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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 45

Rules of the Law Society of the District of Otago and Southland, Made Under the Provisions of "the District Law Societies Act, 1878."

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Rules of the Law Society of the District of Otago & Southland,

Printers "Saturday Advertiser." Dunedin Mackay, Bpacken and Co.,

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Rules of the Law Society,

Otago and Southland District.

Interpretation.1. In the construction of these rules the expression "The Society" shall mean the Law Society of the District of Otago and Southland, constituted under the "District Law Societies Act, 1878," by a resolution dated the 7th day of June, 1879, "the Council," "the President," "the Vice-President," and "the Treasurer," shall respectively mean the Council of the Society as hereinbefore defined and the President, Vice-President, and Treasurer thereof; "the Secretary," shall mean the Secretary thereof, or any person appointed by any meeting to act as Secretary pro hac vice; and "the Chairman" shall mean any Chairman of a meeting howsoever acting or appointed.
Annual Subscription.2. There shall be payable to the Secretary an annual subscription of 10s. 6d. by each member, which shall be recoverable by the Secretary in his own name as a debt due to the Society, and no member who has failed to pay his annual subscription shall be entitled to vote or take part in the proceedings at a meeting.
Members of Council.3. The Council shall consist of nine members inclusive of the President and Vice-President, who shall by their election to office be deemed to be elected members of the Council, and inclusive also of the Secretary and Treasurer, if these Officers or either of them shall be elected members of the Council. The offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be held by one person. The Officers and Council shall retire and be re-elected at the annual meeting, but those elected at? page 4 the first election shall retain office until 1881. Vacancies in the offices of President or Vice-President, or in any other elective office, or in the Council, may be filled up at any special or ordinary general meeting, provided the matter shall have been mentioned in the circular calling the meeting.
Mode of Election.4. The Officers and Council shall be elected in the following manner:—The names of candidates for the office of President, shall first be proposed, and if there be more than one candidate successive ballots shall be taken until the candidates are reduced to two, when a final ballot shall be taken, and the person polling the largest number of votes shall be declared elected; then the Vice-President shall be elected in the same manner; then the names of candidates as members of the Council, other than the President and Vice-President, shall be proposed, and if more than sufficient be proposed, a ballot shall be held as hereinbefore provided. If there be an equality of votes in the election of such last motion, the names of the last candidates polling equal numbers, shall be again submitted to ballot, and if the result be again an equality of votes, the Chairman shall nominate the successful candidate or candidates.
Eligibility for Office.5. No member who is not a Solicitor, residing and practising within the District, shall be elected as an officer of the Society.
Monthly Meetings.6. A meeting of the Council shall be held in the Library of the Supreme Court, at Dunedin, on the first Friday of every month, at the hour of 4 o'clock, and no notice of such meeting need be given to members. A majority of the members of the Council shall form a quorum.
Annual & General Meetings.7. A General Meeting of the Society shall be convened by circular, signed by the Secretary, President, or Vice-President, or any two members of the Council, on the 25th day of January and the 25th day of July, in each year or on such other days as the Council may appoint, and the meeting held in the month of January shall be the Annual Meeting. page 5 The Council, may at any time, by circular signed as hereinbefore provided call a Special General Meeting of the Society, and shall do so upon a requisition in writing signed by ten members.
New Members.8. Any Solicitor residing and practising within the limits of the District, shall be entitled to be admitted as a member of the Society upon making application to the Secretary, and on payment of his annual subscription of 10s. 6d.
Expulsion of Members.9. The Society may expel any member; but no member shall be expelled from the Society unless his expulsion be voted at a Special or Ordinary General Meeting, and unless in the circular calling such meeting, some notice shall have been given that the question of the expulsion of the member named in such circular, will come before the meeting thereby convened.
Complaints against Solicitors.10. The Council may ex mero motu, or on the complaint of any person enquire into the conduct of any Solicitor, provided that each member of the Council shall have had previous notice of such enquiry, and that the member whose conduct is to be enquired into shall also have had due notice, and thereupon such member shall be entitled to attend before the Council for the purpose of hearing and answering any charge against him, and of questioning the evidence in support thereof, or of approving and answering the same, or of giving any explanations, or making any statement he may think fit; and he shall thereafter retire and the Council shall take such action in the matter as to it may seem fit.
Duties of Chairman,11. At General Meetings, the Chair shall be taken by the President or Vice-President, or in their absence, by a Chairman chosen pro hac vice by the meeting, and the Chairman shall have power to place a substitute in the Chair in the event of his leaving before the close of the meeting, and such substitute may in all cases sign minutes, and otherwise act as the Chairman might have acted.
