The International Society of Barrister Foundation exists to support the same ideals as the International Society of Barristers: to retain trial by jury; provide training in trial advocacy; encourage civility in the adversary system; and support and improve our system of justice. 


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How to Nominate: Admission to Fellowship

The Nomination Process:  Four Simple Steps

Step 1: Does the person qualify?
Article 5 of our Articles of Incorporation requires:
  1. More than 10 years of practice.
  2. More than 50% of average professional income from controverted causes with emphasis on in court personal conduct by the person.
  3. Must be recognized for excellence of advocacy by a means acceptable to the Board of Governors.
  4. Excellent character, integrity of the highest order.
  5. Amiability of disposition, conducive to  harmony in the personal relationships of the Fellows of the Society.
  6. By virtue of resourcefulness, courage, and other professional and personal qualities, has distinguished himself or herself as outstanding in the field of advocacy, rather than merely competent or average skills as an advocate.
Our Board in 2010 added these thoughts:
  1. The Society should continue to be an organization of elite trial lawyers.  Other organizations recognize and celebrate excellence in many aspects of the practice.  Fine people who have outstanding practices and who are well regarded as leaders in the organized Bar by members of those organizations.  To be considered for Fellowship in the Barristers, a person must be a trial lawyer - a person "outstanding in the field of advocacy."
  2. A bright line definition of the attributes of someone "outstanding in the field of advocacy is not possible, each decision will depend on context but the board believes that:
  • Many people are trying cases.
  • We should select people who are still trying cases but will look at the entire body of work of the nominee with emphasis on the most recent years of practice with a goal of selecting lawyers who regularly advocate for the rights of their clients in a courtroom setting where the skills of advocacy are practiced and demonstrated.
  • We need to work harder to identify lawyers in their 40's and 50's.
  • We are committed to the initiative to increase diversity and inclusion (ISOB Diversity Checklist).
  • Jury trials are the preferred credential; bench trials carry less weight. 
  • Arbitrations of significant duration involving complex matters are acceptable but only if the nominee has also had experience as a jury trial lawyer. 
  • Mediations or other results from settlements are irrelevant.
  • There is no minimum number of jury trials.
Step 2: Completing the Nomination Form and Trial List

The person being nominated should not know they are being considered for Fellowship in the Barristers to avoid disappointment and hard feelings should their nomination be unsuccessful.
 
  1. Download the pdf fillable nomination and trial list forms from the ISOB website.  You must be logged in to access the nominate tab.  Fill out the required information completely and correctly.  
  2. Any Fellow can submit a nomination including for nominees not from their state or country.  However, before nominating someone not from your area, please check with the State or Country Chair for the place where the nominee practices to determine the nominee's standing.  State and Country chairs are found by clicking the tab under nominate or in the most recent issue of the Roster towards the front.
  3. When the online forms are complete make sure to send them.  Copies of the nomination form and trial list should be emailed to Don Beskind at beskind@law.duke.edu; Nicole Satterwhite at nicole@isob.com; and to the National Membership Chair Tim Tomasik at tim@tkklaw.com.  One of them sends it to the relevant State or Country chair.  The nominee will not be considered without a complete folder.
  4. For judicial references, please include email addresses when they can be obtained.
  5. From this point on, the individual is considered a formal nominee to be discussed at the next meeting.
Everything from this point on is done by someone other than the nominator.

Step 3: Vetting the Nomination

Once received, the Administrative Secretary reviews the nomination for common errors.  These include:
  • No statement of reasons for the nomination written by the nominator
  • Wrong form used for trial list or insufficient information on correct form
  • No proper names and complete addresses for judges
  • Nominator has not signed form
When the nomination is complete and in correct form, the Administrative Secretary sends a letter and evaluation form to each judge listed requesting their assessment of the nominee in light of our criterion for membership and collects the responses.  As these are returned, they are scanned and put into the respective nomination folder.  The nomination folder builds as information is received.

The Administrative Secretary also completes and sends an electronic poll to the members in the nominee's state or country and compiles the results when the poll is complete.  

When the polls and judge responses are complete, the Membership Chair evaluates the nomination form and trial list, and the poll and judge responses.  After that review, a summary form for each nominee, including a photograph of the nominee is prepared.

Step 4: Making the Fellowship Decision

The Board generally meets twice a year to select new Fellows, once at the Annual Meeting and once at a Board of Governors meeting generally held in September or October.  In advance of the meeting the Board receives, for each nominee, the Membership Chair's summary, the nomination form and trial list, Martindale Hubbell rating if applicable, firm website bio, copies of the judge evaluation responses and the poll results. 

The Board generally does one of three things with each nominee.  Below is what results from each:
  1. Nominee accepted.  The nominator and State or Country Chair is notified by the Membership Chair.  The person elected receives a letter from the Administrative Secretary.  If the person accepts the offer of Fellowship, they must appear for induction at one of the next three Annual meetings.
  2. Nominee rejected or no motion for acceptance.  The nominator and State or Country Chair is notified by the Membership Chair.
  3. Nomination tabled for later consideration.  This usually means that the Board wanted more information or a clarification of existing information.  When this happens a Board member or the Membership Chair or Administrative Secretary gathers the information and the nomination is reconsidered at the following meeting.
For questions, please contact the National Membership Chair or Administrative Secretary.