BOYCOTT BECKER & POLIAKOFF
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published March 8, 2011
I really have had it now with the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff, which under the cover of lobbying for associations is actually doing nothing more than filling their own pockets. In my opinion they are nothing more than a protection racket for dictatorial board members. Under the pretense of lobbying for associations they collect money from boards and use association funds to finance CALL (Community Association Leadership Lobby), the lobbying arm of the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff.
Last year B&P lobbied for S 1196, a bill that was dubbed the Community Association Lawyer Relief Act. That bill did absolutely nothing to help associations deal with the serious financial crises caused by foreclosures and unpaid dues, but it surely increased the legal fees caused by even more lawsuits created by the vague language of the bill. The provisions in this bill pitted neighbors against neighbors and renters against associations -- without solving any financial issues. Instead of filling the bank accounts of the associations, as promised -- some near the brink of bankruptcy -- it filled the pockets of lawyers and community association management firms. Now that law firm is at it again, trying to push S530, a bill that would add more of the same to the community association statutes. How greedy can you get -- at the expense of the owners that still pay their assessments as they try to keep their communities financially alive? Remember:
that's bad enough, but I really got angry when I heard that Travis
Moore, the lobbyist for CALL, the CAI (Community
Associations Institute, trade organization for community association
service providers) and the Continental Group, Inc. and attorney Peter
Dunbar (law firm of Pennington Moore Wilkinson Bell & Dunbar PA)
caused the HOA Election Reform provision to be removed from S1516.
We are talking here about a group of people that I consider to be the
biggest enemies of
Ever since 2002 I have heard Peter Dunbar's pathetic argument: "We don't even know how many homeowners' associations we have in Florida, so how can we regulate them?" But try to propose easy ways [see below] to find out -- Dunbar will be all over you with more pathetic arguments.
founding principal of Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. is Gary Poliakoff. Together
with Peter Dunbar, Gary
Poliakoff is responsible for many of the statutes that have made a litigious
environment out of
My opinion about Becker & Poliakoff was never really high, but now they even stooped so low as to file a lawsuit for libel/slander against an owner in a South Florida HOA. The homeowner had created his own website after the board president, with the help of Becker & Poliakoff, tried to shut up the owners who have legitimate complaints. [LAWSUITS TO PROTECT PRESIDENTS' BRUISED EGOS?] More owners' wasted money to the delight of this law firm! I hope that B&P attorney Chris Draper finally gets the publicity he rightfully deserves. I always thought these kinds of lawsuits were the trademark of attorney Robert Kaye.
Dictatorships never liked free speech -- and fair elections. The original version of S1516 was not even properly published when Peter Dunbar and Travis Moore went to work to kill the election and education provisions in S1516 [Lines 242 - 247] These attorneys know full well that owners are easier to fleece if the people in charge can rig the elections. In my opinion they collect "protection" money to keep power-hungry board members in their seats and pay money into the CALL coffers to lobby against owner-friendly bills! Estimated 2.5 million owners in homeowners’ associations in Florida will have to go through another year of rigged elections -- or no elections at all -- because some greedy attorneys prefer elections similar to those in Banana Republics to keep their clients in power.
But as Gary Poliakoff
claimed at a town hall meeting:
"These homeowners knew what they are getting into when they signed
According to history books, this country was built on the foundation of Democracy, Free Speech and Fair Elections. None of it can be found in our community associations -- courtesy of lawyers like Gary Poliakoff and Peter Dunbar. No wonder activists warn potential buyers as they contemplate buying a home in a homeowners' association: "YOU ARE LEAVING THE AMERICAN ZONE!"
In my opinion every honest community association board should boycott the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff, because the money they contribute to CALL is used to lobby against association-friendly and owner-friendly bills and just promotes bills that help to increase the profit of this law firm!