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House of Delegates modernizes meeting rules

New book is parliamentary resource

May 21, 2012

By Judy Jakush

The ADA House of Delegates has some new rules to guide its debate this October when it gathers in San Francisco.

With the release this month of the American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, the House will be following the most modern rules for running a meeting.


Dr. J. Thomas Soliday, ADA speaker of the House, is one of the eight members of the authorship team, which also included fellow AIP members Barry Glazer, James N. Jones, James Lochrie, Michael Malamut, Mary Randolph, Ann Rempel and Mary Remson.

The new book upon publication immediately became the parliamentary resource of the House because of last year’s action by delegates to adopt Resolution 56H-2011.

The Bylaws were amended to specify that “The rules contained in the current edition of the American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure shall govern the deliberations of the House of Delegates in all cases in which they are applicable and not in conflict with the standing rules or these Bylaws.

“And be it further Resolved, that this amendment shall take effect upon the release of the new publication.”

In its background statement for the proposed resolution, the 2nd District reported that replacing AIP’s Sturgis edition with the new book was more than an editorial change of name:

“However, the American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure is a completely new book as compared to the 4th edition of Sturgis.”

The 326-page manual, published by McGraw Hill, features new fundamental principles and new motions not included in any other parliamentary authority, said Mr. Lochrie in an online article ( (PDF) explaining the changes.

The current manual traces its origins to 1950, when Alice Sturgis simplified and updated parliamentary procedures in her book, Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, Mr. Lochrie explains.

Dr. Soliday

The philosophy behind the Parliamentary Code remains the same as in Alice Sturgis’ original work: to simplify meeting procedures “with the intent of making the rules understandable by all,” Mr. Lochrie notes.

During the coming months, Dr. Soliday will be working with Association staff to identify the changes that will need to be incorporated into Board and House procedures and communication to officers, trustees and House members.

Mr. Lochrie’s article explains the major changes to procedure that are contained in the book.

Among the points listed and explained in brief are two fundamental principles (the right of association and the right of assembly and the distinctions between the two), six main motions and subsidiary motions.

Of the six main motions, Mr. Lochrie says, “The most innovative of these, and not included in any other parliamentary authority, is the motion to 'Adopt in-lieu of’.”

Also new is the motion to “Recall from a Committee (or Board).”

The book is available in both print and e-book editions through AIP as well as other bookstores.