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    Notice of Bylaw Amendment

    The Board of Governors revised State Bar Bylaw Article I regarding the dues reduction arbitration procedure.


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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 84, No. 5, May 2011

    Note: A petition for review of any change in the bylaws will be entertained by the court if signed by 25 or more active State Bar members and filed with the clerk of court within 60 days after publication of notice of change. Hearings upon such a petition will be pursuant to notice in such manner as the court directs.

    I, George C. Brown, the Executive Director of the State Bar of Wisconsin, do hereby certify that the following bylaw amendment resolution was duly voted on by the Board of Governors on April 8-9, 2011, and was approved.

    Certificate of Bylaw Amendment

    RESOLVED, that State Bar Bylaw Article I be amended as follows:

    Article I Membership

    Section 5. Dues Reduction Arbitration Procedure. (a) Demands for arbitration of the dues reduction under SCR 10.03 (5) (b) shall be made in writing and shall be delivered to the Executive Director of the State Bar within 30 days of receipt of the member’s dues statement. Delivery may be made in person or by first class mail, and mailed demands will be deemed delivered upon mailing. Demands shall include the name and address of the member or members demanding arbitration, a brief statement of the claim or objection, and the signature of the member or members.

    (b) If one or more timely demands for arbitrations arbitration are delivered, the State Bar shall agree to submit the matter forthwith to arbitration. All timely demands for arbitration shall be consolidated for hearing before the arbitrator appointed, and the provisions of ch. 788, Stats., shall apply as if the parties had entered into a written agreement for arbitration, except that where a member demanding arbitration claims that mandatory dues were spent on activities in violation of the member’s constitutional rights, review of the arbitration award by the court shall be de novo. A member demanding arbitration is required to pay his or her dues by October 31 or 15 days following the arbitrator’s decision, whichever is later. Failure to pay dues by such date shall automatically suspend the delinquent member.

    (c) Upon receipt of all demands for arbitration, the State Bar shall apply for appointment of an impartial arbitrator to the Chief Judge of the Federal District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

    (d) Members demanding arbitration shall have access to the financial records upon which the State Bar based the determination of the amount of dues that can be withheld. These records shall be available for inspection and copying during normal business hours. Copying shall be at the member’s expense.

    (e) The arbitrator shall determine the date, time and location of the arbitration hearing(s) or the briefing schedule, as the case may be, and shall so notify the parties at least 15 days prior to said hearing(s) or the deadline for the filing of the opening brief. The arbitrator will promptly hold hearings in which the parties will be permitted to participate personally or through a representative, unless the parties agree that the matter may be decided on briefs. The State Bar shall bear the burden of proof regarding the accuracy of the determination of the amount of dues that can be withheld. All parties will be given the opportunity to present evidence and to present arguments in support of their positions. The arbitrator shall not be deemed a necessary party in judicial proceedings relating to the arbitration. The arbitrator shall have no authority to add, subtract, set aside or delete from any Supreme Court Rule, or State Bar bylaw. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the following rules shall apply to the arbitration proceedings:

    i. There will be no transcripts or post-hearing briefs.

    ii. The arbitrator will issue an award stating the reasons for the decision within 30 business days of the closing of the hearing. The opinion will be brief, and based on the evidence and arguments presented.

    iii. The arbitrators arbitrator will charge a maximum of $100 per hour reasonable hourly fee for services, including the hearing, preparation and study time, and shall be reimbursed for all necessary expenses of the arbitration.

    iv. The hearing(s) or the briefing schedule, as the case may be, shall be held completed within 60 days of appointment of the arbitrator.

    v. The arbitrator shall not be deemed a necessary party in judicial proceedings relating to the arbitration.

    vi. The arbitrator shall have no authority to add, subtract, set aside or delete from any Supreme Court Rule, or State Bar bylaw.

    (f) Members first admitted to the State Bar after the date of notification to members shall be given that notification with their initial dues statements. Such members shall be further notified that they may deliver a demand for arbitration within 30 days following receipt of the notification. If arbitration is pending at the date of delivery of a demand for arbitration by a newly admitted member, the newly admitted member’s demand shall be consolidated with the pending arbitration. All of the provisions of this section shall otherwise apply to demands for arbitration filed by newly admitted members.

     




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