What Happens if You Lose Quorum During a Meeting?

My last blog concerned “What Happens if You Don’t Have Quorum at the Start of a Meeting?”  A related question is, “What happens if you start the meeting with a quorum, but lose it during the meeting?”  While the issue of quorum at the beginning of a meeting can be complicated, the issue of vanishing quorum can get downright confusing.  That’s because you can end at a different result depending your type of organization (nonprofit corporation, membership meeting, board, shareholder meeting, governmental body, HOA, condo association, etc.) and location (different states have different statutes). What is the Significance of Meeting Quorum … Continue reading

What Happens if You Don’t Have Quorum at the Beginning of a Meeting?

  Quorum is the minimum number of members who must be present at a meeting to transact business.  The requirement protects the organization by preventing a very small number of members from taking action on behalf of the entire organization.  While there are some exceptions (see below), no motions or votes should occur unless there is a quorum. What Is the Right Quorum? Quorum can be an absolute number (“five members of the board”) or a percentage (“20 percent of the votes in the condominium”) and is usually established in the governing documents, such as the constitution or bylaws.  However, … Continue reading

Should Annual Meetings Approve Minutes?

Like board meetings, an annual meeting of a nonprofit, condominium association, or homeowner association should keep accurate minutes.  After all, adopted minutes are the official record of actions taken at a meeting.  Well-written minutes may be the best proof of whether a proposal was adopted or the exact wording of a motion, possibly even years later.  (See “A Minutes on Meeting Minutes” for tips on best practices.)   Who Approves Annual Meeting Minutes? But who should vote to approve annual meeting minutes?  It’s not uncommon for such membership meetings to take up the minutes as an early item of business … Continue reading

A Minute on Meeting Minutes

Adopted meeting minutes are the official record of actions taken at a meeting.  As a result, well-written minutes can be invaluable.  In the event of a dispute, minutes are the best proof of whether a proposal was adopted or the exact wording of a motion. State statutes and governing documents can, but usually don’t, address what must be in meeting minutes (a few statutes regulate the minutes of governmental bodies and condos/HOA’s).  Even without such guidance, if you follow Robert’s Rules of Order, you’re in luck.  The current edition, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th Edition), gives excellent advice on … Continue reading

Free Parliamentary Motions Guide to the Current Robert’s Rules of Order

The latest Robert’s Rules of Order is Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th Edition).  Each new edition brings changes to procedure (the 11th Edition lists 120).  If you go hunting in Robert’s, you’ll find more than 80 different motions, but that’s more motions than you’ll likely need in a lifetime of meetings.  Robert’s Rules of Order permits small boards to operate quite informally.  Even large membership meetings can survive on fewer than about a dozen motions. Click the following motions guide for a Roberts Rules of Order PDF.   Visit www.jimslaughter.com for other charts and motions guide to Robert’s Rules of … Continue reading

Finding the Right Robert’s Rules of Order

At several recent association meetings I’ve seen members using the wrong Robert’s Rules of Order (that is, books that look like Robert’s, but aren’t).  Does which version of Robert’s Rules is used make a difference?  Absolutely!   Many organizations dictate in their governing documents that a particular parliamentary book will be followed when transacting business. State statutes often require corporations, nonprofits, or government bodies to follow specific rules or even Robert’s Rules.  For instance, both the N.C. Planned Community Act and the N.C. Condominium Act provide that community association membership and board meetings must be conducted according to “the most recent … Continue reading

Happy Birthday, General Henry Martyn Robert!

Today (May 2) is the 176th birthday of the author of the original Robert’s Rules of Order, Henry Martyn Robert.  He was born May 2, 1837, in Robertville, South Carolina. Henry Martyn Robert and Roberts Rules of Order History The current edition of the book, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th Edition), would be hardly recognizable to Robert.  His 1876 Pocket Manual of Rules of Order for Deliberative Assemblies was 176 pages long.  Robert’s vision was to create a “very brief pocket manual, so cheap that every member of a church or society could own a copy, and so … Continue reading

Meeting Myths

5 Myths About Meetings & Parliamentary Procedure If your association meetings are organized, properly run and stay on track, consider yourself lucky. If not, it’s likely your association is spending time on things it shouldn’t or isn’t doing things it should. There are several reasons why you might be having troubles. Let’s dispel some common meeting myths and explore what it takes to run a good one. Myth #1: Parliamentary Procedure Doesn’t Matter. Many associations dictate in their governing documents that a certain parliamentary book will be followed when transacting business. In fact, North Carolina and other states have statutes … Continue reading