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

The Filibuster and Robert’s Rules of Order

The term filibuster has burst back into the public consciousness due to several high profile political happenings.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has threatened a “nuclear option” in the United States Senate to prohibit filibusters of certain presidential nominees.  And recently in Texas, state Senator Wendy Davis used a 13 hour filibuster to defeat an abortion bill by speaking until the legislative clock ran out.  Many news reports on these two events have mentioned the filibuster in the context of parliamentary procedure and the parliamentary manual, Robert’s Rules of Order.  Twitter even reported that during Senator Davis’ filibuster the phrase … 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