RE: [802SEC] Regarding Robert's Rules and the Premature Adjournme nt of the 802
This incident occurred at an 802.11 interim meeting, not an 802 plenary.
So, the "no quorum requirement" of the 802 rules did not apply. Thus in
order to conduct official business, a quorum must be present. I hope that
you will agree that sending a draft to WG letter ballot, which has
implications for a member's voting rights, must constitute official
I do not agree with John's position, that the meeting was "adjourned in
conflict with Robert's rules." The meeting was adjourned BECAUSE of
Robert's rules. John correctly cites the section that bears on the issue.
The only options are to adjourn, fix the time to adjourn, attempt to gather
a quorum, or act independently as individual members of the body. What can
not be done is to take some action that will obligate every voting member of
the body to some action, which is exactly what the proposed action would
have done, had the meeting not been adjourned.
The rule cited by John is there to prevent a minority of the membership from
being able to take action without the consent of the majority. Otherwise, a
minority could, in theory, change the rules of membership in a body to
disenfranchise the majority.
802.11 has been playing fast and loose with the quorum requirement at its
interim meetings for quite a while. It has also blithely been ignoring its
own operating rules, in the name of "expedience". While I believe that some
flexibility in the rules is desirable, ignoring the operating rules entirely
is a road to disaster.
From: THALER,PAT (A-Roseville,ex1) [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 6:10 PM
To: Bob O'Hara; 802sec (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: RE: [802SEC] Regarding Robert's Rules and the Premature Adjournme
nt of the 802
802 rules state that there is no quorum requirement at a plenary meeting so
I don't understand how lack of a quorum affected your adjournment. Does
802.11 have a quorum requirement beyond the 802 rules?
From: Bob O'Hara [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 3:26 PM
To: 802sec (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: [802SEC] Regarding Robert's Rules and the Premature Adjournment
of the 802
Forwarded for John Kowalski.
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 9:30 AM
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["Kowalski, John" <firstname.lastname@example.org>]
From: "Kowalski, John" <email@example.com>
To: "802.11 (802.11)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: "802sec (email@example.com)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Regarding Robert's Rules and the Premature Adjournment of the 802
.11 Interim Meeting
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 09:28:53 -0800
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I would like a definite opinion/ruling, to the extent that we can get one,
that the meeting was in fact, adjourned in conflict with Robert's Rules,
specifically, as is stated in Chapter XI, para. 40, p. 337:
"The prohibition against transacting business in the absence of a quorum
cannot be waived even by unanimous consent, and a notice (pp. 116-118)
cannot be validly given. If there is important business that should not be
delayed, the meeting should fix the time for an adjourned meeting, and then
adjourn. Where an important opportunity would be lost unless acted upon
immediately, the members present can, at their own risk, act in the
emergency with the hope that their actions will be ratified by a later
meeting at which a quorum is present. ..."
We have in the past operated without a quorum based on the above text, and,
I would think we would do so in the future, given the cumulative cost of
having so many people attend a meeting. We need to ensure that the events
that led to the premature adjournment do not happen again.
John M. Kowalski, Ph.D.
Sharp Laboratories of America http://www.sharplabs.com
5750 NW Pacific Rim Blvd.
Camas WA, 98607
Phone: (360) 817-7520
Fax: (360) 834-8696
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