By-Laws

ARTICLE I

IDENTITY AND DEFINITIONS

A. Name: The name of the association is the Thomas M. Cooley Alternative Dispute Resolution Board, referred to in these bylaws as the ADR Board.  

B. Authority:  The ADR Board is a non-profit organization, incorporated under the laws of the State of Michigan regulated by the rules, honor code and the ethical guidelines of Thomas M. Cooley Law School. 

C. Definitions:

1. Agenda:  An order of business, usually written and expressly adopted for a particular session, which assigns times and positions to a specific item of business.

2. Bylaws:  Laws that an organization agrees to follow that provide efficient and equitable transaction of business and to protect its membership.

3. Executive Board: A body of elected officers of the ADR organization comprised of the Chair, Vice-Chairs, Directors and Assistant Directors and Parliamentarian referred to in these bylaws as the E-Board.

4. Term: The length of time the E-Board shall serve. The E-Board must serve a minimum of two terms on E-Board and a maximum of three terms in one position.

5.  Committees:  At the appointment of the E-Board, committees comprised of Associate Members, General Members and E-Board Members will be formed as needed.

6. Faculty Advisor: The faculty advisor is to perform the role as an Advisor, advising the E-Board of school policies, and performing general advising duties.

7. Good Academic Standing: As defined by Thomas M. Cooley Law School Student Hand Book.

8. General Membership: All Members of the ADR Board, including associate members, general members, and executive board members.

 

ARTICLE II

PURPOSE AND MISSION 

A. The Purpose of the ADR Board is to:

1.  Promote, develop, and support the education and training of law students to become practitioners with effective alternative dispute resolution skills.

2. Advance social and academic interaction among students, faculty, legal professionals, and the community.

3. Broaden the awareness and appreciation for the profession of alternative dispute resolution among the law school and community at large.

4. Promote and mentor professionalism among all students participating in the various activities the ADR Board sponsors and supports.  

B. The Mission of the ADR Board is to:

To encourage and assist Thomas M. Cooley Law School students in developing the skills and knowledge necessary to confidentially, ethically, and professionally conduct all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

ARTICLE III

MEMBERSHIP 

A. Students: The ADR Board welcomes students without regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, color, creed, religion, handicap, age, or national origin.

B. Associate Members: All students currently enrolled in Thomas M. Cooley Law School and in good academic standing may become an associate member.  Associates assist ADR Board general members and E-Board members.  Associates must attend general membership meetings and assist with ADR Board sponsored activities.

C. General Members: Every student who is currently enrolled in Thomas M. Cooley Law School, in good academic standing and who has completed ADR or has documented ADR experience in a past career may apply and be granted membership by a majority vote of the E-board.  Each General Member shall:

1. Participate in, support the activities of, and perform whatever tasks the E-Board finds necessary for the ADR ISC held each term.

2. be available to judge or witness on the ISC

3. Willing to become a limited alternate competitor during the ISC if there are an uneven number of competitors or emergency situations arise during the competition. 

4. Perform one office hour each week of the term as stated in Article VI.

5. Perform a minimum of twelve hours of service per term in an ADR Board sponsored activity.

6. Attend ADR Board General Member meetings.

7. Pay the membership fee as assed by the majority of E-Board.

8. Must attend the week 11 meeting or be excused by the Chair or Vice Chair. If found unexcused the General Member could be subject to sanctions.

D. Executive Board Members Qualifications: Any student, in good academic standing, who has completed at least one term as a general member and completed the ADR course or has documented ADR experience in a past professional career, may be nominated to an E-Board position. Special appointments or exceptions may be made, as needed, to the one-term general membership requirement by a majority vote of the current E-Board members.  The E-Board members shall perform all tasks of a General Member and the tasks designated to her/his office as described in Article IV.  
 

E. Alumni and Honorary Members: Shall be any previous ADR Board member, graduate or currently enrolled student, who was in good standing prior to leaving the ADR Board organization and wishing to stay active in ADR Board functions.  They shall have general membership status, but are limited to participating in and supporting the activities of the ADR Board.  Alumni and Honorary members do not participate in E-Board decisions; however they are encouraged to supply ideas and suggestions to the E-Board. 

