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.