Dispute Resolution Board By-Laws

ARTICLE I

NAME

The name of this Assembly shall be the Seattle University School of Law Dispute Resolution Board (hereinafter "Board").

ARTICLE II

MISSION

The purpose of the Board is to increase awareness of alternative dispute resolution processes and to promote the development of dispute resolution skills within the law school community.

In furtherance of these goals, the Board shall strive to do the following:

  1. Administer the American Bar Association (hereinafter "ABA") Competitions in Negotiation, Client Counseling, and Representation in Mediation; Co-host an event for Conflict Resolution Day each October; and

  2. Organize ADR panels, workshops, and activities that advance the mission of the Board.

ARTICLE III

MEMBERS

The Board shall consist of a maximum of thirty-six (36) students. Only Board members shall be allowed to vote in Board proceedings.

Section 1. The Board shall select its new members twice per academic year; the first selection shall be completed no later than October 1st; the second selection shall be completed no later than March 1st

  1. A full-time student applying to join the Board during the fall semester membership drive may only be enrolled in their first (1L) or second (2L) year of law school. A student applying to join the Board during the spring semester membership drive may only be enrolled in their first (1L) year of law school. Upon unanimous vote by the executive board, the executive board may make an exception where justice requires.

  2. A part-time student (evening) or a joint-degree student applying to join the Board during the fall semester membership drive must have at least three (3) semesters of law school remaining before graduation, excluding the current fall semester. A part-time student (evening) or a joint-degree student applying to join the Board during the spring semester membership drive must have at least three (3) semesters of law school remaining before graduation, excluding the current spring semester.Upon unanimous vote by the executive board, the executive board may make an exception where justice requires.

  3. Each prospective candidate shall submit a cover letter, résumé, and completed application to the Board’s Vice President of Membership. These documents will be submitted online, through TWEN and will be opened by the Vice President of Membership or Membership Committee only. All personal information will be removed so that Board members will review the information anonymously. Each Board member shall review each prospective candidate’s cover letter, résumé, and application. Each Board member will be given a candidate score sheet and the Board member will give a numerical rating of the candidate as specified by a scoring sheet created by the Vice President of Membership or Membership Committee. After rating each candidate’s cover letter, résumé, and application, each Board member shall give the candidate score sheet to the Vice President of Membership.

  4. The Board shall interview all of the candidates. The Vice President of Membership shall be present during all interviews that he/she is able to attend. The Vice President of Membership shall be accompanied by at least one designated Board member for each interview. If the Vice President of Membership is unable to attend an interview, any Board member may accompany the designated Board Member. This is so that the same people see all the prospective candidates to prevent the numbers from being skewed and to maintain consistency in the interviewing process.

  5. Board members shall not participate in interviews of personal friends. Each Board member shall make the decision if he/she should abstain from an interview based on his/her personal relationship with the prospective member.

  6. The scores for each candidate will be averaged by the Vice President of Membership and the Membership Committee.

  7. To be considered for the Board, the numerical ranking must be above half the possible points. (If the highest possible score is 100, only numbers above 50 will be considered for membership).

  8. After the interviewing and scoring process is complete, the Vice President of Membership and the Executive Board shall determine whom to extend membership. The Vice President of Membership shall then notify those candidates who are being offered membership in writing. The Vice President of Membership will also notify those candidates, in writing, who are not being offered membership.

Section 2. Alternates may be chosen in the event a member should resign or be removed from the Board.

  1. Alternates shall be selected in accordance with the procedure outlined in Section 1.

  2. After the Board has determined the number of prospective candidates that will be offered membership, the Board will determine how many, if any, alternate candidates will also be notified.

  3. Alternate candidates will be offered an opportunity to either accept or deny the offer to become an alternate.

  4. If the alternate candidate accepts the position as an alternate and is not offered membership prior to the next membership recruitment period, the alternates will be asked to resubmit a brief letter of continued interest during the next membership drive.

  5. The letter of continued interest will be used to demonstrate the alternate candidate's sustained interest for scoring purposes only.

