Only the Chancellor and the Board of Governors can establish official policy of the Philadelphia Bar Association. The Association must act as one unified body. Adoption of official positions by the Board of Governors furthers this goal. The Board looks to its members, the Young Lawyers Division, Sections, Committees and Task Forces for information and recommendations on specific areas of concern, including supporting and opposing views, before setting official Association policies.
To bring a policy issue to the attention of the Board, you should prepare a formal resolution in the format described below. If the issue may be of concern to the Young Lawyers Division or other Sections or Committees, be sure to consult them regarding the substance of the issue and the proposed language of the resolution. The resolution must be approved by your Committee or Section, and it is recommended that you seek approval of the Young Lawyers Division, other Sections and Committees as appropriate. Section Chairs should be sure that the approval process is in conformity with Section Bylaws.
As noted below, it is up to the Cabinet to decide if your resolution will be placed on the Board agenda. At the Board of Governors meeting, you should present your resolution giving a full report on the issues involved, which other relevant Sections and Committees were consulted and whether there was opposition to the resolution. You may want to have representatives of majority and minority views available to make presentations to the Board.
If your resolution is adopted by the Board of Governors, it becomes the responsibility of the Chancellor, the Board of Governors, and/or those designated by the Chancellor to act on the official position of the Association.
Following appropriate authorization by the Board or the Chancellor, Chairs or members of Sections or Committees may be designated to express the Association's official position in public statements, before legislative bodies, and before government agencies. This is discussed with greater specificity in Article X, §1002 of the Association's Bylaws. Before making any public statement on any issue in your capacity as Chair or Co-Chair of a Division, Section or Committee, be sure to consult Article X, §1002 of the Association's Bylaws.
The Board of Governors generally meets on the last Thursday of each month, with the possible exception of August, to conduct Association business.
When absolutely necessary, the Board of Governors or the Cabinet can meet on very short notice -- in many instances by a telephone conference call -- to reach immediate decisions. When urgent matters arise, call the Executive Director, Chancellor, or Chair of the Board of Governors.
The Board of Governors makes every effort to consider all points of view on an issue before making a policy decision. To that end, the Cabinet will review resolutions and other matters in advance to determine whether an item should be placed on the Board's agenda for consideration. In cases where an issue affects the interests, or involves the expertise, of more than one Section or Committee, the Cabinet may decide to defer consideration of an issue by the Board until all appropriate Sections and/or Committees have an opportunity to review the issue.
If the Cabinet approves your item for the Board's agenda, be sure that Staff Counsel at the Bar Association has received the version of the resolution approved by the Cabinet, as well as ancillary materials, for distribution to members of the Board of Governors prior to the scheduled Board meeting.
Resolutions are written statements which express the official position of the Philadelphia Bar Association once approved by the Board of Governors. Resolutions can come from the Young Lawyers Division, Sections, Committees, Ad Hoc Committees, Task Forces, the Cabinet, members or from the Board of Governors itself.
All resolutions adopted by the Board of Governors will be posted on the Association's website at: www.philadelphiabar.org. To ensure a uniform appearance, the Board of Governors has adopted the following standard format for resolutions:
SHORT TITLE/HEADING DESCRIBING
THE RESOLUTION'S SUBJECT MATTER
[and so on throughout the recitation of WHEREAS clauses]
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED ...................................................
[OR , if additional RESOLVED clauses are to be included]
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED ............................................................;
[and so on throughout the additional RESOLVED clauses]
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: [leave blank for date adopted by the Board]
All Resolutions must be submitted for review to the Cabinet and unless emergency situations dictate otherwise.