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Estate Planning and Probate Bylaws
The name of the section shall be the Estate Planning & Probate Section, hereinafter referred to as the “section,” of the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA).
The purpose of this section shall be to assist the lawyer engaged in the practice of estate planning and probate law, to enhance his/her role, to broaden his/her knowledge, to increase his/her skill through the dissemination of information and material on subjects of interest and concern to him/her, and to provide a medium through which such lawyers may cooperate, encourage, and assist each other in the solution of problems common to their practice of law in these areas to the mutual benefit and improvement of the members of the section, the practice of law, the substantive law itself, and its just administration.
The purpose of the section shall be accomplished through its officers, executive council, committees; and by utilizing publications, meetings, seminars and projects; by sponsoring, promoting studying, or reviewing proposed legislation; and by other suitable means to this end, thus promoting the objectives of the TBA, its membership, and the public in general.
Any member of the TBA, upon proper application accompanied by advance payment of annual dues for the current year, shall be enrolled as a member of the section. The annual dues of the section shall be $20 and payable to the TBA at its headquarters in Nashville. Annual dues shall be paid in advance and are payable in full on the first day of July of each year for the 12-month period beginning on that date. The name of any person whose annual dues shall be more than six months past due shall be dropped from the roll of the section. Those members of the TBA whose names are carried on the rolls of the section and whose annual dues are paid in full in advance shall constitute the membership of the section.
Officers, Executive Council and Committees
The officers of the section shall be a chair (or co-chairs, as the case may be), vice chair and a secretary-treasurer.
§3.2 Executive Council.
There shall be a executive council which shall consist of no less that six and no greater than nine members which may or may not be in addition to the officers of the section.
The executive council of the section is authorized to establish, or to empower the chair (or co-chairs, as the case may be) of the section to establish such committees as it may deem necessary and desirable to promote effectively the activities of the section within the jurisdiction of the section. The power and duties of each committee, as well as the area of its proposed activities, shall be determined by the executive council. No action of a committee shall establish a policy of the section unless it has been submitted to and approved by the executive council.
Duties and Responsibilities of Officers
§4.1 Chair or Co-Chairs.
The chair (or co-chairs, if there are two then-acting, or one of them), or successively the vice chair or secretary-treasurer, in the absence of the chair (or co-chairs, as the case may be), shall preside at all meetings of the section and of the executive council. He/She/They shall formulate and present at each annual meeting of the TBA a report of the work of the section for the then-ending year. He/She/They shall plan and superintend all activities of the section during his/her/their term(s) in office, subject to the direction and approval of the executive council. He/She/They shall call meetings of the executive council when in his/her/their discretion such meetings are required or when at least three members of the executive council request him/her/them in writing to do so. He/She/They shall perform all other such duties and acts as usually pertain to the office of president or chair of an association or organization or as may be designated by the executive council. If there are co-chairs then acting, then the co-chairs shall act in concert on all matters. In the event of a dispute between the co-chairs, a majority vote of the executive council shall control. In the absence of one of the co-chairs, then the other shall act alone as chair. In case of death, resignation or disability of one of the co-chairs (if there are co-chairs then acting), then the other of them shall perform the duties of the chair hereunder for the remainder of the term.
§4.2 Vice Chair.
The vice chair shall aid the chair (or co-chairs, as the case may be) in the performance of his/her/their responsibilities in such a manner and to such an extent as the chair (or co-chairs, as the case may be) may request. He/She shall perform such other duties and have such other powers as usually pertain to the office of vice chair or vice president or as may be designated by the chair (or co-chairs) or the executive council. In case of a death, resignation or disability of the chair (or both of the co-chairs, as the case may be), the vice chair shall perform the duties of the chair for the remainder of that chair’s term of office or for the duration of the disability, as the case may be.
The secretary-treasurer shall see to the publication of appropriate notices of all meetings and shall keep a record of the proceedings thereof.
The secretary-treasurer shall assist the other officers of the section in such manner and to such extent as they may request and shall be the custodian of all books, papers, documents and other properties of the section. He/She shall keep an accurate record of all monies appropriated to and expended for the use of the section.
Duties and Responsibilities of the Executive Council
§5.1 Executive Council.
