NORTHEAST TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF PARALEGALS, INC.
ADOPTED JULY 13,1989 (amended July 11, 1991)
(amended November 12,1992) (amended October 13,1994)
(amended October 20,1999) (amended February 16, 2011)
A. GENERAL PROCEDURES
1. MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS
Membership meetings are held the third Wednesday of each month at noon unless otherwise directed by the Board of Directors. Oral and/or written reports of officers and chairpersons are made at this meeting. The regular meeting in December is known as the annual meeting and is for the purpose of electing officers, receiving annual reports of officers and committee chairpersons, and conducting such other business as may be necessary. Any other meetings of membership shall be in accordance with the Bylaws of this Association (Refer to Bylaws, Art. VI). One-fourth (1/4) of the total membership constitutes a quorum (Refer to Bylaws, Art. VI, Sec. 6.1).
2. BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGS
The Board of Directors, composed of elected officers and all committee chairpersons, meets on the first Wednesday of each month at noon at a place to be specified by the President. All Board members are required to attend such meetings. A majority of the members of the Board constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business. (Refer to Bylaws, Art. VIII, Sec. 8.3). All members are welcome to attend Board meetings.
3. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS
The Executive Committee, composed of officers, acts in emergency between regular meetings of the Board of Directors, when necessary, for the best interest of the Association. Four (4) members of the total Executive Committee constitute a quorum. (Refer to Bylaws, Art. VIII, Sec. 8.2).
a. Each officer, with the exception of the President, makes a report at each meeting of the Board of Directors and at the annual meeting of the membership. The President makes a report at the annual meeting of the membership.
b. The chairperson of each committee makes report at each meeting of Board of Directors and at annual meeting of membership, except that those chairpersons in charge of special functions make reports in accordance with procedures set out hereinbelow.
c. Reports of special functions are due at the first meeting of the Board following such function, and are due at the first membership meeting immediately following the report to the Board.
d. Reports made to the Board of Directors may be oral or written.
e. Annual reports of all officers and chairpersons are in writing for the annual meeting of the membership.
f. Reports of all officers and chairpersons, with exception of President, are due not less than five (5) days prior to annual meeting and directed to the President with copy to Secretary and Parliamentarian.
g. Reports are prepared on 8 ½" x 11" paper, limited to two pages, and signed by the respective officer or chairperson.
The Second Vice President prepares a roster of members in accordance with forms as required by NALA and furnishes each officer and chairperson a copy. The roster is for confidential use of members and may not be used for any reason other than Association business. Members shall not furnish this list of members to any other person or organization without permission of the Board.
C. COLLECTIONS INSUFFICIENT CHECKS
The Treasurer of the Association, with approval of the Board, may take legal action in the event she is unable to collect an insufficient check given in connection with any event sponsored by the Association.
1. GUIDELINES FOR RETENTION OF FILES
a. The Charter, Articles of Incorporation and minutes of all Board and membership meetings of the Association are retained permanently by the Secretary.
b. Bylaws and Standing Rules of the Association are maintained in permanent manner by the Parliamentarian.
c. Books and records of the Treasurer are maintained for the period established by the Internal Revenue Service for retention of records.
d. Files of all other officers and chairpersons are retained in accordance with guidelines established by NALA.
2. TRANSFER OF FILES
All files of officers and committee chairpersons are delivered to incoming officers or chairpersons as soon as possible after installation.
All minutes of the membership meetings of the Association are to be published in the newsletter of the Association for review by all members.
Any Active, Associate and Student members may vote, unless he/she has chosen to be a non-voting member. (Refer to Bylaws, Art. IV, Sec, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.5). There is no proxy voting. In case of the necessity of an emergency telephone vote, a prepared statement, approved by the Board, is read. No opinion is to be expressed by the caller. A voting list is presented to the Board, evidencing the names of members and vote of those members.
G. SPECIAL MEETINGS
Any special meetings of the Board of Directors or membership are to be called and held in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Bylaws of the Association. (Refer to Bylaw Art. VI, Sec. 6.2).
1. Allowed expenses for officers and chairpersons include the following, subject to the amount provided in the budget:
a. Postage and photocopy expenses.
b. Long distance telephone, if mandatory in conduct of business of officer and/or chairperson.
c. Supplies and stationery, other than furnished by this Association or NALA, when approved for purchase by the Board.
d. All other expenses approved by the Board prior to such expenses being incurred.
