Houston Area Law Librarians
NAME AND PURPOSE
The name of the corporation is the Houston Area Law librarians (HALL), a
chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries.
This corporation is organized exclusively as a business league described in
section 501(c)(6) and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal
Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the
“Code”), or corresponding provisions hereinafter in effect. More specifically the
corporation is created to promote librarianship, to develop and increase the usefulness
of law libraries, to cultivate the science of law librarianship, and to foster a
spirit of cooperation among members of the profession. The corporation shall be operated
exclusively for such purposes; no part of its net earnings shall inure to the benefit
of any private member, director or individual.
Membership in the Houston Area Law Librarians shall be open to all persons interested
in law librarianship or in law libraries.
2.2 Classification of Membership
There shall be seven classes of membership.
(a) Individual Members. Any person located in Houston or its vicinity who pays
dues from personal funds and meets at least one of the following requirements:
(i) Any person holding a master’s degree in library/information science
working in a law library, a state library, or a general library having a separately
maintained law section.
(ii) Any person holding a master’s degree in library/information science
providing professional librarian services to law libraries.
(iii) Any person currently, or within
the last seven years, employed at least 30% of full time to perform
professional work, at either, a law library, a state library or a general library
having a separately maintained law section; or an individual or organization
providing professional librarian services to law libraries. Individual
memberships move with the member upon any move or change of employment provided the
member notifies the HALL Treasurer of the change.
((b) Institutional Members. This category of membership shall be available as
provided in this paragraph to individuals who are employed by any law library,
state library, or institution having a separately maintained law library
located in Houston or its vicinity. The institution shall pay for and own the
membership of professional staff members it designates as members. Professional
staff members must meet the same requirements as individual members to be
eligible under this category. If institutional members leave their place of employment,
the membership remains with the institutional position and successor employees
of the institution if the institution notifies the HALL Treasurer of the
(c) Individual Associate Members. This category of membership shall be available as provided in this paragraph to
individuals who are employed by any person who is not directly engaged in law
librarianship but has an interest in the field through occupation or
profession, such as publishers and vendors. Any person who is not eligible
under any other category. This includes any person not located in Houston
or its vicinity. Individual associate memberships move with the member upon any
more move or change of employment provided the member notifies the HALL Treasurer of the change.
Institutional Associate Members. Any institution meeting at least one of the
(i) Any institution that
is not directly engaged in law librarianship but has an interest in the field,
such as publishers and vendors.
(ii) Any institution not
eligible under any other category. This includes any institution not located in
Houston or its vicinity.
(iii) Any law library, state library, or institution having a
separately maintained law library that is paying for nonprofessional staff
members who do not qualify under the category
for institutional members. A law library, state library or institution having
a separately maintained law library may have staff members that qualify under the
category as well as the institutional associate membership category. The institution shall
pay or and own the membership of
associate members it designates as members. If institutional members leave their
place of employment, the membership remains with the institutional position and successor
employees if the institution notifies the HALL Treasurer of the change.
(e) Retired Members. Any person located in Houston or its vicinity and meeting
the following requirements:
(i) Retired from library work.
(ii) Was an individual or designated institutional member for a total of more than ten consecutive years in
HALL or AALL, or any other chapter of AALL. Membership dues would be half the amount of the regular dues.
(f) Student Members. Any person located
in Houston or its vicinity; and meeting the following requirements:
(i) Enrolled at least half-time in a degree program related to law
(ii) Not employed more than half-time in a library position.
(Membership in this category is limited to
five consecutive years.)
(g) Life Members. The members entitled to vote may, by a vote of two-thirds
(2/3) of the majority, elect to life membership those
who have been members of a law firm, corporation, court, government, academic
institution or government library for at least five years, but who have retired
from active library work. Membership dues would be free, once designated Life
Member. A Life Member can be nominated by any active member of HALL.
2.3 Rights and Privileges
All rights and privileges are restricted to members in good standing. The right
to vote shall be restricted to individual, institutional, retired, student,
and life members. The right to hold office shall be restricted to
individual, institutional, retired, and life members.
The right to serve on committees
and/or belong to special interest sections shall be restricted to members in any category,
living in Houston or its vicinity. Every member is entitled to receive the HALL Newsletter
and the HALL Membership Directory.
A member’s classification of membership may change if the member changes jobs, job duties and/or education
credentials. Please notify the HALL Treasurer of the change. The membership committee shall have the authority to assign membership classification. Appeals from its
decisions may be made to the HALL Board.
Membership in the Houston Area Law Librarians or participation in any activity
of the Houston Area Law
Librarians shall not be abridged or denied to any individual on account of race, color, religion, gender,
age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
2.5 Non-Liability of Members
The members of the corporation shall not be personally liable for the debts, liabilities or obligations of the
Annual dues for each class of membership shall be set by the Board of Directors and ratified by a majority of those
members present and voting at the annual business
meeting. Those dues shall be payable on or before June 1. A member, being in arrears on September 1, after having been duly notified, shall be
delinquent and not in good
standing, and shall be suspended. Suspended members may be reinstated at any time upon full
payment of the current year’s dues.
MEETINGS OF MEMBERS
4.1 Annual Business Meeting
The annual business meeting of the members shall be held at such date and at
such time as shall be designated
from time to time by the Board of Directors. At this time the members shall elect a board of
directors and transact such other business as may
properly be brought before the meeting.
4.2 Regular Meetings
In addition to the annual business meeting, there shall be no fewer than three
other members’ meetings each year.
4.3 Special Meetings
Special meetings of the members for any purpose or purposes shall be called by the president at the request of the Board of Directors or at the request in writing
of at least 25 percent of the members entitled to vote. A request for a special
meeting shall state the purpose or purposes of the proposed meeting, and business transacted at any special meeting of members shall be limited to the purposes stated in the notice.
4.4 Supervising Members’ Meetings
The president, and in his/her absence the vice-president/president-elect, shall
call members’ meetings to order, and shall act as chairperson of such meetings, and the secretary of the corporation shall act as secretary of all such meetings,
but in the absence of the secretary the chairperson may appoint any person present to act as secretary of the meeting.
Twenty-five percent of members entitled to vote shall constitute a quorum at
all members’ meetings for the transaction of business, except as otherwise provided by statute or by the articles of incorporation. If, however, a quorum shall not
be present at any meeting of the members, the members entitled to vote thereat
shall have the power to adjourn the meeting from time to time, without notice other
than announcement at the meeting,
until a quorum shall be present. At such adjournment
meeting, provided a quorum shall be present, any business may be transacted which might have been transacted if the meeting had been held in accordance with the original notice
If a quorum is present at any meeting, the vote of the majority of members
shall decide any question brought
before such meeting, unless the question is one of which a different vote is required
by law or by the articles of incorporation or elsewhere
in these by-laws. Each active member in good standing shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted
to a vote at a members’ meeting.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
5.1 Number and Tenure
The direction and management of the affairs of the corporation, and the control and disposition of its properties and
funds, shall be vested in a Board of Directors (the “Board”) which shall consist of not less than five persons. Until changed
by amendment to these by-laws,
the number of directors shall be seven, consisting of the president,
vice-president/president-elect, past-president, secretary, treasurer, and two at-large members.
At the first, and each succeeding annual business meeting, there shall be
elections for the following
positions: vice-president/president-elect, treasurer, secretary, and two at-large memberships. The terms of
the treasurer, secretary, and the two at-large memberships shall be one year.
The term and status of the vice-president/president-elect
shall be: in the first year, vice-president/president-elect;
in the second year, president; in the third year, past-president. Thus, a person elected
to the position of vice-president/president-elect shall serve on the Board for three
A vacancy shall be declared in any seat on the Board upon the death or
resignation of the occupant
thereof, or upon the disability of any occupant rendering him permanently incapable of participating
in the management and affairs of the corporation.
In the event that a vacancy occurs in the office of the president, the vice-president/president-elect
shall automatically assume the office of the president for the remainder of the term plus one
year, and a special election shall be held to elect
a new vice-president/president-elect to fill
the vacancy for the remainder of the term
plus one year. In the event that a vacancy occurs in the office of the vice-president/president-elect, a special election shall be held to elect a new
vice-president/president-elect to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the
In the event that a vacancy occurs in the office of the secretary or the office
of the treasurer, the Board shall appoint a successor for the remainder of the
term. In the event that a vacancy occurs in an at-large
membership of the Board, the Board shall appoint
a successor for the remainder of the term.
