Sarah E. Merkle is one of only five lawyers in the world to have earned the credentials of Certified Professional Parliamentarian-Teacher (CPP-T) and Professional Registered Parliamentarian (PRP). Sarah is the blog editor and primary contributor for The Law of Order: A Resource on Parliamentary Procedure & the Law.
Achieving CPP-T and PRP credentials is a rigorous process that involves four examinations, both oral and written, and extensive hands-on experience with a variety of organizations and boards. Individuals must not only demonstrate knowledge of at least five parliamentary authorities, including the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, but also display competency in evaluating governing documents, serving as a presiding officer, drafting opinions and supplementary materials, training on procedural concepts, and advising on procedural rules and strategy.
Sarah passed all four examinations more than 13 years ago, and since then, has served countless national, regional, state, and local clients, providing the knowledge they need to make sound decisions in an efficient manner. Her extensive public speaking and teaching experience enable her to clearly explain complex concepts to all types of audiences, and clients regularly comment on her ability to make parliamentary procedure interesting and practical. She has spoken to groups ranging from five to 5,000 and is often called upon to present or facilitate in high-conflict and high-stakes situations.
Sarah serves deliberative assemblies of all sizes, including corporations, nonprofit associations, law firms, legislative bodies, political parties, unions, religious groups and churches, government agencies, trade associations, and condominium and homeowner associations. As a parliamentarian and professional presiding officer, Sarah helps clients navigate the legal and procedural complexities present in all aspects of business meetings—from making motions and nominations to revising bylaws and conducting elections. Sarah views parliamentary procedure as a tool and is intent on using procedural rules to enhance, rather than hinder, clients’ meetings. It is this practical approach that sets Sarah apart and enables her clients to attain goals and accomplish objectives with maximum efficiency.
Sarah's understanding of parliamentary procedure includes the following resources and authorities: