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How to Make a Main Motion [Infographic]

We’ve talked before about how to make a motion and what happens to a motion after a member makes it. For all you visual learners, here’s an infographic that illustrates these parliamentary procedure concepts...more

5 Essential Facts about Closing Debate

If there’s one reason people hate meetings, it’s because they drag on forever with needless discussion. According to Robert’s Rules, closing debate and moving directly to a vote on a motion – via a specific motion called...more

Quick Guide: The Lifecycle of a Motion

Remember that previous post on the parliamentary procedure basics for how to make a motion? Here’s “Making Motions – Round 2,” a more detailed guide on the specific language* you should use both for making a motion and, if...more

4 No-Nonsense Reasons to Take Good Minutes – Part 2

A previous post provided the first two reasons that accurate minutes are a “must” for all non-profits, including homeowners associations, churches, unions, sororities, and political parties.  Here’s two more pieces of...more

4 No-Nonsense Reasons to Take Good Minutes – Part 1

Taking minutes arguably tops the list of “most thankless jobs,” and those who assume the role often wish they hadn’t been such a willing volunteer. But accurate minutes are a parliamentary procedure “must” for all non-profits...more

A Quick Guide to Voting Terms (Plus PDF Download)

Attend a meeting or read an organization’s rules, and you’re likely to encounter a variety of voting terms. Parliamentary procedure (e.g., the rules of Robert’s Rules and other parliamentary procedure guidebooks) helps us out...more

Quick Fix: How to Get Rid of Time-Wasting Committee Reports

You know the drill….the meeting that drags on forever because of unnecessary committee reports. There is good news straight from the parliamentary procedure powers that be: You do not have to include “Time-Wasting Committee...more

3 Wrong Ways to Facilitate Discussion at a Meeting

Discussing….presenting ideas….asking questions. Parliamentary procedure allows all of this, right? But, you’re thinking, there’s this guy who always speaks up. Or there’s the member who asks the strangest questions – the...more

Shhh, It’s a Secret — What No One Tells You About Executive Session

“Executive session” is fancy meeting terminology for a secret proceeding. You probably already knew that much, but conducting a proper closed-door meeting requires knowing a bit more. Here are a few parliamentary pointers...more

Who Needs Parliamentary Procedure Anyway? Part 2

My last post provided the simple answer to why organizations still use (the seemingly outdated, archaic-sounding) parliamentary procedure: They use it because they are following state law, or because their bylaws say that...more

Who Needs Parliamentary Procedure Anyway? Part 1

I know the blank stares and incredulous looks very well. “Parliamentary what?” “Oh, Robert’s Rules . . . . right. I think I’ve heard of that. Does anyone actually use that stuff anymore?” Well, actually . . . yes. Yes,...more

5 Ways to Fail at Leading a Meeting

The reputation of the president, chairman, or CEO may (unfortunately) depend on his or her ability to run a meeting. Whether the gathering is big or small, scheduled or impromptu, people want the person in charge to preside...more

How to Take Minutes in 4 Easy Steps

If you’ve been tasked with taking minutes, the parliamentarian says to take heart. Here’s a four-step guide (with a bonus tip) to streamline your job....more

4 Things Most People Get Wrong About Seconds

So, your meeting is rolling along fine. The chairperson begins on time and the preliminaries are dealt with in short order. The first topic on the order of business arrives, and the chairperson recognizes a member who makes a...more

Parliamentary Procedure Quick Guide: How to Make Motions

Let’s start with an “according to Robert’s Rules” definition. A motion is a proposal that an organization, board, or committee take a specific action (according to Robert’s Rules of Order and other parliamentary procedure...more

4 Myths About Robert’s Rules and Quorum – And Why the Truth Matters

Almost everyone can define the basic parliamentary procedure concept of “quorum” – the number of members needed at a meeting to take valid action. Dig a little deeper in Robert’s Rules, though, and you’ll find some common...more

How to Keep it Brief: The No. 1 Secret to Shortening Your Meetings

No one likes sitting in a meeting any longer than necessary. So here’s the best kept secret for shortening a meeting: bypass debate on non-controversial motions. ...more

Vendor Landmines

Q: Our condominium has more than 2 million square feet of unused common space. It seems like a no brainer to invite a food-and-drink vendor to use the space and charge rent based on a percentage of gross sales. Do we need to...more

False Claims Act: 2015 Year in Review

This year continued the trend of aggressive False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and high volumes of qui tam lawsuits brought by whistleblowers. In fiscal year 2015, the DOJ marked the fourth...more

False Claims Act: 2014 Year In Review

In what is becoming an annual refrain, 2014 marked another year of robust False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and mushrooming qui tam lawsuits by whistleblowers. Indeed, fiscal year 2014...more

United States Supreme Court Holds that CERCLA Allows State Statutes of Repose to Limit Plaintiffs’ Injury Claims

This week, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling of interest to any Potentially Responsible Party regarding the effect of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) on state...more

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