ACTUAL LEGAL OPINIONS?
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
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
||Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
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
- 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
homeowners and condo owners:
News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.
Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.
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