Alternative Dispute Resolution Board By-Laws
The name of this Assembly shall be the Seattle University School of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Board.
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:
- Administer the In-house Competitions in Negotiation, Client Counseling, Representation in Mediation, and the 1L competition; send well prepared, qualifying winners of In-house competitions to regionals and nationals competitions; and Co-host an event for Conflict Resolution Day each October; and
- Organize ADR panels, workshops, and activities that advance the mission of the Board.
Membership and Voting Rights
The Board shall consist of a maximum of thirty-six students. Only Board members shall be allowed to vote in Board proceedings.
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 15th.
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.
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 semesters of law school remaining before graduation, excluding the current fall semester and any summer semesters remaining. 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 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.
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. All personal information (name, address, phone number, class year, and other explicitly identifying 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.
The Board shall have the discretion to interview any applicants scoring at least 50% of the points available on the application. 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 three other Board members for each interview. If an interviewing Board member has an emergency and cannot attend the interview, the interview may be conducted by the Vice President of Membership and two other Board Members.
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.
The scores for the application and interview for each candidate will be averaged by the Vice President of Membership and the Membership Committee. The application shall be weighted at 40% and the interview shall be weighted at 60%.
To be considered for the Board, the overall score must be above half the possible points. (If the highest possible score is 100, only numbers above 50 will be considered for membership).
After the interviewing and scoring process is complete, the Vice President of Membership, with the advice of the Executive Board, shall determine which candidates will be offered membership. The Vice President of Membership shall then send written notification to candidates being offered membership. The Vice President of Membership will also send written notification to candidates who are not being offered membership.
All candidates may have the opportunity to discuss their application and/or interview with the Vice President of Membership, provided they do so in a timely manner.
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:
Misconduct having a negative impact on the Board that is contrary to the mission of the Board;
Failure to attend regularly scheduled meetings without prior notification;
Failure to fulfill assigned duties or other duties as promulgated in these by-laws.
Member Removal Procedure
The Board member’s misconduct shall be reported to the Executive Board.
The President shall discretely and professionally ascertain the merits of the alleged non-compliance/misconduct.
The member shall then be notified of the non-compliance/misconduct and be required to meet with the President to discuss the incident and circumstances surrounding the report
If the President decides the report is meritorious, and assuming that the Board member wishes to remain a member of the Board, the President shall convene a Non-Compliance Review Panel. The Non-Compliance Review Panel shall:
- Be comprised of the President and two executive board members who are removed from the incident and are not a personal friend of the non-compliant member.
- Invite the member to attend the Panel and provide an explanation for the non-compliance. If the member is unavailable to attend in person, they may submit a written explanation of the report.
- Make one of the following determinations:
- Accept the explanation for non-compliance, and the Board member remains a member of the Board; or
- Do not accept the explanation for non-compliance and immediately make recommendation to the entire Executive Board, based on the Non-Compliance Review Panel’s findings, that the Board member be removed. The Board member must be notified within 24 hours of the decision. If the Board member wishes to request reconsideration, they must do so within three days.
If the board member has requested reconsideration:
- The Board member may request a special hearing in front of the Executive Board. The hearing will take place in person, at the next scheduled Executive Board meeting. Immediately after the hearing, the Executive Board must vote on whether to accept the explanation provided by the Board member. The Board member may not be present for the vote. The Board member shall be notified of the Boards’ decision within 24 hours of the special hearing; or
- The Board member may submit a letter, in lieu of a special hearing, which will be submitted to the Executive Board. Once the letter has been submitted, the Executive Board members will review the letter in person, at the next scheduled Executive Board meeting (the President shall distribute the letter to the Executive Board members upon submission and read the letter at the next, in-person Executive Board meeting). Immediately after the letter is reviewed and heard by all Executive Board members, the Executive Board must vote on whether to accept the explanation provided by the Board member. The Board member may not be present for the vote. The Board member shall be notified of the Boards’ decision within 24 hours of the vote being taken.
