Yes, You Can Hold a Productive North Carolina Annual HOA/Condo Meeting During a Pandemic

In these first few weeks of 2021, we’ve heard from a number of associations who never got around to holding their 2020 annual membership meeting. That’s understandable given how difficult 2020 was. COVID-19 made large in-person gatherings extremely difficult and sometimes impossible. Various state Executive Orders have at times restricted attendance at meetings from only 25 to fewer. (10 is currently the number of members who can be present at an indoor association meeting.) As a result, many associations decided to wait to hold the annual meeting until things improved. But here we are, one year after the first US … Continue reading

New NC Executive Order Extends Ability to Hold Electronic Membership Meetings

As one of the last Executive Orders issued in 2020, Governor Cooper has extended the ability of North Carolina associations (including HOAs and condos) to hold virtual membership meetings. How Did We Get Here? Current COVID restrictions limit NC indoor meetings to 10 and outdoor meetings to 25 “at the same time in a single confined indoor or outdoor space.” These limits must be considered when planning any in-person association membership or board meeting. Prior to the pandemic, associations boards could meet virtually, but not association membership meetings. However, on April 24, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order #136, which … Continue reading

Coronavirus (COVID-19) HOA & Condo Blog Articles

Since February of this year, we have posted a number of articles on how community associations should respond to the coronavirus crisis as well as changes in HOA/condo practices that may need to be considered. For ease of finding, these articles are linked below: The Coronavirus, Flu, and HOA/Condo Association Meetings – 2/26/20 Coronavirus: What Should Homeowner and Condominium Associations Do? – 3/1/2020 “Let’s Have Our Meeting or Convention Online!” – 3/14/2020 How to Hold Your North Carolina HOA/Condo Hearing in a Pandemic – 3/24/2020 Should My Community Close Its Common Areas Due to COVID-19? – 3/25/2020 What to Do … Continue reading

Lessons Learned from Large Virtual Conventions, Representative Assemblies, and Houses of Delegates

During the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual meetings such as Zoom and GoToMeetings have been invaluable for allowing people to interact face-to-face online. However, as helpful as virtual meetings can be for smaller groups, large gatherings of hundreds or more pose different problems. That’s particularly the case for very large conventions, representative assemblies, houses of delegates, and governing councils. Such meetings are more complicated when held online because of the number of delegates and usual types of business (credentials, rules, bylaws amendments, large budgets, legislative programs, resolutions, numerous new business items). In addition, such meetings typically see more motions (amend, refer, close … Continue reading

New NC Executive Order Extends Virtual Membership Meetings Through December 29

Membership meetings of North Carolina nonprofit corporations, including homeowner and condominium associations, can continue to be held virtually/electronically for at least the next 60 days. Since September 1, North Carolina’s Phase 2.5 (now 3.0) restrictions have limited indoor meeting attendance to 25 and outdoor attendance to 50 “at the same time in a single confined indoor or outdoor space, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, or meeting hall.” Such requirements should be taken into account when planning any association in-person membership or board meeting. Executive Order #136 issued by the Governor on April 24, 2020, allowed for nonprofit membership meetings … Continue reading

NC Executive Order Again Extends Electronic Membership Meetings

Membership meetings of North Carolina nonprofits, including homeowner and condominium associations, can continue to be held virtually/electronically for at least the next 60 days. Since May 20, North Carolina Phase 2 restrictions have limited indoor meeting attendance to 10 and outdoor attendance to 25, which makes it rather hard to hold an in-person association membership meeting. (It can be done, it just requires certain physical arrangements, numerous proxies, or both.) Executive Order #136 issued by the Governor on April 24, 2020, allowed for nonprofit membership meetings to be held virtually under certain conditions. That Executive Order expired on June 23, … Continue reading

New Robert’s Rules of Order

The latest Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised has been released! For organizations that follow Robert’s Rules of Order, most tend to use the newest edition. That’s because either a state or federal law or the governing documents refer not to a specific numbered edition, but to the latest edition. For instance, two North Carolina state statutes (NCGS § 47F-3-108 & 47C-3-108) provide that as to homeowner and condominium associations, “meetings of the association and the executive board shall be conducted in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.”  Identical language can be found … Continue reading

How to Hold a North Carolina HOA or Condo Virtual Membership Meeting

Normally (not during a pandemic), virtual membership meetings of homeowner and condominium associations are not permitted. As noted in this Coronavirus, Flu, and HOA/Condo Association Meetings article, members usually have two options for making decisions outside of meetings: (1) “action by written (unanimous) consent” and (2) “action by written ballot.” In addition, for declaration amendments the NC Planned Community Act and Condominium Act allow adoption by “written agreement” from members, which is a different no-meeting process. But recognize that none of these count as a “meeting.” They are all methods of making decisions without a meeting. So, if you want … Continue reading

2020 CAI-NC Annual Conference Educational Sessions ONLINE

The Annual Conference of the North Carolina Chapter of the Community Associations Institute will be virtual this year. While the Conference is officially next week, July 23-24, there will be many more educational opportunities on issues of concern to HOAs and condos. Registered attendees at this year’s Conference will choose 4 of 12 learning sessions to attend on Conference days (July 23-24). But one of 12 recorded sessions will be opened each day for viewing online Monday-Thursday in the 3 weeks following the Conference. You can attend or re-attend any as part of Conference registration. In addition, presenters will “attend” online the day … Continue reading

