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Our HOA attorney continually intervenes in board elections…

Our HOA attorney continually...

Our HOA attorney continually intervenes in board elections favoring candidates with his interpretations of election rules. There is a pattern of "pre-emptive strikes on proxies, ballot tracking, overruling board vacancy appointments, and declaring elections fatally flaws at the 11th hour--recommending that he draft new rules--rules that arguably give certain board member candidates an advantage. Can members of the board seek second legal opinions? Or is the Association Attorney contracted by the management company have final say? Thank you

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

What kind of paperwork would we file? We've repeatedly complained about a small number of members input is being considered, others is not, and that members who want to have input into initial rules,--they get their 30 days, that's it.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the property located?

In Sacramento, California

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

There is a pattern where The attorney offers a legal opinion, the board proceeds, then the intervenes at the request of opposing board members..

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Answered in 9 hours by:
3/25/2018
socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,760
Experience: Attorney and Real Estate broker -- Retired
Verified

Hello,

I am a member of the State Bar of California and a licensed California real estate broker. You asked:

Can members of the board seek second legal opinions?

A: Yes, but unless the board authorizes payment for a different attorney's services, the board member seeking a second opinion would have to pay the attorney's fees "out of pocket."

Or is the Association Attorney contracted by the management company have final say?

A: The property manager is an agent of the board, and the board can terminate an agent "at will": at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. Similarly, the property manager can terminate its attorney "at will," because the attorney is an agent of the property manager.

That said, what you describe is actually an unusual relationship, because an attorney paid for by the property manager would have a potential conflict of interest in advising the board, as the board and property manager's goals may not always be aligned. To be frank, I've never known of a property manager having an attorney that advised an HOA board, due to the potential conflict of interest. If I were an HOA member, I would be voting to hire independent legal counsel, and demand a reduction in fees related to the property manager's attorney services.

This is actually s circumstance where the property manager's attorney could be in violation of the State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct concerning conflicts of interest. If I were that attorney, I wouldn't want to allow myself to be in such a potentially difficult position.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,760
Experience: Attorney and Real Estate broker -- Retired
Verified
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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