October 11, 2008 - 9:00 pm
Q: I am asking for your guidance in this matter. My primary interest and concern is obtaining accurate and current information regarding our homeowner’s legal action.
Our association had its quarterly meeting. The president and three other board members were present including the wife of one of the builders being sued by the association for building defects. The president is the son-in-law of this builder and his wife.
The attorney for our lawsuit of several years did not show. His presentation was scheduled for the open Board meeting on our agenda.
Two attorneys appeared as the open Board meeting ended. The president and a Board member both are related to the builders being sued, the length of time the lawsuit has existed and the lack of any information related to the lawsuit makes me very uneasy.
A: It would appear that the association board has an inherent conflict of interest since there is a relationship between the president and the builder who is being sued.
I am not quite sure how legal counsel representing the association has rationalized this inherent conflict in how the association is making decisions, legal strategy and maintaining confidentiality.
This may be an issue that really calls for the association’s president to resign or to recluse himself of any discussions pertaining to the lawsuit.
The association should be providing some information as to the status of the lawsuit.
There are times, sensitive times, when various negotiations are being discussed that can not be immediately disclosed to the membership. This does not prevent the association to state what has been done, i.e. interrogatories or depositions are now being held or that there is a settlement conference scheduled, etc.
The reader should send a formal letter to the management company and one to the Board requesting an update on the lawsuit.
If there is no response, the reader may want to directly contact the attorney for an update. If no one provides any information to the reader, then the reader will need to contact the Ombudsman Office for assistance.
Barbara Holland, certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager, is president and owner of H&L Realty and Management Co. Questions may be sent to Association Q.&A., P.O. Box 7440, Las Vegas, NV 89125. Her fax number is 385-3759, or she can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]