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Subject: Video Recording Meetings, Part 3/8: Our attorney warns me
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BradB7


Posts:22


04/11/2018 3:10 PM  
Video Recording Meetings, Part 3/8: Our attorney warns me

After telling me that I can record meetings, our attorney said that she recommended that I do not record. She said recording could cause residents to be hesitant to speak freely and could reduce the amount of discussion. It could cause residents to not come to meetings, and it could be a problem if a recording contradicted the meeting minutes.

I wondered about that. If I had to defend myself in court, the recording should trump the minutes. Our minutes have had lies, mistakes, and omissions in them, but that is a story for another time. Video doesn't lie, and minutes are only as good as the person who writes them and the board who approves them. If I ended up in court I sure wasn't going to rely on minutes to defend myself.

I once spent a year of my life defending the HOA against a lawsuit by a resident. In the lawsuit he made accusations of things said in meetings that never happened. A video might have brought the lawsuit to a much quicker end.

Wanting another opinion, I went to the website of our law firm, and on there was advice about recording meetings, and it was word for word the same as what our attorney had said. It was almost like she had read it off the website to me.

I then started looking at other HOA law firms and I found the same thing. The same advice not to record meetings was posted with almost identical wording at law firms around the country.

I was going to record meetings to protect myself, and it turned out the advice that I was given not to record did not match my experience.

Next:
Part 4/8: I get a big surprise
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7420


04/11/2018 5:34 PM  
Personally I am not opposed to recording (audio and/or video) meetings. Feel free to record me.

I do agree that it can "scare" some for participating but that might not be a bad thing.


TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15577


04/11/2018 6:29 PM  
The advice not to record was likely based on being the Association attorney and you being a member of the Board.

If the minutes said one thing and the recording showed something else, it could be extremely bad for the Association (even if it was simple human error) in a legal fight.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:409


04/12/2018 12:35 AM  
The meetings are audio recorded here in Nevada, I believe it's law that they are recorded.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:283


04/12/2018 4:53 AM  
I think you make some very good points. With all due respect to attorneys, their job is to steer you in a direction that is most likely to prevent legal problems for you, which is not necessarily the best direction overall. Why do you think most pools don't have lifeguards? They may save 10 lives but its that one they miss that is going to cost you. A sign with a disclaimer won't save any lives but it also won't make mistakes that can get the pool owner sued.

My background is in law enforcement starting back in 1979. Back then, most interviews were not recorded and dash and body cams were not around. Many prosecutors advised against recording anything. It wasn't that they were trying to hide anything, it was just that not recording was safer. Now almost everything in law enforcement is recorded and most officers will tell you that audio and video have helped police a lot more than harmed, assuming you are doing the right thing.

My point is that recording meetings is not very common yet but as it becomes more common, people will be less afraid of it.

The reality is that recordings don't lie. They may catch your mistakes but, if you are acting in good faith and doing the right thing, recordings will help you.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2143


04/12/2018 6:26 AM  
i'm glad it worked out for you, but the attorney isn't wrong. I also do investigation work and our instructions are to record all interviews. I usually explain to people that recordings insure I don't quote THEM out of context and have found that calms people down in most cases. When you play the recording back you may think of something else you can do to develop the case or follow up on a certain point mentioned, not to mention critiquing yourself so you'll do a better job next time.

Now, having said all that, there ARE people who will object(loudly) if you pull out a video recorder or voice recorder, so I hope you have a way to address that. n
BradB7


Posts:22


04/14/2018 5:58 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 04/11/2018 5:34 PM
Personally I am not opposed to recording (audio and/or video) meetings. Feel free to record me.

I do agree that it can "scare" some for participating but that might not be a bad thing.





As I found out after I started recording, I think it might have a slight moderating effect on the behavior of bad board members and property managers.

I do know that it helps me, and I would have no problem with anything I said that was recorded being played back in public.
BradB7


Posts:22


04/14/2018 6:06 AM  
Posted By TimB4 on 04/11/2018 6:29 PM
The advice not to record was likely based on being the Association attorney and you being a member of the Board.

If the minutes said one thing and the recording showed something else, it could be extremely bad for the Association (even if it was simple human error) in a legal fight.



Tim, I think you are correct. If it came out for some reason (lawsuit) that the minutes don't match the recording then that could throw the accuracy of all previous minutes into question, and that would be a correct assumption.

The recordings do help me to provide accurate input for the draft meeting minutes. I still have cases where I request a correction based on the recording and other board members disagree with me.
BradB7


Posts:22


04/17/2018 10:03 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 04/11/2018 5:34 PM
Personally I am not opposed to recording (audio and/or video) meetings. Feel free to record me.

I do agree that it can "scare" some for participating but that might not be a bad thing.





I found out recording had no effect on a mob at a meeting (see Post 7), but so far my mob sample size is one.

Maybe in the future there will be another mob and I will get to see how they act while being recorded.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:332


04/17/2018 10:22 AM  
Where is 8/8?
GlenM4
(Tennessee)

Posts:35


04/17/2018 11:39 AM  
mob got him before he could post it
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:332


04/17/2018 11:49 AM  
Like Tony Soprano?
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Video Recording Meetings, Part 3/8: Our attorney warns me



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