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Northeast Texas Association of Paralegals :: BYLAWS
Sustaining Members

Compex Legal Services, Inc.
Services:  Court Reporters, Interpreters, Record Retrieval, Video Services

Depo Texas Deposition Services/Sunbelt Reporting & Litigation Services
Services:  Court Reporters, Process Service, Record Retrieval, Trial Presentation Software, Video Services

Sloan Firm
Services:  Personal Injury Law

BYLAWS OF THE
NORTHEAST TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF PARALEGALS, INC.

(as amended September 8,1988)
(as amended July 11, 1991)
(as amended November 12,1992)
(as amended October 13,1994)
(as amended October 20, 1999)
(as amended June 21, 2006)

 

ARTICLE I
NAME

1.1 The name of this association shall be NORTHEAST TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF PARALEGALS, INC. (NTAP). This association shall be affiliated with the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA).

 

ARTICLE II
OBJECTS AND PURPOSES

2.1 To establish good fellowship among association members, the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., and members of the legal community.

2.2 To encourage a high order of ethical and professional attainment.

2.3 To further education among members of the profession.

2.4 To cooperate with bar associations.

2.5 To support and carry out the programs, purposes, aims and goals of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc.

 

ARTICLE III
POLICY

3.1 This association shall be nonsectarian, nonpartisan, nonprofit, and nonunion. No actions or programs may be initiated or undertaken (now or in the future) in conflict with the Bylaws of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., or of the policies of that association.

 

ARTICLE IV
MEMBERSHIP

4.1 Active voting members in this association may serve as Officers or as Committee Chairpersons. Persons meeting the following criteria may become active members:

(a) The experienced individual who:

(i) is presently residing in and employed as a paralegal in the State of Texas,

(ii) possesses a minimum of six (6) months paralegal experience, or

(iii) possesses a minimum of five (5) years of law related experience, and

(iv) for whom the employer-attorney will attest to that individual's qualifications as a paralegal;

(v) can attest that they have not been convicted or given probation (whether deferred or not) of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or any other felony; or

(b) The paralegal who:

(i) has successfully completed the CLA examination, and/or a specialty certification examination administered by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization,

(ii) possesses a minimum of six (6) months paralegal experience, or

(iii) possesses a minimum of two (2) years of law related experience, and

(iv) for whom the employer-attorney will attest to that individual's qualifications as a paralegal,

(v) is residing in and employed as a paralegal in the State of Texas, and

(vi) can attest that they have not been convicted or given probation (whether deferred or not) of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or any other felony, or

(c) The paralegal who:

(i) has successfully completed a course of study for paralegals,

(ii) possesses a minimum of six (6) months paralegal experience,

(iii) possesses a minimum of two (2) years of law related experience, and

(iv) for whom the employer-attorney will attest to that individual's qualifications as a paralegal;

(v) is residing in and employed as a paralegal in the State of Texas, and

(vi) can attest that they have not been convicted or given probation (whether deferred or not) of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or any other felony, or

(d) The paralegal who fulfills the criteria for active membership in the Paralegal
Division of the State Bar of Texas.

4.2 Associate voting members in this association may serve as Committee Chairpersons. Persons
meeting the following criteria may become associate members:

(a) The experienced individual who:

(i) is presently residing in and employed as a paralegal in the State of Texas, and

(ii) possesses a minimum of five (5) years of law related experience but does not possess the minimum six (6) months paralegal experience; and

(iii) for whom the employer-attorney will attest to that individual's qualifications as a paralegal; and

(iv) can attest that they have not been convicted or given probation (whether deferred or not) of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or any other felony, or

(b) The paralegal who fulfills the criteria for active membership in the Paralegal
Division of the State Bar of Texas.

4.3 Student members may not serve as Officers or Committee Chairpersons. Voting privileges, if chosen, are the same as those of Active and Associate voting members, with the exception that Student members may not vote on Bylaw amendments or Standing Rule changes. Persons meeting the following criteria may become student members:

(a) The individual who is enrolled in any NTAP approved university, college, junior college or other program of study for paralegals.

4.4 Sustaining membership is open to attorneys, law firms, court reporters, corporations, schools or educators who support the paralegal profession and the goals, activities, and programs of this association. Any sustaining member must be residing in, or be located in the State of Texas.

4.5 Active, Associate, and Student members may choose at the time of application, or at the time of renewal of their membership, to be a voting member or a non-voting member. A member may convert their voting/non-voting status at any time during the fiscal year, upon approval by the Board of Directors. Non-voting members will not be qualified to serve as officers of committee chairpersons. Associate non-voting members will not be qualified to serve as committee chairpersons. Any non- voting member may serve as a committee member.

4.6 Membership classification may be converted to another classification at any time during the fiscal year, upon proper application, to be approved by the Board of Directors and a majority vote of the membership.