2. The President of this Association has the right to approve an expenditure not to exceed $50.00 without prior permission of the Executive Committee or Board of Directors.
I. NALA AND TAPA MEETING EXPENSES
1. Subject to the funds being available, the following expenses are allowed, if budgeted or approved by the Board of Directors:
The registration fee, hotel expenses, travel expenses, and up to $50.00 per diem for the NALA Liaison to attend and represent this Association at the NALA Annual Meeting each year.
2. Subject to the funds being available, the following expenses are allowed, if budgeted or approved by the Board of Directors:
Maximum of $575.00 for expenses associated with the President attending and representing this Association at the annual TAPA meeting each year.
J. COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS
1. Committee chairpersons give reports at each meeting of the Board. Reports are to give the names of all committee members and a brief, concise statement regarding committee's decisions. Motions are made following the report.
2. Annual reports are given at the annual meeting of the membership and are to be typed, dated, signed, and cover the year's work. Copies are given to the President, Secretary and Parliamentarian.
3. Copies of all correspondence are to be sent to the Association's President.
4. Copies of all mailouts or publicity printing are sent to the President for approval prior to printing and distribution.
K. DUTIES OF OFFICERS
1. PRESIDENT (Refer to Bylaws, Art. XI, sec. 11.1)
a. With the assistance of the Executive Committee, appoint, within 30 days, all committee chairpersons of the Association.
b. Appoint, from time to time, chairpersons of special committees as may be deemed necessary, subject to approval of the Board; may appoint an Executive Committee member as liaison to the local bar association.
c. Preside at all meetings of the Association, Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and supervise the work of officers and committee chairpersons.
d. Provide copies of the agenda to members of the Board before the call to order of such meeting.
e. Make certain all necessary committee reports are ready for presentation at appropriate meetings.
f. Review minutes of all meetings, confer with the Parliamentarian, and advise the Secretary of any changes. Approve final copy of all minutes.
g. Ex-officio member of all committees, with exception of Nominating Committee, but has no vote on such committees.
h. Appoints a Parliamentarian.
i. May appoint a Student Liaison. Such Student Liaison shall attend and report at Board Meetings, but shall have no vote at such meetings
j. Perform such other duties as ordinarily pertain to this office.
2. FIRST VICE PRESIDENT/EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS CHAIRPERSON (Refer to Bylaws Art. XI, sec. 11.2)
a. Preside at all meetings of the Association, Board of Directors and Executive Committee in absence of the President.
b. Be Chairperson of the Educational Programs Committee and as such perform the following functions:
Plan all seminars and workshops held by the Association either individually or co-sponsored by this Association and NALA.
Obtain speakers, arrange programs, and secure places to hold such seminars and/or workshops.
Be responsible for complying with minimum educational requirements imposed by NALA on the Association as contained in Bylaws Article VI, sec. 6.3.
3. SECOND VICE PRESIDENT/MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON/ETHICS COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON (Refer to Bylaws, Art. XI, sec. 11.3
a. Be Chairperson of the Membership Committee, and as such, perform the following duties:
Furnish applications to prospective members. Call prospective members a few days before general membership meeting.
Give the names of new members to the Secretary, President and Treasurer at the time of or prior to presentation for membership. Applications must be made on standard forms approved by NALA, and all applications must be presented to the Board for acceptance or rejection, including members to be reinstated.
Send a letter of welcome as well as copies of Bylaws and Standing Rules, and a membership roster, to new members immediately after such acceptance.
Perform such duties as ordinarily pertain to this office and as may be prescribed by the Board.
b. Be Chairperson of the Ethics Committee, and as such, perform the following duties:
Receive all the complaints as to violations and investigate the facts therefore, and take such action as he or she may deem necessary.
A member may be suspended or expelled upon proper complaint to this Committee, after hearing, upon finding of a violation or violations of Bylaws, Art. XIII, Sec. 13.2. Procedures in Bylaws Art. XIII and the current edition of Robert's Rules of Ordershall be followed.
In the event of the suspension or expulsion of a member, appeals may be made in accordance with Bylaws, Art. XIII, Sec. 13.3.
