March 31, 2014

The Association's Attorney Should Be A Good Listener

I was recently interviewed by a condominium association board that wanted to replace the association's attorney.  During that interview, one board member made a startling comment.  She remarked that, in her opinion, the association's attorney did not listen to the board.  The attorney urged the board to file lawsuits against owners even after the board made it clear that it wanted to pursue other methods.  Another board member darkly observed that the attorney would certainly make more money if the recommended litigation was pursued.  The board was pleased to learn that my office emphasizes enforcement and collection methods that do not involve litigation.  The board was also pleased to learn that I was willing to implement its desired course of action.

Lawsuits should only be filed as a last resort.  They are expensive, they take months to resolve, and they destroy relationships.  Associations' interests are best served when they work with attorneys who have both the expertise to win lawsuits when necessary and the wisdom to avoid them whenever possible. 

An association's attorney is there to help the board understand its options and to implement the option selected by the board.  It is a problem if the attorney-client relationship is more like a monologue than a dialogue. If your Washington condominium or homeowners association is looking for an attorney who is a good listener, then it should consider contacting my office.