Rules of the Council Pertaining to Annual Meetings

9.02 Annual Meetings of the Membership

A. The President, in consultation with the Director, sets the agenda for the annual meeting of the Institute’s membership, including the time limits for each general subject, each issue, and each speaker. The President or other presiding officer may adjust the time limits during a particular session. Members may, before the meeting, submit any motions they intend to make as well as comments on issues they wish to raise at the meeting, especially with respect to items not scheduled for plenary consideration.

B. During plenary deliberations, members should not make stylistic suggestions from the floor, but should submit them before or after the meeting or session. A maker of a main motion may speak for not more than five minutes and the reporters may respond for not more than five minutes. All other members who are recognized to speak from the floor may speak for not more than three minutes. The reporter and the maker of a main motion may each speak for one minute in closing. Notwithstanding the time limits specified here, the session’s presiding officer may allow more or less time than this Rule provides.

9.03 Rules of Procedure

Subject to the Bylaws and these Rules, the procedures for the conduct of meetings under this Rule 9 should be set by the President or other presiding officer in conformity with generally accepted standards for the conduct of similar meetings. In the event of a dispute over proper procedure, if neither the Bylaws nor these Rules resolve the matter, then the President or other presiding officer should resolve it in accord with the then-current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.


To maintain the Institute’s reputation for thoughtful, disinterested analysis of legal issues, members are expected to leave client interests at the door. In communications made within the framework of Institute proceedings, members should speak, write, and vote on the basis of their personal and professional convictions and experience without regard to client interests or self-interest. It is improper for a member to represent a client in Institute proceedings and such conduct constitutes good cause for termination of Institute membership under Rule 5.02. If, in the consideration of Institute work, a member’s statements can be properly assessed only if the client interests of the member or the member’s firm are known, the member should make appropriate disclosure, but need not identify clients.

View the complete Rules of the Council.

Policy Concerning Floor Privileges for Nonmembers

Nonmembers may not make or second a motion and may not vote on any matter before the Annual Meeting. The President, in consultation with the Director, may extend the privilege of the floor to a nonmember who wishes to speak on a particular matter before the Meeting.

A request for such privilege should ordinarily be submitted in writing in advance of the Meeting to the President by email (or by mail or fax to the Philadelphia office). The following information should be included: (1) the particular issue that the nonmember wishes to address; (2) the nonmember’s relevant credentials and affiliations with respect to the issue; (3) the nature of the nonmember’s interest in the matter; (4) the name of any employer, client, or other person or organization that may have suggested that the nonmember address the matter at the Meeting or on whose behalf the nonmember may be speaking; and (5) a summary of the nonmember’s intended comments. Whether a nonmember to whom a floor privilege is extended at the Meeting will be recognized for subsequent comment or further discussion is subject to the discretion of the presiding officer.

Nonmember Advisers and Liaisons to a project under discussion shall have the same speaking privileges as members with respect to that project, without needing to request such privileges in advance, but they too may not make, second, or vote upon a motion.