GRBA Membership

Membership Information

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Please download and fill out our Membership Application (PDF File) and mail it with check to:

Gloria Richardson Bar Association, Inc.
P. O. Box 452
Greensboro, Maryland 21639-0452
(410) 482.4794

 

GLORIA RICHARDSON BAR ASSOCIATION, INC.
BYLAWS
2013


ARTICLE  I.  MEMBERSHIP


SECTION 1. REGULAR MEMBERS.  
   Any member of the Bar of the State of Maryland in good standing who is a resident of Maryland’s Eastern Shore or who is engaged in law related activities on Maryland’s Eastern Shore shall be eligible for Regular membership in this Association. "Law related activities” shall mean that the person maintains or is employed in the practice of law or is involved in the administration of justice or in a pursuit where the person uses legal training or experience.

SECTION 2. ASSOCIATE MEMBERS.
   Any member in good standing of the Bar of any State, District, or Territory, of the United States, shall be eligible for associate membership in this Association. Such member shall pay the same dues as a regular member, and shall be entitled to all the privileges of this Association except the right to vote, hold office or serve on the Board of Directors.

SECTION 3. HONORARY MEMBERS.
   The Board of Directors may extend honorary membership to Gloria Richardson and any member of the Bar or Bench of any State, District, or Territory of the United States. An Honorary member shall have none of the obligations of membership in the Association, but shall be entitled to all the privileges, except that an Honorary member who is not admitted to the practice of law by the Court of Appeals of Maryland shall not be entitled to vote.

SECTION 4. ADMISSION.
   Applications for membership shall be submitted on such form as the Board of Directors shall prescribe to the Chairman of the Membership Committee or Division, who shall review for completion and report all applications to the Board. The application shall be acted upon at the regular meeting of the Board of the Association. A majority of the Board members present and voting must vote for admission of a candidate in order for the candidate to be admitted. If an applicant is rejected by the Board, the applicant shall have an opportunity to be heard at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting. After such opportunity, the Board shall re-vote on the applicant. If an applicant is again rejected by the Board, the applicant shall have an opportunity to be heard at the next regularly scheduled total membership meeting. After such opportunity, a majority of the members present and voting must vote for admission of the candidate in order for the candidate to be admitted.

SECTION 5. ANNUAL DUES.
   Member dues shall be established by resolution of the Board of Directors, and shall be payable annually. The Board may establish introductory rates for new members. The Board of  Directors may waive all or a portion of any member's dues because of financial hardship. A member who shall permit dues to be in arrears for 90 days after they are due shall automatically be dropped from the list of members, after 30 days prior notice of this rule shall have been given to such member by the Treasurer.
ARTICLE II. OFFICERS

SECTION 1. ELECTED OFFICERS.
   The officers of the Association shall be a President, a President-Elect, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, a  Secretary, and (2) Directors.  The initial Board of Directors and officers of the Association are appointed by the President.  Thereafter, they shall be elected at the annual meeting and shall hold their offices until the termination of the next annual meeting.

SECTION 1A. APPOINTIVE OFFICERS.
   The appointment of officers of the Association shall be as deemed necessary.   The Board of  Directors may appoint from the membership of the Association an Assistant Secretary and an Assistant Treasurer as it deems necessary.

SECTION 2. PRESIDENT.
   The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Board of Directors. In the President's absence, the President-Elect shall preside. The President shall appoint the Chairman of each Division and each Committee. Members of all committees shall be eligible for re-appointment to the committee of which they are members. Each incoming President shall be permitted and required to re-appoint at least 1 member of each appointive committee and shall have the right to elect whether to re-appoint more members of any committee and to select those to re-appoint.

SECTION 3. PRESIDENT-ELECT.
   In the temporary absence of the President, the President-Elect shall perform the duties of that office. Should the Office of the President become vacant, the President Elect shall immediately become President for the remainder of the term.

SECTION 4. SECRETARY.
   The Secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of all the meetings and of all other matters of which a record shall be deemed advisable by the Association, and shall conduct the correspondence of the Association with the concurrence of the President.

SECTION 5. TREASURER.
   The Treasurer shall collect and, under the direction of the Board of  Directors, disburse all funds of the Association. The Treasurer shall keep regular accounts which shall be open at all times to the inspection of any member of the Board. Treasurer's accounts shall be audited annually by the Board, and a report shall be made annually or more often if required.

