Attorney’s Fee Provisions: The Big Hammer

In Durack v. Wang, a California appellate court overturned a trial court's refusal to award attorney's fees to a board member who had all claims against her dismissed even though the CC&Rs for her condominium did not include a prevailing party fees provision.

Dealing with Irrational Boards of Directors

As a community association attorney who has fought in the trenches for fifteen years, I have witnessed many instances where boards or individual board members act outside their authority, act irrationally, or simply ignore legitimate complaints or calls for action by homeowners. One reader asked what to do when his board and the association's manager failed to enforce the governing documents fairly and consistently? What if a board or manager refuse an owner's request to review HOA documents? Or denies an owner's request for a hearing? In each of the foregoing circumstances, the owner should be able to point to particular provisions of the governing documents which require explicit action and compliance by the board.

The Brother-in-Law Trap

Every so often I am asked to help pick up the pieces after a homeowner or association’s repair project went awry because a cut-rate contractor was used. As tempting as it might be to use a PDR contractor (guy with a pick-up truck, dog and radio), the more prudent action is to hire a fully qualified contractor. It might cost you a bit more in the front end, but literally will save you a whole lot of money and headaches in the long term. Below is some information to help you identify the qualified contractor.

Insurers Raking in the Big Bucks

I get that plaintiff lawyers as far down on our culture’s popularity chart, seemingly neck-and-neck with politicians, used car salespersons and bankers. But what I don’t understand is how insurance companies, the quintessential example of corporate largess, have rocketed up the approval ratings. Over the past few years, large cap insurance companies have transformed to become friendly, pro-consumer institutions in the eyes of many. I place the credit, or blame, squarely on the shoulders of Madison Avenue and its marketing genius.

Addressing the Association Manager Conflict of Interest

Community association management companies retained by developer clients often have to walk a tight-rope as they balance the interests of their two clients: the developer and the homeowner association. In the perfect world, this dichotomy of client interests would not be at issue because the developer and homeowner association would share parallel interests. But practically speaking, inherent conflicts arise between developers and homeowners regularly, which place the association manager squarely in the middle of an undesirable situation.