BYLAWS OF THE
STATE CIVIL LITIGATION SECTION
OF THE PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION

 

ARTICLE I
Purpose

The purpose of this Section shall be to promote the objectives of the Philadelphia Bar Association within the field of state civil litigation and, to that end: to advance the development of the law and the further and continuing education of the Philadelphia bar within that field in all its branches; to formulate and extend the study of this field of law; to cooperate in attaining uniformity with respect to both legislation and administration in all matters within this field; by cooperating with judicial, legislative and administrative bodies and other constituents of the organized bar to further these activities; to suggest improvements in applicable laws, practices and procedures; and to simplify and improve the application of justice in this field, all in conformity with the Charter and Bylaws of the Philadelphia Bar Association as at the time in effect.

 

ARTICLE II
Membership and Dues

Section 1. Any member in good standing of the Philadelphia Bar Association may be enrolled as a member of this Section. All members of the State Civil Committee, the MedicalLegal Committee and Compulsory Arbitration Committee are deemed members of this Section unless any such member advises the Association that he or she does not wish to be a member of this Section. The Executive Committee may establish classes of membership based on the number of years a member shall have been admitted to any bar.

Section 2. Dues may be established by the Executive Committee, subject to approval of the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association. No member of the judiciary shall be required to pay dues to the Section.

 

ARTICLE III
Committees of the Section

Section 1. The Section shall initially include the following standing committees: Rules and Procedure, Medical-Legal and Compulsory Arbitration. New Committees may be created at any time by the Executive Committee. Each Committee (except the Executive Committee) shall have Co-Chairs who shall be appointed by the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Any member in good standing of the Section, upon request, may be enrolled as a member of one or more of the Committees. Committees shall meet at such time as determined by the Committee Co-Chairs.

 

ARTICLE IV
Officers

Section 1. The Officers of the Section shall be the Section Co-Chairs, a Secretary and a Treasurer. One Co-Chair shall be and the other shall not be a member of the Section who primarily represents personal injury victims. Similarly, one of the other Officers (Secretary and Treasurer) shall be and the other shall not be a member of the Section who primarily represents personal injury victims.

Section 2. Each Officer of the Section shall hold office for a term beginning on the January 1 next following the Annual Meeting of the Section at which he or she is elected and ending at the close of that calendar year, and until his or her successor shall have been elected and qualified. Officers elected in the course of such a term to fill a vacancy shall serve only until the close of the calendar year in which such election occurs, unless again elected for a regular term.

Section 3. The functions, duties, and authority of the Officers shall be as follows:

a. Section Co-Chairs shall:

  • preside at all meetings of the Section and of the Executive Committee;
  • plan and oversee the programs of the Section during their term, subject to any direction and approval of the Executive Committee;
  • oversee the performance of all activities of the Section;
  • keep the Executive Committee informed and carry out its decisions;
  • present at each Annual Meeting of the Section, at their discretion, a report of the work of the Section for the year just ending; and
  • perform such further duties and have such further powers as usually pertain to their office or as may be designated by the Executive Committee.

b. The Secretary shall:

  • aid the Section Co-Chairs in the performance of their responsibilities;
  • consult with and assist all the officers of the Section as to the work of the Section generally in such manner and to such extent as they may request;
  • be the custodian of all principal books and documents of the Section, but not of money;
  • keep minutes of all meetings of the Section and of the Executive Committee and a record of all action that may be taken by consent without a meeting; and
  • perform such further duties and have such further powers as may be designated by the Executive Committee or the Section CoChairs.

c. The Treasurer shall:

  • have charge of and be responsible for all funds, receipts and disbursements of the Section;
  • give to the Section Co-Chairs and the Executive Committee, whenever requested, an account of the financial condition of the Section;
  • have the authority to request the Association’s staff to issue checks and deposit funds for and in the name of the Section;
  • perform all other duties incident to the office of the Treasurer of a non-profit association that are not inconsistent with any other provision within these Bylaws or the Association’s Bylaws;
  • prepare an annual budget, which shall be submitted for approval or modification to the Executive Committee at its first meeting of each year; and
  • perform other duties and have further powers as may be designated by the Executive Committee or Section Co-Chairs.

 

ARTICLE V
Executive Committee

Section 1. The Executive Committee of the Section shall consist of the elected Officers of the Section, the Committee Co-Chairs and the President Judge, Administrative Judge and Supervising Judge of the Civil Trial Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County or their respective designees. The members of the Judiciary shall be ex officio nonvoting members of the Executive Committee and shall serve as liaisons to the Court. In addition, the Executive Committee shall select one of its members to serve as a liaison to The Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and one of its members to serve as a liaison to the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel.

Section 2. If any elected member of the Executive Committee shall, without just cause, fail to attend three consecutive meetings of the Committee, his or her office may be declared vacated by the Executive Committee.

