Association of REALTORS®
Legal Action Fund
Contact: Hawai'i Association of REALTORS®
Ø Statement of Organization and Procedure
for participation in matters in which HAR or its member boards are
for consideration of requests for assistance
for additional assistance
STATEMENT OF ORGANIZATION AND
Hawaii Association of REALTORS® ("HAR") hereby establishes a Legal
Action Fund, a restricted fund of HAR for the purposes set forth herein.
The purposes of the Legal Action Fund are to:
among the Member Boards of HAR an understanding of their rights and
duties under Federal and State law and to defray the expense of
legal services and advice to that end.
assistance by HAR General Counsel or other retained counsel to the
legal counsel of Member Boards on matters relating to threatened or
pending litigation or threatened or pending action by any Federal or
State agency or administrative body against a Member Board.
financial resources and other assistance to HAR and its Member
Boards, their collective officers, directors, and other persons
acting in an official capacity on their behalf, engaged in
litigation or administrative proceedings, actual or proposed, which
is not covered by insurance.
financial resources and other assistance to HAR members or to
in litigation or administrative proceedings, actual or proposed,
which meet the criteria for Participation set forth in Section V,
litigation or administrative proceedings in HAR's name or in the
name of another person or entity which meet the Criteria for
Participation set forth in Section V, hereof.
discussions and negotiate with State administrative agencies and
departments (including, but not limited to, the Department of Commerce and Consumer
Affairs and the Department of Taxation), with respect to the
creation of, or revision to, administrative rules and procedures
governing the practice of real estate in Hawai'i.
to HAR Member Boards, HAR members, the Hawai'i legal community,
and the general public, through education and publicity, the Legal
Action Fund and its availability for its stated purposes and
Defray the administrative costs and fees of HAR in connection
with its involvement and participation in the Legal Action Fund in
furtherance of the above-enumerated objectives.
The Legal Action Fund shall be funded from any or all of the following:
funds that currently exist in the HAR Legal Defense Fund;
percentage of all HAR annual dues and/or surplus funds (excess of
revenues over expenses) as may be determined from time to time by
the HAR Board of Directors;
special dues and assessments from individual HAR members and Member
Boards as may be determined from time to time by the HAR Board of
appropriations as may be determined by the HAR Board of Directors;
from HAR Member Boards, HAR members, affiliated organizations, and
other persons and entities interested in promoting the interests of
the real estate industry and private property rights.
Legal Action Fund shall be administered by the Legal Action
Committee which shall have the authority to authorize expenditures
of the Legal Action Fund in accordance with the policies and
procedures set forth herein.
Legal Action Committee shall have the authority to disburse up to
the sum of $10,000 on any matter without the approval of the Board
of Directors. Any
expenditure on a matter in excess of $10,000 requires the approval
of the Board of Directors.
Executive Committee of HAR, as from time to time constituted, shall
serve as the Legal Action Committee. The President of HAR shall serve as the Chair of the Legal
of the Legal Action Committee shall be scheduled in conjunction with
regular meetings of the Executive Committee, or shall be held at the
call of the Chair.
of the Legal Action Committee may be appealed to the Board of
Directors as set forth in Section VIII, hereof.
to the approval of the Board of Directors, the Legal Action
Committee shall have the authority to establish such rules and
procedures as may facilitate the discharge of its responsibilities
under this Statement of Organization and Procedure.
FOR PARTICIPATION IN MATTERS IN WHICH HAR OR ITS MEMBER BOARDS ARE NOT
litigation matter or an administrative proceeding, threatened or
initiated, brought by or against an HAR member or a non-member shall
be eligible for consideration by the Legal Action Committee only if
it satisfies either of the following criteria:
relates to a Federal or State governmental agency action or
investigation, or to litigation, actual or proposed, which may
result in the determination of legal issues that may have
important precedential significance to HAR, its Member Boards, a
substantial portion of the membership of HAR,
real estate licensees in the State of
property owners or the Hawai'i real estate industry in general; or
involves issues designed to promote or defend
private property rights.
Legal Action Committee may authorize participation by the Legal
Action Fund in the initiation of litigation or administrative action
on behalf of HAR, its Member Boards, or HAR members where the issue
to be determined is of significance to a substantial number of the
members of HAR, where an
opportunity is presented for clarifying precedent of issues of
significance to HAR, its Member Boards, or a substantial portion of
the membership of HAR, or where the issue is the promotion or
protection of private property rights.
by the Legal Action Fund may take any of the following forms:
support to defray legal fees and expenses of the parties
for participation of HAR
General Counsel or other retained counsel of HAR to assist the
parties' legal counsel in actual or threatened legal or
for HAR General Counsel or other retained counsel of HAR to
participate in legal proceedings on behalf of HAR, as amicus
curiae ("friend of the court") for the purpose of putting
the issues involved in the perspective of their effect or
potential effect upon the real estate industry or private property
of HAR General Counsel or other legal counsel to initiate legal
action or administrative proceedings which meet the criteria for
such actions as set forth herein.