ARTICLE IV

EXECUTIVE BOARD OFFICERS    

A. Purpose and Function: The E-Board shall carry out the administrative functions necessary for the day-to-day operation of the ADR Board. 

B. Executive Board Composition: The E-Board shall be comprised of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Directors and Assistant Directors and Parliamentarian.

C. Election of Officers:

On the 9th week of each term the Director of Communications will notify each member by email of the upcoming elections and what positions are open for election.

By the end of the 10th week after the notice of election and positions available the interested candidate shall notify the Vice Chair of their intentions of running for a position. In the event a candidate doesnt notify the Vice Chair, the candidate can be nominated by the general membership, through a nomination process provided the candidate meets the qualifications for office. In the event a candidate has been elected to a position that the candidate doesnt meet the qualifications, the position will be vacated and filled by the Executive Board at the next Executive Board Meeting.

At the meeting in the 11th week the candidates that have notified the Vice Chair or have been nominated from the general membership shall be given 5 minutes to address the membership of their plans for the ADR Board.

At the conclusion of such speeches the membership shall cast a secret ballot. The ballots shall be collected and counted by the Parliamentarian, the faculty advisor and the Chair unless the chair is a candidate, in that case only the Parliamentarian and the faculty advisor shall count the votes.

One non-candidate shall supervise the counting of ballots to ensure accuracy.

In the even of a tie, the Chair shall cast the deciding vote. If the election is for Chair then the outgoing Chair will cast the deciding vote.

D. Selection of ADR Board Chair: Any student who has served on the E-Board or Special Committee is eligible to apply for the ADR Board Chair position.  To qualify for the Chair position, the candidate must complete the ADR class, and at the minimum, be enrolled in Facilitative Mediation; or have documented ADR experience from a past professional career or certification in an area of ADR

After submitting a resume and cover letter, the Department Head, Faculty Advisor, and outgoing Chair will interview the candidates and then make a joint decision as to who will be selected to run for the Chair position. A maximum of three candidates will be selected.

The candidates will receive a maximum of ten minutes to speak to the general membership. After each student has spoken, the general membership and the executive board shall vote for the student they wish to elect to the Chair position. The election of chair shall abide by Section C of Article IV of these By-Laws. With the exception the Chair will get a ten minute time limit on their speech.

At the conclusion of such speeches the membership shall cast a secret ballot. The ballots shall be collected and counted by the Parliamentarian, the faculty advisor and the Chair unless the chair is a candidate, in that case only the Parliamentarian and the faculty advisor shall count the votes.

One non-candidate shall supervise the counting of ballots to ensure accuracy.

If the Chair position will not be vacated for the next term, no candidates shall be considered. However, each Chair shall serve a minimum of (2) terms and a maximum of (3) terms. 

E. Term of Office: All Officers shall serve a minimum of two terms, which is equivalent to two academic terms at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, or 30 weeks.  All Officers shall serve a maximum of three terms in their respective office; which is equivalent to three academic terms, or 45 weeks. 
 

F. Filling of Vacancies: Upon a vacancy or written resignation to the ADR Board Chair, the vacating officer will be released of all duties.  The ADR E-Board will hold an emergency meeting to fill the position by interview, and 2/3 vote. The position vacated will then be open to election at the next subsequent election.

 

G. Duties of the Executive Officers:

1. ADR Chair.  In this position, the Chair shall:

Enrolled in or have Completed ADR and/or Facilitative Mediation or has a certification in an area of ADR

Submit monthly report to Faculty Advisor and E-Board

Preside over and Chair all E-Board Meetings

Preside over and Chair week 11 general membership meetings.

Supervise all Directors and Assistant Directors

Attend all E-Board and General Body meetings

Implement special committees

Review all documents before they go to the copy center

Review all correspondence before they are published or mailed

Final review of ISC case packet along with the Faculty Advisor

Supervise discussion, voting, and implementation of by-laws

Supervise activities sponsored by the ADR Board

Be the spokesperson for the ADR Board with any other organizations, including but not limited to, being a SBA Meeting Representative

Submit names for Honors Convocation

Have the authority to delegate above responsibilities to other E-Board members

            Collaborate on preparation of ADR Board brochure

            Update TWEN Page

Monitor adrboard@cooley.edu.

