Case Caption: In re Petition to Amend Virgin Island Bar Association BylawsCase Number: S. Ct. Misc. No. 2013-0035Date: 12/10/2013Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

A petition filed by the President of the Virgin Islands Bar Association requesting adoption of various changes to the Bylaws of the Association, including altering its dues structure, is granted, as modified, pursuant to this Court's exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the legal profession, 4 V.I.C. § 32(e). The Association failed to comply with Supreme Court Rule 205(e) and Article XII of its Bylaws in giving notice of a meeting to consider these changes, but the failure of even a single member of the Association to file a comment or oppose the petition waives application of these provisions and assents to the procedures employed by the Association. Proposed amendments grouped in the petition as “B” and “C” are approved, along with the first clause of Proposed Amendment A.1, raising dues for active members from $200 to $300. However, the remainder of the group “A” proposed amendments would double the dues for government members and triple the dues for inactive members, two groups that the existing Bylaws preclude from serving on the Board of Governors and from voting, including on the proposed amendments, and the second clause of Proposed Amendment A.1 would triple dues for future newly admitted attorneys, who, because they are not yet members of the Association, also had no say in the matter. For reasons set forth in this opinion, Proposed Amendment A.2 is rejected in its entirety, allowing dues for inactive members to remain at $150. Proposed Amendment A.3 is modified to increase dues for government members to $225, and the second clause of Proposed Amendment A.1 is modified to require newly admitted attorneys to pay $75 in bar dues. The Bylaws, as amended, shall go into effect on January 1, 2014, and shall be distributed to all members of the Virgin Islands Bar Association along with this Opinion.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion