Law Firm Carolinas Partner Adam Marshall was a presenter at the Community Association Institute’s (CAI) 2023 Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas. The conference was attended by over 2,600 community managers, homeowner board members, leaders and business partners from 44 states and 10 countries. Marshall and Augustus Shaw, IV, Esq. of Arizona, presented on “Navigating Board Officer Responsibilities and Avoiding Conflict.” Marshall was also recently appointed by the Greensboro City Council to the Greensboro ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) Board. Marshall has previously served on the Greensboro Human Relations Commission and Greensboro Board of Adjustment as well as Chair of the Greensboro Zoning Commission and … Continue reading
Category Archives: Parliamentary Law
NC Bar Journal Article on Meeting Procedure & Robert’s Rules of Order
In case it’s of interest, the article “Robert’s Rules of Order: An Interview” appears in the most recent NC State Bar Journal (Spring 2023). The article, by Executive Director Alice Neece Mine, covers what lawyers should know about meeting procedure, why Robert’s is still relevant today, changes in the new Robert’s, virtual and hybrid meeting procedures, common mistakes about meeting procedure, tips for keeping meetings short and productive, and more. As a reminder, both the NC Planned Community Act and NC Condominium Act require that unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, association and board meetings must “be conducted in accordance … Continue reading
Comparing Robert’s Rules of Order Original Versus Current Editions
Today (February 19) is the 147th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of Robert’s Rules of Order by S. C. Griggs and Company in Chicago. This photograph compares the original edition with the most recent Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition). A few differences between the original and current:
Parliamentary Lawyers Program – RECORDING
Due to the strong interest in last week’s “Author Chat,” the American College of Parliamentary Lawyers has made the recorded program available online. The free program includes a discussion of my latest books, changes in the new Robert’s Rules of Order, different parliamentary manuals (and why they are important), parliamentarians, some parliamentary history, and more. The program can be found at:ACPL Author Chat with Jim Slaughter A copy of the original announcement follows. ACPL Educational Webinar – “Author Chat with Attorney & Parliamentarian Jim Slaughter” The American College of Parliamentary Lawyers is hosting our first free educational webinar for any … Continue reading
Parliamentary Authorities: Robert’s Rules of Order vs Sturgis vs The AIP Standard Code
In my work as an attorney, Professional Registered Parliamentarian, and Certified Professional Parliamentarian-Teacher, I work with quite a few different parliamentary manuals. That’s because different organizations use different books as their procedural guide for membership and board meetings. I’m often asked about differences, so here’s a guide to the three parliamentary books most likely to be encountered. (If more information is needed, my Notes and Comments on Robert’s Rules, Fifth Edition goes into greater detail as well as compares specific practices between the books.) A “parliamentary authority” is a book on meeting procedure an organization follows because of a state … Continue reading
Reviews Are in for New Parliamentary Procedure Books!
The reviewing side of Publisher’s Weekly recently posted great reviews of my latest books, Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track and Notes and Comments on Robert’s Rules, Fifth Edition. Each was also selected as an “Editor’s Pick,” which is described as “a book of outstanding quality.” Because the reviews are on a scrolling site (with latest reviews on top), the reviews are reprinted below. Read these and other reviews at Latest Reviews. Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track: The Brief and Easy Guide to Parliamentary Procedure for the Modern Meeting Crisp, clear, and always on-point, Slaughter’s “fast track” guide to … Continue reading
What Can Members Vote on at an HOA or Condo Membership Meeting?
A question came up during a recent online discussion about “what members can do at an HOA or condo membership meeting?” Specifically, the questioner wondered if a member could seek recognition and unexpectedly make a motion to “make the association do most anything.” It’s a good question, and one we community association lawyers spend time analyzing. Hate to say, “It depends,” but facts matters. This is not a question that can be answered in a vacuum without specifics. State statutes and governing documents (usually the bylaws or articles of incorporation) vary as to what authority the membership has versus the … Continue reading
Board of Directors vs. Officers: How to Tell the Difference
What is the difference between the Board of Directors and corporate Officers? In the community association world there can be some confusion regarding these distinct corporate roles because they can often be the same individuals. However, if we take a step back we can see that they are actually very distinct roles. Here is some guidance as to North Carolina distinctions. Duties: Board members are tasked with guiding the direction of the corporation. They set the broader vision for the corporation. For example, the Board would be responsible for adopting corporate resolutions, rules and regulations, and other policies and procedures … Continue reading
Best Practices for Board Meeting Minutes
A question came up during a recent online discussion about “best practices” for board meeting minutes. The answer to questions of what should (or should not) be included in minutes is more complicated than it seems. This article will give a broad answer, but I have to mention there are chapters in both my recent books, Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track and Notes and Comments on Robert’s Rules, Fifth Edition, on what to include (or not) in minutes, approving minutes, changing minutes after the fact, handling closed/executive session meeting minutes, as well as model minutes templates and skeletal minutes (writing minutes before … Continue reading
Robert’s Rules of Order in US Court of Appeals Decision
This case mentioning Robert’s Rules of Order appeared in the “Roberts Rules in the News” page of my parliamentary website at www.jimslaughter.com. The decision is a bit of a unicorn. While many news articles mention Robert’s and meetings issues, few court cases do. (Court decisions that make it to published appellate decisions tend to go on for longer and cost more money than most meetings disputes warrant.) Far fewer federal court opinions deal with Robert’s disputes, and this is from a U.S. Court of Appeals, which is shockingly rare. So even though the decision may not be that significant to … Continue reading
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
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:
NC Bar Association Interview with Jim Slaughter
The NC Bar Association recently interviewed partner Jim Slaughter about association meetings, parliamentary procedure, Robert’s Rules of Order, and his two new books on meeting procedure. The article can be found in this month’s North Carolina Lawyer Magazine here:Parliamentary Procedure, Robert’s Rules, and Jim Slaughter: Award-Winning Author Discusses Two New Books and More. Jim is an attorney, Certified Professional Parliamentarian-Teacher, Professional Registered Parliamentarian,, and past President of the American College of Parliamentary Lawyers. He has written four books on meeting procedure, including Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track and Notes and Comments on Robert’s Rules, Fourth Edition (with a new Fifth … Continue reading
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
Why Is My Main Motion Not in Order?
While there are numerous reasons why any motion may not be in order, I will attempt to give some guidance on why your main motion would not be in order at a meeting. Main motions are the most common motions, and are how business is done at meetings. You are likely very familiar with these motion, though you probably do not refer to these motions as “main motion.” Motions to have the organization take some action are main motions. For example, common main motions are “I move to adopt the budget,” “I move to adopt resolution 1,” “I move to … 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
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