Magazines/Newspapers, TV shows, movies, and radio programs are all a buzz about people communicating instantly through Twitter, IM, e-mails and the like. Too often we are tempted to shoot off an email or see someone on IM and shoot them a quick message and this temptation is seeping into the way in which Board members communicate with each other. Can these communications be considered Board Meetings? Florida case law has yet to answer this question. Both Florida Statutes Section 718.112 and 720.303 provide that a Board meeting exists whenever a quorum of the Board meets to discuss Association business. Merriam-Webster defines meet as “to come into the presence of”; “to come together with especially at a particular time or place”; “to come into contact or conjunction with.” The term “meet” originally required in-person meetings and has since been expanded to include meetings conducted telephonically. Without any legal precedent to guide us, we need to look at the word “meet” as a communication of the Board which provides for instant responses/interactions amongst the Board members. Accepting that, e-mails should not be considered a meeting since responses could take minutes or hours or even days to be sent. For the responses to be instantaneous, the Board would have had to agree to all be available via e-mail at a set date/time. IM on the other hand, is more along the lines of having a conference call and therefore could more appropriately be deemed a Board meeting when a quorum of the Board is present in the IM chat. Even with the above delineation, the Board needs to be very careful to ensure that when a quorum of the Board is communicating outside of a properly noticed meeting that no decisions (no matter how large or small) are made. This avoids arguments in litigation that the action of the Board was improper and therefore invalid. Stay tuned, my next posts will touch on whether these items are considered “official records” of the Association.