ARTICLE III.   BOARD OF DIRECTORS

SECTION 1. COMPOSITION.
   The Board of Directors shall consist of the President, who shall be the Chair of the Board of Directors; elected officers, the immediate Past President, and two members in good standing appointed by the President.
No member of the Board of  Directors shall be entitled to more than one vote even if that person qualifies for membership on the Board of  Directors in more than one position.

SECTION 2. POWER AND DUTIES.
   The Board of  Directors shall have the general supervision of and shall manage the affairs of the Association. The Board shall fix the hour and place of meetings and functions of the Association, shall make recommendations to the membership, and shall perform such other duties as are specified in these By-Laws or as directed by the membership. The Board may enact such regulations as shall be necessary for the preservation of good order in its affairs. It shall keep a record of its proceedings and shall report upon its activities at meetings of the Association. The Board shall adopt an annual budget, and shall report regularly to the Association upon the finances of the Association.

SECTION 3. MEETINGS.
   Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held no less frequently than every four months. Special meetings may be called by the President and shall be called upon by the written request of three members of the Board. The business to be conducted at the special meeting shall be limited to that stated in the call of the meeting. All meetings of the Board of  Directors shall be open to any member of the Association. The presence of four (4) members of the Board shall be necessary to constitute a quorum at any meeting of the Board.

SECTION 4. ABSENCES.
   If a Board member is not able to attend a Board meeting, then that member shall communicate with the President, or the President’s designee, in advance of that Board meeting to be excused. Any member who is absent without being excused by the President or the President’s designee from three (3) consecutive or a total of four (4) Board meetings during that member’s annual term of office is subject to removal for cause, at the Board’s discretion, pursuant to the Removal Policy in Section 5 of this Article.

SECTION 5. REMOVAL.
   The Board of  Directors may remove a Board member prior to the expiration of the member’s term by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Board members present at the time the subject of removal is voted upon and the removal vote may be conducted by secret ballot. If a Board member is removed, a replacement shall be appointed from the same category of membership and the successor shall complete the remainder of the unexpired term. Removal without cause shall be permitted upon thirty (30) days notice of the proposed removal to all Board members and an opportunity for any responses to be considered. Removal with cause shall be permitted upon ten (10) days notice of the proposed removal to all Board members and an opportunity for any responses to be considered.


ARTICLE IV. DIVISIONS AND COMMITTEES

SECTION I. DIVISIONS
   a. Appointment. Promptly after or at the time of the annual election each year, the President shall appoint regular members of the Association to serve as Division Chairs. Each Division Chair shall continue in office until a successor is appointed.
   b. Duties. Each Division Chair shall supervise such committees as are assigned to that Division. The Chair of each committee shall report to the assigned Division Chair, who in turn shall report to the President and the Board of Directors.
   c. Divisions. The Divisions of the Association shall be: (1) Administration; (2) Community Relations and Services; (3) Member Services; (4) Professional Development; (5) Social Functions; and (6) Development.

SECTION 2. COMMITTEES
   a. Standing Committees. The following shall be standing committees of the Association:

   (1) Membership Committee, whose duty it shall be to formulate and execute programs to maintain and increase the numerical strength of the Association.

(2) Committee on Judicial Appointments.
   A) There shall be a committee on Judicial Appointments, whose duty it shall be to assemble the necessary data to aid the Board of  Directors in offering recommendations for appointment or election of Judges to the Court of Appeals of Maryland from the Fifth Appellate Circuit, Court of Special Appeals of Maryland from the Fifth Appellate Circuit or at large, Circuit Courts for (Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester Counties), District Court of Maryland for (Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester Counties), Standing Masters and Examiners.
   B) Incumbent Judges. (1) An incumbent Judge who seeks election, re-election, or re-appointment to office shall so inform the Committee, and thereupon it shall be the duty of the Committee to submit the following question upon secret vote to those members entitled to vote: "Upon his/her record, does Judge ________ merit election, re-election or re-appointment?" (2) Unless such incumbent Judge shall receive a negative or unfavorable vote of 40% or more of all valid ballots cast in the voting, the Association shall endorse such incumbent and none other for election, re-election or re-appointment, as the case may be. (3) If such incumbent Judge shall receive an unfavorable or negative vote of 40% of all valid ballots cast in the voting, and there shall be a contest for the same office, then such incumbent Judge shall be evaluated in the same manner as non-incumbents.
   C) Vacancies. The Committee shall prepare a list of all applicants who submit copies of their applications and shall distribute the same to all members of the Association entitled to vote, together with such comments as to qualifications and recommendations, if any, as the Committee shall deem appropriate to make, notice as to manner of casting ballots and deadline for same, and a ballot containing the names of all applicants who meet the legal qualifications for the office. The distribution and collection of the ballots shall be conducted through secure methods that preserve the anonymity of each person casting a vote. The ballot shall seek the opinion of the Association as to each applicant in the following categories: "Highly qualified", "Qualified", "Not qualified", "No opinion". To ensure secrecy, along with the ballot, the Committee (1) shall furnish each member entitled to vote a plain envelope within which to seal the ballot before returning same to the Committee or, (2) if mail is not the balloting method used, then the Committee shall use a method to maintain balloting secrecy. No ballot shall be tabulated which does not contain a response for each applicant. The Committee shall certify the results of the balloting to the President and the Board of Directors. For each vacancy, the President and Board of  Directors shall thereupon submit to the appointing authority, and appropriate Judicial Selection Committee, if any, the results of the balloting.

