Homeowner Association Attorney Ethics

By Jan Bergemann
In a perfect community association world the association attorney would make sure that the interests of all members of the community are represented when acting on behalf of the association. The actions of the attorney would benefit all members of the community – since all are paying the legal bills equally. Board members and owners should be able to rely on an attorney, who acts as the professional the association hired to represent its legal interest.

But since we are not in a perfect community association world, we see lots of problems caused by association attorneys who make it their main objective to protect the members of the board who signed their retainer agreement and who sign the checks – no matter what. It should not be the task of the association attorney to find ways to circumvent the statutes and the governing documents in order to please the board members who may have a private agenda or try to defend their personal egos.

We see frivolous lawsuits filed all the time, filed by overeager association attorneys – just because some board member has something to hide and doesn’t like an outspoken owner to challenge his/her “private agenda.” These lawsuits are definitely not in the best interest of these associations or the paying members.

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