The faculty advisor shall be sent written notification of the Board’s decision.
If the Board member requests a special hearing before the Board, the meeting of the Board shall be no later than two weeks after the date the decision is made.
In no event shall the Board member be denied his or her right to comment before the Board if the Board member so requests.
Procedures for the special hearing, if requested by the Board member, are as follows:
- At least fifty-one percent (51%) of the entire Executive Board must be present for the member’s removal to be discussed.
- 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.
- If the Board member fails to appear at this hearing, such failure shall be deemed appropriate to justify removal of the Board member.
- General discussion and questions will be allowed after the presentations.
- After the presentations, general discussion, and questions, a vote for removal will be taken. One-hundred percent (100%) of the represented Executive Board shall vote. The Board member may not be present for the vote.
- If fifty-one percent (51%) of the represented Executive 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.
Participation in Competitions
Members may compete in all four in-house competitions provided that such members have notified the Vice President of In-house Competitions by the competition sign up deadline of their intention to compete. There must be a sufficient number of noncompeting members available to carry out the in-house competition responsibilities before the Board member will be allowed to compete.
If multiple teams including Board members sign up to compete and there are insufficient Board members to host the competition the team(s) including Board members with the latest registration date(s) will be requested to withdraw from the competition and assist with running the competition.
If a competition requires an even number of teams and there are an insufficient number of teams signed up to compete, Board members will be requested to form a team to compete.
Restrictions on Member-Competitors
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:
No member-competitor may procure, prepare, or otherwise come in contact with the problems of the particular competition; and
No member-competitor may enter the judges’ room or Board room on the day of the competition.
DUTIES OF BOARD MEMBERS
Duties, Commitments, and Responsibilities
Attendance at all mandatory meetings, trainings, and events;
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 5; or 2) the Board member is excused from administration by the Vice President of Intra-house Competitions and the Competition’s Co-chairs;
Full time students must participate on two committees; Evening students and Joint Degree students who work during the day and attend class in the evenings must participate on one committee. All members may join additional ad hoc committees when available;
Full time students must complete at least ten board hours per semester; Evening students and Joint Degree students who work during the day and attend class in the evenings must complete at least seven board hours per semester; and
Timely respond to all emails soliciting input, etc. A timely response shall mean within 24 hours of receiving the email. Board members should also notify their committee Vice President and/or the Board President of any extended periods of time where they will be out of contact.
Attendance at Mandatory Events
Attendance is mandatory at all Mandatory Events
Mandatory events include Executive Board meetings (for Executive Board Members), general Board meetings, Competitions, Panels, Board Hosted Events, and Trainings.
The Executive Board may determine to add additional Mandatory events. 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.
Excused Absences from Mandatory Events
It is the responsibility of the Board member in question to receive approval for an excused absence from the Vice-President of Membership.
Excused absences do not invoke administrative action, and include the following:
- Any obligation for which a Board member is being paid or receiving credit (48 hour prior notice required);
- Illness or emergency (notice must be given as soon as reasonably possible); or
- 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. However, the President may excuse a Board member from a meeting or mandatory event for school work or obligations if the member requests such accommodation a week before the relevant event.
If applicable, an excused Board member absent from any mandatory event shall sign the minutes of the event within one 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.
Unexcused Absences from Mandatory Events
A Board member is NOT allowed ANY unexcused absences per semester for mandatory events without repercussion or administrative action.
A Board member who accrues one unexcused absence per semester for mandatory events will receive a written reprimand.
A Board member who accrues two unexcused absences per semester for mandatory events will receive a written reprimand and will be required to write and deliver an apology and explanation to the VP of Membership.
A Board member who accrues three unexcused absences per semester for mandatory events be recommended for removal by the Vice President of Membership. Removal shall follow the process outlined in Article III section 2.
An unexcused Board member absent from any mandatory event shall sign the minutes of the event within one week to show he/she is apprised of Board business conducted at the missed event.