Section 3. By a majority vote, a Board member may be removed from office or from the Board for non-compliance. Non-compliance is defined as, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Misconduct having a negative impact on the Board that is contrary to the mission of the Board;

  2. Failure to attend regularly scheduled meetings without prior notification;

  3. Failure to fulfill assigned duties or other duties as promulgated in these by-laws.

The procedure for removal is:

  1. The Board member's misconduct shall be reported to the Executive Board.

  2. The Executive Board shall convene to ascertain the merits of the alleged non-compliance/misconduct.

  3. The member shall then be notified of the non-compliance/misconduct and be required to meet with the Executive Board.

  4. Assuming that the Board member wishes to remain a member of the Board, the Executive Board shall make one of the following determinations:

    1. Accept the explanation for non-compliance, and the Board member remains a member of the Board; or

    2. Remove the Board member immediately unless the Board member requests a special hearing before the Board; or

    3. Allow the Board member to appear before the Board at the request of the Board member. The Board member shall be notified of such decision within three school days of meeting with the Executive Board.

  5. The faculty advisor shall be notified, in writing, of the Board's decision.

  6. If the Board member requests a hearing before the Board, a special meeting of the Board shall be no later than two (2) weeks after the date the decision is made.

  7. In no event shall the Board member be denied his or her right to comment before the Board if the Board member so requests.

  8. Procedures for the special meeting, if requested by the Board member, are as follows:

    1. A special Board meeting shall be called, and at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the entire Board must be present for the member's removal to be discussed.

    2. In the event that fifty-one percent (51%) is not present, the Executive Board shall determine how to proceed. However, the failure to achieve a simple majority should not be held against the Board member.

    3. The member will be given an opportunity to present his or her side. The Executive Committee will be given an opportunity to present its side.

    4. The Board member has the option of writing a letter that will be distributed to the entire Board.

    5. If the Board member fails to appear at this meeting, such failure shall be deemed appropriate to justify removal of the Board member.

    6. General discussion and questions will be allowed after the presentations.

    7. After the presentations, general discussion, and questions, a vote for removal will be taken. One-hundred percent (100%) of the represented Board shall vote.

    8. If fifty-one percent (51%) of the represented Board votes to remove the member in question, the removal will be effective immediately. Conversely, if fifty percent (51%) or more of the represented Board votes against removal, the Board member shall not be discharged.

Section 4. Members may compete in all three in-house competitions provided that such members have notified the Vice President of Intra-house Competitions and that Competition's Co-Chairs of their intention to compete. There must be a sufficient number of non-competing members available to carry out the in-house competition responsibilities before the Board member will be allowed to compete. The Competition's Co-Chairs will determine how many members may compete as described below:

  1. Members must petition the Board Chair(s) and Competition Co-Chairs of their desire to compete by a deadline established by the Board for each competition. In response, the Board Chair(s) and Competition Co-Chairs must approve or disapprove such petition within five (5) days of the member’s petition of intent.

  2. 2. To ensure that no conflict of interest arises, members who have received approval to compete in an in-house competition may assist in preparation for the competition except that:

    1. No member/competitor may solicit judges for the competition. Every effort shall be made to avoid solicitation of judges that are related to or in an otherwise close personal relationship with a competing member; and

    2. No member/competitor may procure, prepare, or otherwise come in contact with the problems of the particular competition; and

    3. c. No member/competitor may enter the judges' room on the day of the competition.

ARTICLE IV

DUTIES OF BOARD MEMBERS


Section 1. The duties, commitments, and responsibilities of Board members include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Attendance at all mandatory meetings, trainings, and events;

  2. Participation in the administration of all Board competitions, except under the following circumstances: 1) the Board member is allowed to compete as provided in Article III, Section 4; or 2) the Board member is excused from administration by the Vice President of Intra-house Competitions and the Competition's Co-chairs;

  3. Participation on (at least) one committee;

  4. Completion of at least ten (10) office hours per semester; and

  5. Timely response to All-Board general emails soliciting input, etc.

Section 2. Attendance Policy

  1. Mandatory Events:

    Mandatory events include Executive Committee meetings (for Executive Committee Members) and general Board meetings (all members). Mandatory events are determined by the Executive Board and any questions concerning whether an event is mandatory (outside those listed above) should be referred to the Vice-President of Membership.

