An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.

Published June 18, 2022

The Condo From Hell – a.k.a. as the BOCA VIEW CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC.  in Boca Raton – just added another chapter to their ugly history. With the “help” of the Becker Law Firm, the association found a judge willing to rule against a unit-owner [SEE FINAL RULING] – a registered nurse – in a lawsuit starting with a record request of the owner, and award $ 395,553.85 in legal fees.

This case started as a simple record request and ended up in court after the Division Arbitrator found in favor of the unit-owner. But Circuit Judge Donald W. Hafele reversed the arbitration ruling and found in favor of the defendant and awarded “reasonable” attorney’s fees and cost in the amount of $ 395,553.85. You really have to see the actual FEE-BILLING.

In my opinion anybody who considers this amount “reasonable” must in my opinion live in a different galaxy!

Remember: The whole case hinged on an e-mail that was sent by the CAM giving the owner the option to inspect the records – with a less than 24-hour notice. An e-mail the owner claimed was only opened after the appointment time had passed. Don’t forget: Owners are supposed to mail public record requests by certified mail, while a CAM obviously has the right to respond with an e-mail without having to prove that the owner opened this e-mail in a timely manner. Clearly some people haven’t gotten the message that not everybody is sitting on his/her computer all day long!

This case just shows that a statement in a news article [Becker & Poliakoff law firm the ‘nemesis of condo safety reformers] that quoted Becker lawyer Robert Rubin as saying 'there is no way that an owner will ever win a case because he will litigate to eternity (‘if he dies there will be plenty more at Becker & Poliakoff’) and Becker and Poliakoff will wear any owner down mentally and financially or both' was absolutely correct.

In my opinion this ruling is totally out of line and makes very little sense, especially considering the “history” of this condo board and the association law firm. I am still convinced that the Division arbitrator got it right – by ruling according to the Florida statutes. While these arbitrators have lots of experience with condo (FS 718) cases, judges in courts of law barely ever have to deal with such cases and are much more open to the smooth talk of attorneys.

This 72-unit condo is riddled with law suits and rumor has it that board president Diana Kuka is using these lawsuits in order to buy units from neighbors at a much lower price. She is definitely ruling with an iron fist and uses a law firm willing to do anything to subdue neighbors unwilling to give in to the president’s demands.

And the Becker law firm is obviously making a fortune just representing this small condo. Another big money-maker already seems to be on the horizon. In another lawsuit filed by a unit-owner against the Boca View Association attorney Robert Rubin responded with a 47-page “MOTION TO DISMISS”.

This is just another example showing that the system in place is a total failure for families trying to have a peaceful home in a friendly environment. In reality it’s just a paradise for attorneys!