GET INVOLVED! One of the best ways to become involved in the activities of the Oneida County Bar Association is to serve on one of its many committees. Members are encouraged to volunteer to serve on one or more committees by contacting Diane Davis at the OCBA office at (315) 724-4901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There shall be an Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, the members of which shall be the President, 1st Vice-President, 2nd Vice-President, Treasurer, and two (2) members of the Board of Directors. The two (2) Directors serving on the Committee shall be elected by the Board at its first meeting in January of each year. The Executive Committee shall, between meetings of the Board of Directors, manage the business, affairs and activities of the Association and shall study and report to the Board all matters referred to it. The Executive Committee shall meet on the call of the President at times and places to be fixed by the President. A majority of the whole Committee shall constitute a quorum.
Grievance and Ethics Committee
The Grievance Committee shall consist of a Chairperson and nine (9) active members, each of whom shall serve a three-year term. The members of the Committee shall be appointed by the President, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. Vacancies in the Committee shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by the President, subject to the approval of the Board. The President shall appoint annually a Chairperson, with consideration being given to persons who have previously served on the 5th District judicial committee. The members of the Committee may serve no more than two (2) consecutive three-year terms; except that the Chairperson, although appointed annually, may serve no more than two (2) consecutive three year terms.
The Grievance and Ethics Committee shall examine all complaints against members of the Association for conduct alleged to be in violation of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct; shall examine all complaints against members of the Association in their relations to the Association or on any charge of fraud or other misconduct; shall examine and hear complaints against those non-members who consent to same; and shall determine any ethical question relating to the conduct or proposed conduct of an attorney. The Grievance and Ethics Committee shall comply with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. The Committee may conduct its business by panels or subcommittees.
All members of the Association shall, by reason of their membership, and all complainants shall, by writing, bind themselves to abide by the decision of the Grievance and Ethics Committee and on all matters coming before it in a particular case.
Fee Disputes Committee
The Fee Disputes Committee shall consist of a Chairperson and nine (9) active members, each of whom shall serve a three-year term. The members of the Committee shall be appointed by the President, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. Vacancies in the Committee shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by the President, subject to the approval of the Board. The President shall appoint annually a Chairperson. The members of the Committee may serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms; except that the Chairperson, although appointed annually may serve no more than two (2) consecutive three year terms.
The Fee Disputes Committee shall examine all complaints against members of the Association concerning fee disputes with clients or any other members of the Bar. The Committee may conduct its business by panels or subcommittees. All members of the Association shall, by reason of their membership, and all complainants shall, by writing, bind themselves to abide by the decision of the Committee and all subject matters coming before it in a particular case.
Pro Bono Committee
The Pro Bono Committee shall be responsible for all matters relating to the legal representation of poor and indigent persons. The Committee shall cooperate with the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc. in developing and maintaining a panel of volunteer attorneys to represent those persons in need of counsel in matters of civil or criminal jurisdiction; shall cooperate with the Administrator of the Supplemental Assigned Counsel Program in developing and maintaining a panel of attorneys to represent persons in need of counsel pursuant to Article 18-b of the County Law; shall develop and maintain, in cooperation with other agencies or separately on behalf of the Association, such other programs as may be essential to the efficient and just resolution of legal disputes involving poor persons within the County of Oneida; and shall study and recommend, from time to time, such action or proposed legislation as will improve the administration of justice on matters within the scope of its responsibilities.
Continuing Legal Education Committee
The Continuing Education (CLE) Committee shall develop and administer a continuing legal education program for members of the Association and such other persons or organizations as the Board of Directors may authorize. The CLE Committee shall also submit appropriate documentation to those jurisdictions maintaining mandatory CLE programs, verifying the attendance of members at programs of this Association or securing the credit approval from programs presented by the Committee.
Courts and Judiciary Committee
The Courts and Judiciary Committee shall be composed of a Chairperson and thirteen (13) active members of the Association. The Chairperson shall be appointed annually. Members of the Committee shall be appointed annually by the incoming President for a one-year term. No member shall serve more than six (6) consecutive one-year terms. The members of the Committee shall be appointed by the President on a nonpartisan basis, provided, however, that no more than one-half of the Committee membership shall be a registered member of the same political party. Committee members should be appointed with a view toward representation on the Committee by active practitioners in each of the courts of record in Oneida County. Vacancies in the committee shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by the President, subject to the approval of the Board.