Further unexcused absences from a mandatory event will reinitiate the removal process.
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 Article IV Sections 2, 3, and 4.
The Vice-President of Membership shall also provide a copy of those policies to all new members of the Board during their first training.
If the Vice-President of Membership fails to provide such notice, the Executive Board may choose whether Article IV Section 2, 3, and 4 shall be enforceable that semester.
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 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 meeting.
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.
Resignation of Membership
A Board member may resign for any reason. Any Board member who wishes to withdraw should notify the President and the VP of Membership as soon as reasonably possible in writing.
Once a member has resigned, they are no longer subject to any of the benefits or requirements including member duties and policies, and access to the ADR Board room.
Once a member resigns, they will not publically portray themselves as a current member of the Board. If a former member is found to promote themselves as a current member, the President or Vice President of membership shall request they stop immediately and follow up with former member as necessary.
The Board shall be headed by an Executive Board. The Executive Board shall consist of the following officers:
A Vice-President of Membership;
A Vice-President of In-House Competitions;
A Vice-President Regional Competitions;
A Vice-President of Community Development;
A Vice-President of Communications;
A Vice-President of Judge Recruitment; and
Other Board Positions
The Board shall also have an Office Manager, a Social Chair, and one to three 1L PR representatives. These positions will be appointed by the Executive board and are nonvoting.
All officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these by-laws.
Election of Officers
Officers shall be elected by the third 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.
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.
Candidates for a Board officer position must make the Board aware of their intentions by submitting a letter of intent to the President at least one 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.
Incoming officers shall meet by May 31st to set the Annual Calendar for the upcoming year. Any room reservations necessary should be submitted to the school at this time.
The incoming officers may provide the Moot Court Board with the calendar once it is set to encourage cooperation between boards.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
The PRESIDENT shall preside over all meetings and oversee all projects of the Board. Official duties of the President include, but are not limited to, the following:
Call and head all board meetings;
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;
Act as the official Board representative at all University and community functions involving the Board;
Cast a tie-break vote on all Board issues;
Vote in elections;
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.
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.
Maintain and develop relationships between the Board and the WSBA ADR Section and local ADR community.
Maintain and develop relationships between the Board and the law school administration and faculty.
Execute the annual calendar of Board events.
Appoint an office manager to keep up the Board room and order supplies as necessary.
The Vice President of Membership
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 decisionmaking events. He/she assumes the duties of the President in the event that the President is unable to fulfill his/her duties. Official duties of the Vice President include, but are not limited to the following:
Assist with all administrative duties;
Participate on any ad-hoc committees that are created;
Organize Fall and Spring Membership Drives;
- Organize and oversee a membership committee that solicits applications for Membership in Fall and Spring and publicizes the Membership Drives; and
- Participate in all interviews of prospective new members;
Enforce Board obligations, including office hours, meeting attendance, and competition attendance;
Appoint Social Chair responsible for organizing one (or more) social function(s) each semester for Board members;
Appoint at least one 1L Public Relations Representative responsible for assisting in the Spring membership drive; and
Organize the Board’s annual picture in the spring.
The Vice President of In-house Competitions
The VICE PRESIDENT of IN-HOUSE COMPETITIONS shall be in charge of administering all in house competitions. Official duties of the Vice President of In-house Competitions include, but are not limited to, the following:
Act as the Board contact to Competitors;
Delegate committee members the jobs for the Negotiation, Client Counseling, Meditation, and 1L In-House Competitions.
Provide guidance and ensure that the tasks for competitions are on track and proceeding appropriately as described on the DR Board TWEN site.
Coordinate with the Vice President of Communication to send all competition packets and other communications to judges.
The Vice President of Regional Competitions
The VICE PRESIDENT of REGIONAL COMPETITIONS shall be in charge of administering all regional competitions and is responsible for all communications between competitors and the board regarding all aspects of the Regional competitions. Official duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
Act as the Board contact to the ABA for the Regional competitions;
Forward competition entries to the sponsor of the Regional competitions;
Procure signed Agreements to Compete from In–House competition winners who would like to participate in the Regional competitions;
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;
Forward problem packets and communications from the Faculty Advisor and the ABA to the Student-Coaches and Regional Competitors; and
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.