  2. Excused Absences from Mandatory Events:

    Excused absences do not invoke suspension or other administrative action, and include the following:

    1. Any obligation for which a Board member is being paid or receiving credit (48 hour prior notice required).

    2. Illness or emergency (notice must be given as soon as reasonably possible).

    3. Other compelling reasons at the discretion of the Executive Board (notice must be given as soon as reasonably possible).

School work and studying shall not be valid reasons for an excused absence. It is the responsibility of the Board member in question to request by email and receive an excused absence from the Vice-President of Membership.

An excused Board member absent from any mandatory event shall sign the minutes of the event within one (1) week of the event to show he/she is apprised of Board business conducted at the missed event. Failure to do so will result in the excused absence becoming unexcused.

  1. Unexcused Absences from Mandatory Events:

    A Board member is NOT allowed ANY unexcused absences per semester for mandatory events without any repercussion or administrative action.

    A Board member who accrues one (1) unexcused absence per semester for mandatory events will receive a written reprimand.

    A Board member who accrues two (2) unexcused absences per semester for mandatory events is recommended for removal.

    An unexcused Board member absent from any mandatory event shall sign the minutes of the event within one (1) week to show he/she is apprised of Board business conducted at the missed event.

  2. Removal:

    A Board member who accrues two (2) unexcused absences in a single semester is recommended for removal. Failure to perform committee obligations may also be grounds within the discretion of the Executive Board for recommending removal of an individual, provided one administrator or leader of the committee provides notice, written or otherwise, to the Executive Board.

    The Executive Board shall provide notice of the recommendation for removal to the Board member in question and the Vice-President of Membership shall submit a complaint to begin the removal process identified in Article III, Section 3.

Section 3. Notice

  1. Notice of Absence Policy:

    At the first general meeting of each semester, the Vice-President of Membership shall inform the Dispute Resolution Board of the absence and attendance policies stated in Section 2 of this Article. The Vice-President of Membership shall also email a copy of those policies to all members of the Board. If the Vice-President of Membership fails to provide such notice, the Executive Board may choose whether Section 2 of this Article shall be enforceable that semester.

  2. Notice of Mandatory Events:

    All Board members are entitled to effective notice of mandatory events. For notice to be effective, the person calling the meeting must post the time and place of the mandatory event at least seven (7) days in advance and must use a reliable form of communication. For purposes of this section, the President is deemed to have called general Board Meetings. An agenda should be discussed or distributed at the beginning of each mandatory event.

    For committee-specific meetings and assignments, the administrator or leader of the committee shall provide notice within the guidelines listed above.

    Board members not given effective notice of a mandatory event are excused in the event of an absence. A Board member not given effective notice shall promptly bring this to the attention of the Vice-President of Membership. Final determination if notice was effective will be decided by the Executive Board.

ARTICLE V

OFFICERS


The Board shall be headed by an Executive Board. The Executive Board shall consist of the following officers:

  1. A President;

  2. A Vice-President of Membership;

  3. A Vice-President of In-House Competitions;

  4. A Vice-President of Regional Competitions;

  5. A Vice-President of Community Development;

  6. A Vice-President of Communications; and

  7. A Treasurer.

Section 1. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these by-laws.

Section 2. Officers shall be elected by the third (3rd) week of April. Outgoing officers shall determine the most effective way to preserve the institutional knowledge of their position and pass it to their successor.

Section 3. The election of officers shall be conducted by the outgoing President and shall be by secret ballot. A simple majority of the Board is required to elect officers.

Section 4. Candidates for a Board officer position must make the Board aware of their intentions bysubmitting a letter of intent to the President at least one (1) week prior to the Board vote. Such letter should state the candidates' intentions regarding employment, law school activities, and other responsibilities during their potential term of office.

ARTICLE VI

DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Section 1. The PRESIDENT shall preside over all meetings and oversee all projects of the Board. Official duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Call and head all board meetings;

  2. Post the agenda for the meetings and provide it to the Vice President of Communications to be included with the minutes to be distributed to all members;

  3. Act as the official Board representative at all University and community functions involving the Board;

  4. Voting, but only in the event of a tie vote in order to break such tie;

  5. Delegate tasks of any Executive Board member that should become unable to fulfill his/her duties during the course of his/her role on the Executive Board.