4. SECRETARY (Refer to Bylaws, Art. XI, Sec. 11.4)
a. Take minutes of all meetings of the Association, Board of Directors, and Executive Committee, and keep a minute book containing all minutes, which are to be signed by the Secretary and approved by the President. Motions must be clearly set forth and include the fact that motion was seconded. Discussions should not be included. Names of new members approved should be included. The Treasurer's report should be attached to the minutes, and any corrections to the Treasurer's report should be approved by the Treasurer. Corrections to minutes should be noted.
b. Receive written reports of all committees.
c. Keep a record of members, officers and chairpersons.
d. Furnish to the newsletter chairperson a copy of the membership minutes of each meeting to be published in the Association newsletter, as well as maintained in a central location.
e. Take attendance of members/guests for all meetings.
f. Sign documents as required of the Secretary.
g. Preserve in the permanent file all records of value to the Association and its officers. Deliver all records and minute book to successor as soon as practical after installation.
h. Issue the call to the annual meeting.
i. Send appropriate cards regarding sympathy, births, get-well, etc. to members on behalf of membership, and keep membership advised of these matters.
j. Perform such duties as may be assigned to this office by the President or Board; and perform such other duties as usually pertain to this office.
5. TREASURER/FINANCE CHAIRPERSON (Refer to Bylaws, Art. XI, sec. 11.5)
a. Collect all dues, and remit the NALA affiliation fee on or before October 1 as directed, accompanied by roster of members on the form prescribed. Remit dues on behalf of the NALA Liaison in a timely manner as directed by NALA.
Dues for this Association shall be paid as follows:
For members in good standing on December 31stof each year, and renewing for the following fiscal year: $35.00 for active members; $35.00 for associate members; $25.00 for student members; and a minimum of $100.00 for sustaining members.
Dues are payable January 1st, with a late fee of $5.00 to be assessed on renewals after January 31st.
For new members making application from January 1stthrough September 30thof each year: $35.00 for active members; $35.00 for associate members; $25.00 for student members; and a minimum of $100.00 for sustaining members. Dues are payable at the time application is made. In the event application is denied, the dues will be returned to the applicant.
For new members making application from October 1stthrough December 31st; $25.00 for active members; $25.00 for associate members; $15.00 for student members; and a minimum of $50.00 for sustaining members. Dues are payable at the time application is made. In the event application is denied, the dues will be returned to the applicant.
b. Deposit funds of this Association on a timely basis in such bank as the Board may direct.
c. Make disbursements by check, signed by the Treasurer or by the President.
d. Keep correct account of all receipts and disbursements, employing double-entry system.
e. Furnish monthly statement of finances of the Association to all members of the Board and give a report thereof to the members.
f. Prepare and distribute dues notice on or before December 15.
g. Prepare and recommend budget, approved by the Board, and submitted to the membership at the beginning of the fiscal year.
h. Prepare income tax report for current fiscal year, if required.
i. Obtain signature cards for changing of authorized signatures on checks, and see that proper filing is made with bank.
j. Be Chairperson of the Finance Committee and as such shall have the following duties:
Be in charge of raising funds for any purpose whatsoever other than seminars and workshops arranged by the Educational Programs Chairperson, and shall devise such methods of obtaining funds as may be proper for any special project or purpose as determined by this Association.
All proposed projects shall be presented to the Board of Directors for approval and to the membership for ratification of the action of the Board.
Collect all money from money-making projects together with accurate accounting therefore.
6. NALA LIAISON (Refer to Bylaws, Art. XI, Sec. 11.6)
a. Attend the annual meeting of NALA.
b. Receive minutes of all meetings of NALA.
c. Receive all correspondence from NALA, and coordinate all matters pertaining to said correspondence.
d. Report to this Association upon all meetings of NALA.
e. Upon receipt of notice of meetings and agenda of meetings of NALA, submit in writing, any matters which this Association wishes to have brought before NALA.
f. See that the officer roster is furnished to NALA Headquarters and that any other information is provided as requested.
g. Make reports to NALA Affiliated Association Chairperson as required.
h. Maintain a permanent file of all minutes of meetings of NALA.
i. Within sixty (60) days of passage of any amendments to the Bylaws or this Association's membership application, notify the NALA Parliamentarian and Affiliated Associations Chairperson of such changes.
7. PARLIAMENTARIAN (Refer to Bylaws, Art. XI, section 11.7
a. Rule on questions of order; interpret Bylaws of this Association.
b. Review Bylaws and Standing Rules of this Association and present proposed amendments or revisions to Association.
c. Review minutes of meetings of Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and membership, and report any needed changes to President.
d. Maintain permanent file on Bylaws and Standing Rules of this Association.
e. Perform such other duties as usually pertains to this office.