Conduct of General Meetings.12. The Chairman shall have full control over the conduct of meetings, and may, page 6 amongst other things, decide who may address the meeting, and how long each person so addressing it may speak, and in what cases a member may speak a second time, and may lor any cause which may appear to him sufficient prevent a member from further addressing a meeting, and may put any question to the vote whenever he may think fit. In no case shall there be any any discussion upon a motion for the postponement or adjournment either of the consideration of a particular matter or of a meeting, unless the Chairman shall expressly sanction such discussion. The decision of the Chairman shall be final upon the right of any person to be present, or upon the validity and extent of any appointment of a proxy, or whether such appointment remains in force, or upon any other question which may arise at any meeting upon the construction of these rules, or as to any point of order. Whenever these rules are found to be silent upon any question of order, the Chairman may decide upon some suitable practice in such case, and the decision of the Chairman upon any matter upon which he is authorised to decide shall in no case be questioned.
Business at General Meetings.13. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to produce at the Annual Meeting of the Society, the Solicitors' Roll for the District, and it there be present at the meeting, any person who has not paid his annual fees, and all arrears, to call the attention of the Chairman to the fact, and thereupon the Chairman shall request such person to retire from the meeting; it shall also be the duty of the Secretary to sec that no person takes part in the proceedings who is not authorised to do so, and that no person is present with the exception of members, unless by the invitation of the Chairman. The Secretary shall keep a minute book in which he shall enter all the proceedings of the Council, and of General Meetings, and a list of members attending any such meetings. At each meeting the minutes of the last meeting whether an Ordinary or a Special Meeting, shall be read and if confirmed, shall be signed by the Chairman of the meeting confirming the same; the Secretary shall also, subject to the directions of the President or Vice-President, conduct all correspondence page 7 and routine business of the Council, which may arise between the monthly meetings, and shall report such business as he shall have transacted to the Council at the next meeting.
Conduct of Meetings of Council.14. The proceedings at meetings of the Council shall be conducted as nearly as conveniently may be in the same manner as the proceedings at meetings of the Society.
Sundays or Holidays.15. Whenever the day appointed for any meeting of the Council, or of the Society, or for any other purpose, shall fall upon a Sunday or a holiday, the next day shall be deemed to be the day so appointed.
Treasurer's Account Books.16. The Treasurer shall keep a book of accounts, showing receipts and disbursements on account of the Society, to be called the "Common Account Book," and he shall also keep a book showing receipts and disbursements on account of the Lirbary Fund to be called, the "Library Account Book," provided that in the event of a salaried Librarian being appointed, such Librarian shall keep the Library Account Book, which shall be checked and audited by the Treasurer.
Disbursements17. Disbursements out of the common account may be made by the Treasurer's cheque, but disbursements out of the Library Fund, shall be made only by the Treasurer's cheque countersigned by the President or Vice-President, or in their absence from Dunedin, by a member of the Council
Balance Sheet.18. At the half-yearly General Meeting a balance sheet, duly audited, shall be read.
Production of Books.19. At every meeting of the Council both Account Books shall be produced, and also the Bank Books and Cheque Books.
Chairman's Vote.20. The Chairman of every meeting whether of Councils or of the Society, shall have an original vote, and in case of an equality of votes, a casting vote in addition. Every member present shall be called upon by the Chairman to vote on all questions.page 8
Duties of Council.21. It shall be the duty of the Council to preserve and maintain the rights of the protession; to suppress any illegal and dishonorable practice; to afford means of reference for the amicable settlement of professional difficulties; to watch and take into consideration proposed changes in the law, and for this purpose to appoint committees upon particular subjects; to give its aid and countenance to law reform, and to represent the views, interests, and wishes of the protession; and it shall be the especial duty of the Secretary to report to the Council all such cases of illegal and dishonorable practice as may come under his notice, and to take the advice of the Council thereon.
Library Regulations.22. The Council may make Regulations not inconsistent with these rules, for the management of the Library, and for determining the duties of the Librarian, and may appoint a paid Librarian, and fix his salary, to be paid out of the Library Fund.
Management of Library.23. The Council shall have power to delegate the management of the Library to a Committee of three members of the Society, one of whom shall retire every six months.
Persons entitled to use Library24. No person shall be allowed to use the Library excepting Barristers and Solicitors, and their articled Clerks and Pupils, and Judges and Magistrates.
Notices.25. All notices whatsoever, shall be deemed to be duly sent which shall be sent in manner prescribed by Section 5, of the "District Law Societies Act, 1878," for the sending of notices calling meetings.

The above rules were duly ordained and made by the Solicitors present at a duly convened meeting, held under the provisions of "The District Law Societies Act, 1878."

E. C. Strode,

Hon. Sec.