   (3) Budget & Finance Committee. A Committee on Budget & Finance consisting of the President, the Treasurer, the President-elect, the Administrative Division Chair.  It shall be the duty of the Committee to study the finances of the Association; to prepare a budget for each year to be presented by the Treasurer to the November meeting of the Board of Directors, to be approved by the Board of  Directors at its December meeting; to present amendments to the adopted budget to the Board of  Directors as required; and to make recommendations with respect to the financial affairs of the Association, including, but not limited to, its accounting procedures, controls, and related matters.

(4) New Lawyers Committee.
   A) Name and Objectives. This Committee shall be known as the New Lawyers Committee. This Committee is formed to foster discussion and exchange of ideas relative to the duties, responsibilities and problems of new members of the legal profession, to aid and promote their advancement, to encourage their interest in participation in activities of the  Gloria Richardson Bar Association, to provide opportunities for its members to meet socially, to further the purpose and objectives of the Association, and to undertake such further activities as shall be requested by the Board of  Directors of the Association.
   B) Definition: All members in good standing of the Gloria Richardson Bar Association who have been admitted to the bar of Maryland for a period of  five (5) years or less are eligible to join the New Lawyers Committee.

(5) Family Law Committee.
   This Committee shall be known as the Family Law Committee which is formed to focus on the unique needs of the domestic practitioner, to work with members of the bench, area psychologists, family counseling professionals, law enforcement personnel, and Court administration personnel, to help improve the way the legal community deals with domestic issues, to initiate and conduct family law educational programs open to all members of the Association, in coordination with, and networking with the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Association, and to communicate to members of the Gloria Richardson Bar Association important information and solutions to problems, encountered by the bench, bar, family counseling professionals, law enforcement personnel, and court administration personnel, through the auspices of the Association.
   A. Other Committees. The President shall appoint such additional committees as the President and/or the Board of  Directors deem appropriate for managing the affairs of the Association.
   B. Assignment to Divisions. The President shall designate the Chair of each committee, and shall assign each committee to a Division.
   C. Committee Members. The President may appoint such committee members as the President and/or the Board of  Directors deem appropriate. Unless the President or the Board of  Directors specify to the contrary, the Chair of any committee may recruit additional members of the Association to serve on that committee.
   D. Committee Reports. At any time requested by the President or the Board of  Directors, and during the month of June each year, each committee shall submit to the Board of  Directors a written report of that committee's activities, together with any recommendations for improving the services of the Association.

SECTION 3. TERMINATION OF COMMITTEE FUNCTIONS.
   Any committee that is not a standing committee may be dissolved by the Board of  Directors upon the determination that the committee's services are no longer necessary to the welfare of the Association.

ARTICLE V. DELEGATE TO AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION

   Each year, the President, with the advice and consent of the Board of  Directors, may designate some member of this Association as a delegate from this Association to any meeting of the American Bar Association held during such year.

ARTICLE VI. MEETINGS

SECTION 1. MEETINGS.
   There shall be an annual meeting of the Association in November or December each year. At the discretion of the Board of Directors, there may be a semi-annual meeting of the Association during the summer of each year upon a date as specified by the Board of  Directors. At the regular meetings all the powers of the Association may be exercised.