Complete office hours as agreed in Article VI

2. Vice-Chair.  In this position, the Vice-Chair shall:

Enroll in or have completed ADR and/or Facilitative Mediation

Submit monthly report to E-Board and General Membership Meeting

Chair all General Membership Meetings

Attend all E-Board and general body meetings

Assist the Chair and Faculty Advisor

Serve as Chair to all committees

Supervise the Directors and Assistant Directors

Acquire judges for the ISC Negotiation and Mediation Competition. Coordinate with the Director of Intra-school competition

Work with all Directors to learn their duties. Supplement E-Board job descriptions when necessary

Complete office hours as agreed in Article VI 

Organize information and members for the Organizational Fair

Update of TWEN page

Monitor adrboard@cooley.edu

Complete office hours as agreed in Article VI
 

3. Communications Director and Assistant Director shall:

Report to Chair and E-Board.

Attend all E-Board and general body meetings

Maintain bulletin boards on 2nd and 5th floor

Update and maintain ADR Board Scrapbook

Schedule pictures of ADR Board with Sharon Matchette

Take minutes at each E-Board and general body meeting, type, and make available to E-Board and general members

Nominations for ADR student of the week

Reserve rooms for ISC (Cynthia Gregor)

Order certificates for competitors of ISC (Pat Martin, must order one week in advance) to be given out at completion competition.

Prepare and distribute flyers and advertisements for ISC

Communicate with ADR and Facilitative Mediation professors

Schedule and assign class visits for weeks 2 & 4 to ADR and Facilitative Mediation

Hold witness meeting Friday of ISC (in conjunction with Membership Committee)

Assist other E-Board members as necessary

Monitor adrboard@cooley.edu

Update TWEN page

Complete office hours as agreed in Article VI.

 

4. Competition Director:

Report to Chair

Attend all E-Board and general body meetings

Prepare and submit copies of ISC Summary of events to the Director of Communications

Prepare and submit copies of Sign-Up Sheet to the Director of Communications to be distributed to General Body members at meeting during week 3

Prepare the schedule for ISC

Review and edit case for ISC with Faculty Advisor

Submit request for food to the Director of Public Relations to Order food (Margie Doyle).

Prepare competitors’ packet

Prepare judges’ packet

Coordinate with the Director of Public Relations to Schedule workshops (times, rooms, topics, instructors, for weeks 4 &5).

Schedule and run informational meetings (Friday and Saturday of week 3)

Prepare agenda for ISC assigning E-Board members to all tasks

Prepare and distribute ISC information to distribute during class visits

Prepare check in sheets for judges, competitors, witnesses

Contact professors and local attorneys regarding judging the final round of ISC.

Organize training for general body members will judge the preliminary rounds of the ISC 

Assist other E-Board members as necessary

Complete office hours as agreed in Article VI

5. Director of Finance and Membership  shall:

 Report to Chair

Submit financial report monthly to Chair, Vice-Chair, and Advisor

Complete ADR

Attend all E-Board and general body meetings

Schedule and run meeting for members and students who are interested in the ADR Board in week 2 (information meetings). Coordinate with the Director of Public Relations.

Submit recommendations for students who are interested in participating in ADR Board sponsored programs.

Organize and maintain office:  books, handouts, videos.

Meet with Peggy Rostorfer before each E-Board meeting. Devise and submit a financial report at each E-Board meeting.

Supervise associate members.

Assist other E-Board members as necessary.

Complete office hours as agreed in Article VI.   

6. Director of Public Relations Shall:

Report to the Chair

Complete ADR

Attend all E-Board and general body meetings

Reserve rooms for general body meetings

Arrange for guest speakers for the general body meetings. A minimum of three meeting per term

Devise a calendar for the general body, post calendar on bulletin board, e-mail to all members and pertinent faculty members.

Send thank you letters to speakers and those who assist the ADR Board

Submit Pillar articles once a month.  E-Board will alternate writing articles; upon completion, these articles will be turned into the Director of Public Relation. A minimum of two articles should be published per term

Coordinate the E-Board effort in devising monthly ADR Board submissions for the SideBar newsletter.