Legal Action Fund shall not be used in any manner which would
constitute the inurement of earnings and assets of HAR to the
benefit of any individual in a manner which would be inconsistent
with HAR's exemption under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal
support shall be used solely for legal fees and expenses of the
parties supported and may not in any case be used to pay judgments,
damages, fines, or settlements, or to pay the legal fees of opposing
counsel or the costs of any other party.
Legal Action Committee reserves the right to impose contingencies,
conditions, and/or prerequisites on support as it deems necessary or
desirable; including, but not limited to, requiring financial
participation by a Member Board or the National Association of
REALTORS®, requiring verified statements of fees and expenses to be
reviewed by HAR General Counsel prior to disbursement, requiring
periodic status reports, requiring reimbursement in the event of
settlement or award of attorneys fees and costs, or requiring that
HAR General Counsel be consulted on a current and continuing basis
concerning decisions related to the litigation or administrative
proceeding which is being supported.
Failure to satisfy such contingencies, conditions, and/or
prerequisites may result in the immediate suspension of all support
of the litigation or administrative proceedings and the termination
of such support if the recipient fails to justify such failures or
otherwise satisfy the Legal Action Committee that support should be
request for assistance from the Legal Action Fund for a legal or
administrative proceeding shall be in writing and submitted to the
Executive Vice President of HAR.
The Executive Vice President shall promptly notify the
President and General Counsel of such request.
request for assistance from the Legal Action Fund shall contain the
following information before it may be considered:
names of all parties to the litigation or administrative
proceeding and the jurisdiction and court or agency where the case
has been, or will be brought;
name of the party or parties to be assisted by the request and the
attorney and law firm representing such party, if any;
summary of the nature of the case and the facts and circumstances
surrounding the issues to be determined, with particular emphasis
on how the case meets the Criteria for Assistance set forth in
Section V, hereof. Copies
of any complaints or answers should be included with the request;
of the proceedings to date, as well as those anticipated through the
conclusion of the matter;
matter is covered by any insurance;
The form of
assistance requested. If the
assistance sought is financial, an estimate (or the exact amount, if
known) of the legal expenses incurred to date and an estimate of the legal
expenses to be incurred by the party to be supported through the
conclusion of the matter;
other organization is providing financial or other support.
Whether assistance has been sought from any HAR Member Board or
from the National Association of REALTORS®; and
comments believed to be relevant to the Legal Action Committee's
PROCEDURE FOR CONSIDERATION OF
REQUESTS FOR ASSISTANCE
receipt of a written request for assistance from the Legal Action Fund,
the HAR Executive Vice President shall determine if the applicant has a
copy of the Legal Action Fund Statement of Organization and Procedure and
any rules and procedures adopted by the Legal Action Committee.
If not, a copy shall be supplied.
consultation with HAR General Counsel, the Executive Vice President shall
determine whether the request for assistance contains all of the
information required as set forth in Section VII, hereof.
If it does not, this shall be brought to the attention of the
applicant and time allowed to complete the request.
complete request for assistance shall then be submitted to HAR General
Counsel for review.
applicant shall be notified and invited to attend the next scheduled
meeting of the Legal Action Committee or of the date of a special meeting
called by the Chair.
At the next
scheduled meeting of the Legal Action Committee or at a special meeting
called by the Chair, in executive session, HAR General Counsel shall
present the request for assistance to the Legal Action Committee with a
recommendation as to whether the request meets the requirements for
participation. In open
session, the Legal Action Committee shall then hear from the applicant if
the applicant is in attendance.
Action Committee shall then retire and deliberate in executive session.
In reviewing the request, the Legal Action Committee may seek
further information from the requesting parties and the opinions of HAR
General Counsel as it deems necessary.
The Legal Action Committee shall make its decision in executive
session, and a memorandum of its decision will be furnished to the
requesting parties. If the
decision is to provide assistance, it shall state the nature, extent, and
conditions under which any such assistance shall be provided.
Should the parties fail to agree to the conditions under which
assistance is offered, the request shall be denied.
reconsideration of requests for assistance shall be based upon information
not presented at the time of the original presentation of the request to
the Legal Action Committee.
decision of the Legal Action Committee shall be final.
REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE
At any time
after a request for assistance is granted, the requesting party or parties
may request additional assistance. Any
such request for additional assistance shall be submitted in writing to
the Executive Vice President and shall include:
of the current status of the matter and what has transpired since the
initial request; and
financial assistance is sought, a statement of all expenses incurred to
date, an estimate of
additional expenses anticipated to carry the matter to a satisfactory
conclusion and a statement of the amount of financial assistance
receipt of the above, the procedures outlined in Section VIII, Paragraphs
3 through 8 shall be implemented.
REPORTS TO MEMBERSHIP
Action Committee shall make periodic reports to the membership and other
contributors (no less than quarterly) describing matters for which
assistance is being provided and the funds committed to each such project.
shall include a description of the conclusion of any matter for which
assistance has been provided during the period since the last report.