10.08SCR 10.08 Referendum procedure.
10.08(1)(1) Time of holding. All referendums shall be conducted in any calendar year at the same time as and simultaneous with the election of officers and members of the board of governors of the state bar.
10.08(2)(2) Time for filing request. In order to be submitted to the membership in the regularly scheduled spring elections, petitions for referendum initiated by members of the state bar must be filed at the state bar headquarters no later than the first business day in January. Nothing in this rule is intended to prohibit the submission of referendum petitions at any time in the preceding calendar year after the completion of state bar elections for that year. Any referendum authorized by the board of governors shall be authorized on or before February 28 of the calendar year in which the referendum is to be held.
10.08(3)(3) Subject matter of referendum.
10.08(3)(a)(a) A referendum may inquire as to the opinion of members on any matter of public policy which is properly the subject of any action by the association, including proposals for change in the rules or bylaws of the association, except no referendum may be held on administrative or personnel matters and expenses or retroactively on dues.
10.08(3)(b)(b) The same substantive question shall not be submitted to the members by referendum more frequently than one time in two calendar years.
10.08(4)(4) Governors may initiate. The board of governors may, by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of its membership, refer to the active members of the association for determination by mail ballot any appropriate question of public policy, as provided in sub. (3).
10.08(5)(5) Members may initiate by petition. When required by petition as set forth herein, the board of governors shall submit for determination by the members of the association any question appropriate for referendum, as provided in sub. (3).
10.08(5)(a)(a) The petition shall succinctly and clearly state the question to be submitted by referendum.
10.08(5)(b)(b) A referendum must be requested by petitions containing the signatures of 1,000 members of the state bar eligible to vote.
10.08(5)(c)(c) Each petition shall contain (i) the member's signature and full name clearly printed or typed, (ii) the address of the member's principal office for the practice of law and (iii) the date on which the petition was signed.
10.08(5)(d)(d) Each petition shall be circulated by an active member in good standing of the state bar.
10.08(5)(e)(e) The petitions shall be verified by the circulator who shall swear that the circulator personally obtained all signatures set forth on the petition and knows them to be members of the state bar as represented therein.
10.08(5)(f)(f) The 1,000 signatures required shall include not less than 50 signatures from each of six separate districts from which members of the state bar board of governors are elected.
10.08(5)(g)(g) All signatures must be obtained within a period of ninety days before the date the petition is filed.
10.08(5)(h)(h) The petition shall designate the person to be notified of any insufficiency or improper form under sub. (7).
10.08(5)(j)(j) Members can obtain a petition form from the executive director.
10.08(5)(k)(k) Non-resident members are considered to reside in a single, non-resident district.
10.08(6)(6) Procedure for filing petition.
10.06(6)(a)(a) The petition must be complete when filed with the state bar headquarters. Upon filing, the petition shall be examined by the state bar executive director or his or her designee in order to determine all of the following:
10.06(6)(a)1.1. Whether the question is properly the subject of a referendum.
10.06(6)(a)2.2. Whether the signatures are of members of the state bar who are eligible to vote.
10.06(6)(a)3.3. Whether the signatures satisfy the geographic distribution and time requirements set forth in sub. (5) (f) and (g).
10.06(6)(a)4.4. Whether the petition is otherwise in order as required by this section.
10.06(6)(b)(b) The ruling of the executive director shall be communicated to the person designated in the petition as soon as practicable and within 2 weeks after the date on which the petition is filed.
10.08(7)(7) Framing the question. Upon receipt by the state bar of a referendum petition as described above and certification by the executive director as to the validity of the petition, the state bar president shall appoint a committee to frame the exact question to be submitted to the members. That committee shall include the person designated in the petition. The committee shall be responsible for framing the question in a form that is clear, intelligible and meaningful.
10.08(8)(8) Final certification by board of governors. Any dispute as to the certification of the validity of the petition by the executive director, or the framing of the question by the special committee described above, shall be submitted to the board of governors who shall determine the validity of the petition and the form in which the question shall appear on the referendum ballot.
