Book Review: Run, Don’t Walk, to Buy Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track

Ann Macfarlane, a Professional Registered Parliamentarian in Seattle who works with many local governments and is author of Mastering Council Meetings: A Guidebook for Elected Officials and Local Governments, published the following review of Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track on her website: Reader, I am over the moon about Jim Slaughter’s new book, Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track. This brief, affordable and funny guidebook will give you the tools to apply Robert’s Rules immediately and effectively. Jim’s humor and focus kept me reading with enjoyment, underlining key phrases, and dotting the text with exclamation points. Jim starts the first chapter, … Continue reading

Taliercio Re-Elected President of American College of Parliamentary Lawyers

Law Firm Carolinas partner Michael Taliercio has been re-elected President of the American College of Parliamentary Lawyers. The ACPL acknowledges attorneys who have distinguished themselves through contributions to the practice of parliamentary law, including lawyers that work with nonprofit associations, unions, HOA and condo associations, houses of worship, and governmental bodies. Taliercio is both an attorney and a Professional Registered Parliamentarian with the National Association of Parliamentarians.

Is There a Difference between The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (“Sturgis”) and AIP’s Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure?

I recently posted that as a result of the new 12th Edition of Robert’s Rules, there are updated “cheat sheets” to the motions most often seen in meetings. On the Charts & Handouts Page of our firm’s parliamentary website are parliamentary motions guides to the most common parliamentary authorities, including Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, Fourth Edition (“Sturgis”), and the American Institute of Parliamentarian’s Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure. (Different types of organizations tend to use different parliamentary authorities.) That led someone to ask, “Is there a difference between The Standard Code of Parliamentary … Continue reading

Robert’s Rules of Order & Sturgis Motions “Cheat Sheets”

This year saw the publication of my two new books on proper meeting procedure, Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track and Notes and Comments on Robert’s Rules, Fifth Edition. With the publication of these books (based on the new 12th Edition of Robert’s), I’ve been asked if there are updated “cheat sheets” to the motions most often seen in meetings. The answer is “yes.” Parliamentary motions guides to the most used parliamentary authorities, including Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, Fourth Edition (“Sturgis”), and AIP’s Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, can all … Continue reading

Notes and Comments on Robert’s Rules, Fifth Edition NOW AVAILABLE!

This summer I let you know about the release of Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track, a quick go-to guide that provides details on the most used motions, appropriate informal procedures for association boards, and general advice for shortening meetings. Pleased to say it was the #1 new release in its category on Amazon, as small a category as that might be. As a follow-up, the new Fifth Edition of Notes and Comments on Robert’s Rules is now available! Regardless of your level of parliamentary experience, you’ll learn something new from Notes and Comments on Robert’s Rules, Fifth Edition. The book complements Robert’s Rules of … Continue reading

ABA Journal Podcast on Meetings & Robert’s Rules

If you like podcasts, the American Bar Association Journal interviewed me this month for its ABA Journal Modern Law Library on “Sick of Meetings That Go Off the Rails? Robert’s Rules of Order Can Help.” The discussion covered everything from the importance of proper meeting procedure, board versus member meeting procedure, myths about meetings, minutes, parliamentarians, parliamentary organizations, and more. Depending on your preferred podcast platform, the episode can be found at: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherOvercast Here’s the Modern Law Library website for the episode:

Update on Fifth Edition of Notes and Comments on Robert’s Rules

Several readers on Amazon have sent me a message to the effect of, “I have your Robert’s Rules Of Order Fast Track, but can’t seem to find Notes and Comments on Robert’s Rules, Fifth Edition, only the Fourth Edition for the last Robert’s. Where can I find the Fifth Edition?” First off, thanks for reading and for looking for the book! That’s gratifying to me as an author. Hope the books have been helpful. (As an aside, if you found the Fast Track guide helpful, please consider commenting or posting a review here, as that is how people find out … Continue reading

Should Meeting Minutes Include Names of Members in Attendance?

A question came up during a recent online discussion about whether the names of members attending a board meeting should be listed in the minutes, and perhaps even show what time the member arrived. Here’s not one, not two, but THREE answers! First, the good news is there’s no wrong answer. At the end of the day, the minutes are what the specific body within your organization decides by majority vote it wishes to have in its minutes. Different organizations have different style minutes. Second, if you follow (or try to follow) Robert’s Rules of Order there is no answer, … Continue reading

NC Community Association Legislative Update – June 21, 2022

ADOPTED BILL HAS IMPORTANT HOA/CONDO FIXES AND CHANGES TO HOW CONDOS ARE CREATED Due to other more pressing issues, several important bills impacting community associations were not addressed by the General Assembly in 2021. Those proposals have seen quick action this week, been adopted, and sent to the Governor for signature. Senate Bill 278’s(“SB278”) important features include that it: (1) “rescues” many older associations from concerns about the Marketable Title Act due to appellate decisions in 2021, (2) makes clear the NC Condominium Act applies to older condos when pursuing unpaid assessments, and (3) changes how condominiums are created. (The … Continue reading

Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track

My newest book, Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track, is now available! My first book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Parliamentary Procedure Fast-Track (2012) has been very popular, and Penguin asked for a new edition of the book updated for the new Robert’s Rule of Order and to include a discussion of  virtual and electronic meetings. Proper meeting procedure is more important than ever—especially in these contentious times. With that in mind, the book also covers dealing with problem members and problem chairs. To better reflect its focus, the book has been renamed Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track: The … Continue reading

How to Avoid Yellow Card Hell

My parliamentary articles tend to be general. Most often, they address broad procedural issues of widespread concern. This one is rather specific, as it addresses a practice most often encountered by state affiliates of the National Education Association (NEA), although some other types of organizations have similar procedures. Different meetings have different methods of recognition, most often due to past practice or convention standing rules. The NEA and its state affiliate meetings have long used recognition cards for those wishing to speak. Unlike voting cards (described in Voting Cards at Conventions & Annual Meetings), recognition cards are different and explained … Continue reading

Is It Time for a Post-Pandemic Bylaws Review?

