The principles upon which this law Society are founded are TRUTH, ETHICS AND
WHEREAS, The members thereof have undertaken
the promotion of higher learning, legal education, interchange of legal ideas,
maintenance of high professional standards, procedures of practice and close
WHEREAS, The purpose of the Society is to promote those ideals, therefore it is ordained:
ARTICLE I NAME AND GENERAL INFORMATION
The name of the organization shall be TAU EPSILON RHO LAW SOCIETY.
Tau Epsilon Rho Law Society (the “Society”) shall have the powers set
forth in this Constitution, which powers shall be construed liberally in the
Membership shall not be denied because of race, creed, religion, gender,
or national origin.
The Society shall have three (3) classes of membership: Graduate,
Student, and Honorary.
2. Class Rights.
Members within each class shall enjoy the same rights and privileges with
other members of that class, provided they are members in good standing in the
3. Legislative Mandate for
Membership. The National
Council, through the By-Laws, shall prescribe the requirements for establishing
and maintaining Graduate Chapters, Law School Chapters, and Law School
Divisions, including requirements for size and geographical boundaries.
The National Council shall further establish a National Graduate Chapter
and a National Law School Division, to provide services to members who are not
members of local units.
4. Graduate Members.
membership is open to:
Those members of any Law School Chapter or Law School Division who have
been admitted to practice before any bar; and
Other members of the bench or bar upon whom membership may be conferred.
5. Student Members.
membership shall be open to students of the law enrolled and regularly attending
classes in an accredited law school in the United States or Canada.
Affiliation and Administration.
Procedures and priorities for administration of Student Membership shall
be set out in the Society’s By-Laws, and may be further modified by the
Priorities for Membership Distribution.
The Law school members shall be enrolled in the Society according to the
In an organized Law School Chapter;
Where an organized chapter does not exist, in the Law School Division of
the Graduate Chapter located closest to said law school, provided that the
administration of said law school does not object;
Where neither an organized chapter nor an appropriate Law School Division
of the nearest Graduate Chapter exist, in the Law School Division of the
In the event a Law School Chapter subsequently becomes established at a
law school attended by said Law School Division members, the legislative
authority of the Society shall establish rules for maintaining the Law School
Division memberships or transferring them to the Law School Chapter, as
6. Honorary Members.
Honorary membership may be conferred upon any member of the bench or bar
who, in the opinion of the moving members, shall achieve such distinction as to
warrant honorary membership.
7. Good Standing Requirement.
To be considered a member in good standing in the Society, a member must:
Be current in paying all national and local dues assessments as of the
relevant certification date; or
Be exempt from dues as a result of policies approved by the National
Be otherwise eligible for membership in and in compliance with the rules
and requirements of the Society.
A member’s dues will be considered “paid” as to any particular year
when the Society’s Treasurer or Executive Director receives the member’s
payment for that year.
Chapters may promulgate their own criteria to determine whether a member
is “current” in local dues assessments.
8. Voting Rights.
No person shall be entitled to more than one vote for any purpose under
Proxy voting is hereby prohibited.
Annual Meeting. The Society shall hold an Annual Membership
Meeting, at such time and place as the National Council deems appropriate.
Special Meetings. The
Society may call a Special Membership Meetings on thirty (30) day’s notice to
the Society’s members. Such
meetings may be called, in writing, by:
A majority of the entire National Council.
For purposes of this provision, the National Council shall comprise all
then-serving National Officers and all living Past National Chancellors
(although no person shall be counted twice), but shall not include chapter
The entire Executive Committee.
Notice. Each member of the Society shall be entitled to notice of any
membership meeting. The Executive
Committee, at its sole discretion, shall determine the method of providing
notice for any meeting. Such method
may include, among other options, individualized notice, or delegation of notice
responsibilities to the member’s Graduate Chapter.
III ADMINISTRATION; ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND ELIGIBILITY
1. Administrative Power.
The administrative power of this Society shall be vested in the National
2. Delineation of National
The National Officers of this Society shall be a Chancellor, a
Chancellor- Elect, one or more Vice-Chancellors, a Secretary, a Treasurer, an
Editor, a Pledgor, a Scholar, an Historian, the Immediate Past Chancellor, and
such other officers as may be elected at the Annual Membership Meeting, or
appointed at or following the Annual Membership Meeting.
There shall be no presumption of succession by the Chancellor-Elect to
the Chancellorship of the Society.
3. Election of National
Officers. The National
Officers, other than the Immediate Past Chancellor, shall be elected at the
Annual Membership Meeting.
