By-Laws

Article I
Name, Seal, Office

Section 1 Name:
The name of this organization is the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys' Association, Inc.

Section 2 Seal:
The seal of this Association shall be that which is affixed to these Bylaws.

Section 3
The Association may have an office at such place or places as the Board of Directors may from time to time appoint.

Article II
Objectives and Purposes

The Association is formed for the following purposes:

a. To promote study and research in the field of criminal defense law and the related areas;

b. To disseminate by lecture, seminars and publications the advance of the knowledge of the law as it relates to the field of criminal defense practice;

c. To promote the proper administration of justice;

d. To foster, maintain and encourage the integrity, independence and expertise of the defense lawyer in criminal cases;

e. To foster periodic meetings of the defense lawyers and to provide a forum for the material exchange of information regarding the administration of criminal justice and thereby concern itself with the protection of individual rights and the improvement of criminal law, its practice and procedures.

Article III
Membership

Section 1 Regular Membership:

a. Regular Membership in the Association shall be available to those persons of professional competency, integrity and good moral character who are actively engaged in the defense of criminal cases and admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals of Maryland.

b. Applications for membership shall be made on a form prescribed by the Board of Directors.

Section 2 Associate Members:

a. Associate Membership in the Association shall be available to those persons of integrity and moral character who are not actively engaged in the defense of criminal cases, but whose duties and responsibilities are a part of, or contribute to, the defense of criminal cases. There shall be included in this membership law professors, members of the judiciary and law students.

b. Application for Associate Membership shall be made on a form prescribed by the Board of Directors. Each application for Associate Membership shall be subject to approval of the Board of Directors.

Section 3 Other Classes of Membership:

The Board of Directors shall have the authority to create such other memberships, classes or categories of memberships from time to time as it may determine are in the best interest of the Association.

Section 4 Voting:

Each regular member shall be entitled to one (1) vote at the Association's proceedings. No other classes or categories of membership shall be entitled to vote.

Section 5 Revocation of Membership:

Membership of all classes and categories may be revoked for cause by vote calling for such revocation by three-quarters (3/4) vote of the members of the Board of Directors.

Article IV
Officers

Section 1 Designation:

The elected officers of the Association shall consist of a President, a President-elect, a First Vice President, a Second Vice President, a Secretary and a Treasurer.

Section 2 Qualifications:

Only regular members shall be eligible to become officers of the Association.

Section 3 Election and Term of Office:

a. Elected Officers: The elected officers of the Association, with the exception set forth in Paragraph b of this Section, shall be elected at the Annual Meeting of the Association and shall hold office until the next Annual Meeting and until their successors are elected and qualified.

b. President-elect: At the end of the term of the President, the President-elect shall automatically become President of the Association and shall serve as President for a period of one (1) year in addition to any period of time necessary to fulfill the unexpired term of his or her predecessor who may have died, resigned, been removed from office or otherwise vacated his or her office, and he or she shall hold office until his or her successor is elected and qualifies.

Section 4 Removal:

An Officer may be removed for cause by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. The procedure to be sued in removals for the cause shall be that which is set out in Article V, Section 7 (Forfeiture).

Section 5 Absence:

An Officer shall not accept office unless that person attends all meetings called, in the absence of illness, personal problems or official court business. In any event, that person may be officially excused by the President or his or her designee, before his or her required attendance. Failure to be officially excused twice during that person's term shall be automatic forfeiture of the office and the unexpired term shall be filled by majority vote of the Board of Directors at the next lawfully called meeting.

Section 6 Duties of Elected Officers:

a. President: The President shall be the Chief Executive of the Association and Chairman of the Board of Directors and it shall be his or her responsibility to oversee and coordinate the activities of the Association and to preside at its meetings. He or she shall be the spokesperson for the Association and whenever practical shall publicly appear for the Association and speak its policies. He or she shall organize the annual meeting of the Association at the place designated by the Board of Directors. He or she shall have responsibility for all facets of said meetings upon asking and receiving
the advice of the Board of Directors.

b. President-elect: The President-elect of the Association shall assist the President in the performance of his or her duties and shall also perform such other duties as may be prescribed for him orher by the Board of Directors. In the case of the absence of the President, he or she shall act as Chief Executive Officer of the Association and Chairman of the Board of Directors. In the case of death of the President, or in the event of his or her resignation or removal from office, the powers and duties of the President shall devolve upon the President-elect who shall conclude the term of office of the President in accordance with the provisions of these Bylaws.