            7. Parliamentarian:

Shall keep the meetings in order by applying parliamentary procedure and Roberts rules of Order to all meetings.

          Shall be an active participant in making sure all elections are held open and fair

Shall count the votes of the elections unless they are a candidate then an independent non candidate member will be appointed by the chair

Shall act as the Sergeant of Arms at all meetings

Shall assist the E-Board as necessary to ensure smooth operations of the organization.

H. Necessary and Proper Clause.  To make all laws and rules which shall be necessary and proper for executing the foregoing powers vested by these bylaws to the ADR Board, by any officer or the Faculty Advisor.   

ARTICLE V

MEETINGS

A.    GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS:

1.      Shall be held minimally 3 times per term. The 11th week meeting shall be reserved for elections and other business that needs to be finished before the end of the term.

2.      General Membership meetings can be called at other times if deemed necessary by a majority of E-Board Members.

3.      All Meeting will be conducted using Roberts Rules of Order following Parliamentary Procedure.

4.      The Vice-Chair or his/her designee will preside at all General Membership Meetings except week 11 meetings.

5.      If the Vice-Chair or his/her designee has a conflict with any proposed business then the Director of Finance shall preside over only that portion of the meeting that a conflict exist.

6.      The Vice Chair shall not vote on business brought before the membership except only to break a tie.

7.      Quorum shall be 10% (ten percent) of the General and Executive Board Members; quorum can be met by:

  i.      Persons present at the meeting

  ii.      Through real time electronic means

iii.      Cell or land line phone

iv.      Proxy Votes

8.       A quorum shall be present in order to conduct any business; in the event quorum can not be met all actions taken by the general members shall be done under advisement and will have to approved by the executive board at the next executive board  meeting.

B.     EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS:

1.      Shall be held typically on the 2nd, 8th and 10th week of the term.

2.      Executive Board Meetings can be called at other times if deemed necessary by the ADR Board Chair.

3.      All Executive Board Meetings will be conducted using Roberts Rules of Order following Parliamentary Procedure.

4.      Executive Board Meetings will Presided over and Chaired by the ADR Board Chair.

5.      The ADR Board Chair shall be an active participant in the meetings and shall have the authority to cast votes on any and all business that is brought before the Executive Board.

6.      Quorum shall be 50% plus 1 (one) of the Executive Board; quorum can be met by:

i.      Persons Present at meeting

ii.      Through real time electronic means

iii.      Cell or Land Line Phone

iv.      Proxy votes.

7.      A quorum shall be present in order to conduct any business; in the event quorum can not be met all actions taken by the executive board shall be done under advisement and will have to approved by the executive board at the next meeting.

ARTICLE VI

COMPETITION(S) 

A. Competition Director: The ADR E-Board member shall manage each competition. 

B. Intra-School ADR (negotiation, mediation) Competition (ISC): Shall be held no later than the 7th week of the term.  Students who have taken  ADR may enter the ISC.   Students who have a class conflict, work, or religious reasons during the ISC schedule shall immediately contact the Faculty Advisor for arrangements.  Students who are currently members of a National Trial Team, as an Advocate Competitor, may not compete in the ISC.  

C. Application to Compete in the ISC: Students entering the ISC shall apply in writing by submitting an application and a resume.  Applications are due week 4.  Competitors will compete for placement on a team. The necessary number of alternates will also be selected.  Once competitors are selected, they will be required to complete all workshops and attend all practice rounds. Unless competitors indicate special needs pursuant to Section B, all competitors who submit an application agreeing that they are available during the entire ISC schedule.  
 

D. Drop out.  Competitors should understand that the structure of the ISC is built on the participation of other competitors.  Competitors schedules and arrangement of witnesses and other volunteers are based on Competitors enrollment in the ISC. Competitors commitment to the ISC is encouraged.  Any Competitor wishing to drop out of the ISC shall do so by 5 p.m. on Monday (four days prior to the start of the competition) in week 7.  Unless special situations are communicated to the Faculty Advisor, any competitor dropping out after 5p.m on Monday in week 7 may not be allowed to enter further competitions and may affect their application to the ADR Board if competitors so wish to join.      

