PICKING THE RIGHT ATTORNEY?
Published February 8, 2019
Board members should
always remember: A good attorney can save them lots of money
while a bad attorney can lead to financial ruin of the
An attorney who
always finds “interpretations” that supports the board members’
desire is outright dangerous, because what certain board members
want is not always in accordance of the law.
A good board needs
an attorney that tells them exactly what’s right or wrong – and
not what they hope to hear to push their private agenda.
important to have a specialized attorney practicing community
association laws since many years as an attorney. Remember, ten
years ago, during the economic melt-down in our nation, many
attorneys lost their regular clientele – and suddenly you could
find on the website of a divorce attorney the note that he/she
is specialized in association law (just as an example).
Many of the older
board members are still looking for an attorney “nearby.” Don’t
forget: The times when the client had to show up at the
attorney’s office for a conference are long past. Nowadays
business is done by cell phone, computer or telephone. No more
long travels to the attorney’s office. Technology has replaced
the personal visits – saving a lot of time and/or money.
association law attorneys are charging a pretty steep hourly
rate, but deservedly so. While an experienced attorney knows
his/her way around in community association law and case law
created by court and/or arbitration rulings, an unexperienced
lawyer has to do a lot of research in order to find all the
necessary information to come up with optimal results to
questions and/or responses to lawsuits – meaning the bill of an
unexperienced “specialist” will in the end be much higher than
the bill of an experienced attorney who charges a much higher
hourly rate. Remember: Research takes a lot of time – meaning
All in all:
Attorneys are a typical example why a system that allows a
profession to regulate itself doesn’t work. Even attorneys have
to admit, that the system created by the BAR punishing attorneys
doesn’t really work. An attorney once said to me: “In order for
the BAR to take serious action against an attorney requires that
this attorney either shoots his client in his office or
embezzles a Million Dollars from a trust account. Any other
violation just ends with a slap on the wrist!”
||Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the
developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues
for his own purposes. End of retirement!
CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in
- finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a
member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.
The organization has two websites to inform interested
homeowners and condo owners:
News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.
Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.
We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all
service providers surely have a different interest! We are
trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are
useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking