Rules and Bylaws

Article II—Nominations and Elections

Section 1. Committee on Nominations
The Board of Governors shall, not less than one hundred eighty (180) days prior to the annual meeting of the Bar, elect a Committee on Nominations in accordance with the procedures for the conduct of certain elections approved by the Board on January 9, 1979, as amended from time to time. The Committee on Nominations shall consist of seven active members of the District of Columbia Bar who are not officers or members of the Board of Governors. In addition to the President who is an ex officio member with full voting rights on all committees, the immediate past president shall be an ex officio member of the Nominations Committee with full voting rights. No active member of the Bar other than ex officio members shall be eligible to serve on such committee if he or she previously served as a member of the Committee on Nominations in any of the three prior years.

Section 2. Duties of Committee on Nominations
  • The Committee on Nominations shall nominate at least two and not more than three active members for each of the offices of President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer. In the event the office of President-Elect is vacant, then the Committee on Nominations shall nominate at least two and not more than three active members for the office of President.
  • The Committee on Nominations shall nominate at least two and not more than three active members for as many vacancies on the Board of Governors as are to be filled at the ensuing election.
  • The Committee on Nominations shall also nominate at least two more nominees than the total number of vacancies to be filled but not more than three for each vacancy (other than two positions which are filled by the President and President-Elect of the Bar) as delegates to the American Bar Association to be filled at the ensuing election. Candidates must be active members of the Bar and also be members of the American Bar Association. Without prejudice to the nomination of persons of any age for the other positions as delegates to the American Bar Association, to comply with Section 6.4 of the American Bar Association's Constitution which requires that at least one delegate be less than thirty-five (35) years old at the beginning of his or her term, the Committee on Nominations shall nominate at least two and not more than three active members of the Bar and those nominees shall be separately slotted on the ballot and shall run against each other for one delegate position. Candidates must be active members of the Bar and also be members of the American Bar Association.
  • Except for ex officio members of the Committee on Nominations (the President and President-Elect) who may be nominated for ABA delegate, the Committee on Nominations may not nominate any of its members for any position on the ballot.
  • The Committee on Nominations shall submit its report to the Secretary not less than ninety (90) days prior to the annual meeting.

Section 3. Notifying Members of Nominations
The Secretary shall, not later than eighty–five (85) days prior to the annual meeting, announce the list of such nominations.

Section 4. Other Nominations
Other nominations for any position except for the office of President and the office of President–Elect may be made by written petition signed by at least one–half of one percent of the active members of the District of Columbia Bar, based on the census of the Bar as of the first business day of the calendar year in which the petition is submitted.

Nominating petitions shall be filed with the Secretary not later than fourteen (14) calendar days after the announcement of nominations. Such petitions shall be submitted on the official form provided by the Bar and in accordance with procedures established by the Board of Governors. At a minimum, nominating petitions must contain handwritten, legible signatures accompanied by the District of Columbia Bar member identification numbers of the signers.


Section 5. Voting
Voting shall be by secret ballot. The Secretary shall prepare a formal ballot containing the names of all nominees, listed in an order to be determined by lot, for the respective positions and indicating the number to be voted for. The Board of Governors shall fix a time for the Election Board to review the votes, which time shall not be later than ten (10) days prior to the day of the annual meeting. At least twenty-five (25) days before the time set for reviewing the votes, the Secretary shall distribute to each active member in good standing a ballot, voting instructions and notification of the time set for reviewing the votes. The Secretary shall comply with such other rules as the Board of Governors may have adopted, including provisions to insure secrecy of the votes and to prevent use of the ballots by persons ineligible to vote. For votes to be valid, they must be received within the time set by the Board of Governors for reviewing the votes and must comply with the procedures set forth in the written instructions.

Section 6. Election Board
Not later than ninety (90) days prior to the annual meeting, the President, with the approval of the Board of Governors, shall appoint seven active members of the Bar who are not officers or members of the Board of Governors, or candidates for any position, to serve as the Election Board, and shall name one of the said seven to act as Chairperson thereof. No person shall be eligible to serve on the Election Board for more than three consecutive years. The Election Board shall have charge of reviewing and counting the votes. All questions regarding the voting and the validity of the votes shall be decided by the Election Board, subject to a written appeal to the Board of Governors, whose decision shall be final. There shall be a meeting of the Board of Governors on or before the day of the annual meeting after the counting of the votes to consider appeals, if any, from decisions of the Election Board. The reviewing and counting the votes shall take place as the Board of Governors may authorize or direct.

Section 7. Counting Votes
The votes shall be reviewed at the time fixed by the Board of Governors. Prior thereto, the Secretary shall furnish to the Election Board a list of names of active members of the Bar in good standing as of April 15 of the election year. Only the votes of those active members in good standing as of the close of business April 15 shall be counted. If April 15 falls on a weekend or holiday for the Bar offices, the list of eligible voters shall include all active members in good standing as of the close of business on the Bar’s first business day following April 15. At least five members of the Election Board and one member of the Board of Governors designated by the President shall be present when the votes are reviewed. The results of the voting shall be formally announced by the Chairperson of the Election Board to the Bar at its annual meeting and the candidates receiving the highest number of votes for their respective offices shall be declared duly elected.

Section 8. Failure of an Elected Candidate to Assume the Office of President or President-Elect
In the event of death, disability, or resignation of the candidate with the highest number of votes for the office of President or President-Elect prior to the time he/she assumes such office, an election shall be held in the manner provided by Article II, Section 9, below.

Section 9. Special Elections
In the event of a special election for the office of President or President-Elect, as required by the second paragraph of Rule III, Section 3, or by Article II, Section 8, above, the nominating and voting procedure shall be as otherwise provided in this Article II but with the following exceptions.
  1. The Board of Governors shall select a Committee on Nominations within fifteen (15) days of the notice of the vacancy.
  2. The Committee on Nominations shall submit its report to the Secretary not more than fifteen (15) days after its selection by the Board.
  3. The Secretary shall mail a list of such nominations to each active member not more than seven (7) days after receiving the Committee on Nominations' report.
  4. Petitions for other nominations shall be filed with the Secretary not more than twenty-one (21) days after the mailing of the notice of nominations to the membership.
  5. Election ballots shall be mailed by the Secretary at least twenty–one (21) days prior to the time set for reviewing the votes.

Section 10. Vacancies Arising in the Board of Governors or in the Office of Secretary or Treasurer
Except with respect to the offices of President and President-Elect (which are governed by Section 8, above), in the event of death, disability, or resignation of any member of the Board of Governors or any holder of the office of Secretary or Treasurer, or in the event of the failure of any elected candidate for such membership or such office to assume his or her position, the vacancy created by such death, disability, resignation, or failure to assume membership or office shall be filled by the non-elected candidate for that membership or office receiving the highest number of votes, in the most recent regular annual election, of those non-elected candidates willing and available to serve as that replacement. The term of the replacement member or officer shall expire on the expiration date of the term of that member or officer whose position the non-elected candidate replaced.

Section 11. Counting of Votes in a Bar Referendum
In any referendum conducted pursuant to Rule VII of the Rules of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the Election Board shall be responsible for the counting of ballots, unless the Board of Governors, by a majority vote, otherwise directs. Policy guidelines with respect to the voting and with respect to determining the validity or interpretation of ballots may be provided to the Election Board by the Board of Governors; in the absence of such policy guidance, or on matters not covered by such guidance, questions regarding the voting and the validity of the votes, shall be decided by the Election Board, subject to a written appeal to the Board of Governors, whose decision shall be final.