If your board isn’t following its own bylaws, here are some different approaches you can take. 1. Educate the board about liability The first step is to educate the board. Point out to them that bylaws are not a “suggestion,” they are mandatory. They form the foundation of how the entire organization functions. Failing to…

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Weldon L. Merritt, PRP, CPP, has graciously authorized Jurassic Parliament to publish this listing of the rights and responsibilities of ordinary members of an organization. All citations are taken from Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th edition (RONR). Please note that neither the list of member rights nor the list of member responsibilities is…

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Local governments face a tough climate these days. Customs of courtesy have faded and people are often both passionate and rude about their issues. If you are a mayor or presiding officer of a public body, it is critical that you control disorder in your chambers. Council meetings are meetings of the council The basic…

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A colleague asked for our best tips on leading committee meetings at work using Robert’s Rules. In general, Robert’s Rules don’t apply at work The first and obvious point is that work is not a venue where Robert’s Rules and parliamentary procedure apply. That system of meeting management is designed for assemblies—groups—where all members have…

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When I posted this question, Betsy Cawn of Lake County, California wrote a short and pungent response. Much appreciated, Betsy! Thanks to you, Ann, Robert’s Rules DO NOT drive me crazy — but unlearned colleagues who refuse to even discuss the abbreviated set of “simple guidelines” you provide certainly DO. Somewhere between the extreme formality…

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A reader contacted us recently to ask whether the executive committee of his organization had the right to overturn a decision made by the full board. The answer is no, unless the bylaws give that right. Similarly, a board of directors may not overturn a decision made by the full membership. Robert’s Rules is very…

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Robert's Rules of Order 11th edition

Abuse of authority by the chair can be challenging. Here is the guidance from Robert’s Rules of Order. Our blog posts listed below give more information on the practical aspects of dealing with abuse of authority by the chair. ENFORCING POINTS OF ORDER AND APPEALS. If the chair at a meeting acts improperly (for example,…

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The motion to amend presents many challenges. We hope this article provides some clarity. Download PDF Make a Main Motion to start the process Robert’s Rules of Order presumes that a group will make a Main Motion—a proposal for action—before holding any discussion. Example: I move that we purchase two new computers for the headquarters…

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There are eight steps to processing ordinary motions in Robert’s Rules. Download PDF At the right time in the agenda, after the member has been recognized by the chair, A member makes a motion. Another member seconds the motion. The chair states the motion. Members discuss and/or amend the motion. The chair restates the motion…

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Taking the time to construct a powerful agenda will make a big difference to your meetings. Avoid these agenda mistakes: An agenda that would take two days to get through, not two hours. An agenda that fails to assign suggested time limits for discussion. An agenda that is emailed at 6:00 am for a 7:00…

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