California Lawyers Association

Association Governmental Affairs Policies

1) Governmental Affairs Standards

The Association may (a) take positions or comment on legislation, regulations, jury instructions, or rules; (b) propose legislation, regulations, jury instructions, or rules; or (c) work with the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, and other stakeholders, if:

a. The matter is necessarily or reasonably related to the legal profession or improvement of the quality of legal services available to the people of the state; or

b. The position advocated would promote clarity or consistency in the law; and

c. The position is not inconsistent with a current or prior position of a Section or the Association, unless justification is given for the inconsistency.

Taking positions on matters that are ideological or highly controversial or divisive within the bar or society is disfavored.

2) Political Campaigns

The Association is prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elective public office.

3) Governmental Affairs Committee of the Association

The Association Board shall create a Governmental Affairs Committee (“GAC”) comprised of seven (7) members with staggered two (2) year terms to:

a. advise the Board on governmental affairs matters;
b. hear requests for the Association to take positions on or propose legislation, regulations, or rules; and
c. resolve disputes between the Director of Governmental Affairs (“DGA”) and a Section or between Sections over whether a Section may take a requested position.

At least one Board member shall be appointed to the GAC and serve as a chair. Other GAC members must be Association members with demonstrated governmental affairs experience.

4) Association Position Request Procedure

a. A person requesting the Association to (a) take a position or comment on legislation, regulations, or rules; (b) propose legislation, regulations, or rules; or (c) work with the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of government or other stakeholder shall submit a written request to the Chair of the GAC for the GAC to consider the request. The request shall include a written statement in support of the requested action.

b. Within seven (7) business days after receipt of the request, or as soon thereafter as reasonably practical, the GAC shall meet to consider the request. This meeting may take place in person, by telephone, by video conference, or by other electronic means. The GAC shall apply the Association’s governmental affairs policy in its determination of whether to forward the request to the Association Board. A two-thirds vote of the GAC members present at the request meeting shall be required to forward the request.

c. Within one (1) business day after the conclusion of a requested meeting, or as soon thereafter as reasonably practical, the Chair of the GAC shall inform the requesting party and the Board of the GAC’s determination of the request.

d. In the event the GAC votes to forward the request to the Association Board, the Board shall consider the request at its next regularly scheduled meeting following receipt of the GAC’s determination. In the event the GAC does not vote to forward the request to the Association Board, two Board members may place the request on the Board agenda for discussion and decision. The Board shall apply the Association’s governmental affairs policy in its determination whether to grant the request. A two-thirds vote of the Board members present at the meeting shall be required to approve a request.

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