Monthly Archives: July 2014

Minute by Minute

I often take the minutes of our client associations’ Board meetings. Somebody has to do it and I know of very few people who enjoy the task.  Minutes of Board and annual meetings are a statutory requirement of the association, which is a non-profit corporation.   And there are requirements concerning the content of minutes, unsurprisingly.  Yet surprisingly, they are minimal.  (Minimal…minutes:  see the mnemonic here?)

Minutes are the official account of action taken at a meeting.  They must include items like date and start and end times, those in attendance and actions such as motions and votes as the meeting moves through the agenda.  It surprises a lot of people that good attorneys will tell you that that is about all that you want in the minutes.

Minutes are not a transcript.  They are not a substitute for attending the meeting.  An oft-heard criticism is that people want to see more detail in the minutes (especially when I take them).  More like a newspaper article, they want to know the text of the discussions and who said what.  Entirely understandable and laudable.  To that I recommend that the association produce non-official notes or a newsletter.  That is more a topic about communication adequacy and belongs in a subsequent blog.  Wait for it…

Good attorneys (and management firm brokers) are concerned with liability.  Minutes, being the official record, carry a certain amount of exposure to liability.  Minimizing liability means minimal minutes.