As a general rule, no. By state law, governing board members cannot be held liable for actions taken in good faith and within the scope of their authority. Boards also may receive legal counsel to advise them, and the liability insurance of most, if not all, organizations covers board members who are acting in their official capacity. A governing board member is not immune from liability, however, if he or she:
- Acts outside the scope of authority;
- Knows (or should have known) that an action violates a person’s constitutional rights;
- Engages in criminal activity;
- Commits an intentional tort, such as assault, or
- Violates the open meeting or conflict of interest laws.