Eligibility to be Nominated.
Chancellor. No person who has not continuously been a Society member in
good standing for not less than five (5) years prior to the election shall be
nominated to serve as Chancellor, whether nominated by any Slate Committee or
nominated from the floor at the election.
person who has not continuously been a Society member in good standing for not
less than five (5) years prior to the election shall be nominated to serve as
Chancellor-Elect, whether nominated by any Slate Committee or nominated from the
floor at the election.
Other National Offices. No
person who has not continuously been a Society member in good standing for not
less than two years prior to the election shall be nominated to serve as a
National Officer (other than Chancellor or Chancellor-Elect, as provided above),
whether nominated by any Slate Committee or nominated from the floor at the
Eligibility to Vote. Every
Society member in good standing may cast one (1) vote on each ballot in the
Such votes must be cast in person; no proxy voting shall be allowed for
election of officers.
(2) For purposes of this provision, a member must be in good standing on the calendar date falling twenty-eight (28) days prior to the date the election commences.
The Executive Director shall certify the list of members in good standing
as of that date no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the election, and
shall provide this list to the Chancellor by that time.
To be elected, a nominee shall receive a majority of all votes cast on a
In the event no nominee receives a majority of all votes cast, the
person(s) receiving the fewest number of votes on a ballot shall be removed from
consideration, and another ballot shall be cast with the remaining nominees’
names in consideration. This
procedure shall continue until a nominee for office receives a majority of all
votes cast on a ballot.
Elections, or any part of them, shall proceed by voice vote, hand vote,
or secret ballot at the direction of the Chancellor or of the majority of the
National Council in attendance at the Election.
2. Onset of Responsibilities.
All National Officers shall take office at the earlier of their formal
induction or the conclusion of the Annual Membership Meeting.
They shall remain in office for a term of one year or until their
successors are duly elected and shall have qualified; however, no officer whose
office is vacant as a result of the next election shall remain in office beyond
the time that the other officers elected at that next election take office.
ARTICLE IV - LEGISLATIVE
POWER; NATIONAL COUNCIL
1. Legislative Power.
The legislative power of this Society shall be vested in the National
2. Composition of National
Standing Members. The
standing members of the National Council shall be the National Officers, the
Executive Director (so long as the Executive Director is a member of the
Society), Graduate Chapter and At-Large delegates,
and all Past Chancellors.
Other Members. The
National Council may choose to appoint other members to the Council in an
ex-officio and non-voting capacity.
Vacancy in Office.
In the event a National Office, other than Chancellor or
Chancellor-Elect, becomes vacant as a result of the death, resignation,
suspension, or disbarment of an elected National Officer, or because the Annual
Meeting did not elect a member to fill the office, the Executive Committee, by
majority action, may designate a
member of the Society in good standing to serve the remainder of the term of
office. Such action may be taken
outside of a formal meeting of the Executive Committee.
The Society shall not fill any vacancy in the office of Chancellor-Elect.
In the event of such vacancy, however, the Executive Committee, by
majority action, may designate a member of the Society in good standing to serve
as a Vice-Chancellor, and such person shall succeed to and discharge the duties
and responsibilities of the Chancellor-Elect as are not related to succession to
office of Chancellor. Such action
may be taken outside of a formal meeting of the Executive Committee.
In the event of a vacancy in the Chancellor’s office, the
Chancellor-Elect, if elected at the same time as the prior Chancellor, shall
succeed to the office of Chancellor for the remainder of the term of office.
If the office of Chancellor-Elect is also vacant, the National Council
shall designate a member of the Society in good standing to serve the remainder
of the Chancellor’s term of office. The
Executive Director shall convene a special meeting of the National Council for
such purpose, as soon as possible after the vacancy arises.
The membership of the Society shall be represented at the National
Council Meeting as follows:
Each active Graduate Chapter shall be entitled to one (1) delegate to the
National Council for each fifty (50) members or portion of fifty (50) members of
the Graduate Chapter in good standing with the National Society as of thirty
(30) days preceding the National Council Meeting.
For purposes of this section, a Chapter shall be considered “active”
if it has a minimum of five (5) members in good standing.
With respect to any Graduate Chapter holding active status at the time of
adoption of this amended Constitution, implementation of this provision will be
deferred for five (5) years from the date of adoption.
The Executive Director shall certify the membership in good standing of
each Graduate Chapter as of thirty (30) days preceding the National Council
Meeting, and shall notify each Graduate Chapter of the number of delegates to
which the Chapter is entitled for the upcoming meeting at that time.
