By-laws

ARTICLE I. NAME.

The name of this organization shall be: AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF VISUALLY IMPAIRED ATTORNEYS.

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE.

The purpose of the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF VISUALLY IMPAIRED ATTORNEYS shall be to provide a national, non-profit association of visually impaired attorneys and visually impaired law students which will:

  • Provide a forum for discussion of the special problems encountered by visually impaired persons licensed to practice law and of visually impaired students in training for the legal profession;
  • Protect the interests of visually impaired members of the legal profession;
  • Acquire, preserve, and maintain law libraries and periodicals of special interests to visually impaired attorneys and visually impaired law students:
  • Promote the production of and dissemination of information concerning legal materials in braille, recorded or electronic formats suitable for use by visually impaired attorneys and visually impaired law students; and,
  • Do all lawful things necessary or desirable for the advancement of the legal profession.

As used in these Bylaws, the terms “visually impaired attorney” and “visually impaired law student” shall refer to any attorney or law student either having or considering himself or herself to have a visual impairment.

ARTICLE III. AFFILIATION.

The AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF VISUALLY IMPAIRED ATTORNEYS shall be affiliated with the American Council of the Blind.

ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP, VOTING AND DUES.

A. Membership
Voting Members— Any visually impaired person licensed to practice law in any jurisdiction is eligible for voting membership in this Association.

Student Members— Any visually impaired student preparing for the practice of law shall be eligible for student membership in this Association.

Associate Members— Any other person or organization wishing to support the aims and goals of this Association may be an associate member.

Charter Members— Each person who was a member of the American Blind Lawyers Association on or before December 31, 1970, shall be a charter member of this Association.

Honorary Members— By majority vote of those members present and voting at an annual meeting of the Association, honorary membership may be conferred upon persons who have made outstanding contributions to the betterment of visually impaired members of the legal profession.

B. Voting. Each voting member of this Association who attends a membership meeting shall be entitled to one vote.

C. Dues. Dues in this Association shall be due on or before August 1 of each year, and shall be delinquent November 1 of each year. A delinquent member may be reinstated to membership in this Association by the payment in full of the dues for the membership year in which such delinquent member seeks reinstatement. The membership year of this Association shall be August 1 through July 31 of the next succeeding year. A new member who joins the Association after January 31 shall pay one-half (1/2) of the dues for the applicable membership class. Dues in this Association shall be set by a majority of the voting members of the Association in attendance at the annual meeting of the Association for the subsequent year.

ARTICLE V. OFFICERS, BOARD MEMBERS, TERMS OF OFFICE AND ELECTIONS.

All Officers and Directors of this Association shall be voting members. The Officers of the Association shall be a President, a First Vice-President, a Second Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The Officers, eight (8) Directors, and the immediate past President (if not holding another office) shall constitute the Executive Board.

(1) Officers elected in 2004 shall serve until 2006, and thereafter Officers shall be elected for two-year terms. The eight Directors elected in 2003 shall serve for two (2) years, and thereafter, Directors shall be elected for two-year terms. No Officer or Director shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same position. For purposes of determining the eligibility of members running for the “term” shall mean that an officer has served more than one year in the capacity to which he or she has been elected, succeeded, or appointed.

D. Officers and Directors shall be elected by a majority of voting members present and voting at the annual convention. Whenever there shall occur, prior to the expiration of his or her term, a vacancy in the office of President, the First Vice-President shall assume such post, and all other vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the President, with the approval of the Executive Board, which approval may be obtained in writing from each of the Board members when it is not possible for such Board to assemble to pass on such appointment. Not more than two (2) members of the Executive Board shall be residents of any one state, the District of Columbia, any Territory or Possession of the United States or any other jurisdiction.

ARTICLE VI. POWERS AND DUTIES OF OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS.

The Executive Board shall be the governing body of this Association between membership meetings, provided that they may not take any official action in conflict with the existing policies or decisions made by the membership. The Executive Board is empowered to appoint an executive secretary of this Association and to charter auxiliary and subordinate divisions of this Association. The Officers shall perform the usual functions of their offices as prescribed by Roberts Rules of Order, Revised, unless otherwise provided by these By-Laws.

The Secretary shall make available to each member a written or recorded summary of all official actions taken at any regular or special meeting of the membership or of the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall maintain a roll of members in good standing and shall make a financial report at each regular meeting of the membership.

ARTICLE VII. MEETINGS.

A. The membership meeting of this Association shall be held annually at a time and place designated by the membership at its annual meeting for the subsequent year.
A quorum at any membership meeting shall consist of ten (10) voting members.
The Executive Board shall meet at times and places set by the President, which meetings may include meeting by teleconference.
A quorum at any meeting of the Executive Board shall be seven (7) members of said Board.

ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS.

Any proposed amendment to these By-Laws shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary at lease sixty (60) days prior to the annual membership meeting. The Secretary shall send each voting member a copy of any such proposed amendment at lease thirty (30) days prior to the annual membership meeting. Any proposed amendment shall be adopted if approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting at the annual membership meeting.

Approved and adopted at the annual membership meeting, July 6, 2004.