Parliamentary Law

Better meeting procedures can benefit any organization—conventions, condominium and homeowner associations, unions, school boards, city councils, county commissions, and nonprofits. 

Statutes and association-governing documents often prescribe the rules organizations must follow to transact business. As a result, ignoring or incorrectly applying parliamentary procedure can lead to embarrassment, hard feelings, and even lawsuits. But the benefits of a well-run meeting go far beyond legal concerns. Proper procedure can turn long, confrontational meetings into short, painless ones. If you’re a leader, that’s a good way to keep members happy.

Black, Slaughter & Black is the only law firm in the United States with two Parliamentarians as members of the American College of Parliamentary Lawyers.  Partner Jim Slaughter is a Certified Professional Parliamentarian with the American Institute of Parliametarians, Professional Registered Parliamentarian with the National Association of Parliamentarians, and past President of the American College of Parliamentary Lawyers. He is author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parliamentary Procedure Fast-Track and Notes and Comments on Robert's Rules, Fourth Edition.  Attorney Michael Taliercio is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian with the National Association of Parliamentarians and a member of the American College of Parliamentary Lawyers.

Advise Presiding Officers and Boards
Black, Slaughter & Black regularly advises presiding officers and boards on proper parliamentary procedure, including Robert’s Rules of Order. Prior to meetings, we can assist with parliamentary tactics and strategy, review and advise on meeting scripts or proposed motions, and draft effective meeting rules. During meetings, we give parliamentary advice and opinions to the presiding officer with a card system that gives precise on-the-spot wording.

Workshops on Effective Meetings
Make your meetings shorter and more legal through several parliamentary workshops, including “Parliamentary Survival Skills,” which is a fast-paced and entertaining look at running effective meetings.

Parliamentary Opinions
By reviewing your governing documents and parliamentary authority (usually Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th Edition), our attorneys can advise on the correctness of past actions or give advice for an upcoming meeting on issues ranging from notice, quorum, voting, motions, proxies, to elections.

Serve as a Professional Presider
At times, the contentiousness, complexity, or politics of a situation may call for an outside chair. Attorneys at Black, Slaughter & Black have presided over numerous meetings—including governmental, community associations, and churches.

There are also many free charts and articles on Robert's Rules and running meetings at our companion parliamentary procedure site at www.jimslaughter.com