c. First Vice President: The First Vice President shall assist the President and President-elect in the performance of his or her or their duties and perform such other duties as may be prescribed for him or her by the Board of Directors. In the event of death, incapacity, resignation or removal from office of both the President and the President-elect, the First Vice President shall fulfill the unexpired term of both officers and assume the duties of the office of the President.

d. Second Vice President: The Second Vice President shall assist the President, President-elect and First Vice President in the performance of their duties and perform such duties as may be prescribed for him or her by the Board of Directors. In the event of death, incapacity, resignation or removal from office of the President, President-elect and First Vice President, the Second Vice President shall fulfill the unexpired term and assume the duties of the office of the President.

e. Secretary: The Secretary shall attend and keep minutes of all meetings of the Association and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as are incident to the office of the Secretary or as may be assigned to him or her from time to time by the Board of Directors or by the President.

f. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall maintain the funds and pay the obligations of the Association as directed by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall execute a surety bond in an amount fixed by the Board of Directors so as to ensure the safety of the funds of the Association.

Section 7 Executive Committee:

The purpose of the Executive Committee of the Association shall be to act on Association business and transactions during the interim periods between the Board of Directors' meetings. The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, President-elect, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Article V
Board of Directors

Section I Qualifications:

Only regular members shall be eligible to become elected members of the Board of Directors.

Section 2 Number of Members:

a. The Board of Directors shall consist of not less than twenty nor more than thirty-five members who shall be elected in accordance with the following schedule, either from districts wherein they have their principal office or at-large:

 

District

County

Number of Members

1 Baltimore City No more than 6
2 Dorchester No more than 1
  Wicomico  
  Somerset  
  Worchester  
3 Caroline No more than 1
  Talbot  
  Queen Anne's  
  Kent & Cecil  
4 Charles No more than 1
  St. Mary's  
  Calvert  
5 Prince George's No more than 4
6 Montgomery No more than 4
7 Anne Arundel No more than 2
8 Baltimore County No more than 4
9 Harford County No more than 1
10 Howard No more than 2
  Carroll  
11 Frederick No more than 1
  Washington  
12 Allegany No more than 1
  Garrett  
At-Large   No more than 15

 

b. All officers of the Association are At-Large Directors.

c. Every past president of the Association in good standing shall be a member of the Board of and shall hold membership thereon regardless of any limitation or geographic location or total membership contained in this section.

d. The President of the Association may appoint up to three (3) members of the Association as at-large members of the Board of Directors. The terms of service of said appointees shall coincide with the term of said President.

Section 3 Powers:

The Board of Directors shall manage the business and affairs of this Association. Any act of a majority of the voting Directors present at a meeting shall be the act of the Board of Directors.

Section 4 Term of Office:

Members of the Board of Directors shall be elected at the regular annual meeting of the Association and hold office for a period of one (1) year commencing with their election at said meeting.

Section 5 Limitation of Service:

There shall be no limitation on continued service.

Section 6 Absence:

A Director shall not accept office unless that person attends all meetings called, in the absence of illness, personal problems or official court business. In any event, that person may be officially excused by the President, on his or her designee, before his or her required attendance. Failure to be officially excused twice during that Person's term shall be an automatic forfeiture of the office and the unexpired term shall be filled by majority vote of the Board of Directors at the
next lawfully called meeting. A request for reinstatement may be made either by the Director deemed to have resigned or by another Director.

Section 7 Forfeiture:

When a seat on the Board of Directors has been declared vacant, the following procedures shall govern if the Board member contests his or her removal:

a. The Secretary shall notify that person of forfeiture of his or her seat on the Board of Directors. A response and request for personal appearance must be submitted to the Headquarters office within thirty (30) days of the date the notice was mailed.

b. Copies of the response shall be provided to all members of the Board of Directors.

c. The Board of Directors may vote to reinstate a Board Member by a majority vote of those in attendance at the next regular meeting of the Board of Directors.

d. The unexpired term of a Board member who is not reinstated shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

Section 8 Quorum:

At each meeting of the Board of Directors, a majority of the voting members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Section 9 Organization:

The President of the Association shall serve as chairman of the meetings of the Board of Directors. In the absence of the President, the President-elect shall serve as chairman. The Secretary of the Association shall act as Secretary of the Board of Directors.

Section 10 Meetings:

The Board of Directors shall meet immediately after the annual meeting of the Association at the site of the annual meeting and on the same day. There shall be at least three (3) regular meetings during the year at a location determined by the President. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Board of Directors upon consent as to time and place by a majority of the members of the Board.

