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Title 45: Public Welfare
PART 1607—GOVERNING BODIES
§1607.4 Functions of a governing body.
Authority: 42 U.S.C. 2996f(c); Pub. L. 103-317.
Source: 59 FR 65254, Dec. 19, 1994, unless otherwise noted.
This part is designed to insure that the governing body of a recipient will be well qualified to guide a recipient in its efforts to provide high-quality legal assistance to those who otherwise would be unable to obtain adequate legal counsel and to insure that the recipient is accountable to its clients.
As used in this part,
(a) Attorney member means a board member who is an attorney admitted to practice in a State within the recipient's service area.
(b) Board member means a member of a recipient's governing body or policy body.
(c) Eligible client member means a board member who is financially eligible to receive legal assistance under the Act and part 1611 of this chapter at the time of appointment to each term of office to the recipient's governing body, without regard to whether the person actually has received or is receiving legal assistance at that time. Eligibility of client members shall be determined by the recipient or, if the recipient so chooses, by the appointing organization(s) or group(s) in accordance with written policies adopted by the recipient.
(d) Governing body means the board of directors or other body with authority to govern the activities of a recipient receiving funds under §1006(a)(1)(A) of the Act.
(e) Policy body means a policy board or other body established by a recipient to formulate and enforce policy with respect to the services provided under a grant or contract made under the Act.
(f) Recipient means any grantee or contractor receiving financial assistance from the Corporation under §1006(a)(1)(A) of the Act.
(a) A recipient shall be incorporated in a State in which it provides legal assistance and shall have a governing body which reasonably reflects the interests of the eligible clients in the area served and which consists of members, each of whom is supportive of the purposes of the Act and has an interest in, and knowledge of, the delivery of quality legal services to the poor.
(b) At least sixty percent (60%) of a governing body shall be attorney members.
(1) A majority of the members of the governing body shall be attorney members appointed by the governing body(ies) of one or more State, county or municipal bar associations, the membership of which represents a majority of attorneys practicing law in the localities in which the recipient provides legal assistance.
(i) Appointments may be made either by the bar association which represents a majority of attorneys in the recipient's service area or by bar associations which collectively represent a majority of the attorneys practicing law in the recipient's service area.
(ii) Recipients that provide legal assistance in more than one State may provide that appointments of attorney members be made by the appropriate bar association(s) in the State(s) or locality(ies) in which the recipient's principal office is located or in which the recipient provides legal assistance.
(2) Any additional attorney members may be selected by the recipient's governing body or may be appointed by other organizations designated by the recipient which have an interest in the delivery of legal services to the poor.
(3) Appointments shall be made so as to insure that the attorney members reasonably reflect the diversity of the legal community and the population of the areas served by the recipient, including race, ethnicity, gender and other similar factors.
(c) At least one-third of the members of a recipient's governing body shall be eligible clients when appointed. The members who are eligible clients shall be appointed by a variety of appropriate groups designated by the recipient that may include, but are not limited to, client and neighborhood associations and community-based organizations which advocate for or deliver services or resources to the client community served by the recipient. Recipients shall designate groups in a manner that reflects, to the extent possible, the variety of interests within the client community, and eligible client members should be selected so that they reasonably reflect the diversity of the eligible client population served by the recipient, including race, gender, ethnicity and other similar factors.
(d) The remaining members of a governing body may be appointed by the recipient's governing body or selected in a manner described in the recipient's bylaws or policies, and the appointment or selection shall be made so that the governing body as a whole reasonably reflects the diversity of the areas served by the recipient, including race, ethnicity, gender and other similar factors.
(e) The nonattorney members of a governing body shall not be dominated by persons serving as the representatives of a single association, group or organization, except that eligible client members may be selected from client organizations that are composed of coalitions of numerous smaller or regionally based client groups.
(f) Members of a governing body may be selected by appointment, election, or other means consistent with this part and with the recipient's bylaws and applicable State law.
