The role of a parliamentarian is to advise an organization’s presiding officer during meetings on the proper application of the rules that govern procedure at the meeting. This requires significant consultation before the meeting, and typically preparation of a script.
PROFESSIONAL PRESIDING OFFICER:
A professional presiding officer is a skilled parliamentarian who temporarily substitutes for a group’s usual presider in such circumstances as when there are deep divisions within the organization and it is felt an expert outsider will better give the appearance of impartiality, or when the group must deal with particularly intricate issues such as adopting a bylaws revision or conducting disciplinary procedures.
Some organizations, such as condominiums or time-shares, routinely use a professional presiding officer at their annual meetings
An individual member, or more commonly a group of members, may retain a parliamentarian to provide advice on how properly to use the rules to accomplish an objective the client wishes to achieve during a meeting.
Outside of Meetings
A parliamentarian can either or both:
Review bylaws to identify inconsistencies, ambiguities, or deviations from best practice and prepare draft amendments to address these.
Assist a bylaws committee or others to prepare bylaws amendments, a bylaws revision, or original bylaws to accomplish the objectives desired.
A parliamentarian can prepare a professional parliamentary opinion letter or memorandum addressing an issue or issues involving the proper interpretation of the governing rules.
A parliamentarian can:
coach a presiding officer, or incoming presiding officer, on effective presiding techniques and proper application of the rules
provide a group workshops on topics ranging from basic meeting rules through board best practices to training on advanced parliamentary topics
EXPERT WITNESS/ LITIGATION CONSULTANT
When litigation or potential litigation involves issues of parliamentary procedure, a parliamentarian can either be called as an expert witness in court, or provide analysis and consultation to attorneys.