L. DUTIES OF STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS
1. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS CHAIRPERSON
The First Vice President serves as the Educational Programs Chairperson. Duties are outlined above.
2. MEMBERSHIP CHAIRPERSON/ETHICS CHAIRPERSON
The Second Vice President serves as Chairperson for both Membership and Ethics Committees. Duties outlined above.
3. FINANCE CHAIRPERSON
The Treasurer serves as Finance Chairperson. Duties are outlined above.
4. NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS CHAIRPERSON
a. The Chairperson shall select a committee and the Chairperson and committee shall distribute a straw ballot to all voting members and accept all written nominations of qualified persons for elected offices, made by members of Association. Such straw ballot shall list those persons ineligible for immediate past offices and a list of all members eligible for office.
b. Upon receipt of straw ballots, contact each nominee prior to preparation of ballot to secure his or her acceptance of nomination, and advise nominee of the duties of the particular office for which he or she has been nominated, by reading list of duties as set out in these Standing Rules.
c. Prepare a slate of officers and submit to the membership at least seven (7) days prior to the annual meeting. (Refer to Bylaws, Art. IX, Sec. 9.1)
d. Conduct the election at the annual meeting in December. Nominations may be made from the floor at the time of election, and names of such nominees written at the bottom of the ballot. No proxy voting is allowed.
e. In the event any ballot cast does not show a majority for any nominee, the nominee having the lowest vote on the first ballot shall be dropped, and the same procedure shall be followed until one nominee has received a majority of all votes cast. In case of a tie vote, after two ballots have been taken, the election shall be governed by lot.
5. AUDIT COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON
a. The Audit Committee shall be composed of a past Treasurer, if possible, and at least two members selected by the Chairperson.
b. Receives financial records of the Treasurer prior to annual meeting in December.
c. Audits financial records within one week after receipt of such records.
d. Returns books to the Treasurer at the annual meeting, if not prior to such meeting.
e. Submits a report to the annual meeting.
6. PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIRPERSON
a. Draft all press releases on behalf of the Association for submission to newspapers or other media, subject to approval by the President.
b. Distribute any information requested by the public or any interested parties regarding this Association and the paralegal profession.
c. Perform such other duties as requested by the President or Board of Directors.
d. Serve as historian for the Association, such duties to include maintaining a scrapbook of articles, photographs, and general activities of this Association.
7. SCHOLARSHIP CHAIRPERSON
a. Shall work with the Legal Assisting Program Director at Kilgore College prior to April 10thof each year, to insure that potential scholarship applicants have turned in applications for the scholarship to Kilgore College.
b. Shall select an Association member to serve on the Scholarship Committee.
c. The Scholarship Committee has the authority to set/change the criteria set forth in the scholarship application as deemed necessary.
d. Review, with the Committee, all applications for scholarship, for selection of the student who meets the criteria for the scholarship.
e. Report to the Board of Directors and to the membership, the selection of the person to receive the scholarship.
f. Present the scholarship recipient with a check for the fall semester tuition [not to exceed $250.00 per recipient], at the time designated by the recipient and the Legal Assisting Program Director at Kilgore College.
g. In December of each year, review the grades and qualifications of the fall scholarship recipient to determine whether the criteria continues to be met and, if so, present the recipient with a check for the spring semester tuition [not to exceed $250.00 per recipient], at the time designated by the recipient and the Legal Assisting Program Director at Kilgore College.
h. In the event the recipient for the fall semester does not continue to meet the criteria, the Scholarship Chairperson and the Scholarship Committee, shall meet to review prior applications and choose a recipient for the spring semester. In this event, the Scholarship Chairperson shall report to the Board and the membership of the selection, and present the new recipient with a check for the spring semester tuition [not to exceed $250.00 per recipient] at the time designated by the recipient and the Legal Assisting Program Director at Kilgore College.
8. PARALEGAL OF THE YEAR CHAIRPERSON
a. The Paralegal of the Year Chairperson shall be the immediate past Paralegal of the Year, shall make available to the membership a list of members qualified to be nominees, and shall conduct a secret ballot at the December meeting for this award; and purchase an appropriate plaque for presentation to the recipient at the installation meeting held at the January meeting.
b. A nominee for Paralegal of the Year Award must:
1. Be a voting member of NTAP for a minimum of one year;
2. Have a minimum of 5 years experience in a paralegal position;
3. Have served as an officer, chairperson, or committee member of NTAP for a period of at least seven (7) months from date of installation or appointment;
4. Have not been absent for more than two (2) Board of Directors meetings during the year; and
5. Have not been absent for more than two (2) membership meetings during the year.
c. The Paralegal of the Year Chairperson may not be considered as a nominee for the current fiscal year.