District and State Bar Liaison Committee
This Committee shall have the responsibility of apprising itself of various matters being considered by district, regional or state bar associations, organizations or groups. The Committee, or members thereof, shall attend meetings of such associations, organizations and groups, and report to the Board of Directors all matters which may be of interest to the Association and present for consideration any matters as may be referred to it by the Board of Directors. Members of the Association serving as delegates to the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates shall automatically be members of this Committee.
Past Presidents’ Committee
This Committee shall be composed of all Past Presidents of the Association. The Committee shall perform such special functions as the Board of Directors may refer to it and shall consult, from time to time, with the Executive Committee or Board of Directors on those matters the Committee considers to be of importance to the overall goals and policies of the Association. The Committee Chairperson shall be the immediate past president. The Committee shall meet in March of each year to confer and recommend to the Board of Directors a candidate for the Association’s annual Hugh R. Jones award. The award shall be given to a worthy member of the Association excluding those members who had previously been awarded said honor as well as those members who are sitting Judges, Magistrates or Hearing Officers. The Committee members shall nominate potential candidates to the full Committee which shall then vote on such nominees by secret ballot voting in sufficient rounds to arrive at a single potential awardee for recommendation to the Board of Directors.
This Committee shall have the responsibility of assisting attorneys seeking mentoring and advice from other attorneys to help with the general practice of law or with specific areas in the law. The Committee shall also assist attorneys who seek mentoring as a result of disciplinary matters.
The Board of Directors or the President may, from time to time, create other Committees of the Association or of the Board by a resolution. Each such Committee shall have the powers and membership as defined in the resolution creating said Other Committee. These Committees may also be dissolved by Board resolution if they are no longer necessary. At the present time, the following committees shall be deemed Other Committees, as established by Board resolution:
Family and Domestic Relations. This Committee shall consider legal issues concerning domestic relations, family law, and children; shall be responsible for the continued improvement in the administration of the Family Court system; and shall study and submit recommendations on those matters referred to it by the Board of Directors.
Lawyers Assistance Committee. This Committee is responsible for assisting lawyers who are temporarily disabled from carrying on their practice and shall attempt to obtain needed assistance for lawyers who have health-related problems, including alcohol and substance abuse.
Real Property Committee. The Real Property Committee shall serve as a liaison with local boards or associations of Realtors and with the Oneida County Clerk; shall study, report and make recommendations concerning improvements in the methods and procedures affecting real estate transactions; and shall perform such other duties as may be referred to it by the Board of Directors.
Estates , Trusts and Elder Law Committee. The Estates, Trusts and Elder Law Committee shall advise the members of the Bar Association of important issues and changes affecting Trusts, Estates and Elder Law. The Committee shall also serve as a liaison with similar committees of the New York State Bar Association, assist in the Association’s public and continuing education programs, and shall perform such other duties as may be referred to it by the Board of Directors.
Public Information and Education. The Public Information and Education Committee shall be responsible for publicizing the activities of the Association, its sections and committees, to the press and media; shall be responsible for the publication of the Association’s newsletter; shall be responsible for informing other bar associations in the state of the activities of the Association; shall coordinate various programs of the Association involving various segments of the public, including the annual Law Day Program, Lawyer in the Classroom, the State Bar Mock Trial Program, and the Law Explorer Post; shall develop and present programs and seminars on various legal issues and topics specifically for attendance by the public; shall promote policies and programs designed to improve the relationship between the Association and the public, as well as the legal profession and the mass media, and to inform the public of the function of the law, the courts and the legal profession; and shall perform such other functions and duties as may be assigned by the Board of Directors or Executive Committee.
Young Lawyer’s Committee. The Young Lawyer’s Committee shall consist of lawyers who have been admitted 5 years or less. The Committee shall serve as a bridge for young and older lawyers to foster collegiality, professional growth and Association participation. The Committee shall provide leadership, networking and social opportunities regarding topics of interest to young lawyers.
The Board of Directors or the President, from time to time, may create Special Committees and define their respective powers and duties by a resolution. Such resolution shall create the Chair of said Special Committee, the purpose, duties and powers, the number of Members of the Committee, and may establish the period of time that it shall exist. It is the specific intention of this provision that Special Committees are ordinarily for a one year term from the date of its creation, but may be extended at the Board’s direction.