|HOW TO PICK AN ASSOCIATION ATTORNEY?|
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published November 5, 2011
Donna Berger's recent blog was headlined "How to pick a legal professional that is the right fit for your community!" If you actually read through the blog, you quickly find out that the headline should really read: "Why you and your board should hire KGB (Katzman Garfinkel & Berger)!"
As you can easily imagine, the criteria to pick an association attorney depends very much upon what side of the aisle you sit.
There are three main interests in a community association, but the only one that really counts are owners. Don't forget, board members are normally owners as well, if they are not straw-buyers planted by special interest as seen in the Construction Defect Lawsuit Scam in Nevada. If all is done according to the law, board members/owners are together the ones paying the price for bad decisions -- or out-of-whack bills.
Then there are the community association managers, who want to show that they are worth the money they are getting paid and are needed for the day-to-day operation of the community. There interest as well differs from the interest of owners and/or association attorneys.
And then there are the association attorneys, whose interests surely differ from the interests of owners/board members. While owners would love to have a nice, peaceful community with low maintenance costs, association attorneys are definitely more interested in billing hours -- nice, peaceful communities would bankrupt them.
Here are the criteria I would be looking for when hiring an association attorney. Actually, these are more the reasons why you shouldn't hire certain firms:
Here is what you really should be looking for: A good relationship -- the feeling that you can trust each other. Picking a good attorney is very important for the financial welfare of your community. The best attorney isn't good if you don't like -- and trust -- him/her. It's about the same as with doctors: If you don't like them they are not doing you any good, because you will always second-guess his/her advice!