4.7 INVOLUNTARY TERMINATION OR REJECTION OF MEMBERSHIP. A member may be expelled and membership may hereby be terminated, or an application for membership or for reinstatement of membership may be rejected for: (a) conviction or given probation (whether deferred or not) of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or any other felony; (b) expulsion from or suspension of membership in a law-related professional organization; (c) revocation or suspension of a license or permit to practice or engage in a profession or occupation; (d) being found by the Association to have engaged in conduct detrimental to the profession and/or the Association; or (e) violation of the Code of Ethics adopted by the Association.

 

ARTICLE V
APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP

5.1 Applications for membership shall be submitted to the association on forms approved by the NALA Affiliated Associations Chairperson and this associations' membership. The forms should clearly state that this association is an affiliated association of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., and that all members are bound by the NALA Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, in addition to any code adopted by this association.

 

ARTICLE VI
MEETINGS

6.1 This association shall meet at not less than quarterly intervals which may include attendance at association sponsored seminars or workshops. One-fourth (1/4) of the voting membership of this association shall constitute a quorum. In the event of dissolutionment, a quorum shall consist of two- thirds (2/3) of the voting members of this association.

6.2 Special meetings may be called by the President upon fifteen (15) days notice to all members.

6.3 It is required that this association hold a minimum of four (4) educational events or a total of ten (10) hours of education during each fiscal year in order to maintain affiliation with the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. These programs may be held in connection with a regular meeting of the membership.

6.4 The annual meeting shall be held in December for the purpose of electing Officers and hearing
reports of Officers and Chairpersons. Notice of the annual meeting shall be in writing to all members of record at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting. Notice will also contain the slate of Officers.

 

ARTICLE VII
DUES AND ASSESSMENTS

7.1 Annual dues, as determined by this association, for renewing members, shall be due and payable by January 1 of each year. Dues for new members will be payable as set forth in the Standing Rules of this association. The amount of the dues shall be set forth in the Standing Rules of this association as voted upon by the membership from time to time. Renewing members shall be considered delinquent and shall not be entitled to the rights and privileges of membership, until renewal has been submitted and dues paid.

 

ARTICLE VIII
OFFICERS. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE,
BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND CHAIRPERSONS

8.1 The elected Officers shall be the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary,
Treasurer, and NALA Liaison. The President shall appoint a member to hold the office of
Parliamentarian. Names of newly elected or appointed Officers shall be submitted to NALAHeadquarters and the Affiliated Association Director, by the NALA Liaison, at least thirty (30) days after election and/or appointment.

8.2 The Executive Committee shall be composed of the Officers of this association. The Executive
Committee may act in an emergency for the best interest of the association. Four (4) members of the Executive Committee constitutes a quorum.

8.3 The Board of Directors shall be composed of the elected Officers and Committee Chairpersons and shall act as a planning committee bringing recommendations to the membership for a vote. The Board of Directors shall meet at least quarterly and at other times as called by the President. A majority of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.

8.4 The term of office for President and First Vice President shall be one (1) year. Successive terms shall be limited to one (1) year. All other office terms shall be one (1) year with successive terms limited to one (1) year. The office of First Vice President shall succeed to the office of President.

8.5 No Officer or member shall be compensated for association duties. However, upon majority vote of the voting membership, persons maybe reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses in connection with association related activities, provided expenses have been authorized to expenditure.

 

ARTICLE IX
ELECTION OF OFFICERS

9.1 The President shall appoint a Nominations and Elections Chairperson at least sixty (60) days prior to the annual meeting of the association to present a slate of officers to the membership seven (7) days prior to election. No name shall be on the slate without consent of the candidate. Nominations from the floor shall be accepted and election shall be by majority vote of members present at the annual meeting.

9.2 With the exception of the NALA Liaison, Officers are not required to be NALA members.

9.3 Active members may hold office or serve as Committee Chairpersons.

9.4 Unexpired terms of office shall be filled by appointment by the Board of Directors.

9.5 Any Officer or Committee Chairperson absent from three (3) consecutive meetings without good cause may be removed from office by the Board of Directors.

 

ARTICLE X
STANDING AND SPECIAL COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS

10.1 The President shall appoint the following Standing Committee Chairpersons:

Educational Programs (First Vice President)
Membership/Ethics (Second Vice President)
Finance (Treasurer)
Nominations and Elections
Audit
Public Relations
Scholarship
Newsletter
Paralegal of the Year
Installation Dinner

10.2 Special Committee Chairpersons may be appointed by the President, as needed, with the approval of the Board of Directors.

 

ARTICLE XI
DUTIES OF OFFICERS AND CHAIRPERSONS

11.1 President.The President shall preside over all Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and
membership meetings. The President shall appoint Standing and Special Committee Chairpersons,
as provided in these Bylaws. The President shall pass files to successor immediately upon installation or as soon thereafter as practical, and shall cause all other Officers and Chairpersons to do the same. The President shall be an ex-officio (non-voting) member of all committees, except the committee on Nominations and Elections.

11.2 First Vice President.The First Vice President shall automatically succeed to the office of President the year following the term of office as First Vice President. The First Vice President shall preside and assume all duties assigned to the President in the President's absence. The First Vice President shall be the Chairperson of the committee on Educational Programs. These duties shall include planning seminars, workshops, and working with NALA in the event of any co-sponsored programs. The First Vice President shall also be responsible for fulfilling the educational requirements under Article VI of these Bylaws.