Section II Removal:

A Director may be removed for cause by a vote of three quarters (3/4) of the members of the Board of Directors.

Article VI
Nominations

Section I Nominating Committee:

In accordance with Article XII, the President shall appoint a Nominating Committee consisting of at least ten (10) regular members of the Association, seven (7) of whom shall not be officers of the Association, and shall designate from among them a chairman. The duty of the Nominating Committee shall be to nominate candidates for election as Directors and Officers at the next meeting of the Association.

Section 2 Notice:

The duty of the Nominating Committee is to notify the Secretary in writing at least thirty (30) days before the date of the annual meeting of the Association the names of such candidates. The Secretary shall mail a copy of a list of such candidates to the last recorded address of each member simultaneously with the notice of the meeting.

Section 3 Other Nominations:

Any regular member of the Association qualified to vote may nominate any other regular member qualified to hold office by forwarding to the Secretary a written petition for such nominations signed by at least fifteen (15) regular members in good standing no later than fifteen (15) days prior to the said annual business meeting. The Secretary shall read to the membership at the annual meeting the names of those nominated.

Section 4 Voting:

At the annual business meeting and after compliance with the preceding Sections of this Article, Officers and Directors shall be elected by a majority vote by secret ballot of regular members, in good standing, and voting.

Article VII
Meetings

Section I Time and Place:

The annual meetings of the Association shall be held at such time and place as may be fixed by the Board of Directors.

a. A semi-annual meeting may be held when in the opinion of the President of the Board of Directors the press of business requires such a meeting for discussion of Association business or to forward the educational objective of the Association. The meeting shall be held at such time and place as may be fixed by the President with the concurrence of the Board of Directors.

Section 2 Quorum:

Those members who are eligible to vote and are present at any annual meeting of the Association shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at said meetings.

Section 3 Program:

The program of the annual meeting shall be devoted primarily to the furtherance of the aims, purposes and objectives of the Association.

Article VIII
Fiscal year

The fiscal year of the Association shall begin on the first day of July and end on the last day of June in each year.

Article IX
Finances

Section 1 Annual Dues:

The annual dues of all classes of membership shall be set by the membership at a membership meeting by a majority vote.

Section 2 Payment of Dues:

a. New Members: Dues are payable upon tendering of an application for membership and its acceptance.

b. Old Members: Dues are payable in advance on or before the beginning of the annual meeting.

Article X
Dissolution of Assets

In the event this Association should dissolve, its physical assets shall be sold and along with its liquid assets, they shall be distributed to a charitable organization whose primary objectives are the furtherance of criminal justice. Said distribution shall be determined by a majority vote of the Board of Directors then in office.

Article XI
Amendments

Section 1 Notice:

These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the membership who are eligible to vote, present and voting at a
membership meeting, provided that copies of each proposed amendment shall have been mailed to all regular members at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting at which time such action proposed will be taken.

Section 2 Waiver:

The notice required by Section I of this Article can be waived by the unanimous vote of those members present and voting at such meeting.

Article XII
Vacancies

In the event that a designated vacancy is not filled or an Officer, Director, Officer-Elect or Director-Elect is incapable of serving, and will remain so for a substantial period of his or her term, such person shall be deemed to have vacated his or her office. The determination of said vacancy shall be made by a majority of the voting members of the Board of Directors actually present at a scheduled meeting. Upon such determination, the vacancy so created shall be filled in accordance with this Article, subject to the provisions of Article IV, Section 5 of these Bylaws.

Article XIII
Standing Committees

Standing Committees shall have a membership of no less than three (3) persons who are members in good standing and shall be appointed to such position by the President. Persons so appointed shall serve during the term of the President who appointed them. The standing committees shall include:

a. Continuing Legal Education Committee
b. Ethics and Rules Committee
c. Legislative Committee
d. Membership Committee
e. Judicial Committee
f. Public Relations Committee
g. Defense of Drunk Driving Committee
h. Federal Practice Committee

 

The Legislative Standing Committee shall be composed of not less than seven (7) members of the Association, appointed by the President. The membership shall include not more than two (2) persons from any political subdivision. The Committee shall be authorized to comment on legislation pending before the Maryland General Assembly unless two (2) members of the Committee dissent from the position proposed to be taken in which case the matter shall be referred to the Board of Directors for its judgment.
The President shall be authorized to create other committees not listed above and appoint members to serve on such committees.