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Aggressive Collection Strategies: Using Proceedings Supplementary to Get Paid (FL)

In Florida, Proceedings Supplementary are begun utilizing the procedure found in Fla. Stat. 56.29. The Proceedings Supplementary statute was enacted prior the adoption of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. In the recent past this created a lot of confusion

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Florida Bar clears Poinciana attorney of complaint filed by arbitrator

Tom Slaten, an attorney who represents the Association of Poinciana Villages, has been cleared by the Florida Bar of a complaint lodged by a state arbitrator.  The August complaint was by Terri Leigh Jones, an arbitrator for the Department of

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Four Ways to Identify Condo Association Consultants

Today’s post was inspired by a reader’s email seeking advice on how to identify good vendors and technical representation. This is a great question, particularly on the technical representation side. Technical representation is a key resource that your Condo Association

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Will You Have Your Legal Fees Paid For?

A lot of the phone calls I get have someone looking to sue, but hoping that the other side will have to pay for their legal fees. That rarely happens unless it’s a consumer fraud type of case or an

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Consider This Before You Hire An HOA Attorney

Just look at any HOA forum and you can see that HOAs face a wide range of issues. Some are pretty common, while others are simply dumbfounding. While reading and participating in these online forums, I often see questions that

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How to Avoid Condo Association Lawsuits

Every Condo Owner – and Board – seeks to live in a harmonious community – one where people have great parties and other events, special assessments don’t happen, and things are great. Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in.

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Consider the Source

The internet can be a wonderful resource but BEWARE: Not everything you read on the internet is true or accurate. It is also not a substitute for professional advice.  Sometimes, bad internet “advice” is easy to spot. For example, hopefully

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Condo Boards Beware: Risks Outweigh Advantages of Using E-mail to Discuss Association Business

It is a sign of technology’s fast and firm grip that few of us can remember a time when we communicated by mail (letters inserted in envelopes, affixed with stamps and delivered by the post office) rather than e-mail, delivered

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The Importance of Condo Association Good Will

Much of Condo Association planning and strategizing is based on maximizing resources. How do you make the most of Condo Association assessments? Does your community budget well? How do you maintain reserves? The answers to these questions are vital to

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Attorney’s Fees In Homeowners Association Disputes (CA)

Civil Code Section 5975(c) states: “In an action to enforce the governing documents, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.” There are a few things to note about this statute. First, this only applies to an

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Check Your Privilege, HOA

The attorney-client privilege is frequently misunderstood in the community associations context. When many owners request information, sometimes their board, board’s attorney or property manager asserts the attorney-client privilege. This may seem to obstruct their attempts to assess their property rights

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Want to Sue? You’ll Have to Pay to Play (NY)

Despite the crazy illogic of it, some cooperatives and condominiums are repeatedly sued by litigious residents who disagree with the board’s decisions. One co-op I represent even had shareholders who were attorneys, which enabled them to sue without charging themselves

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How do you choose your lawyer?

Most of my clients retained me without me ever meeting the board. To be honest, it is easy for me that way. I’m not spending time driving or preparing for the meeting. Instead, I spend time serving my existing clients.

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The Attorney Client Privilege in Community Associations

Few legal concepts rival the complexities surrounding the attorney?client privilege in community association matters

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Choosing association attorney is important decision

Selection of association legal counsel is one of the most important decisions a community association board of directors will make. Engaging legal counsel can have long-term implications for your community. Getting the best possible attorney for the association will have

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In a crisis, condo board needs its own attorney

The condo association has a board. Apparently, the residents were told that the city had condemned all the decks and that they all had to be replaced.

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Best Practices for Retaining Legal Counsel

Associations may need a lawyer for many reasons: lawsuits, compliance questions, etc. If your HOA finds that it requires constant legal advice, it may be a good idea to consider retaining legal counsel.

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Handling Litigation: When Lawsuits Strike Close to Home

No one likes a lawsuit. Whether filing one or finding yourself on the receiving end of one, they can cause stress, anxiety and an upending of daily life

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Choosing an Attorney for Your Association: Narrowing the Field When Looking for Legal Representation

Not every condominium or homeowners’ association is going to run afoul of the law—the happy truth is that litigation and legal trouble are relatively rare occurrences

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Is Your HOA or Condo Community Manager Covered by the Attorney-Client Privilege?

For attorneys who practice community association law, there has been ongoing discussion at national HOA/condo legal events about whether a community manager is covered by the attorney-client privilege

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Protecting Your Biz: How do community associations legally cover themselves?

s a legal entity, it is highly advisable that the board has an attorney on board to serve as an advisor and act on behalf of the association when needed

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Drafting Enforceable Settlement Agreements and Avoiding Pitfalls

There are a number of benefits of settling a case, including eliminating the uncertainty of a result presented by trial on the merits, the expense of litigation

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Who’s the Client?

The question sometimes comes up, usually from a homeowner or group of homeowners, concerning who the attorney representing the association in a matter actually represents.

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When To Call In The Professionals To Advise Your Board

Since these areas are crucial, we have found that using professionals to assist boards in making the right decisions for property owners can guarantee that communities are run smoothly

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Attorney-Client Privilege: Are Attorney Communications Received By, or Copied To, An Association’s Manager Privileged?

A recent Florida appellate decision reminded us of the importance of understanding attorney-client privileges when communicating with community association clients through their manager. Under the evidence code, a client has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any

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Things to Consider When Hiring a Lawyer for Your Community Association

Hiring the right lawyer to represent your Community Association is an important decision. Does the law firm and lawyer you are interviewing specialize in Community Association Law? How long have they been actively representing community associations? How long have they

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Why Do Most People Hate Paying Legal Fees?