The Vice President of Community Development
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:
Facilitate the organization and planning of an event for Conflict Resolution (CR) Day.
Maintain a relationship with the Dean’s office regarding CR Day; and
Work with other student organizations to expose students to dispute resolution practices in various fields of law.
Supervise any mediation or other ADR trainings held by the Board.
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.
- The Vice President of Community Development will notify the Faculty Advisor of all upcoming programming, and shall confer with them regarding administrative policies.
The Vice President of Communications
The VICE-PRESIDENT of COMMUNICATIONS shall be in charge of maintaining all Board records. Official duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
Draft all correspondence on behalf of the Board;
Record and distribute meeting minutes to Board members;
Maintain the files and records of the Board;
Maintain correspondence with all alumni to ensure current contact information is accurate and on record;
Communicate with SU’s IT Department for maintenance of board room equipment and changes to the e-mail distribution lists;
May appoint a webmaster to manage the Board website and judge database and;
Advertise all Board competitions via email, facebook, posters and other means to the SU Community.
The Vice President of Judge Recruitment
The VICE-PRESIDENT of JUDGE RECRUITMENT shall be in charge of maintaining the judges database and recruiting assistance for competitions. Official duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
Maintain the Judge database for In-House competitions and lead judge recruitment for each competition;
Communicate with all volunteer Judges regarding competitions;
Maintain and develop relationships with attorneys in the Seattle community and;
Consistently and regularly assess Judge recruitment efforts and messaging for effectiveness.
The TREASURER shall be in charge of administering Board funds. Official duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
Prepare an Annual Budget by the end of September, unless otherwise notified by the Business Office. Consult with the faculty advisor as necessary;
Ensure receipt of monthly budget updates from the Business Office;
Oversee the payment of the Board’s debts;
Authorize purchases over the amount of twenty-five ($25) dollars;
Ensure adherence to school policies regarding expenditures. Consult with the business office regularly to maintain up to date records of all such policies;
Maintain an accurate account of distribution of funds; 8.7 Report the financial position of the Board as requested; and 8.8 Regularly checking the Boards’ mailbox.
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS
- The Executive Board shall meet every week either in person, via video chat or via an “email meeting” when school is in session. An email meeting is appropriate only if the Executive Board has little or no new information to discuss with the Board.
- Special meetings may be called by the President with at least 48 hours’ notice to all members. Regular attendance requirements will apply to special meetings. Emergency meetings may be called by the President with 24 hours’ notice to all members. Regular attendance requirements will not apply to emergency meetings.
- Meetings may be scheduled by any two members upon notice to the President.
- Members unable to attend a meeting shall give notice at least one day in advance of the meeting to the Vice-President of Membership.
- A quorum shall consist of a simple majority (50% + 1) of the Executive 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. There must be a quorum for the Executive Board to call and take a vote.
AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
- The bylaws shall be amended only upon approval of at least two-thirds of the Board.
- The bylaws shall be reviewed at least every two 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 headed by the President and composed of at least two other members to draft the proposed amendment(s).
- A copy of the proposed amendment(s) shall be distributed to all Board members one week in advance of voting on the proposed change(s).
- 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.
- The Faculty Advisor shall be invited to be present at every meeting.
- The Faculty Advisor shall advise the Board and assist the Student-Coaches with coaching and training the SU Regional Teams.
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
- The agenda shall be disseminated at least one day in advance of any meeting for each item requiring a membership vote.
- The Board shall dispense with the reading of the previous meeting’s minutes.
- All members of the Board shall read these bylaws and agree to abide by them.
- 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 the Vice President of Inhouse Competitions. Sanctions include, but are not limited to, suspension of participation from future competitions.