Special YLD Meeting Called for March 17

Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division President Mason Wilson has called a special meeting of the YLD membership to be held Saturday, March 17, at 11:30 a.m. Central time, in Nashville for the purpose of considering amendments to the division's bylaws. The meeting will take place in the jury assembly room on the ground floor of the Historic Davidson County Courthouse in downtown Nashville. Please enter on the James Robertson side of the building. All YLD members are invited and encouraged to attend.

Background
Over the last several years, the YLD has been working to find a way to increase the presence and involvement of lawyers from traditionally underrepresented communities on its board.

Under the current bylaws, non-voting seats on the board are provided for three organizations serving African-American attorneys and one organization representing the interests of women lawyers. While this arrangement provided an element of diversity for many years, a number of new groups have been formed in the state necessitating a rethinking of this approach. After pursuing a number of different approaches -- with the goal of providing the greatest opportunity for diverse representation and the greatest flexibility for responding to the formation of new groups -- the YLD leadership has coalesced around the idea of empowering the Diversity Committee to define the groups that should be invited to send representatives to YLD board meetings.

For those groups that have been involved in the YLD in the past, this approach changes their official title (from "non-voting member" to "invited guest") but in no way changes their ability to get involved, serve on committees, contribute to policy debates or use their position to promote the goals and programs of their respective organizations. For those organizations that have not been involved in the past, this approach provides an official mechanism for their views to be shared with the board.

Text of Proposed Amendment
The text of the proposed amendment is as follows:

1. In Article VI, Section 3, delete "a representative designated by the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women; a representative designated by the Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association; a representative designated by the Napier-Looby Chapter of the National Bar Association; a representative of the SL Hutchins Chapter of the National Bar Association;"

2. After Article IX, add the following:

Article X: Invited Guests
Section 1. It is the policy of the Division to take all steps necessary to achieve and maintain a diverse Board. It is also the policy of the Division to encourage members of this Division who are also members of a population traditionally underrepresented on the Board based upon gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation to seek Board positions.
Section 2. To accomplish the policies contained in Article X, Section 1, the Board shall have the authority to invite members of this Division who are also members of diverse groups or associations, as identified by the Diversity Committee of this Division, to the meetings of this Division.

3. Redesignate "Article X: Amendment" as "Article XI: Amendment"

Redline Version of Proposed Amendment
A redline version of the proposed amendment showing additions and deletions is as follows:

Article VI: Board

Section 3. The Board shall include, but not be limited to, the following nonvoting members: the Meetings Coordinator; the Editor of the Tennessee Young Lawyer; the current chairs or presidents of each local organization of young layers affiliated with the Division; the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division District Representative for the district that includes Tennessee; any delegate of the Tennessee Bar Association to the American Bar Association House of Delegates who is also a member of the Division; any member of the Division holding a seat specifically designated for young lawyers in the Tennessee Bar Association House of Delegates; a representative designated by the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Fellows; a representative designated by the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women; a representative designated by the Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association; a representative designated by the Napier-Looby Chapter of the National Bar Association; a representative of the SL Hutchins Chapter of the National Bar Association; the Editor of E-DICT; and committee chairs appointed by the President.

Article X: Invited Guests
Section 1. It is the policy of the Division to take all steps necessary to achieve and maintain a diverse Board. It is also the policy of the Division to encourage members of this Division who are also members of a population traditionally underrepresented on the Board based upon gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation to seek Board positions.
Section 2. To accomplish the policies contained in Article X, Section 1, the Board shall have the authority to invite members of this Division who are also members of diverse groups or associations, as identified by the Diversity Committee of this Division, to the meetings of this Division.

Article XI: Amendment

Process
Any amendment to the bylaws must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the membership at a properly called meeting. At least 10 days notice of a meeting must be given. Following adoption of an amendment by the YLD, the TBA Board of Governors must approve the change before it takes effect.

For More Information
For any questions about the meeting, please contact TBA staff member Stacey Shrader at sshrader@tnbar.org or (615) 383-7421.

For questions about the amendment or the amending process, contact Long Range Planning Committee Chair David McDowell at (423) 756-5171 or dmcdowell@gearhiserpeters.com, or immediate past chair and president-elect David Veile at dveile@lowerylaw.com or (615) 444-7222.

For More Information

Download the meeting agenda

Download the bylaws amendment

Read the YLD's current bylaws

For any questions about the meeting, please contact TBA staff member Stacey Shrader at sshrader@tnbar.org or (615) 383-7421.

For questions about the amendment or the amending process, contact Long Range Planning Committee Chair David McDowell at dmcdowell@gearhiserpeters.com or (423) 756-5171, or immediate past chair and president-elect David Veile at dveile@sbdlaw.net or (615) 550-2800.