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Subject: HOA Attorney Problem
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Author Messages
HectorR
(Florida)

Posts:13


01/10/2019 8:57 PM  
Hello everyone, I was serving in the board of directors for 2 years as the treasure.
Late october of 2018, myself and the rest of the board memebers came to an agreement to terminate the management company after our HOA attorney looked over the contract.
A couple of days later before the attorney actualy send the letter to the management company I began to have second thoughts. I asked all the board members if we can withdraw our decision because we really did not allow the management company to correct the issues. The board voted against my request and stated that they have made up their minds and they are moving foward.
3 days after that I decided to step down from the board because we just kept bumping heads and alot of arguing.
There was also expenditures that i was questioning and I just kept getting the run around for answers. About a month later, I get a letter of demand from our HOA attorney requesting for me to turn over any emails that I had with the property management company whom was fired. The management company is now stating that the board was supposed to give a 90 day notice and that the board never gave them an opportunity to correct the problems in our community and its a breach of contract.
I responded to the attorneys request and sent him over 13 emails all from the dates he requested.
Some time ago, I asked for a copy of the management contract because I wanted to understand what their responsibilities were. The management company complied and sent me the contract. The attorney asked me for that body of that particular email but i no longer have it. I sent him the copy of the contract which is what was sent to me originally from the management company. A month goes by and the attorney sends me another email staring that I should have more emails. I responded and stated that I have already provided him with every single piece of mail he requested, he then stated that I have an obligation to preserve any and all emails.
He went on to tell me that if I delete any emails from my computer that pertains to any association business ther can be consequences.
I called his office and asked him to explain to me what the problem was becasue as far as i'm concerned i have not broken any laws. All i did was serve as a volunteer and resigned because of a number of issues.
He told me that I was correct but he needs the emails becuase the mangement company is threatening to sue. I again mentioned to him that the emails from the dates he requested have already been sent to his office. Today I get another email from the attorney. He stated that because of the lack of response, he is asking me to volunteraliy bring my personal computer and mobile device so that an IT professional hired by the association can go thru my computer and look thru all my emails.
At this point I contacted an attorney because i feel like im being harassed. The attorney stated that I dont have to volunteer to do any such thing but i do have to retain the emails. The attorney also stated that if I already sent him the emails then i already complied to his and the boards request.
Doe anyone out there know what i can do, I feel like the attorney made a big mistake by not looking at the contract termination clause as well as the board members. I honsetly do not have any other emas to give him and im not going to volunteer to have my personal computer scanned lime im some kind of criminal. I feel like they are going to far and violating my rights.
Need help and advise, I can not afford an attorney and the attorney I spoke to is willing to help but I can not afford their services.

Someone please help.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7813


01/10/2019 9:31 PM  
Does your HOA have insurance? You should be protected as a board member to some issues personally. May want to look at that angle.

The HOA lawyer wants copies of all your emails? What for exactly? There has been no lawsuit filed. If no lawsuit filed, then no need for further "evidence". I would tell them to send me a subpoena before providing them any personal property. Which is a step that should not happen till the case reaches court level.

What is the MC suing for anyways? The court can ONLY make one "Whole". So the MC should be suing for the amount they are owed if they had finished the contract. Let's say the contract was for 1 year and 10K. Your HOA cancelled early at 6 months and was a breech of contract. The HOA would owe them the other 5K. The fact that they terminated the contract without cause listed in the contract or proper notification.

This is just a basic terminated contract lawsuit if there is a suit. It also may be an insurance claim to pay if they won. The only reason for a copy of those emails is proof of proving the HOA properly terminated the contract. However, since you were the decenter of the decision, the emails could provide proof for the MC side. Which during the process of "Discovery" may be asked for by the MC's side as well.

I would just say that you have provided everything you have. Until they subpoena you for the computer, you will be keeping it. As for forensic IT folks going over your computer... I know a few things about that process. The email is actually on your personal email account. Which would need your personal account information on that account. NOT sure how legal that is you provide that. Unless you opened an email as a office program like Word, it's most likely not in your "history" on your computer. So this enters the "Hillary Clinton" area of emails production. It's on a server most likely not on your computer. They would need to go after your email provider.



Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:1271


01/10/2019 9:45 PM  
-- Check your HOA's governing documents for what it says about indemnification of directors.

-- Check your HOA's insurance policy for what it says about indemnification of directors. Call the insurer and tell them what is happening. Ask the insurer to please tell you whether they are obliged to provide you with an attorney. Document this carefully.