The following article from Mark Athitakis appeared on May 15, 2022 in Associations Now from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The full article can be found by clicking here. Is It Time for a Post-Pandemic Bylaws Review? Antiquated bylaws can lock associations into a structure that makes little sense today. One expert explains why now is a good time for a refresh. Among the many things the pandemic has exposed are problems with association bylaws. Meetings were upended and the makeup of membership changed, but an association’s governing documents haven’t always adapted to that new reality. “Some [associations] have … Continue reading

Happy Birthday to the Author of Robert’s Rules of Order

Today (May 2, 2022) is 185 years since the birth of Henry Martyn Robert, the author of the original Robert’s Rules of Order. He was born May 2, 1837, in Robertville, SC, served in the Union Army, and eventually rose to General in the Army Corps of Engineers. Robert’s first edition, published in 1876, was far different than today’s Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) published by the Robert’s Rules Association. For starters, it was only 176 pages. Robert’s stated intent was to create a “very brief pocket manual, so cheap that every member of a church or … Continue reading

Voting Cards at Conventions & Annual Meetings

Although COVID-19 is (hopefully) waning, there are still concerns about immediately going back to the way things used to be done at annual meetings. For instance, the most common method pre-pandemic of voting during large meetings was by voice. On any matter to be decided, the presiding officer would ask all those in favor to say “AYE,” and those opposed to say “NO.” With continuing concerns about the virus, both leaders and health professionals have questioned whether hundreds or thousands of delegates should all be yelling in a crowded room at the same time, masked or not. There are alternatives … Continue reading

New Appellate Decision Impacts Declaration Amendments

In a decision issued today (April 5, 2022), the North Carolina Court of Appeals makes potentially significant changes to how amendments to declarations are adopted. As a result, associations considering declaration amendments should consult their attorney to make certain the process meets the new standards for adoption. Bryan v. Kittinger is a “published opinion,” which means the decision is controlling legal authority and can be cited in other cases. Interestingly, though the opinion impacts associations, there is no association involved as a named party in the case. Instead, this dispute is between two lot owners in the Sleepy Hollow Subdivision … Continue reading

Completely Updated Parliamentary Procedure Website with Resources

For almost thirty years, my parliamentary procedure website has had more articles and resources on meeting procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order than most anywhere else online. In part due to the new Robert’s Rules of Order (released 2020), the site has been completely revamped and updated, with all references now to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition). The updated website includes: Dozens of charts and articles on running effective meetings, all revised to the new Robert’s 12th Edition. Guides/”cheat sheets” to the new Robert’s and other major parliamentary manuals, including The Standard Code. Tips on how smaller … Continue reading

Thoughts on Bylaws: Individual Amendments, Bylaws Revisions, and Best Practices on Amending Bylaws

There are usually three main governing documents that most nonprofit corporations have today—corporate articles, bylaws, and board policy. The corporate articles (or “articles of incorporation” or “corporate charter”) are a legal document filed with the state and should have only statutory requirements, such as name of organization, address, service agent, etc. That said, older articles sometimes have additional provisions, including ones touching on governance, such as who can serve as a director, board size, date of annual meeting, etc. If you are considering bylaws changes, make certain to get a copy of any corporate articles to make certain there are … Continue reading

Finding the Right HOA/Condo Lawyer

Given our firm’s large practice in the Carolinas and our many online resources, I’m asked weekly by individuals in others states about how to find the right community association lawyer for an HOA/condo issue. Community association law is a very focused practice area. There are a number of online directories and Bar lists that can direct you to attorneys who focus on homeowner and condominium associations. However, if you want to find an attorney with a significant HOA/condo practice who has been recognized for exceptional work, I’d recommend starting with the Fellows in CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). … Continue reading

What Is a President-Elect?

Because bylaws sometimes have a position called “President-Elect,” I am occasionally asked about the precise responsibilities of the office. A question back has to be “What responsibilities do the specific bylaws provide for the office?” That’s because there is no standard list of duties for a President-Elect in Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, as there are for other officers. So different presidents-elect in different organizations may have different responsibilities based on the bylaws language creating the position. For organizations that follow Robert’s, a President-Elect position exists only if expressly provided for in the bylaws. The sole function of the … Continue reading

Do You or Owners Need Assistance Paying HOA/Condo Dues? – The NC Homeowner Assistance Fund May Help

Last year President Biden proposed and Congress adopted the American Rescue Plan, which was a $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package designed to speed America’s recovery from the Covid pandemic. Among the bill’s many proposals was almost $10 billion for states, territories and tribes to provide relief to vulnerable homeowners through a “Homeowner Assistance Fund.” Monies from the Homeowners Assistance Fund were not immediately available. Instead, each state had to draft a state-specific plan, submit it to the US government, and get the plan approved by the US Treasury. In each state, different sorts of relief were considered, such as mortgage … Continue reading