By-Laws

TRIAL ADVOCACY BOARD BY-LAWS

By-Laws of the Trial Advocacy Board

ARTICLE 1 – NAME

The name of the organization shall be the Trial Advocacy Board (hereafter called ‘TAB’).

ARTICLE II – PURPOSE

TAB is a student organization that serves the purpose of providing practical trial experience to the student body of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center. To accomplish this objective, TAB will 1) organize the Opening Statement Competition for 2Ls, 2) organize the Ira S. Flory Trial Competition in both the fall and spring semesters for student of the Law Center, 3) organize the Transactional Competition for students of the Law Center and 4) coordinate teams to send to interschool trial competitions.

ARTICLE III – TAB MEMBERSHIP

  1. TAB shall consist of at least twenty-four (24) voting members and a faculty advisor.
  2. All TAB members shall be students in good standing at Paul M. Hebert School of Law.
  3. Board members shall be chosen each spring in accordance with Article IX of these by-laws.
  4. Non-executive Board Members’ duties shall include:
    1. Mandatory attendance to the final rounds of all internal competitions unless the member provides a legitimate excuse cleared by the TAB President
    2. Good faith effort to procure one judge for a competition and to alert the internal competition VP that the member has procured the judge.
    3. Mandatory service on at least one executive committee
    4. Shall comply with the requirements set forth in VI(B)(3)(i)(8).

ARTICLE IV – TAB MEETINGS

  1. There shall be a minimum of one TAB meeting during each fall and spring semester, to be organized and planned by the President with the assistance of the Secretary.
  2. All Board Members must inform the President at least 24 hours prior to the meeting if he/she will not be present.
  3. The president shall provide all board members with an agenda at least twenty-four hours prior to the scheduled meeting. Other announcements and information shall be provided by via email.

ARTICLE V – VOTING

  1. All voting procedures, including, but not limited to, adoption of by-law amendments, Ethics Rules, procedures and scoring systems require a quorum of 2/3 of TAB’s voting members.
  2. Passage of a vote on any TAB action requires approval by 2/3 of the voting members present.
  3. The TAB President must be present at all votes.

ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES

  1. The responsibilities and duties of Officers and Committee Chairs are subject to general rules of committees, as acknowledged in the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised. Specific responsibilities and duties listed herein do not change the procedural rules of Roberts Rules. (e.g. The Flory Committee maintains the Flory Trial Rules, but if changes to these rules affect the rights or any board member or Flory participant, the Board must still approve the change.) The TAB Officers are:
  2. President
    1. Plans and presides at all Board meetings.
    2. Acts as Board’s liaison to faculty, administration, and other student groups.
    3. Administers the selection process for the next year’s Board.
    4. The President may not participate in any internal competition.
  3. Secretary
    1. Maintains minutes of Board meetings.
    2. Schedules and publishes time and location of Board meetings.
    3. Aids in publicizing all Board events.
    4. The Secretary shall serve as the Chairperson to the Internal Competitions Committee.
    5. The Secretary shall not compete in any internal competitions.
  4. Vice President of External Competition
    1. Along with the President and faculty advisor:
      1. Researches and maintains a list of all inter-school trial advocacy competitions.
      2. Establishes and maintains a try-out procedure for inter-school teams.
      3. Selects the inter-school competitions in which the Law School will enter.
      4. Supervises and provides assistance to trial advocacy teams.
    2. Once a team’s problem is released, the Vice President of External Competitions shall contact and meet with the team and outline the Vice President’s responsibilities and offer assistance should the team need it.
    3. Ensures each inter-school team has a coach, is meeting regularly, and is on pace to perform competitively at that team’s competition
    4. Compiles “Best Practice Report based on other school’s trial advocacy programs. This report will be used by the Trial Ad Board and the faculty advisor to improve our trial ad program.
    5. The VP of External Competitions shall assign each member of the TAB to an external team. The member shall then make reasonable, good faith efforts to assist their external team by serving as a woodshed witness, providing feedback on performance, and other similar assistance. However, no member shall have the duties contained in this subpart during a semester that the member competes as an attorney on an external team.
    6. The Vice President of External Competitions may not compete in any internal competition.
  5. Vice President of Internal Competitions
    1. Organizes both Flory Competitions with the assistance of the Internal Competition Committee.
    2. The Vice President of Internal Competitions many not compete in any internal competition.
    3. Organizes the Opening Statement competition with the assistance of the Internal Competition Committee.
    4. Organizes judging for Flory and Opening Statement.
    5. The Vice President of Internal Competitions shall be responsible for contacting judges and scheduling them for internal competitions.
  6. Other
    1. The board shall approve any and all new positions by a 2/3 vote.
  7. The TAB Committees are:
    1. External Competitions Committee
      1. Researches and maintains a list of all inter-school trial advocacy competitions.
      2. Establishes and maintains a try-out procedure for inter-school teams.
      3. Selects the inter-school competitions in which the Law School will enter.
      4. Supervises and provides assistance to trial advocacy teams.
      5. The external competition committee may not compete in the Fall Ira S. Flory Competition.
    2. Internal Competition Committees
      1. There shall be three Internal Competition Committees. One overseeing both Flory Competitions; one committee overseeing the Opening Statement and one overseeing the Transactional Competition.
      2. Supervises the scoring system and process.
      3. Ensures all participants follow the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility as adopted by the State of Louisiana and other Flory, Transactional or Opening Statement Rules.
      4. Establishes and maintains a procedure for investigating and sanctioning violations of Flory, Transactional or Opening Statement Rules
      5. Cannot compete in the competitions they are involved in supervising.
      6. In charge of the Ira S. Flory Trial Tournament, including finding a case packet, providing instruction, reserving space and giving awards.
      7. Writes thank you notes for all attorneys who have assisted with internal competitions.