(g) Recipients shall make reasonable and good faith efforts to insure that governing body vacancies are filled as promptly as possible.
(h) Recipients may recommend candidates for governing body membership to the appropriate bar associations and other appointing groups and should consult with the appointing organizations to insure that:
(1) Appointees meet the criteria for board membership set out in this part, including financial eligibility for persons appointed as eligible clients, bar admittance requirements for attorney board members, and the general requirements that all members be supportive of the purposes of the Act and have an interest in and knowledge of the delivery of legal services to the poor;
(2) The particular categories of board membership and the board as a whole meet the diversity requirements described in §§1607.3(b)(3), 1607.3(c) and 1607.3(d);
(3) Appointees do not have actual and significant individual or institutional conflicts of interest with the recipient or the recipient's client community that could reasonably be expected to influence their ability to exercise independent judgment as members of the recipient's governing body.
§1607.4 Functions of a governing body.
(a) A governing body shall have at least four meetings a year. A recipient shall give timely and reasonable prior public notice of all meetings, and all meetings shall be public except for those concerned with matters properly discussed in executive session in accordance with written policies adopted by the recipient's governing body.
(b) In addition to other powers and responsibilities that may be provided for by State law, a governing body shall establish and enforce broad policies governing the operation of a recipient, but neither the governing body nor any member thereof shall interfere with any attorney's professional responsibilities to a client or obligations as a member of the profession or interfere with the conduct of any ongoing representation.
(c) A governing body shall adopt bylaws which are consistent with State law and the requirements of this part. Recipients shall submit a copy of such bylaws to the Corporation and shall give the Corporation notice of any changes in such bylaws within a reasonable time after the change is made.
(a) While serving on the governing body of a recipient, no attorney member shall receive compensation from that recipient, but any member may receive a reasonable per diem expense payment or reimbursement for actual expenses for normal travel and other reasonable out-of-pocket expenses in accordance with written policies adopted by the recipient.
(b) Pursuant to a waiver granted under §1607.6(b)(1), a recipient may adopt policies that would permit partners or associates of attorney members to participate in any compensated private attorney involvement activities supported by the recipient.
(c) A recipient may adopt policies that permit attorney members, subject to terms and conditions applicable to other attorneys in the service area:
(1) To accept referrals of fee-generating cases under part 1609 of these regulations;
(2) To participate in any uncompensated private attorney involvement activities supported by the recipient;
(3) To seek and accept attorneys' fees awarded by a court or administrative body or included in a settlement in cases undertaken pursuant to §§1607.5 (c) (1) and (2); and
(4) To receive reimbursement from the recipient for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the attorney member as part of the activities undertaken pursuant to §1607.5(c)(2).
[59 FR 65254, Dec. 19, 1994, as amended at 60 FR 2330, Jan. 9, 1995]
(a) Upon application, the president shall waive the requirements of this part to permit a recipient that was funded under §222(a)(3) of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and, on July 25, 1974, had a majority of persons who were not attorneys on its governing body, to continue such nonattorney majority.
(b) Upon application, the president may waive any of the requirements of this part which are not mandated by applicable law if a recipient demonstrates that it cannot comply with them because of: (1) The nature of the population, legal community or area served; or (2) Special circumstances, including but not limited to, conflicting requirements of the recipient's other major funding source(s) or State law.
(c) A recipient seeking a waiver under §1607.6(b)(1) shall demonstrate that it has made diligent efforts to comply with the requirements of this part.
(d) As a condition of granting a waiver under §1607.6(b)(2) of any of the requirements imposed upon governing bodies by §1607.3, the president shall require that a recipient have a policy body with a membership composed and appointed in the manner prescribed by §1607.3. Such policy body shall be subject to the meeting requirements of §1607.4(a) and its attorney members shall be subject to the restrictions on compensation contained in §1607.5. The policy body shall have such specific powers and responsibilities as the President determines are necessary to enable it to formulate and enforce policy with respect to the services provided under the recipient's LSC grant or contract.