FUNDAMENTALS OF PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IN MEETINGS
Most groups use some form of parliamentary procedure for their meetings.
“Parliamentary procedure” is a term many believe limited to student government associations and voluntary organizations. However, business executives must also be knowledgeable about parliamentary procedure basics. Ignoring or incorrectly applying parliamentary law in the business world can lead to lawsuits, money damages, and embarrassment. For this reason, groups and businesses often hire outside parliamentarians to assist with meetings.
Although the many specific rules of parliamentary practice are too broad to examine in a single article, some general rules apply to businesses, governmental bodies, and voluntary societies alike. For example, no action is valid which violates national law, state law, or the adopted parliamentary practices of a business or organization. Some other general rules are as follows:
A quorum is the minimum number of members or shareholders who must be present at a meeting to legally transact business. This number is usually set by an organization's rules or bylaws. Any business transacted in the absence of a quorum is invalid.
Members are entitled to notice of all meetings. Certain important actions require that additional notice be given to all members that the particular topic will be discussed. For example, to discipline or expel an officer requires advance notice. The lack of appropriate previous notice makes such actions invalid. Proper notice must also be given for meetings of shareholders and boards of directors, and the lack of such notice can invalidate the entire meeting and all votes.
Official bodies, such as corporations, make decisions by voting. However, the vote required on a specific matter depends on the action to be taken. For example, some motions require a majority vote and some require a two-third's vote. An improper vote...