It happens on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. I receive a question from a blog reader and the question is not general in nature; in fact, the question seeks legal advice (often on a fairly significant matter that involves potential

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So Your Association Changed Attorneys…Now What?

An association has decided to change its legal counsel and transfer all existing matters to its new lawyer. The management company sends the request to the prior law firm only to be told that a retaining lien has been asserted.

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Importance of HOA Contracts

Each year, thousands of homeowner associations across the country engage in complicated renovation projects that run the gamut from siding replacement to roof overhauls to dryrot repair to new decks and fences. Aside from the complexity of the tasks themselves,

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An Example of When to Contact Association Legal Counsel

The other day, I was contacted by an acquaintance who asked for my help changing his condominium’s no-pet policy. He explained that he was a board member, and that their condominium’s “bylaws” banned all pets. My first question was whether

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The Roles of the HOA and Legal Counsel

WesternLaw Group’s newest article, “The Roles of the HOA and Legal Counsel“, was published in Common Interests (CAI Rocky Mountain Chapter, July 2015). Written by Brian Denlinger. Available here.

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Childress Immune From Malpractice Suit, 11th Circ. Affirms

The Eleventh Circuit on Friday upheld the dismissal of a condominium association’s malpractice suit over law firm Childress Duffy Ltd. Inc.’s handling of a hurricane coverage action, finding that the firm’s decision to not use a particular witness at trial

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How to build an effective community association team

Community associations are run by volunteer boards, but even the best ones can’t do the job alone. They need a team of professionals to guide them through the thorny maze of communal living.    Read the article………

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Recovering Attorney Fees in Litigation: How to Avoid a Defective Proposal for Settlement

Many parties engaged in litigation are primarily concerned with resolving their disputes through the most cost-efficient means. In the early stages of litigation, clients pose some version of the following question: “Who is going to pay my legal fees?” Under

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Words Matter: Is your Board precise with its terminology?

When you go to your doctor, it is helpful if you can accurately describe your symptoms so he or she can properly diagnose the problem. The same holds true when a volunteer board of directors meets with its legal counsel.

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Property Managers and the Attorney-Client Privilege: Does your Community Association’s Management Agreement cover Communications with the Association’s Counsel?

A successful community association is often dependent upon a cooperative working relationship between the association’s attorney, the board of directors and the property manager. Many condominium and homeowner association boards are dependent on the property management company to run the

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The Value of Your Homeowners Association Attorney

There are several individuals that bring value to your association. Your volunteer board, your manager, your interested members that may serve in other capacities, and your supportive and assessment-paying membership. Vendors also can bring great value to your association in

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The Art of Picking Professionals: To Choose or Not to Choose

Running the day-to-day business of a condo development or an HOA of any size—be it a sprawling, multi-building community, or a single self-contained building—requires not just a functional board but a team of competent outside professionals. These professionals keep things

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Actions to Take When Your HOA Board is Faced with a Lawsuit

You’re being sued, what do you do? You know that being faced with a lawsuit is a serious matter and absolutely should not be ignored. That being said, there are some important actions you need to take as an HOA

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Service of Process – What is it?

For a court to have authority to make legal decisions and enter a judgment against someone, the court must have both personal and subject matter jurisdiction over that person. Subject matter jurisdiction involves the court’s ability or power to hear

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This Interest May Be Common, But It’s Still Privileged Re: California Evidence Rules

In an opinion issued yesterday, the California Court of Appeal ruled that litigation meetings held by a homeowner’s association counsel with individual homeowners did not result in a waiver of the attorney-client privilege. Seahaus La Jolla Owners Ass’n v. Superior

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If You’re My HOA’s Attorney, You Represent Me, Right? (No, Not Quite.)

As a community association attorney, I attend a lot of homeowner meetings to discuss legal issues and provide education to boards and owners. I enjoy the opportunity to meet the people who live in my client’s communities. It’s always great

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This Interest May Be Common, But It’s Still Privileged Re: California Evidence Rules

Section 954 of the California Evidence Code establishes a privilege “to refuse to disclose, and to prevent another from disclosing, a confidential communication between client and lawyer”. A “confidential communication between client and lawyer” is defined in Section 952 of

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The Association’s Attorney Should Be A Good Listener

I was recently interviewed by a condominium association board that wanted to replace the association’s attorney. During that interview, one board member made a startling comment. She remarked that, in her opinion, the association’s attorney did not listen to the

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HOA’s members need not testify about their own side’s strategy meetings (CA)

Lawyers for organizations may feel both shudders and relief on reading a recent appellate decision protecting attorney-client privilege for the members of a La Jolla homeowners’ association. Shudders, that a local court’s discovery order would have required individual homeowners to

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Attorney Invoices: To Disclose or Not To Disclose

Can the Board disclose our attorney fee invoices to the general membership in an effort to be transparent? While the motivation is appropriate, and transparency is important to a healthy association, disclosure of the attorney fee invoices may create more

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HOA’s and Contingency Cases

A more apt title might be “Why Lawyers Don’t Take HOA Cases on Contingency.” I am frequently asked to take HOA and condo cases on a contingency, but these cases are not the types of cases lawyers can litigate on

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Consider these items when deciding on a Community Association Attorney!

Selecting an attorney is one of the more significant decisions made by the board of directors for a community association. Often times, the association makes its decision based upon price alone. Although “price” is a valid factor to consider, there

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Weigh pros and cons of association lawsuits

When bad things happen to a community association, sooner or later someone is bound to say, “Let’s sue.” Sometimes going to court is the best and perhaps only way to resolve a serious problem. Usually it isn’t.   Read more…..

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Essential Documents in a Collection Trial

Has your association been involved in a collection matter that went to trial?  Very few of our collection cases make it to trial, but when they do, it can be unnerving for board members and managers because it may be

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