5.3 General Elections
(a) General elections shall be held at the annual business meeting.
(b) The president shall appoint a nominations committee consisting of three members
in good standing. No member of the nominations committee shall be an officer of the Houston Area Law
Librarians or a candidate for office. The nominations committee shall present a single slate consisting of candidates for vice-president/president-elect,
secretary, treasurer, and two members-at-large. Nominations from the floor will
be taken during the course of the annual business meeting.
(c) No member may hold more than one position on the Board of Directors at a
time. No member may be elected to the same position on the Board of Directors for more than three consecutive terms.
The president and vice-president/president-elect
must be members in good standing of the American Association of Law Libraries.
(d) The Directors so elected shall assume their positions on the Board of Directors
at the conclusion of such meeting, and shall hold such office until their successors
are elected and qualify.
5.4 Special Elections
In the event of a vacancy under Article 5.2 of the by-laws which requires an
election to fill the vacancy, a
special meeting shall be called within 60 days of such vacancy. Such election shall observe the procedures established in Article 5.3 of the
5.5 Meetings of the Board
Meetings of the Board shall be held whenever called by the president of the corporation. In no event shall there
be fewer than four such meetings called and convened
between members’ annual business meetings.
5.6 Supervision of Board Meetings
The president, and in his/her absence the vice-president/president-elect, shall
call meetings of the Board to order, and shall act as chairperson of such
meetings, and the secretary of the corporation shall act
as secretary of all such meetings, but in the
absence of the secretary the chairperson may appoint any person present to act as secretary of the meeting.
5.7 Quorum for Meetings
A majority of the Directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of
business at all meetings convened
according to these by-laws.
Resolutions of the Board shall be adopted by a vote of the majority of its
The Board shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Houston Area Law
Librarians. It shall have immediate charge, management and control of the
activities and business affairs
of the corporation, and shall have full power in the intervals between the meetings of members to do any and all things in relation to the
affairs of the corporation. Such
powers include, but are not limited to, the ability to incur indebtedness, solicit funding, make
public statements, issue public writings, and establish and maintain relations with other organizations.
5.10 Conduct of Business
The Board of Directors may conduct business by electronic correspondence. A
vote taken by e-mail, telephone, or other electronic means shall become the act
of the Board of Directors upon
the approval of a majority of the members of the Board of Directors. Correspondence, including
electronic correspondence which includes preliminary
debate or discussion prior to a vote, shall be included in the minutes of the meeting at which the vote is ratified.
6.1 Enumeration of Officers
The officers of this corporation shall be the president,
vice-president/president-elect, secretary and treasurer.
The principal duties of the several officers are as follows:
(a) President. The president shall preside at all meetings of the members and Board.
He/she shall be the chief executive officer of the corporation, and, subject to the control of the Board, shall
have general charge and supervision of the administration of the affairs and business of the corporation. He/she shall see
that all orders and resolutions
of the Board are carried into effect. He/she shall sign and execute all legal documents and
instruments in the name of the corporation when authorized to do so by the Board and
shall perform such other duties as may be assigned
to him/her from time to time by the Board.
(b) Vice-President/President-Elect. The vice-president/president-elect shall discharge
the duties of the president in the event of his/her absence or disability for any cause whatever. He/she shall have charge of the continuing education programs and shall be the chairperson
of the continuing education committee for
a term to coincide with his/her term as vice-president/president-elect. He/she shall perform such additional duties
as may be prescribed from time to time by the
Board. At the expiration of the president’s term of office, the vice-president/president-elect shall
succeed to the office of the president for one one-year term.
(c) Secretary. The secretary shall have charge of the records and correspondence
of the corporation under the direction of the president, and shall be the custodian of the seal of the
corporation. He/she shall take and keep true minutes
of all meetings of the Board and of all meetings of the members. He/she shall discharge such other duties as
shall be assigned to him/her by the president
or the Board. In case of the absence or disability of the secretary, the Board may appoint an assistant
secretary to perform the duties of the secretary during such absence or disability.
