Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About AIPLA's Committees
How Do I Get Started?
Q: I just took over as a Committee Chair. Now what?
A: The outgoing Chair of your Committee should have briefed you on the previous year’s activities at the Committee and subcommittee level. If you have not yet been in contact with the outgoing Chair, we encourage you to call him or her. We also recommend that you look at Tab 3 of your Committee Leadership Resources Handbook, the section entitled “Guidelines to Being a Good Committee Chair.” There you will find an overview of your duties as a Committee Chair and tips for making your term run more smoothly.
Q: How can I update my Committee’s website?
A: Please refer to Tab 8 of your Committee Leadership Resources Handbook. The instructions contained therein will walk you through the process of using AIPLA’s Committee Microsites. If you need any additional assistance, contact AIPLA HQ.
Q: Is there a way to communicate with my entire Committee?
A: Yes – you can click here for instructions.The Committee List is maintained and automatically updated every night. Once you take office at the Annual Meeting, AIPLA Staff will update the database with current chairs, vice chairs, board liaisons, etc. You can also access this list by going to www.aipla.org and click on the Committee Center section and the link to “Committee Pages.” Find the microsite for your Committee and click on the button on the left-hand side of the screen for “Mailing List”.
Q: How can I motivate my Committee to get active?
A: Use your committee microsite to send an email or start a discussion that gets emailed to your entire committee to regularly communicate committee activities when projects arise. Assign subcommittees with subcommittee leadership and stay in contact with them between the Stated Meetings.
Working with AIPLA Staff
Q: What can I expect working with AIPLA Staff?
A: While AIPLA Staff is more than happy to help you and your Committee, they are not to be used as personal assistants. We are a very small Staff - there are more Committees than Staff members at AIPLA Headquarters. We cannot accommodate regular requests from each Committtee; however, as a Committee Leader, you should have received a copy of the Committee Leadership Resources Handbook. The Handbook is designed to give you the guidance you will need as a Committee Leader and should answer most questions you may have. If you have a question not covered by the Handbook please don’t hesitate to contact Staff – just don’t make them the primary resource for information!
Q: Does my Committee need to meet at each Stated Meeting?
A: No. While we encourage you to hold a meeting to let your members and others within the Association know what your Committee is working on, you are not required to hold an official meeting at all three Stated Meetings.
Q: How can I get CLE credit for my Committee meeting?
A: Please refer to Tab 3 & Tab 11 of your Committee Leadership Resources Handbook. There you will find an outline and schedule of the tasks required to get your program credit.
Q: I have special AV requirements for my Committee Meeting. Whom do I contact?
A: Please refer to Tab 3b of the Committee Leadership Resources Handbook. AIPLA Staff will contact you in advance of the coming Stated Meeting to ask you about your AV needs for your Committee meeting. Be sure to reply by the indicated date to make sure your requirements are included.
Requesting a USPTO Speaker
Q: I have a speaker from the USPTO that I would like to speak at my Committee Meeting. Can I ask him or her myself?
A: No. Referring to Tab 12 of your Committee Leadership Resources Handbook, AIPLA Headquarters sends out requests for all USPTO personnel. The agency requested that they receive one complete request containing the names of all requested speakers. If you would like a USPTO speaker, please contact HQ well in advance of the meeting so we can be sure to include the individual’s name on our request.
Q: I have a resolution I would like to put up for a vote in my Committee. How can I get a quorum?
A: Please refer to Tab 3c of the Committee Leadership Resources Handbook, in particular the section entitled “Tips for Committee Voting and Obtaining a Quorum.” To get a quorum, you will need over 50% of the votes of all Active-Voting Committee members. Each Active-Voting Committee member must vote on a resolution to qualify for a quorum.
Q: What do I do if I have Active-Voting Committee members who do not vote?
A: Please refer to Tab 3c and Tab 10B of the Committee Leadership Resources Handbook. If a Committee member does not vote in so many quorums, you may, as the Committee Chair, change that member’s status from “Active-Voting” to “Information Only.”
Q: What should my Committee Report include?
A: Please refer to Committee Report Guidelines. The Committee Report is intended to give the AIPLA general membership an idea of what your Committee is currently working on. You can include various projects, an overview of the most recent Committee Meeting and sub-committee activity.