  6. Serve as the contact person between the Board and the ABA and the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) except regarding the competitions, at which point the Vice Presidents of In-House and Regional Competitions shall act as the contact.

  7. Maintain and develop relationships between the Board and the WSBA ADR Section and local ADR community.

  8. Maintain and develop relationships between the Board and the law school administration and faculty.

  9. Execute the annual calendar of Board events.

Section 2. The VICE-PRESIDENT of MEMBERSHIP is second-in-charge of the Board and shall be included by the President in all important correspondence and important decision-making events. He/she assumes the duties of the President in the event that the President is unable to fulfill his/her duties. Official duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Assist with all administrative duties;

  2. Participate on any ad-hoc committees that are created;

  3. Organize Fall and Spring Membership Drives;

    1. Organize and oversee a membership committee that solicits applications for Membership in Fall and Spring and publicizes the Membership Drives; and

    2. Participate in all interviews of prospective new members or appoint one member-at-large to serve this function jointly with the Vice President of Membership;

  4. Enforce Board obligations, including office hours, meeting attendance, and competition attendance;

  5. Appoint Social Chair responsible for organizing 1 (or more) social function(s) each semester for Board members; and

  6. Organize the Board's annual picture in the spring.

Section 3. The VICE PRESIDENT of IN-HOUSE COMPETITIONS shall be in charge of administering all in house competitions. Official duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Act as the Board contact to the ABA for the in-house competitions in conjunction with the Faculty Advisor;

  2. Delegate committee members the jobs of In-House Competition Chairs for the Negotiation, Client Counseling, and Meditation In-House Competitions. Each Competition Co-Chair shall supervise the following committees for their respective competition:

    1. Logistics Committee, which shall be in charge of room reservations, publicity, , parking, name tags, signage, and any other tasks necessary to complete the competition. The Vice President of In-House Competitions shall also be on this committee;

    2. Judge's Committee, which shall be in charge of contacting local attorneys, counselors, mediators, and client-volunteers as needed.

    3. Food Committee, which shall be in charge of food and drink (including alcoholic drinks) for 1) the judges' dinner; 2) the after-competition reception; and 3) the Board member informal dinner

    4. Provide guidance to and oversight of the three sets of Competition Co-Chairs, ensuring that the tasks for competitions are on track and proceeding appropriately as described on the DR Board TWEN site.

    5. Forward problem packets and communications from the Faculty Advisor and the ABA to the Competition Co-Chairs and Competitors as needed.

Section 4. The VICE PRESIDENT of REGIONAL COMPETITIONS shall be in charge of administering all regional competitions. Official duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Act as the Board contact to the ABA for the Regional competitions in conjunction with the Faculty Advisor;

  2. Forward competition entries to the sponsor of the Regional competitions;

  3. Procure signed Agreements to Compete from In–House competition winners who would like to participate in the Regional competitions;

  4. Delegate to board members the jobs of Student-Coaches for each group of Regional competitors, and provide guidance to and oversight to those Student-Coaches, ensuring that the practice rounds and preparation for the Regional competitions are on track and proceeding appropriately as described on the DR Board TWEN site;

  5. Forward problem packets and communications from the Faculty Advisor and the ABA to the Student-Coaches and Regional Competitors; and

  6. Act as coordinator, or assign a coordinator, to facilitate the responsibilities of hosting a Regional competition in years the ABA selects Seattle University as the Regional Host.

Section 5. The VICE PRESIDENT of COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT shall be responsible for community outreach, professional development, and event coordination. Official duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Facilitate the organization and planning of an event for Conflict Resolution (CR) Day which entails the following:

    1. Maintain a relationship with the Dean's office regarding CR Day; and

    2. Appoint and oversee two CR Day Co-Chairs, who will appoint a planning committee and organize all logistics and presenters for the event.

  2. Work with other student organizations to expose students to dispute resolution practices in various fields of law.

  3. Work with the Dean's office, Center for Professional Development, and Faculty to expand opportunities for students to learn about and get involved in alternative dispute resolution. These tasks will be undertaken in accordance with the furtherance of the Board's goals.

