Leave clients at the door

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. 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. (Council Rule 4.03)

Procedures for the Annual Meeting

Speaker Identification

  • Attendees must wear their name badge during all sessions and events. Persons not wearing their name badge are not permitted to enter the ballroom or other event venue.
  • All speakers from the floor must state their name, city, and state each time they speak.
  • If nonmembers are recognized to speak from the floor, they must identify themselves as nonmembers and state their role or the nature of their interest in the project. See the Policy on Nonmembers at Annual Meetings for more information.


  • A person making a comment or asking a question may speak for up to three minutes. The chair has discretion to allow more or less time.
  • Speakers should look for the light on the dais to help keep track of their time limits. When the green light turns yellow, speakers should wrap up their comments; the red light marks the expiration of time.
  • Speakers should not make stylistic suggestions from the floor, but should submit them before or after the session.


  • Members should submit any motions to amend a draft well in advance of the Annual Meeting. This will give the Reporters and other members an opportunity to consider the motions carefully.
  • Members should review the Submission Procedures and Deadlines.
  • The manner in which motions to amend black letter or comments will be handled depends on the number of motions submitted. New procedures will be followed for projects with more than five motions. See the Motions Procedures for details.


  • Voting usually is by voice vote. Voting by show of hands is at the presiding officer’s discretion.
  • When voting by show of hands, members must hold up their badges, with the back of the badge displayed. Any event tickets or other items stored in the badge holder must be removed so that the back of the badge is visible.


  • The procedures for the Annual Meeting are set by the President or other presiding officer. In the event of a dispute over proper procedure, if neither the Bylaws nor the Council Rules resolves the matter, then the President or other presiding officer should resolve it in accord with Robert’s Rules of Order. For more information, see Council Rules 9.02 and 9.03.