Sections are authorized by Article X of the Constitution and are governed by Article XI of the Bylaws of the South Carolina Bar. Reference is also made to Article VI of the Bylaws pertaining to representation of the Bar.
Sections are created in order to provide members of the Bar who have specialized interest with a structured forum in which to pursue such specialized interests consonant with the interests and obligations of the Bar. While sections are semi-‐autonomous entities, they are a part of the Bar. Their programs and activities must comply with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Bar, and should be conducted to further purposes of the Bar and improve its services to the profession and to the public.
3.1 When members of the Bar have an interest in formation of a section, normally a request is made that a standing committee be created. The Board of Governors usually authorizes the President to appoint a standing committee. (If a committee of an existing section has an interest in formation of a separate section, appointment of another committee is not desirable.)
3.2 If the committee determines that there is sufficient interest in the formation of a section, the committee should draft proposed bylaws and submit them to the Board of Governors.
3.3 If the Board of Governors determines that there is sufficient interest and approves the creation of the section, it will authorize the name of the proposed section to appear on license fee notices with those of existing sections for the collection of section dues.
3.4 If a least 70 members of the Bar pay dues for the proposed section, the proposed bylaws will be submitted to the House of Delegates at its next meeting. Upon approval of the proposed bylaws by the House of Delegates, the section will be created and organization should be completed.
3.5 If less than 70 members pay dues for the proposed section, the dues will be refunded and the proposed bylaws will not be submitted to the House of Delegates.
In drafting proposed section bylaws draftors may obtain from the Bar staff existing section bylaws. Variances from existing bylaws will be allowed because of special needs but should be kept to a minimum.
5.1 Since no committees are usually appointed in areas of interest of existing sections, each section is expected to perform the functions of a standing committee as to its area of interest.
5.2 Sections in areas of substantive law shall: a) cooperate in the continuing education of the members of the Bar; b) cooperate in the development of the legislative program of the Bar; c) systematically inform the sections members of the activities of the section; and d) strive to obtain the involvement of the section members in the activities of the section.
6.1 In accordance with its bylaws, the section will meet at such times and places determined by the council.
6.2 Each year the initial meeting of a section council shall be held before the end of August unless in the discretion of the chair and the Executive Director such meeting is unnecessary. The time and place of other meetings shall be determined by the chair. Before calling a meeting, the section chair should coordinate with the Director of Membership Services or Section Liaison of the Bar staff for scheduling and notification of members.
6.3 There is no reimbursement from the Bar or any of its sections for attendance at section meetings or section council meetings.
6.4 By action of the Board of Governors, there will be no smoking during meetings held in the Bar building or Conference Center.
VII. MINUTES AND REPORTS
7.1 Minutes shall be kept of all section meetings and section council meetings, and a copy of such minutes shall be promptly delivered to the Executive Director and to each member of the section council.
7.2 On or before September 1st, the chair shall furnish the Executive Director a report of the goals and objectives of the section for year. The report may, in the discretion of the Executive Director, be published in a Bar publication.
7.3 Each section shall no later than June 1st, file with the Executive Director a concise report summarizing the activities of the current year, unless the Executive Director indicates the report need not be filed.
7.4 Whenever a section requests action by the Board of Governors, the requested action shall be reflected in the minutes and be set forth in a letter or memorandum accompanying the minutes of the meeting at which the action was authorized directed to the Board of Governors in care of the Executive Director.
VIII. COOPERATION WITH OTHER SECTIONS AND COMMITTEES
8.1 Cooperation with and respect for other sections and committees is expected. Should conflicts appear in areas of responsibility or in purposes or goals, such conflicts should be brought promptly to the attention of the President.
8.2 All sections should extend full cooperation to the Bar entity charged with legislative liaison and the Government Affairs Director in connection with any legislative program or activity, including early communication of legislative interests, notification of meetings at which proposed legislative activities will be discussed, and furnishing a brief memorandum of the issues, reason for action, and impact that the proposed legislation will have or reason for supporting or opposing pending legislation.
8.3 All continuing legal education programs of the Bar must be approved and sponsored by the Continuing Legal Education Committee. This is necessary to avoid duplication of effort, scheduling conflicts and unreasonable costs, and to maintain the high standards of the Bar and the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. All sections are encouraged to suggest subjects for CLE programs and to assist in planning, preparation, and execution of such programs. For more detailed information regarding section CLE opportunities see the “South Carolina Bar CLE Committee Mission Statement and Policy for Co-‐Sponsored Programs.”
IX. POLICY ON SEMINARS AT CONVENTION
a) Each Section of the South Carolina Bar shall have the option of conducting a seminar of up to three hours duration at the Convention of the South Carolina Bar on a subject or subjects appropriate to the interests of the Section, subject only to the availability of adequate meeting space at the facility where the Convention is held.
b) It is not mandatory that a section conduct a seminar at each Convention, but Sections are encouraged to do so.
c) Where it is in the interest of two or more Sections to conduct a joint seminar on a subject or subjects of mutual interest, such joint seminars, not to exceed six (6) hours duration, are both permitted and encouraged.
d) Sections are encouraged to have a member(s) of the South Carolina Judiciary, the Legislature and faculty of the USC and Charleston Schools of Law as a speaker(s) for Section Seminars where appropriate.
9.2 COORDINATION AND ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT
a) Each Section Chair-‐Elect shall, by March 1 of each year, designate a member of that Section to serve as the Continuing Legal Education Chair of the Section with primary responsibility for coordination of Section efforts in planning Section seminars at the Convention. If no person is designated, the Section Chair-‐Elect will be assumed to be, and continue to be, the Section CLE Chair from March 1 through February 28.
9.3 FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
a) Each Section of the South Carolina Bar shall be responsible for all direct costs associated with the conduct of Section Seminars at the Convention. Direct costs include costs such as:
1) Printing and binding of written materials; 2) Reimbursement of speaker expenses of travel, food and lodging; 3) 50% of all AV costs associated with their seminar; and 4) honoraria for speakers who are not members of the South Carolina Bar or members of the faculty of the University of South Carolina School of Law, the Charleston School of Law or judiciary.
b) The Convention, in the discretion and approval of the Conventions Committee and on a space-‐available basis, may host up to two (2) stand-alone committee-sponsored seminars of no more than three (3) hours duration each. The Conventions Director or Coordinator will provide a Committee Chair-Elect an Election-to-Conduct form when requested but no later than May 1. Since committees do not have budgets, financial support, up to a pre-established limit, will be borne by the Convention upon submission and approval of expenses to the CLE Director.
c) Each Section will be responsible for the cost incurred when a speaker requires printing of any materials that are distributed at its CLE Convention Seminar.
9.4 SPEAKER REIMBURSEMENT AND HONORARIA
a) The reimbursement of expenses and the payment of honoraria, if any, to speakers (who are not exclusively moderators) shall be in accordance with paragraphs b) and c) below.
b) Speakers who are not members of the South Carolina Bar or the faculty of the University of South Carolina School of Law or the Charleston School of Law may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with their presentation at a Section Seminar. Any honorarium must be submitted at least 45 days prior to the start of the Convention to the Conventions Director. In the interest of economy it is suggested that an honoraria not be offered unless requested by a prospective speaker.
c) Speakers who are members of the South Carolina Bar or members of the faculty of the University of South Carolina School of Law or Charleston School of Law may not be paid an honoraria but shall be given a Convention registration discounted by 25% or complimentary registration for the seminar at which they speak. Additionally, up to six (6) speakers may be reimbursed by the Section(s) for reasonable expenses with the Section Chairman’s approval. The Conventions Committee may reimburse up to four (4) speakers per stand-alone Committee Seminar, with a maximum of two (2) stand-alone Committee Seminars. If a Section and a Committee opt to conduct a joint seminar, the total number of speakers may not exceed six (6) speakers for that joint seminar and the Section shall bear the expense. Such reimbursable expenses may include:
1) Travel by private automobile at the standard rate of the South Carolina Bar;
2) Travel by air for speakers only at the coach rate;
3) Accommodations at a designated hotel for speaker(s);
4) Meals for speaker except for meals for which complimentary tickets are provided; in-state up to a maximum of $50 for one day; out-of-state up to $50 per day for two (2) days. Receipts must accompany reimbursement requests; and
5) Tips, parking and such other reimbursable expenses as are consistent with Bar policy.
d) Financial arrangements not specifically covered by paragraphs b) and c) above shall not be honored unless they have been expressly authorized in writing by the Section Chair and approved by the Executive Director of the Bar prior to the Convention as appropriate. Section Chairs/Section CLE Chairs are encouraged to consult with the Conventions Director concerning the reasonableness of any such arrangements.
9.5 ASSISTANCE FOR NEW SECTIONS
As an aid to new Sections of the South Carolina Bar, the direct costs of Section Seminars at the Convention for the first two years shall be the responsibility of the Bar (not the Convention) rather than the Section. After a Section has been in existence for two years, the Section shall be responsible for all direct costs as set forth in paragraph III. Direct costs shall be discussed by the Section Chair/Section CLE Chair with the Conventions Director and approved by the Executive Director of the Bar prior to finalizing the program.
9.6 EFFECTIVE DATE
This revised policy shall supersede all other policies regarding seminars at the Convention and be effective commencing with the 2015 Convention.
10.1 Section dues will be collected and held by the Bar, which shall be accountable to each section for its funds. Any other funds collected by a section from whatever source shall be deposited with the Bar.
10.2 All section funds will be kept in a Bar account. Disbursement of such funds will be by Bar check drawn upon order of the chair of the section except that any disbursement other than normal operational expenses must be approved by the Board of Governors. The Treasurer of the Bar will make a monthly report of the funds of each section.
10.3 On April 1st of each year, each section shall transfer 40% of all annual dues collected for that year to the Bar general fund in order to reimburse the Bar for services furnished in support of the section.
10.4 After the above transfer have been accomplished, the financial status of each section will be examined to determine whether or not it has accumulated an amount equal to more than five (5) times its then current annual dues income. If excessive funds have been accumulated, they will be transferred to the general fund of the Bar in accordance with Section 11.4 of the Bylaws of the Bar.
XI. ASSISTANCE BY STAFF
The staff of the Bar, headed by the Executive Director, will furnish sections assistance including but not limited to the following:
a) Preparing and disseminating notices, minutes, etc.;
b) Obtaining and arranging meeting places;
c) Setting up, printing, and mailing section newsletters;
d) Furnishing general information and amplifying policy;
e) Assisting in obtaining resource material;
f) Clarifying and coordinating with activities of other sections and committees; and
g) Retaining and accounting for all section funds.
XII. POLICIES AND POSITIONS
Since all policies and positions of the Bar are established by the House of Delegates or Board of Governors, no section has authority to establish, announce or espouse any policy or position other than those established by the House or Board. Sections may, and are encouraged to, recommend policies and positions to the Board of Governors and House of Delegates.