Bylaws Amendment (Enacted August 5, 2023)

On August 5, 2023, at its 2023 Annual Meeting, the NACDL membership voted to adopt the following amendments to NACDL's bylaws. The amendments were proposed by the Board of Directors at its March 4, 2023 meeting in New Orleans. The amendments change articles II, III, V, and VII. 

Pursuant to Article XIII, Section 3 of the Bylaws, this shall serve as notice of a proposed amendment to the NACDL Bylaws. On March 4, 2023, at a regularly scheduled meeting in New Orleans, the Board of Directors voted to submit this proposed change to the membership. The membership will vote on the adoption of these proposed amendments at its 2023 Annual Meeting.

Proposed Bylaws Amendments

This amendment makes changes to Articles II, III, V, and VII as follows.

Table of Contents

Article II. Mission, Purposes

Section 1. Mission

NACDL's mission is to serve as a leader, alongside diverse coalitions, in identifying and reforming flaws and inequities in the criminal justice legal system and redressing systemic racism, including systemic racism; and ensuring that its members and others in the criminal defense bar are fully equipped to serve all accused persons at the highest level to equip the criminal defense bar to provide the highest quality representation to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime.

Article III. Meetings, Rules

Sections 1-5

No changes

Section 6. Quorum and Majority for Board Meetings

(a)  No changes.

(b) For the purpose of determining the majority vote at a Board of Directors Meeting, all past presidents of the Association, however, shall be eligible to vote on all matters before the Board of Directors as long as they are current voting members whose yearly dues are paid and are present at the time that the relevant vote is called.

Section 7

No changes

Article V. Officers

Sections 1-8

No changes

Section 9. Voluntary or Involuntary Leave of Absence of the President

(a) In the event the President finds herself or himself unable to fulfill the duties of her or his office, the President may choose to take a leave of absence. In that event, the Executive Director shall notify the Board of Directors within five (5) business days, shall post an announcement on the Association’s Web site, and shall place an announcement in the next edition of the Association’s publication magazine. The length of the leave of absence shall be determined by the President.

Re: Absence of the president, the announcement shall be placed in the “next edition of the Association’s publication magazine,” as well as on the website.

(b) - (e)  No changes.

Article VII. Committees

Section 1-4

No changes

Section 5. Nominating Committee

a) Duty: The duty of the Nominating Committee shall be to (1) define the powers and duties of Directors and Officers of the Association, subject to approval by the Board of Directors; and (2) to recruit and nominate candidates for election as Directors and Officers of the Association. The Nominating Committee shall only recruit and nominate qualified candidates who are aware of, understand, and are reasonably likely to discharge the duties of the of an officer or director. The Nominating Committee will endeavor to assure diversity of representation among the Federal Judicial Circuits whenever practicable, by nominating candidates to assure that there will be a minimum of two Directors representing each such Circuit. The Nominating Committee shall likewise consider a candidate’s years of membership and service to the Association and the profession while endeavoring to assure minority and gender representation on the Board of Directors. Each year, the Nominating Committee shall review and adopt guidelines for its operation.

“. . . likely to discharge the duties of the of an officer or director.”

(b) - (c)  No changes.

Sections 6-11

No changes

Action Report

Art. II (1) - This is to conform the bylaws mission statement with a board resolution from early 2021.

Art. III 6(b) - This change (1) ensures that past presidents can vote on all matters – not just those explicitly noted; (2) simplifies the calculation for quorum (i.e., absent past presidents are not eligible to vote and do not count towards a quorum).

Art. V 9(a) - This change would provide uniformity and flexibility and would allow us to reach the members more quickly. Every other section with a notification requirement uses “publication” (examples below), and this is the only place the magazine is specified. Examples of “publication": Article 4 Section 4 (b), Article 7 Section 5 (c), Article 8 Section 2 (c), Article 13 Section 1, and Article 13 Section 3.

Art. VII 5 - This change addresses a typo.

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