Opinion Writing

What is a Parliamentary Opinion?

One of the most common requests we receive is a request for a Parliamentary Opinion.  A parliamentary opinion is generally a reseached opinion of a parliamentary situation or interpretation of an assembly’s bylaws or special rules of order.  Obviously, we generally do not get asked if a motion to Recess is debatable or not and the opinions require a great deal of research and review in many cases.  Rather than an assembly taking action, which may later be determined to be ill-advised, it is safer and more in line with due process, to hire a parliamentarian to evaluate your parliamentary situation.  We will provide an initial non-written assessment free of charge.

Do we have to follow the advice of the parliamentarian?

No. Nor do you have to follow the advice of your attorney, accountant or religous advisor. That being said, the real question is “Should you follow the advice of the parliamentarian?” The answer here is yes.  I recently consulted with an assembly that their bylaws should have been very short. Paragraph One.  We do what we want!  They can operate under that rule but the chances of retaining membership, the absence of abuse, or expressing the will of the majority is very slim in that organization.

2 thoughts on “Opinion Writing

  1. Wyoma Clouss, President American Miniature Schnauzer Club

    Our not for profit club needs guidance on an election issue.
    Our Constitution and Bylaws do not prohibit a husband/wife, two members of the same household serving on the Board at the same time. In 2009, the wife was Treasurer, the husband was elected to the Board. There were complaints about husband/wife, so he stepped down as of our March 2010 meeting (one of three annually) During New Business at that meeting, our Board voted to prohibit two members of the same household on the Board at the same time. Forward to 2015. Husband is now on the Board, wife is not. Nominating Committee solicits for interested members to run, Slate is announced. Wife then decides to run for office of VP, by Petition as allowed in our ByLaws. (We have a Board vacancy needing to be replaced, but she wants VP)
    At this point, which takes precedence? The Bylaws, allowing her to run by petition? Or the 2010 Board Policy enacted after the previous occurrence? If her bid is successful, must her husband then resign? Anything else I am missing?
    We asked the American Kennel Club, they recommended getting a written Parliamentarian opinion.

    Reply

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