New Firm Name & Partners

New Firm Name The law firm of Black, Slaughter & Black, PA will now be doing business as Law Firm Carolinas. The firm, which practices in North and South Carolina, has four offices: Greensboro, Charlotte, Triangle (Garner) and Coastal (Wilmington). New Partners In addition, three attorneys have been named partners in the firm: Jennifer Ruby, who does general civil litigation, business litigation and appeals. Ruby is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2006) and Elon University School of Law (2010) and is based in the Greensboro office. Michael Taliercio, who manages the firm’s HOA/condo assessment … Continue reading

New NC Executive Order Again Allows Electronic Nonprofit Membership Meetings

NC Executive Order #141 issued on May 20 (and still in effect as of July 3) currently limits indoor meeting attendance to 10 and outdoor attendance to 25, which makes it rather hard to hold an in-person association membership meeting. By statute, NC nonprofit association boards have long been allowed to meet by telephone conference or video conference, so long as everyone can simultaneously hear everyone else. However, there has been no such statute for association member meetings. On April 24 the Governor issued Executive Order #136, which allowed for nonprofit membership meetings to be held virtually under certain conditions. … Continue reading

“Let’s Have Our Meeting or Convention Online!”

Due to the Coronavirus, in the last several weeks we have received a lifetime’s worth of questions about moving in-person business meetings and conventions to some type of electronic format. Our firm’s two Professional Registered Parliamentarian attorneys have assisted many clients in doing just that—board meetings, annual meetings, houses of delegates, etc. However, before jumping online there are considerations that should be addressed. Is an Electronic Meeting or Electronic Voting Allowed? There are two main online approaches to conducting business: (1) an electronic meeting and (2) electronic voting. An electronic meeting attempts to mirror an in-person meeting to some extent—members … Continue reading

The Coronavirus, Flu, and HOA/Condo Association Meetings

This is one of three articles on dealing with the Coronavirus and its impact. This blog looks at how association boards and members transact business outside of in-person meetings. See also Coronavirus: What Should Homeowner and Condominium Associations Do? and “Let’s Have Our Meeting or Convention Online!” As of today (February 27, 2020), estimates are that the Novel Coronavirus has infected 80,000 people worldwide, and killed 3,000. Flu statistics are even more shocking, with about 26 million Americans infected and 14,000 U.S. deaths. While I hope these crises will soon go away, we have been asked what to do if … Continue reading

Details on the 2020 National Community Association Law Seminar

As past President of the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL), I provide details each year on CAI’s national Community Association Law Seminar. Without question, the Law Seminar is the premiere HOA and condo legal program held each year. This year’s Law Seminar is the 41st annual and will be held January 15-18, 2020, in Las Vegas, NV. While the Law Seminar is mostly attended by attorneys, it’s not limited to attorneys. Other participants include insurance professionals, community association managers, and other industry leaders who wish to learn about HOA/condo law trends and practices. For insurance professionals who advise homeowner … Continue reading

Best Lawyers Recognition 2020

Law Firm Carolinas and two of its attorneys have been named to the 2020 US News Best Lawyers in America. Jim Slaughter has been recognized by Best Lawyers in the practices of Community Association Law and Real Estate Law. Keith Black has been recognized by Best Lawyers in the practice of Family Law. Law Firm Carolinas is again the only firm in North Carolina with a listing of “Community Association Law.”

Should an Announcement of Election Results Include Votes by Candidate?

This question was recently asked on a national HOA/condo list serve: “In a board of directors election, should the vote totals by candidate be released to the membership?” Without question, the answer of how election results are announced could vary by state, depending on state statutes. If a statute provides a specific process for elections, that process should be followed. Similarly, if the organization has clear provisions in its governing documents, such as the bylaws, follow that process. However, for associations that follow Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, either due to state law or the governing documents, there is … Continue reading

New Firm Facebook Page

Law Firm Carolinas has a new Facebook page where you can keep up with firm activities, read recent blogs, and find out where attorneys are speaking (and includes a photo from this morning’s Piedmont Education Breakfast where Steve Black spoke on Declaration Amendments: Pandora’s Box)? The new page can be found at www.facebook.com/BlackSlaughterBlack. We ask that you follow it, like it, and share it!

Jim Slaughter Recognized for Pro Bono Service

Attorney Jim Slaughter was recently recognized by the Greensboro Bar Association for his pro bono work by being named to the Herb Falk Society. The Herb Falk Society honors Bar members who have performed 75 hours or more of pro bono service hours during the year, which includes free or reduced legal services to clients and activities to improve the legal profession. This is Jim’s 7th year of recognition. His is pictured here with Judge Teresa Vincent, 2019 President of the Greensboro Bar Association.

Committee of the Whole

“Committee of the Whole” is a type of committee described in Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th Edition)(see RONR Section 52). While not commonly used, some large assemblies and legislative bodies follow the process. Without question, the procedure is an odd one. The normal presiding officer leaves the chair and a chairman of the committee is appointed. Members can speak in debate on the main question or amendment as often as they can get the floor. Only certain motions are in order. The committee is intended to adopt a report to be made to the assembly and then votes … Continue reading

Does Your Board Meeting Need a Parliamentarian?

In large association membership meetings or conventions, it is common to find someone serving as parliamentarian (whether a member or outside credentialed professional). A question I’m often asked, though, is “Does our board meeting need a parliamentarians”? (For purposes of full disclosure, I’m an attorney, Certified Professional Parliamentarian, Professional Registered Parliamentarian, past President of the American College of Parliamentary Lawyers, and author of two books on meeting procedure.) A parliamentarian is simply an adviser to the presiding officer and other officers, committees and members on matters of meeting procedure. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but:  The president and board members … Continue reading