Section 3. The Executive Committee shall, subject to action of the members taken at a meeting of the Section and to any action of the Board of Governors of the Association, have general supervision and control of the affairs of the Section, but only in accordance with the provisions of the Charter and Bylaws of the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Bylaws of this Section. The Executive Committee may create and terminate committees. The Executive Committee shall adopt the annual budget and authorize the expenditure of all monies of the Section or appropriated for its use, provided it shall not authorize commitments or contracts involving the payment of money during any fiscal year in an amount exceeding the monies of the Section or appropriated for its use.

Section 4. The Executive Committee shall appoint the Committee Co-Chairs. In making such appointments, one Co-Chair of each Committee shall be and the other shall not be a member of the Section who primarily represents personal injury victims.

Section 5. The Executive Committee shall meet at least quarterly in each year at a place fixed from time to time by the Co-Chairs and upon not less than ten (10) days written notice to all of its members. Section 6. All actions of the Executive Committee shall be taken at a regular meeting thereof or at a special session at which a quorum is present. A quorum shall consist of not less than 50% of the voting members. All actions by the Executive Committee shall be by in-person voting by a majority of those present.

 

ARTICLE VI
Section Representative

A Section Representative to Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association shall be appointed by the Section Co-Chairs, with the approval of the Executive Committee. The Section Representative shall vote consistently with and advocate the Section’s position on any issues addressed by the Board.

 

ARTICLE VII
Meetings of the Section

Section 1. The Annual Meeting of the Section shall be the last business meeting of the calendar year and held in either November or December in the City of Philadelphia at a place and hour to be stated in the notice of the meeting.

Section 2. Special meetings of the Section may be called by the Section Co-Chairs upon approval of the Executive Committee, at such time and place as the Executive Committee may determine. The program and order of business of any such meeting shall be arranged by the Section Co-Chairs, subject to the direction and approval of the Executive Committee. Reasonable notice shall be given of any special meeting.

Section 3. The members of the Section present at any meeting shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Section 4. Except as provided in Articles VIII and XII below, all actions of the Section shall be by a majority vote of the Section members present and voting in person.

 

ARTICLE VIII
Section Resolutions

Any resolution submitted to the Board of Governors shall be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee or by a two-thirds vote of all Section Members present and voting in person.

 

ARTICLE IX
Nominations and Elections

Section 1. At least thirty (30) days before the Annual Meeting, the Executive Committee shall nominate members of the Section to serve as Officers in the following year. Within fifteen (15) days thereafter, any other member may be nominated by petition of at least twenty-five (25) members of the Section. At the Annual Meeting, the Secretary shall cast a unanimous vote for the Executive Committee's nominees if no other nominations were timely made. Otherwise, an election shall be held among all nominated candidates for each position.

Section 2. Notice of all nominations shall be given to the members of the Section in any reasonable manner, as determined by the Executive Committee.

Section 3. The election procedure may be by written ballot, show of hands or oral vote, as determined by the Executive Committee. A majority vote of the members of the Section present and voting in person at the Annual Meeting shall be sufficient to elect the Officers, provided that the group elected meets the requirements of Article IV, Section 1 above. ARTICLE X Section Formation and Transition Section 1. The members of the Task Force appointed by the Chancellor to investigate the formation of this Section shall serve as an interim Executive Committee and arrange for the first election of Officers by the members of the Section. Section 2. Upon the formation of this Section and removal of the Association’s State Civil Committee, Medical-Legal Committee and Compulsory Arbitration Committee from the Association’s register of committees, the current Co-Chairs of those committees shall become the interim Co-Chairs of this Section’s Rules and Procedure Committee, Medical-Legal Committee and Compulsory Arbitration Committee, respectively.

ARTICLE XI
Miscellaneous

Section 1. The Fiscal Year of the Section shall be the same as that of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Section 2. All bills incurred by this Section shall be approved by the Section CoChairs.

Section 3. No salary or compensation shall be paid to any officer of the Section, member of the Executive Committee or member of any other Committee of the Section.

Section 4. No action by this Section shall become effective as the action of the Philadelphia Bar Association until it is approved by the Philadelphia Bar Association. Any resolution adopted or action taken by this Section may be reported to the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association for approval or other necessary action.

Section 5. No member of the Executive Committee or other member of this Section shall speak or purport to speak for the Philadelphia Bar Association except as otherwise provided in Section 1002 of the Association’s Bylaws. However, members of the Section may communicate informally with the Courts of Pennsylvania on behalf of the Section or any Committee of the Section if and as authorized by the Executive Committee.

Section 6. No representative of the Section shall communicate with the news media regarding any business or position of the Section without the approval of the Chancellor or Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association

Section 7. These Bylaws shall become effective upon approval by the Interim Executive Committee. ARTICLE XII Amendments These Bylaws may be amended at any annual or special meeting of the Section, consistent with the Charter and Bylaws of the Philadelphia Bar Association, by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Section present and voting in person, provided that such proposed amendment shall have been, or shall be approved by a majority vote of the whole Executive Committee.

 

ARTICLE XII
Termination

The existence of the Section may be terminated only by a majority vote of the members of the Section present and voting in person at an Annual Meeting.