ARTICLE VII – AMENDMENTS

  1. Board members must have 24 hours notice of any by-law amendments to be proposed at a board meeting.
  2. These bylaws may be amended at any meeting, provided that notice of said meeting was provided pursuant to Article IV herein.

ARTICLE VIII – ETHICS

  1. All attorney participants must follow the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility and other Flory Trial Rules.
  2. Complaints about attorney participants must be brought before the Flory Committee.
  3. Board Officers will determine the initial status of the situation. A hearing will be held and the accused will have an opportunity present his or her defense. Upon decision of the Ethics Committee and the Board Officers, the accused will have points deducted from his score. The Ethics Committee and the Board Officers may also recommend to the Board that the accused be disqualified from the present and/or future competitions.

ARTICLE IX – BOARD APPLICATION PROCESS

  1.     It is the responsibility of the current Board to choose the members of the Board for the following year. Applicants to the Board are second year students who have participated in at least one Flory or Transactional competition as an attorney and have requested to be considered for selection to the Board.
  2.     The number of board members shall be determined by the needs of the advocacy program.
  3.     In the spring semester, the faculty advisor to the Board shall rank the Applicants from Fall and Spring competitions according to the following system:
  4. Trial Score: The Applicant’s highest average score from the Flory or Transactional competition preliminary rounds is used. The scoring system shall be out of fifty (50) points.
  5. Participation Points: In order to ensure that the members of the Board have demonstrated a commitment to the Board and its purpose, a point shall be added to the Trial Score according to the following procedure:
  6. Intra-school Trial Participation: One point shall be added for each instance in which the Applicant participated as a witness in an intra-school competition.
  7. Inter-school Trial Participation: Five points shall be added if the Applicant participated in any inter-school trial advocacy competition team.  No more than ten (10) points shall be added for this section.
  8. Volunteering: One point shall be added for each Board event the Applicant has assisted the Board in hosting (e.g., bailiff in Board-hosted inter-school competition, timekeeper for Flory Trials) or otherwise participated in trial advocacy-related events (e.g.; coached a high school mock trial team).
  9. It is the applicant’s responsibility to report all participation points.

ARTICLE XI-FLORY TRIAL PROCEDURE

  1. Board Members may participate in trials provided that they have not prepared, seen, or discussed the Flory Case Packet for the trial in which they are participating.
  2. The Flory Trial Procedure is established by the Flory Trial Rules, as maintained by the Flory Committee.

ARTICLE XII – INTERSCHOOL COMPETITION TRY-OUT PROCEDURE

  1. Board Members may participate in try-outs if they do not participate in the judging or selection of team members.
  2. The President and inter-school chairs establish the inter-school competition try-out procedure each year with the cooperation of the competition coaches.

ARTICLE XIII– DISCIPLINARY RULES AND PROCEDURES

  1. The Trial Advocacy Board is an autonomous organization that reserves the right to handle any disciplinary matters that arise in relation to the Board’s competitions and other activities.
  2. All disciplinary matters arising from Board activities shall be handled by the Faculty Advisor and Executive Board.
  3. At any time, an Executive Board Officer and General Member may be impeached and removed, for improper activity or seriously inadequate performance of duties as an Executive Board Officer or General Member of the Trial Advocacy Board.
  4. Impeachment and removal of an Executive Board Officer or General Member shall be commenced by the submission of at least one petition signed by the Faculty Advisor. The impeachment petition must state the Executive Board Officer or General Members’ basis for seeking removal of the individual named therein.
  5. Within two weeks of submission of the impeachment petition, the Board must hold a meeting to conduct the removal vote on the impeached Executive Board Officer or Board Member.  This meeting shall require a two-thirds quorum of the Board.  The removal vote shall be conducted by secret ballot and a two-thirds majority of the Board present shall be sufficient for removing the impeached Executive Board Officer or General Member.
  6. In the event that an Executive Board Officer resigns or is removed from office under the procedures described in these By-laws, the Executive Board shall within two weeks arrange and conduct an election pursuant to the procedures set forth by the Trial Advocacy Board. All Members of the Trial Advocacy Board are bound by the Honor Code and the Louisiana State University Law Center Code of Student Professional Responsibility as provided in the Student Handbook (hereinafter “the Codes”).
  7. All Board Members are required to perform all designated and assigned tasks and responsibilities. Inactive Board membership shall not be tolerated. Any member who fails or refuses to fulfill his or her duties, or who is found to have violated the Codes, may be denied recognition of the academic honor designation at commencement exercises. Decisions to deny academic honor designation shall be made by the Faculty Advisor. Any member who is to be denied academic honor designation shall be notified in writing and permitted to dispute the proposed denial.

THESE BY-LAWS WERE ADOPTED BY VOTE OF THE 2014-2015 TRIAL ADVOCACY BOARD.