11.3 Second Vice President.The Second Vice President shall be chairperson of the Membership Committee and shall be charged with the responsibility of developing programs to encourage
membership in this association. The Second Vice President shall receive applications for membership
and present names of applicants to the members for acceptance or rejection. Upon approval of the membership, application cards shall be signed and delivered to the Treasurer with dues payment. The Second Vice President shall be chairperson of the Ethics Committee and shall receive all complaints as to violations, shall investigate the facts therefor and shall present such complaint to the Executive Committee for action.

11.4 Secretary.The Secretary shall be responsible for minutes of all meetings and keeping permanent
minutes. The Secretary shall assist the President in anyway, including giving notice of meetings. Association minutes of any meeting shall be available to the NALA President upon request.

11.5 Treasurer.The Treasurer shall be responsible for depositing all funds and making all disbursements, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors, and as provided in the budget. Any extraordinary expenses must be approved by the membership before being paid. The Treasurer shall be the Chairperson of the Finance Committee, which shall prepare a budget for each fiscal year. The Treasurer may be bonded. All disbursements of the association funds must be by association check signed by the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall submit a written financial report at each regular meeting to be attached to the minutes as a part of the permanent record. The Treasurer is also responsible for keeping a current roster of membership and shall report the membership annually to NALA with the renewal fee for continued affiliation with NALA.

11.6 NALA Liaison.The NALA Liaison shall be a NALA member, shall be familiar with the NALA Bylaws and Standing Rules, shall receive minutes of all NALA meetings, and shall represent the association at the NALA Annual Meeting. The NALA Liaison shall report quarterly on association activities to the NALA Affiliated Associations Director on forms provided by NALA Headquarters and shall report all Officers' names to NALA Headquarters and the NALA Affiliated Associations Director. The NALA Liaison may submit items this association wishes discussed to the NALA Affiliated Associations Director and shall participate in discussion sessions at NALA annual meetings. A report to this association on the NALA Annual Meeting will be required. The NALA Liaison shall, within sixty (60) days of passage, notify the NALA Parliamentarian and Affiliated Associations Director of any changes in this association's Bylaws, and shall be the main contact between NALA and this association and is empowered to bind this association. The NALA Liaison shall be a member of the governing body of this association.

11.7 Parliamentarian.As Parliamentarian, the duties shall include attending all meetings, giving opinions on parliamentary procedure upon request of the President and shall be familiar with the association Bylaws and Standing Rules and NALA Bylaws and Standing Rules. The Parliamentarian shall receive all proposed Bylaw amendments, prepare Standing Rules and amendments thereto. Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revisedshall serve as parliamentary authority for items not covered by these Bylaws or the Standing Rules of this association.

 

ARTICLE XII
FISCAL YEAR

12.1 The fiscal year of this association shall be January 1 to December 31.

 

ARTICLE XIII
CODE OF ETHICS

13.1 Every member of this association shall subscribe to and be bound by the Code of Ethics and
Professional Responsibility of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. and any other code so adopted by the membership of this association.

13.2 The Board of Directors (by majority vote) may cancel the membership or remove from office any member who has:

(a) violated the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc.; or

(b) been guilty of conduct substantially to injure the name of this association; or

(c) been convicted or given probation (whether deferred or not) of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or any other felony; or

(d) failed to maintain a high standard of professional ethics and moral turpitude in any manner.

13.3 Any individual whose membership has been rejected or canceled may make a written appeal for reinstatement as follows:

(a) to the Board of Directors, the appeal shall be heard at the next annual, regular or special
Meeting. Appellant shall have the right to appear before the Board at the time of review;

(b) no appellant shall have the right to apply for appeal more than once;

(c) no member whose application for reinstatement is pending shall retain rights of membership.

 

ARTICLE XIV
AMENDMENT TO BYLAWS

14.1 Bylaw amendments (not in conflict with NALA Bylaws) may be adopted by two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members present at any regular meeting. The NALA Parliamentarian must be advised of any amendments within sixty (60) days of passage.

 

ARTICLE XV
DISSOLUTION

15.1 In the event of dissolution of this association, all property and assets shall be distributed to a nonprofit charitable organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, to be selected by a majority vote of the remaining members of this association notice having been given to members of this association and the NALA Affiliated Association's Chairman at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting. In no event shall any of such property and assets be distributed to any member or private individual.

 

ARTICLE XVI
RETENTION OF AFFILIATION

16.1 Affiliation with the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. is renewable each year by payment of an affiliation fee and attached to a current membership roster. In the event of suspension of affiliation, this association may re-affiliate with NALA by submitting a new application with membership roster, Bylaws, sample of educational programs, petition and current initial fee.

16.2 In addition to the renewal fee, this association must comply with the required reports and requested
procedures as outlined in these Bylaws.

16.3 The annual renewal fee is payable on October 1 and delinquent November 1. Payment received after due date must be accompanied by a late fee penalty established by NALA.

 

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