10.08(9)(9) Publication of question. As to all questions to be submitted to the members by referendum, space in a reasonable amount shall be provided to both the proponents and the opponents of the proposition. This space shall be made available without charge in the state bar's official publication one month prior to mailing of the referendum ballots or in another state bar mailing to all eligible voters. State bar mailing lists shall be equally available at the same costs to both proponents and opponents of any referendum.
10.08(10)(10) Conduct of election. The mailing of the ballots, the return of the ballots, the counting of the ballots and the reporting of the results shall be conducted in the same manner as set forth in article 3, sections 4 through 8 of the bylaws for the election of the board of governors.
10.08(11)(11) Binding effect. A referendum receiving an affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast, provided that at least 25% of the eligible voters vote, shall establish state bar policy until such time as that policy may be changed or modified according to the requirements of supreme court rules or state bar bylaws.
History: Sup. Ct. Order No.
, 2001 WI 16, 241 Wis.2d xv.
10.09SCR 10.09 Disbursements.
10.09(1)(1) The board of governors shall make necessary appropriations for disbursements from the funds in the treasury to pay all necessary expenses of the association, its officers and committees. It shall be the duty of the board of governors to cause proper books of account to be kept and to procure an annual audit thereof by a certified public accountant.
10.09(2)(2) A financial statement showing assets, liabilities, receipts and disbursements of the state bar shall be published in the state bar bulletin prior to the annual meeting. A copy of the annual audit shall be filed with the supreme court.
10.10SCR 10.10 Committee to review bar performance. The supreme court shall appoint a committee to review the performance of the state bar in carrying out its public functions at such time as the court deems it advisable. The supreme court shall determine in its order of appointment the size and composition of the committee. The state bar shall pay the expenses of the committee.
10.11SCR 10.11 Executive director. There shall be an executive director of the state bar who is the chief executive officer of the administrative staff and in direct charge of the state bar office, its records, property and equipment. The executive director shall be hired by the board of governors under terms of employment and compensation fixed by the board. The executive director shall devote full time to the affairs of the state bar. Subject to the general control of the officers, executive committee and board of governors and as appropriate and consistent with the requirements of these rules and the bylaws, the executive director shall:
10.11(1)(1) Attend meetings of the executive committee and board of governors and keep and disseminate the minutes of the meetings.
10.11(2)(2) Collect, deposit and disburse the association's funds pursuant to the budget and shall invest surplus funds at the direction of the executive committee.
10.11(3)(3) Maintain membership lists and individual member files.
10.11(4)(4) Advise and assist the officers, governors, sections and committees.
10.11(5)(5) Make the arrangements for association meetings.
10.11(6)(6) Perform other duties as directed by the board of governors or officers or as prescribed by this chapter or the bylaws.
10.12SCR 10.12 Official publication; notice to members. The Wisconsin bar bulletin or its successor is the official publication of the state bar of Wisconsin. All official notices shall be published therein or mailed first class to members entitled thereto at their address of record. Such publication shall constitute notice to all members. The publication shall be sent by mail to all members at their address of record.
10.13SCR 10.13 Amendment.
10.13(1)(1) Amendment of rules. Proposals for amendment or abrogation of provisions of this chapter may be presented to the supreme court by petition of the board of governors or by petition approved by the members of the association through the referendum procedure set forth in SCR 10.08. Hearing upon such a petition will be pursuant to notice in such manner as the court directs.
10.13(2)(2) Amendment of bylaws. The provisions of the bylaws of the state bar of Wisconsin are subject to amendment or abrogation by resolution adopted by vote of two-thirds of the members of the board of governors, or action of the members of the association expressed through the referendum procedure defined in SCR 10.08. When any change in the bylaws has been made by the board of governors the secretary shall publish notice of the change, including a copy of the amendatory resolution, in the Wisconsin bar bulletin and shall file a certified copy thereof with the clerk of the supreme court. A petition for review of any such change in the bylaws will be entertained by the court if signed by 25 or more active members of the association and filed with the clerk of the court within 60 days after publication of notice of the change. Hearing upon such a petition will be pursuant to notice in such manner as the court directs.
10.14SCR 10.14 [Deleted.]