SECTION 2. SPECIAL MEETINGS.
   Special meetings may be called on such notice as shall be provided for in the By-Laws at any time by the Board of Directors, and shall be called, upon like notice, upon written request of 4 members of the Association. The President shall prepare an agenda, including the matters specified in the written request, and shall call such a Special Meeting within 10 days of the receipt of the request. At such meetings, no business shall be transacted except such as shall be specified in the call thereof.

SECTION 3. QUORUM.
   The presence of 5 members shall be necessary to constitute a quorum at any membership meeting of the Association.

SECTION 4. NOTICE.
   The Secretary shall give notice of each regular and special meeting at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting by publishing notice in a regular publication of the Association, writing, email, and / or posting on the Association website, and notice in one or more of these methods shall be sufficient to satisfy this notice requirement.



SECTION 5. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY.
   The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Association in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these By-Laws or the special rules of order of the Association.

ARTICLE VII. ELECTIONS

SECTION 1. NOMINATIONS.
   All nominations for and election of officers and members of the Board of  Directors shall be made at the annual meeting by a Nominating Committee composed of the immediate past President, the current President and President-elect and  a regular member as an ex-officio member of the committee, who shall make their report at least 30 days prior to the election meeting so that the Secretary may  distribute the list of nominees to the membership. Additional nominations may be made by petition signed by 5 members of the Association and delivered to the Secretary at least 15 days prior to the election meeting. The Secretary shall include a list of the nominees along with the notice of the annual meeting.

SECTION 2. BALLOTING.
   All elections shall be by secret ballot and a plurality of the members present at the annual meeting shall be sufficient for election, unless by unanimous consent to the contrary.

ARTICLE VIII. VACANCIES

   If a vacancy shall occur in any elective office, the office shall be filled by appointment of the Board  of Directors until the next annual election, except: (1) in the case of a vacancy occurring in the office of President, which shall be filled by the President-Elect of the Association until the next annual meeting; and (2) In the case of the office of President-Elect, which shall be filled by the nominating committee who shall report their nomination to the Board of  directors within 30 days of the occurrence of the vacancy for election at the next regular or special meeting of the membership. Additional nominations may be made by petition signed by 5 members of the Association and delivered to the Secretary at least 15 days prior to the membership meeting considering the election. The Secretary shall include a list of nominees along with the notice of the membership meeting.

ARTICLE IX. DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

SECTION 1. GROUNDS.
   Any member of the Association, may be suspended, or expelled from this Association, for moral, ethical or professional misconduct in the member's relations to this Association or in the member's profession.

SECTION 2. PROCEDURE.
   Any member of the  Gloria Richardson Bar Association, against whom a complaint is made before the Board of Directors shall be notified thereof in writing by the Secretary and shall be afforded an opportunity to examine all charges, papers and evidence submitted to the Board, and to make answers thereto. The Board shall have power to make rules respecting hearings upon such proceedings. No member shall be expelled or suspended from membership unless by a vote of a majority of the members of the Association present and voting at a stated meeting of the Association.

ARTICLE X. RESIGNATIONS

   Any member may resign at any time upon payment of all dues and charges to the Association, provided there be no charges for misconduct pending under Article IX against such member. From the date of the receipt by the Secretary of the notice of resignation, with an endorsement thereon by the Treasurer that all dues have been paid, as above provided, the person giving such notice shall cease to be a member of the Association. Members whose names have been dropped from the rolls for non-payment of dues shall not be eligible for re-election to membership until all dues in arrears at the time when their names were dropped have been fully paid. Any person re-elected to membership shall be required to pay, unless the same shall be waived, by a vote of the Board of Directors at the time the former member is re-elected.

   Any member of the Association who is convicted of, or who enters a plea of Nolo Contendere to any crime which is a felony or which involves perjury or an element of deceit, fraud, or corruption for which the penalty may be incarceration in a penal institution shall be suspended from membership in the Association. If the conviction of the member becomes final, after judicial review or otherwise, or if the member is disbarred from the practice of law of any state for any reason whatsoever, the member shall be removed from the rolls. If the conviction of the member is reversed or overturned and/or the disbarment is removed, the member shall be reinstated to membership upon payment in full of all dues in arrears.

ARTICLE XI. AMENDMENTS

   These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at any stated, adjourned, or annual meeting of the Association; provided that 10 days' notice, in writing, of the subject matter of said amendment has been given to the membership.

Bylaws Amended 2014

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