9. NEWSLETTER CHAIRPERSON
a. Shall appoint a committee, if needed, to assist in typing, coordinating advertising, copying, proofreading and distribution of the newsletter.
b. Shall forward a copy of a draft of the newsletter to the President for approval before printing.
c. Shall not write officer or committee reports, but shall set deadlines for these reports to be submitted prior to printing.
d. May solicit advertising, to be approved by the Board of Directors. Advertisements should be of a legal nature and pertain to the legal environment wherever possible, keeping in mind that advertisers do help defray the cost.
e. Each issue shall contain the President's message, officer and chairperson reports as directed by President; calendar of events; membership meeting information (menu, speaker, topic, and cost) for the month covered in the issue; welcome new members; letter from the editor; legal information and legal education article(s) as available; minutes of meetings; announcements; roster of Board of Directors; and change of address form.
10. INSTALLATION CHAIRPERSON
a. Plan and coordinate the installation meeting held in January of each year; plans to be approved by the Board of Directors prior to execution;
b. Make arrangements for printing of programs;
c. Make arrangements for reservations at an establishment agreed upon by the Board of Directors.
d. Prepare a report for the newsletter, as necessary.
e. Prepare the closing report for the Board of Directors after the installation.
f. Obtain name tags for incoming officers to present at the installation.
11. STUDENT LIAISON
a. May attend all Board of Directors meetings as a non-voting member.
b. Act as liaison between the Association and students enrolled in an accredited Legal Assisting Program.
c. Report any concerns and/or interests of such students to the Board of Directors for any action deemed necessary.
12. EMPLOYMENT CHAIRPERSON
a. Keep notice of any potential employers
1. Notify only NTAP members of potential employers--non-members are encouraged to join for employment information
2. Non-anonymous employers are submitted to the Key Note for publication but not to be given to non-members prior to the Key Note's publication
b. Obtain and store the resumes of NTAP members only
c. Anonymous hiring employers must be kept confidential
1. Only NTAP member resumes may be submitted to potential anonymous employers--if any non-member wants his or her resume to be submitted to any potential employer he or she must become a member
2. Members' resumes can only be submitted with permission of the member alhtough he or she still will not be given employer information
M. SPECIAL COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS
The President may appoint any other committee chairperson as deemed necessary, with the approval of the Board of Directors.
The President may specifically appoint a Technology Chairperson(s) who shall oversee NTAP’s website, www.ntaparalegals.com, NTAP’s newsletter “The KeyNote,” any social networking sites in which NTAP may participate, and all other technology matters as directed to the committee by the Board of Directors. The President may appoint more than one Chairperson for this committee, or request other members of NTAP to serve on the committee.
N. CHANGES TO STANDING RULES
1. Submit all proposed changes to Standing Rules to the Parliamentarian and President.
2. Standing Rules of this Association may be adopted or amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of voting members present at any regular meeting provided written notice of such adoption or amendment thereof is furnished to each member at least thirty (30) days prior to date on which such adoption or amendment is considered.
3. These Standing Rules may be suspended without notice by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting members of the Board of Directors present at a meeting of the Board of Directors and by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting members present at any membership meeting of the Association for that meeting only. Any action taken during such suspension of a rule shall be binding upon the Association.
O. ELIGIBILITY FOR OFFICERS AND CHAIRPERSONS
1. To be considered as having served as an officer or chairperson for any fiscal year, the member must have served for a period of at least seven (7) months from date of installation or appointment.
2. Only Active members in good standing are eligible for any office. Student members may not hold office or serve as committee chairpersons. Associate members in good standing are eligible to serve as committee chairpersons.
P. VACANCIES IN OFFICE
1. In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, the First Vice President succeeds to such office for the unexpired term.
2. In the event of a vacancy in any office other than that of President, the Board of Directors shall fill the vacancy by appointment. (Refer to Bylaws, Art. IX, Sec. 9.5).
3. The President fills a vacancy of any committee chairperson as soon as possible after such vacancy occurs with such appointment approved by the Board.
4. The Board of Directors has the power to declare vacancy in any office or committee chairperson position, if any such officer or chairperson does not perform the duties of the office.