:  2011 to add ABA delegate.


ARTICLE V
NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Section 1.  The first election of officers shall occur at the first annual meeting and candidates for the offices of president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer shall be nominated from the floor, with the election to be conducted immediately thereafter.  Nominations for each office shall be limited to four persons.

Section 2.  Subsequent elections of officers shall also take place at annual meetings, but the president shall appoint any six members of the Association to be a nominating committee to select candidates for the offices of president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer, and to report name's of nominees to the secretary not less than one month before each annual meeting of the Association.  Nominations may also be made from the floor during each annual meeting by any member in good standing in the Association.

Section 3.  At any annual meeting, election shall be by secret ballot, and each officer shall be elected by a simple majority of those active members present and voting.


ARTICLE VI

COMMITTEES

Section 1.  Designation of Standing Committees.

There shall be standing committees on:

  1. Continuing Legal Education of the Bar;
  2. Ethics and Grievances
  3. Law Reform; and
  4. Community Outreach and Service.

Amendments:  2010 to add Law Reform and Community Outreach and Service Committees.

Section 2.  Jurisdiction of Standing Committees.

A.  Committee on Continuing Legal Education. This committee shall develop and carry out a program of continuing legal education of the bar in order to aid members of the profession in keeping informed of new developments and to assist the beginning lawyer or practitioner toward a better understanding of the practice of law.

B.  Ethics and Grievance Committee. This committee shall have three purposes.

  1. To recommend to the High Court of American Samoa standards of ethics and conduct in the practice of law which are in Conformity with the Code of Professional Responsibility of the American Bar Association.
  2. To offer assistance to the High Court of American Samoa in the enforcement of the disciplinary rules and procedures promulgated by the Chief Justice of the High Court of American Samoa.
  3. To refer to such person or persons as may be designated by the Chief Justice of the High Court of American Samoa such grievances concerning any member of this Association as may come to the attention of the Committee.

C.  The Law Reform Committee shall seek to improve the quality and administration of justice in American Samoa by reviewing and evaluating any and all laws, statutes, administrative rules, executive orders, court orders, court rules and procedures, and the constitution and bylaws of the American Samoa Bar Association that have been enacted, promulgated, issued, proposed or which are effective in American Samoa, and the impact and affect that such rules, laws and decisions have or may have on the people of the Territory and their way of life.  Where appropriate, and upon discussion at any regular or special meeting of the bar and with the approval of a majority of members at that meeting, the committee shall submit recommendations, opinions, legislation or any combination thereof on behalf of the bar to the appropriate body or authority.  Committee members are empowered to provide written and oral testimony on behalf of the bar in support of any measure submitted pursuant to this section.

D.  The Community Outreach and Service Committee shall seek to provide equal access to justice, education on legal topics, and other assistance related to legal education to the people of American Samoa.  The committee shall work to establish and maintain programs which educate the public about the law, the legal profession and legal education; which provide pro-bono or low cost legal services to those in the community who are underserved, indigent or otherwise disadvantaged; and which promote and facilitate pro-bono service by members of the bar.  The committee shall also make annual scholarship awards on behalf of the bar to a person (or persons) with significant ties to American Samoa who wishes (or whose wishes are) to practice law in the Territory and who is (or who are) attending law school.

Amendments:  2010 to add Law Reform and Community Outreach and Service Committees.


ARTICLE VII

APPROPRIATIONS AND EXPENSE

Section 1.  Appropriations of Association funds for officer, committee; or other expense shall be made by the executive committee.

Section 2.  Any liability incurred by an Association officer or committee in excess of the appropriation authorized by the executive committee shall be the made by the executive committee (sic).

Section 3.  Any liability incurred by an Association officer or committee in excess of the appropriation authorizes by the executive committee shall be the personal liabi1ity of the person or persons responsible for incurring or authorizing the same.


ARTICLE VIII

AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS

Bylaws may be adopted, amended, or rescinded by a majority vote of the active members present and voting at any annual, regular or special meeting provided that notice of such a proposed change shall be given in writing to all active members one week in advance of the meeting at which the vote is to be taken.

Notes:  The notice requirements in the Constitution and Bylaws are to be understood as follows:  (1) "Written notice" and notice by letter may be satisfied through traditional US Postal Service delivery (or other delivery service), written documents placed in the Court folders, or through electronic mail.  (2) "Mail" shall include traditional mail, electronic mail, or court folder.  Adopted April 2011.

I certify this to be a true copy of the Bylaws of the American Samoa Bar Association in effect on this date. Dated this 4th day of December, 2003.


MARTIN McCARTHY
Secretary

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