E. Attendance and Punctuality.  Competitors shall arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to the start of a particular round.  Unless special circumstances arise making a competitor arrive after the 15 minutes prior to the start of a particular round, that competitor may not be allowed to continue the ISC.  This discretion shall be handled by the E-Board.  All competitors must be present at the time of any announcement, and if they are not present may be disqualified.    

F. Special Decision Meeting.  In the event a special situation arises during the course of the ISC, that is not covered under the by-laws, the E-Board has the authority to hold an emergency meeting with all E-Board members who are present at the time.  A vote may be taken and an emergency decision can be made.  The Faculty Advisor will have the tie-breaking vote.  A special decision meeting may not be held without the Chair or Vice-Chair present. 

G. Other Competitions and Rules.  Any other rules which the E-Board agrees to, and any other competitions which the E-Board hosts, shall be documented in a separate writing. 

ARTICLE VII

OFFICE HOURS & RESPONSIBILITIES

A. General Members: General Members shall perform two (2) office hours per week during each term, beginning week 3 of the term and ending week 10 of the term.  Failure to perform office hours may result in restrictions or other disciplinary action as appropriate if good reason cannot be shown for the failure to perform.  General members may be allowed two absences from general body meetings before being sanctioned. 

B. Executive Board:  E-Board members shall be in the ADR Board office as often as possible throughout the term, but are not required to sign up for particular hours during each week.  Members of the E-Board are allowed one absence from the general body meetings and one absence from an E-Board meeting before being sanctioned. 

C. Office hours: The office hour will not go into effect until there is an established clinic by the Law School. In the event the clinic is started mid-term; then the hours will go into effect the start of the following term.
 
 
 
 
 

ARTICLE VIII

IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVAL 

A. General terms.   Upon due notice, and following an invited, formal meeting, any member who fails to perform duties of the ADR Board as outlined in the Bylaws or fails to uphold the Thomas M. Cooley Honor Code, shall be removed from the ADR Board. 

B. General Members.  During any meeting anticipating disciplinary proceedings:

1. Not less than two E-Board members shall be present.  The faculty advisor shall also be present for all disciplinary proceedings.

2. All disciplinary proceedings shall be taped and transcribed.

3. The Chair shall communicate any removals to the affected members by formal letter.

4. Following any disciplinary meeting, with the affected party, a unanimous vote of the E-Board is required for final removal of any member for disciplinary reasons. 

C. Executive Board Members.  The same procedures shall apply to the E-Board members.  Upon motion of any member of the E-Board, the faculty advisor, or complaint lodged by a General Member, Associate Member, or any student, an investigation shall ensue regarding any disciplinary violation and due process shall be given.  Impeachment shall be by unanimous vote of the remaining E-Board members; the E-Board member at issue shall not vote.   

ARTICLE IX

AMENDMENTS

A. Definitions.

1. Majority Vote:  At least one more than half of the votes cast by persons entitled to vote, including yes, no or abstain, at a regular or properly called meeting at which a quorum is present. 

2. Quorum:  The number of members required to be present for the transaction of the business of the organization.

3. Unanimous Vote: In actions to remove a member, a unanimous vote by the E-Board must take place.  

B. Amending Articles.  Any changes of the Articles written in these bylaws shall be amended only by the E-Board.  A 2/3 vote of a quorum of E-Board members shall place the proposed amendment up for voting.  
 

C. Voting.  A quorum of the E-Board members shall be present during the proposed amendment.  A 2/3 vote is required for the proposed amendment to be placed in the bylaws.   

D. Effectiveness of the Amendment.  The newly voted amendment shall take effect at the start of the next term. 

E. Suspension of the Bylaws.  The bylaws, in full or in part, may be suspended upon a 2/3 vote by the current E-Board.  
 

ARTICLE X

RATIFICATION OF BYLAWS 

The ratification by unanimous vote of the current E-Board shall be sufficient for the establishment of these bylaws to be in effect.  Any Articles in addition to, and amendment of, the ADR Board bylaws, proposed by the E-Board and ratified by the members of the E-Board are pursuant to Article IX of the original bylaws.  

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