The Chancellor, prior to each National Council Meeting, may designate
members of the Society to serve as At-Large delegates, to represent Society
members who are not affiliated with an active Graduate Chapter.
The Chancellor shall designate one (1) such delegate for each fifty (50)
members or portion of fifty (50) members in good standing who are not affiliated
with an active Graduate Chapter as of thirty (30) days preceding the National
Council meeting; provided, however, that the maximum number of delegates
selected to represent the unaffiliated members shall be five (5).
The Executive Director shall notify the Chancellor thirty (30) days
before the meeting of the number of delegates to be appointed.
Each Law School Chapter or Law School Division may appoint a
representative to attend the National Council meeting.
These representatives shall not be counted for the purpose of determining
a quorum, and shall not be entitled to vote on any issue brought before the
National Council. At the discretion
of the Chair, such representatives may be allowed to participate in discussion.
For purposes of this Section, a member shall be eligible to serve as a
The member paid all appropriate National and Local Dues due as of the
National Council Meeting; and, if National dues were collected by a Graduate
Chapter, the National portion of such dues were received by the Society by the
National Council Meeting;
The member is exempt from paying dues as a result of age or as a result
of being a sitting judge; provided, however, that Honorary members who have
never paid a new member fee or annual dues to the National Society or had such
fees paid to the National Society on their behalf, shall not be eligible to
serve as a delegate.
Each Graduate Chapter may otherwise select its delegates according to the
Chapter’s own criteria.
4. National Council Meetings.
The National Council shall meet at each Annual Membership Meeting and at
least once between Membership Meetings.
The National Council shall convene at the Chancellor’s direction.
The National Council shall only enact legislation, amend the by-laws, and
amend the Constitution, in the
presence of a quorum.
A quorum shall comprise four (4) of the National Officers of the Society
plus four (4) delegates or Past Chancellors.
A person shall be counted only one (1) time for purposes of establishing
a quorum. The Executive Director
shall not be counted in determining the presence or absence of a quorum, unless
the Director is also eligible to serve on the Council as an elected officer or a
All actions of the National Council shall be determined by majority vote
of those present, unless otherwise provided herein.
The National Council may conduct other business at a recessed session or
an adjourned session, in the absence of a quorum, provided that the prior
session was conducted in the presence of a quorum, and further provided that all
members attending the prior session receive actual notice of the time for
resumption of business.
In the event the National Council initially convenes at a duly-noticed
meeting in the absence of a quorum, the Council may take up administrative
matters in the absence of the quorum, and may delay taking up matters requiring
a quorum’s presence until a quorum is present.
Such administrative matters include, but are not limited to:
Approving minutes of prior meetings;
Receiving and approving Officer’s reports;
Initiating and approving action that will not result in a variation from
the Society’s approved budget;
Establishing temporary committees;
Approving sites for subsequent Society meetings;
Approving CLE programs to be held in conjunction with subsequent Society
The National Council shall conduct its business in accordance with
Robert’s Rules of Order.
5. Executive Committee
The National Officers and the Immediate Past Chancellor shall comprise
the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee shall convene at the Chancellor’s direction.
At the Chancellor’s discretion, the Committee may conduct its business
in person, by conferencing (either by phone or computer), or by written action
taken by all members separately resulting in approval of a course of action by
the majority of the Committee.
The Committee may take up any business, not otherwise reserved to the
National Council or the Society at large, as may be necessary to continue the
day to day operation and administration of the Society.
All action taken by the Executive Committee, with the exception of
filling vacancies in National Office, shall be subject to ratification by the
National Council at the meeting of the National Council next following the
Any member of the National Council or any Graduate Chapter may propose
legislation for consideration and action by the National Council.
Any Graduate Chapter desiring to initiate legislation may pass a
resolution embodying such proposed legislation by a majority vote of Society
members in good standing and eligible to vote within the Chapter.
Such resolution shall be submitted to the Chancellor, who shall, after
notice, submit it to the next regular National Council meeting for
consideration, or at the Chancellor’s discretion, to a special National
Council meeting convened for that purpose.
No Chapter delegate shall submit any resolution that was not first
approved by their Chapter, as provided above.
Other Legislation. Other
legislation may be brought before the National Council by resolution made by any
National Officer or Past-Chancellor.
Resolutions shall be approved by majority vote.