The executive council shall establish such policies of the section as it may determine which are not inconsistent with any policy of the TBA. It shall hear all reports of the officers and committees of the section and shall hear, consider and act upon such resolutions and matters presented to it which pertain to the activities of the section.
The executive council shall act by majority vote of those present, provided that a quorum shall exist of not less than four members.
Members of the executive council when personally present at a meeting of the executive council shall vote in person, though when absent may communicate their vote in writing or by telecommunication or electronic mail, on any proposition to the secretary-treasurer and have it counted, with the same effect as if they were personally present at such meeting.
The chair (or the co-chairs, as the case may be) of the section may, and upon written request of three members of the executive council shall, submit or call to be submitted in writing, to each of the members of the executive council, any proposition upon which the executive council may be authorized to act, and the members of the executive council may vote upon such propositions so submitted, by communicating their vote thereon, in writing, over their respective signatures to the secretary-treasurer, who shall record in the minutes each proposition so submitted, when, how, and to whose request the same was submitted, and the vote of each member of the executive council thereon, and keep on file such written and signed vote. If the votes of a majority of the members of the executive council so recorded shall be in favor of such proposition or if a majority shall be against such proposition, such majority vote shall constitute the binding action of the executive council.
The annual meeting of the section shall be held during the annual meeting of the TBA, in the same city or place as such annual meeting of the TBA and with such program and order of business as may be arranged by the Annual Meeting Committee under the direction of the chair (or co-chairs, as the case may be) and the executive council.
§6.2 Executive Council Meetings.
Meetings of the executive council may be called by the chair (or co-chairs, as the case may be) or by a majority of the members of the executive council. Written notice of such meetings shall be mailed to members of the executive council at least 10 days prior to such meeting, or notice shall be given by telephone or via facsimile transmission at least three days prior to such meeting. At meetings of the executive council, the majority of its members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business of the council.
Special meetings of the section may be called by the chair (or the co-chairs, as the case may be) at such time and place, and for such purpose as may be approved by the executive council.
The members of the section present at any meeting shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
All binding action of the section shall be by a majority vote of the members present.
§6.6 Mail Vote.
The executive council may direct that a matter be submitted to the members of the section for a vote by mail, telecommunication or electronic mail. Such mailing, telecommunication or electronic mail may be included in other written or printed material which is being distributed by mail to all of the members of the TBA or any part thereof which is inclusive of all the members of the section. In such event, binding action of the section shall be by a majority of the votes received in accordance with the rules fixed by the executive council.
Each officer of the section shall be from a different Grand Division of the state, insofar as is practical. Insofar as is practical, the executive council membership shall also be elected so as to represent all areas of the state having a substantial number of section members. The executive council shall have staggered three year terms, with the term of three executive council members expiring each year. Executive council members may be re-elected. Officers may be re-elected or elected every other year for two year terms. Elections of executive council members and officers shall be by a majority vote of the section members present at the Annual Section Meeting after being nominated by the Nominations Committee or from the floor.
If any office shall become vacant such office shall be filled by the executive council for the portion of the term remaining; however, if there is a vacancy in the office of chair and there are co-chairs then acting, then and in such event the remaining co-chair shall serve alone as chair for the remainder of the term.
These bylaws may be amended by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the section, such vote to be taken by mail, or by a majority of those present at the annual meeting of the section, provided that any amendment to be considered at the annual meeting be submitted in writing to all of the members of the section at least 10 days before the start of such meeting. Any amendment so adopted shall become effective only to the extent that it is not inconsistent with the constitution and bylaws of the TBA.
§9.1 Fiscal Year.
The fiscal year of the section shall be the same as that of the TBA.
No invoice, statement, or other evidence of expenditure on behalf of the section shall be paid without having been approved by the chair (or co-chairs, as the case may be) or secretary-treasurer of the section.
§9.3 Tennessee Bar Association.
No action by this section shall become effective as the action of the TBA until it is approved by the TBA Board of Governors. Any resolution adopted or action taken by the executive council or this section may, on request of the executive council or this section, be reported by the chair of the section to the TBA Board of Governors or to the annual meeting of the TBA for action thereon.
These bylaws and any amendments shall become effective upon the approval of a majority of those present at a meeting of the section and upon final approval by the TBA’s Board of Governors.