By Jan Bergemann

Published May 20, 2016


I see it all the time: Boards asking the association attorney for a legal opinion often don’t really want a real interpretation of the laws and/or governing documents. More often they just want a “legal confirmation” of the way they want to push their “rules” – or the laws they make up.


And – make no mistake – there are just too many lawyers and law firms who don’t mind giving the board in writing what they want to hear – no matter right or wrong. And these lawyers are only too happy to confirm what the board members want to hear because they will often reap the benefits of their “twisted” opinions caused by owners filing lawsuits because they totally disagree with the “opinion” of the association lawyer. And the association attorney makes lots of money – no matter win or lose!


And since the Florida BAR is just a joke when it comes to regulate its members, these attorneys will get away with it, even if their interpretations are plainly ridiculous.


I have seen “opinions” written by so-called specialized community association attorneys that made me laugh.


I agree” Many of the laws are vague and allow various interpretations because of the choice of words used  in the statutes. But when it becomes obvious that the lawyer’s “opinion” was just written to please the board. It should be called “malpractice” – and not a legal interpretation.

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Jan Bergemann Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community  

associations. He moved to Florida in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues for his own purposes. End of retirement!


CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in Tallahassee - finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.


The organization has two websites to inform interested Florida homeowners and condo owners:

News Website:

Educational Website:

We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all service providers surely have a different interest! We are trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking in Florida !

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