(a) Purpose. Unless otherwise determined by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, there shall be held annually at such time and place as shall be designated by the Chief Judge of the Circuit a conference of all the circuit, district, bankruptcy and magistrate judges of the Circuit for the purpose of considering the state of business of the courts and advising ways and means of improving the administration of justice within the Circuit. The Chief Judge shall preside at the conference.
(b) Types of Conferences; Who Shall Attend. Unless otherwise determined by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, there shall be two types of conferences, denominated as "open" conferences and "judges only" conferences.
(1) Open Conferences. Beginning with the conference held in 2000, conferences held in even-numbered years shall be for the circuit, district, bankruptcy and magistrate judges of this circuit and members of the bar who are eligible to attend pursuant to the provisions of sections (c) and (d) of this rule
(2) Judges Only Conferences. Beginning with the conference held in 2001, conferences held in odd-numbered years shall be for the circuit, district, bankruptcy and magistrate judges of this circuit. Attorneys generally will not participate in such conferences.
(c) Members of Bar; How Chosen. Members of the conference from the bar shall be composed of the following:
(1) The presidents and presidents-elect of the state bar associations of the states of the Circuit.
(2) The vice presidents for the Sixth Circuit of the Federal Bar Association and any members of the Executive Committee of the Federal Bar Association who reside in the Sixth Circuit.
(3) The dean or designated member of the faculty of each accredited law school within the Circuit.
(4) The members of the Advisory Committee on Rules of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
(5) The United States Attorney for each judicial district in the Sixth Circuit.
(6) The Federal Public Defender or Executive Director of the Community Defender Organization for the judicial districts in the Sixth Circuit that have established such defender organizations.
(7) Delegates to the conference consisting of two or more lawyers who meet the eligibility criteria set forth in Section (c)(7)(i) to be appointed annually by the Chief Judge of the Circuit and two such qualified lawyers to be appointed annually by each other Circuit Judge and one such qualified lawyer to be appointed by each district judge as members of the conference for open conferences. In naming delegates, judges are encouraged to give due regard to the composition of the bar of their court with respect to areas of practice, race, sex, national origin and level of experience. Appointment as a delegate for a particular conference in no way implies appointment as a delegate to succeeding conferences.
(i) Eligibility to be a delegate. To be eligible to be selected as a delegate by a circuit or district judge, an attorney must have practiced actively in one or more federal courts of this Circuit in a manner that reflects integrity, honesty, capability and civility for at least five years prior to selection and invitation. Such attorney should be known to the judge making the appointment and should have demonstrated a willingness to work to improve the judicial system
(8) Any attorney admitted to practice in one or more federal courts of this Circuit.
(d) Life Members. An attorney who meets the eligibility requirements set forth in Sections (d)(1) through (d)(5) shall be a Life Member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference and shall be eligible to attend all open conferences of this Circuit. The Life Members, acting through the Life Member Committee established in Section (e)(2) shall be responsible for the organization and presentation of the Life Member participation in the programs and collegial activities of open circuit conferences
(1) Delegates. An attorney who has attended three conferences as a delegate named by a circuit or district judge shall be a Life Member of the conference.
(2) Other Members. An attorney who has attended three conferences as a member of the conference under one or more of the provisions of Sections (c)(1) through (c)(6) shall be a Life Member of the conference.
(3) Attendees. An attorney who has attended three conferences, beginning with the conference held in 2000, may petition the Chief Judge of the Circuit to become a Life Member of the conference. Such petition shall show that the attendee meets the eligibility requirements of a delegate to the conference as set forth in Section (c)(7)(i), and, in particular, must show that the attendee attended at least three open conferences after having been engaged in active practice in one or more federal courts of this Circuit for five years. The petition shall contain the favorable recommendation of a circuit or district judge of this Circuit. The Chief Judge of the Circuit shall grant the petition if the attendee satisfies the requirements in this section as well as Section (c)(7)(i). The Chief Judge's decision is final unless a majority of active circuit judges determines that the Chief Judge has clearly erred in granting or denying the petition.
(4) Retired or Former Judges. Any circuit or district judge who has retired from his or her judicial office under honorable circumstances pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 371(a) or who has resigned from his or her judicial office under honorable circumstances after having served at least three years, shall be a Life Member of the conference. Any bankruptcy or magistrate judge who has retired from his or her judicial office under honorable circumstances pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 377(a) or who has resigned from his or her judicial office under honorable circumstances after having served for a least ten years, shall be a Life Member of the conference, upon the recommendation of the majority of the district judges of the district in which such bankruptcy or magistrate judge served.
(5) Aggregation of Years of Attendance. For purposes of determining eligibility for Life Member status, an attorney may aggregate years of attendance at conferences pursuant to Sections (c)(1) through (c)(8).
(6) Maintenance of Life Member Status. In order to maintain active Life Member status, a Life Member must attend three open conferences each decade, starting from the year 2000 open conference, and pay annual dues as set forth in Section (d)(7). If these requirements are not met, the Life Member shall be assigned to inactivestatus, subject to qualification as a senior Life Member. Inactive Life Members shall not receive a letter of invitation or the conference registration information for open conferences nor be responsible for the payment of dues.
(i) Reinstatement to Active Life Member Status. An inactive Life Member may request to be restored to active status upon a showing of reasonable cause. Such requests shall be decided by the Chief Judge of the Circuit who shall give due consideration to the recommendation of the Life Member Committee.
(ii) Senior Life Members Status. Upon reaching the age of 70, a Life Member may elect senior status. A senior Life Member shall continue to receive a letter of invitation and conference registration materials, but shall be exempt from the requirement of attendance. A senior Life Member shall have the option to pay the annual dues but shall not be required to pay.
(7) Dues. Active Life Members shall pay dues of $100 annually or such other amount as may be determined by the Life Member Committee. Funds collected by the Life Member Committee will be turned over to the Circuit Executive for deposit and expenditure as directed by the Chair of the Life Member Committee.
(e) Committees. The Chief Judge of the Circuit shall from time to time appoint the following committees to assist in the planning and execution of the conferences.
(1) Standing Committee on Judicial Conference Planning. The Standing Committee on Judicial Conference Planning shall consist of a representative number of circuit, district, bankruptcy and magistrate judges of this Circuit and members of the bar who shall serve for a five-year term unless extended at the discretion of the Chief Judge. Terms shall rotate so that approximately one-fifth of the Standing Committee's members' terms end each year. The Standing Committee on Judicial Conference Planning shall have the responsibility of planning and organizing the programs and arrangements for the annual circuit conferences. The Standing Committee may be supplemented by ad hoc committees to arrange particular aspects of any annual conference. Such ad hoc committees may be appointed by the Chair of the Standing Committee.
(2) Life Member Committee. The Life Member Committee shall consist of three Life Members from each of the four states in the Circuit, with at least one member being from each district. Life Member Committee members shall serve for a three-year term, with possible reappointment by the Chief Judge for one additional term, provided, however, that the Chief Judge is authorized to fix the length of terms so that approximately one-third of the terms expire each year. The Chief Judge of the Circuit shall designate the Chair of the Life Member Committee. The Life Member Committee shall be responsible for all of the organization and activities of the Life Members, including, in consultation with the Chief Judge and the Chair of theStanding Committee on Judicial Conference Planning, the organization and presentation of the Life Members' participation in open conferences and the collection of annual dues.
(3) Senior Counselors. The members of the Life Member Committee and the Life Members serving on the Standing Committee on Judicial Conference Planning, shall further be recognized as Senior Counselors to the Sixth Circuit, with responsibility to provide advice, at the request of the Court, on issues, policies and such other matters of significant concern to the Court.