Helpful Hints for Running Effective Meetings

Meeting Logistics

It can also be helpful to rotate locations annually if it is difficult for certain members to be present. Lastly, when deciding on the location it can also be helpful to consider who is serving in leadership roles. If the Chief Judge is the chair of your council and they still support a full docket, you may want to consider having the meetings at the courthouse to allow for their regular attendance.

If you have a budget that supports the purchase of food, setting the meeting time during the noon hour and providing lunch can help to increase attendance. There are many instances where judicial officers or attorneys can only meet during the lunch hour.

If meetings are always on the same day of the month (ex. Third Thursday of the month), they can be easier to schedule and plan for and therefore increase participation.

Agenda Setting

Tips for setting an effective agenda:

  1. Organize the meeting logically
  2. Set your agenda in advance (and send it out in advance to increase meeting participation)
  3. Seek input from Chair and Executive Committee
  4. Include times and speakers to ensure you do not overfill the agenda
  5. Highlight anything that will require a council vote
  6. Provide enough information without having information overload

Meeting Minutes

Helpful Hint: Tips for effective meeting minutes

  • Have a dedicated person taking minutes, preferably someone who does not need to participate in the meeting.
  • Have a sign in sheet to keep track of who attended
  • Formalize the minutes shortly after the meeting to ensure things were not forgotten.

Sunshine Laws

Helpful hint - Examples of closed matters include:

  • Legal actions, causes of action or litigation (except that votes, minutes and settlement agreements must be opened to the public on final disposition, unless ordered closed by a court).
  • Leasing, purchase, or sale of real estate where public knowledge might adversely affect the amount paid in the transaction.
  • Hiring, firing, disciplining, or promoting a particular employee.
  • Individually identifiable personnel records.
  • Records related to existing or proposed security systems.
  • Records that are protected from disclosure by other laws.