(d) Treasurer. The treasurer shall keep account of all moneys, credits, and property
of the corporation which shall come into his/her hands and keep an accurate account of all moneys
received and discharged. Except as otherwise ordered
by the Board, he/she shall have the custody of all the funds and securities of the corporation and shall deposit
the same in such banks or depositories as the Board
shall designate. He/she shall keep proper books of account and other books showing at all times the amount of the funds and other property belonging to
the corporation, all of which
books shall be open at all times to the inspection of the Board. He/she shall also submit a
report of the accounts and financial condition of the corporation at each annual
business meeting. The treasurer shall, under the direction of the Board, disburse all
moneys and sign all checks and other instruments
drawn on or payable out of the funds of the corporation, which checks, however, may also be required by the
Board to be signed by the president or vice-president/president-elect,
or in case of their absence or disability, by
such member of the Board as the Board shall designate. In general, the treasurer shall perform all the duties
which are incident to the office of treasurer, subject to the Board, and shall
perform such additional duties as may be prescribed from time to time by the Board. The
treasurer shall give bond only if required by the Board. In case of absence or
disability of the treasurer, the Board may appoint an assistant treasurer to perform the
duties of the treasurer during such absence or disability.
6.3 Reimbursement of Expenses
Officers and directors shall serve without compensation, but shall be
reimbursed for expenditures incurred in the discharge of their duties.
INDEMNIFICATION OF DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES AND AGENTS
The corporation shall indemnify directors, officers, employees and agents of
the corporation to the fullest extent required by Article 1396-2.22A of the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act and may indemnify such person to the fullest extent permitted by Article 1396-2.22A of the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act,
subject in each case to restrictions, if any, in the corporation’s Articles of
Incorporation. The corporation shall have the power to purchase and maintain at its cost and expense insurance on behalf of such persons to the fullest extent permitted by Article 1396-2.22A of the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act.
In order to better serve the membership, the Houston Area Law Librarians shall have such committees as the Board may create or may be created by a majority vote of those present and voting at any members’ meeting of the corporation.
The corporation shall have the following standing committees: by-laws
committee; continuing education committee; membership committee; publications committee; nominations committee, placement committee; and scholarship/grants committee. The chairpersons of standing committees shall be appointed by the vice-president/president-elect for a term to coincide with his/her term as
president, except as otherwise provided in these by-laws.
8.3 Special Committees
Special committees shall be appointed by the Board for a stated period to
accomplish a specific purpose. At the end of that period, the continuation of
each special committee shall be decided upon by the Board.
8.4 Ex-Officio Members
The president shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except the
nominations committee. The vice-president/president-elect shall be an
ex-officio member of the continuing education committee. The secretary shall be an
ex-officio of the publications committee. The treasurer shall be an ex-officio member of
the membership committee.
No committee shall incur expenses on behalf of the corporation except as
authorized by the Board, nor shall any committee commit the corporation by any declaration of policy.
SPECIAL INTEREST SECTIONS
The Board may create a special interest section by approving a written petition of five members of the Houston Area Law Librarians. The petition shall state
the aims of the proposed special interest section. These aims may be modified
before final Board action, by
mutual agreement between the Board and the petitioners.
Membership of the Houston Area Law Librarians may affiliate with one or more such sections by attending that
special interest section’s meetings.
Each section shall have the authority to adopt its own by-laws which shall not conflict with those of the Houston
Area Law Librarians and shall be submitted to the
by-laws committee for review. When the Board, on advice of the committee, determines that a section by-law is in conflict with the by-laws of the Houston Area Law Librarians, the section shall
be directed by the Board to remedy said conflict
in accordance with the recommendation of the committee.
No section shall incur expenses on behalf of the corporation except as authorized by the Board, nor shall any
committee commit the corporation by any
declaration of policy.
The Board of Directors shall order the dissolution of a section when, after consultation with the section
officers, the Board believes the section’s usefulness has ceased.
These by-laws may be amended by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the corporation present at
any meeting of the members at which a quorum
is present, provided that such amendments have been submitted in writing to the chair prior to the vote.
Amendments to these by-laws shall be submitted to the American Association of Law
Libraries, Bylaws and Resolutions Committee by the president prior to adoption of
the membership of the Houston Area Law
11.1 Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Houston Area Law Librarians shall begin on June 1.
11.2 Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall
govern meetings of the Houston Area Law Librarians, so long as they are
consistent with the by-laws and
any other rules that the Houston Area Law Librarians may adopt.
Approved by the Board of Directors, Sept. 3, 2015
Updated: September 3, 2015