Robert's Rules of Order: Board Meetings

Oregon law indicates that unless other rules of order are required by the declaration or bylaws or by a resolution of the association or its board of directors, meetings of the association and the board of directors shall be conducted according to the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order published by the Robert’s Rules Association.  And that applies to both condominium and planned community associations.

Sometimes associations ask whether there is any difference between a board meeting and an association meeting in the eyes of Robert’s Rules of Order.  In fact, there are some differences.  Robert's Rules of Order note that in a board meeting where there are less than about twelve individuals present, some of the formality that is necessary in a large assembly would hinder business.

For example, in a board meeting, a board member may remain seated while making motions or speaking. As another example, and although it is a common practice in board meetings, a motion does not need to be seconded. One final example that also arises frequently is that at a board meeting, if the chairman is a board member, the chairman may speak in informal discussions and in debate, and may vote on all questions (not just to break a tie).

The practical benefit of complying with Robert’s Rules of Order comes into play most frequently during contentious meetings.  The rules can help meetings run smoothly and the formality can help maintain order.