Any action of the National Council may also be accomplished by informal
written consent approved by a majority of all eligible members of the National
Council provided that all National Council members shall have had not less than
twenty-one (21) days advance written notice of such proposed action.
Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, nothing in this
Section shall preclude any member of the National Council from initiating
legislation at a duly convened meeting of the National Council.
ARTICLE V SUSPENSION,
EXPULSION, AND CHANGE OF STATUS OF CHAPTER
1. Suspension &
Expulsion of Chapter. The
National Council, upon its own motion and for good cause shown, may suspend or
expel any Graduate Chapter, Law School Chapter or Law School Division from the
Society, in accordance with the procedures set forth in the By-Laws of the
2. Reinstatement of Chapter.
The National Council may upon its own reinstate any Graduate Chapter, Law
School Chapter or Law School Division suspended or expelled from the Society.
VI - FINANCES
1. New Member Fee.
Each person inducted into the Society shall be required to pay a “new
member fee” with the application for membership.
1.proper for the operation of the chapter or Law School Division.
2. National Dues.
Unless exempted by the National Council, each graduate member shall be
obliged to pay an annual dues assessment to the National Society.
The National Council may solicit voluntary contributions from members who
are exempt from paying annual dues.
3. Dues Procedures.
The National Council shall set all new member fee and dues policies and
schedules for the Society.
4. Life Membership.
The National Council is authorized to grant life membership in the
Society to any member upon such terms and conditions as the National Council
shall deem proper.
5. Administration of Funds.
All monies shall be administered as provided in the By-Laws.
1. Adoption of Ritual.
Each person inducted into membership in the Society shall affirm the
person’s adherence to the tenets set forth in the full and complete ritual as
approved by the National Council. No
deviation from the prescribed ritual shall be allowed except by permission of
the National Council.
VIII - HONORARY OFFICERS
1. Honorary Officers.
The National Council may appoint individuals to hold the honorary offices
in the Society, and shall prescribe the rights, privileges, and duties
associated with such office. Honorary officers shall be ex-officio members of the National
Council without voting privileges, unless otherwise holding a right to vote in
1. Amendment Procedure.
Any Graduate Chapter, the National Council, or a Committee duly appointed
by the Chancellor for such purpose, may propose an amendment to this
Constitution by adopting, by two-thirds (2/3) vote of members in good standing
in the Society eligible to vote on such proposal and in attendance, a resolution
embodying the proposed amendment.
2. Graduate Chapter
If proposed by a Graduate Chapter, the
resolution shall be forwarded to the Executive Director in writing,
A list of the Chapter’s members voting on the resolution (but not
indicating the nature of the vote cast);
To be eligible to vote on such a resolution, a Chapter member must be a
member in good standing of the national Society at the time of the vote.
2. Council and Committee
Proposals. If proposed by the
National Council or by a Committee appointed by the National Council, the
resolution shall first be presented for consideration and adoption at a meeting
of the National Council. Upon
approval, the resolution shall be forwarded to the Secretary in writing.
3. Adoption Procedure.
The Secretary shall circulate the written resolution, as approved without
change, to each Graduate Chapter, each Law School Division, and each
National Officer and Past Chancellor at least sixty (60) days prior to
final consideration of the proposal at a meeting of the National Council.
The proposed amendment shall be adopted if approved by a two-thirds vote
of the members of the National Council in attendance and voting at a meeting of
the National Council. No vote may
be taken by the National Council unless a quorum is present throughout
discussion and voting on adoption of the resolution.
The proposed amendment shall be submitted to the first meeting of the
National Council held at least sixty (60) days following the resolution’s
circulation by the Secretary.
Prior to a vote being taken on the proposed amendment but after or during
discussion, the proponent may withdraw the proposed amendment, or the National
Council, in a manner consistent with its rules, may table discussion.
Discussion may not be tabled for more than two (2) consecutive meetings,
and, if not withdrawn at the time of a third meeting, the National Council shall
vote on the proposal.
In the event discussion is tabled, the Secretary shall re-circulate the
resolution at thirty (30) days prior to the next meeting of the National
X - BY-LAWS
1. Creation and Alteration.
The National Council, by a two-thirds vote of the members in attendance
and voting, may make or alter such By-Laws as they deem necessary to implement
This Constitution shall supersede all previous constitutions of the
Society and shall have full force and effect upon its adoption.
Adopted and approved by the National Council of Tau Epsilon Rho Law Society on October 10, 1999 at the meeting held in conjunction with the 79th Annual Convention, in Toronto ONT CANADA.
Todd M. Berk, Chancellor
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