    1. The Vice President of Community Development will notify the Faculty Advisor of all upcoming programming, and shall confer with them regarding administrative policies.

Section 6. The TREASURER shall be in charge of administering Board funds. Official duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Prepare an Annual Budget in consultation with the Faculty Advisor by the end of September, unless otherwise notified by the Business Office;

  2. Oversee the payment of the Board's debts;

  3. Authorize purchases over the amount of twenty-five ($25) dollars;

  4. Maintain an accurate account of distribution of funds; and

  5. Report the financial position of the Board as requested.

Section 7. The VICE-PRESIDENT of COMMUNICATIONS shall be in charge of maintaining all Board records. Official duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Draft all correspondence on behalf of the Board;

  2. Record and distribute meeting minutes to Board members;

  3. Maintain the files and records of the Board;

  4. Appoint a Webmaster and supervise his/her team;

    1. The Webmaster will be in charge of updates to the SU website and the DR Board TWEN pages. The Webmaster may select a committee to assist in these duties.

  5. Maintain the Judge database for In-House competitions;

  6. Communicate with SU's IT Department for maintenance of board room equipment and changes to the e-mail distribution lists; and

  7. Appoint and oversee a Judges Committee Chair for each In-House competition.

    1. The Judges Committee Chair will be responsible for recruiting judges for their particular In-House Competition, coordinating with the VP of In-House Competitions and Competition Co-Chairs, and all appropriate follow up with Judges after the competition. The Chair may select a committee to assist in these duties.

ARTICLE VII

EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS


Section 1. The Executive Board shall meet at least two (2) times per month either in person or via an "email meeting" for every full month that school is in session. An email meeting is appropriate only if the following conditions are met: 1) the Executive Board already held an in person meeting that month or will hold an in person meeting later that month, and 2) the Executive Board has little or no new information to discuss with the Board.

Section 2. Special meetings may be called by the President with at least forty-eight (48) hours notice to all members. Regular attendance requirements will apply to special meetings. Emergency meetings may be called by the President with twenty-four (24) hours notice to all members. Regular attendance requirements will not apply to emergency meetings.

Section 3. Meetings may be scheduled by any two (2) members upon notice to the President.

Section 4. Members unable to attend a meeting shall give notice at least one (1) day in advance of the meeting to the Vice-President of Membership.

Section 5. A quorum shall consist of a simple majority (50% + 1) of the Board members. A proxy shall be counted in the determination of a quorum. Only general proxies that apply to any vote shall be considered valid.

ARTICLE VIII

AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS


  1. The bylaws shall be amended only upon approval of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the Board.

  2. The bylaws shall be reviewed at least every two (2) years to determine if revision or updating is required. If the Board determines that there is a need to amend the bylaws, an ad-hoc committee shall be selected by the President to draft the proposed amendment(s).

  3. A copy of the proposed amendment(s) shall be distributed to all Board members one (1) week in advance of voting on the proposed change(s).

ARTICLE IX

FACULTY ADVISOR


  1. A Faculty Advisor may be recommended by each Board to the Dean for a term coinciding with that of the Board. If not, the current Faculty Advisor shall be maintained.

  2. The Faculty Advisor shall be invited to be present at each Board meeting.

  3. The Faculty Advisor shall advise the Board and assist the Student-Coaches with coaching and training the SU Regional Teams.

ARTICLE X

COMMITTEES


Committees not already mentioned above under an Executive Board Officer may be formed on an ad-hoc basis by any Executive Board member.

SPECIAL RULES OF ORDER


  1. The agenda shall be disseminated at least one (1) day in advance of any meeting for each item requiring a membership vote.

  2. The Board shall dispense with the reading of the previous meeting's minutes.

  3. All members of the Board shall read these bylaws and agree to abide by them.

  4. The Board reserves the right to impose sanctions upon any competitor in violation of Competition rules, including, but not limited to withdrawal from a competition after the mandatory drop deadline as established by that Competition's Co-chair. Sanctions include, but are not limited to, suspension of participation from future competitions.

(Bylaws approved 11/06/12)