-- Inform this harassing HOA attorney that you are not represented by an attorney, and that he needs to cease giving you legal advice. Inform him if he does not, you will report him to the Florida Bar for ethics violations. Start reading here for how to proceed, as needed: https://www.floridabar.org/public/acap/ . Be aware that the Bar typically won't take action against an attorney unless you are the attorney's client.

-- Despite what you may think, you are not the HOA attorney's client. The HOA is this attorney's client, as represented by a majority of the Board. This HOA attorney is treating you harshly because he sees you as an "adverse party" and one way or another, has been told you are a threat to the HOA.

-- Get yourself to a free legal clinic. Try:
http://www.flaccesstojustice.org/
and
https://www.flcourts.org/Resources-Services/Court-Improvement/Family-Courts/Family-Law-Self-Help-Information/Legal-Aid

-- Give this HOA attorney nothing more.

-- When a lawsuit is threatened, there is a preservation of evidence requirement for both sides. The standard and methodology for preserving emails is way high. It is a wonderful tool for a potential plaintiff to harass a potential defendant long before anything goes to court.

-- I am sorry you are going through this.

RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:307


01/11/2019 7:39 AM  
..... I called his office and asked him to explain to me what the problem was becasue as far as i'm concerned i have not broken any laws. All i did was serve as a volunteer and resigned because of a number of issues. .....


Tough Love:

You very well may have violated many corporate law statutes.

Your volunteer status does NOT relieve you of the legal obligations you CHOSE to accept as a director.

ANY email involving 'official' corporate business (even if on your personal device) MUST be kept.

Good Intentions oft are the path to doom.


Advice:

REMAIN SILENT

Choose the path of 'benign negligence' going forward.
eg. ignore them politely

Lawyer up when necessary or for your peace of mind.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2349


01/11/2019 8:03 AM  
As others have said, you’ll really need an attorney. I’m also sorry you’re going through this because you were correct in suggesting the board should have spoken to the management company first and given them a chance to fix any problems. You’re also correct that the attorney should have looked for the termination clauses in the contract before telling the board to proceed. However, this ends, I hope someone on that board considers having a sit down with that attorney because in light of this, it may be a good idea to consider replacing HIM.

You could try to contact your email provider to see if there’s a way to retrieve deleted emails. It might not be a speedy process, you might have to have your computer scanned – and all this may cost you some money, but so will a lawsuit, especially if you have to explain to a judge why you don’t have the emails. If you really can’t retrieve them, the best you’ll be able do is be honest, explain yourself and hope for leniency.

For anyone else out there who’s having issues with their property manager and/or tussles regarding emails, here’s one person’s suggestions based on experience and a few CAI seminars. Remember, these are SUGGESTIONS – for the legal stuff, find out what’s what in your own state and do what’s necessary to protect yourself and the association:

1. Everyone on the board should know the duties of the property manager when they join and have a copy of the contract. It could be part of a board of director’s manual (there are older conversations on this website with suggestions on how to set them up)

2. Homeowners should also be told what the property manager can and can’t do. Sometimes people complain about their property manager when in fact, they’re demanding actions that only the board can authorize (if the board can’t or won’t do it, that’s another matter). If you have a website, put up a brief article as to what the property manager can do vs. the board. Remind homeowners of this once a year (the annual meeting is fine).

3. You might also run an annual survey asking homeowners to rate the property manager’s performance (along with the board’s) and share that information with the property manager.

4. It’s always best to give the property manager a chance to fix problems before you sack him or her. Do your homework – keep track of specific incidents and present those to the property manager, so you can discuss specific approaches to those problems. Come up with a deadline by which significant progress must be made or the problems resolved altogether. If it’s not done, you can decide what happens next – and document what wasn’t done.

5. If you find you must get rid of your property manager, don’t do it half assed. After checking the contract FIRST (everyone needs to read it, not just the attorney), create a transition plan. Depending on how long you’ve had the property manager, this isn’t something you can just end after 30 days or less. You need to make arrangements to get any archived documents, update the bank with any information, get an audit to make sure all the finances are in order – and you’ll need to tell homeowners when they need to begin contacting the new property managers with requests, along with the new contact information. That’s just for starters – you can visit the CAI website and look for books on best practices in working with property management companies – hiring new ones and sacking the old ones are covered.

6. Regarding emails, state law is catching up (albeit slowly in some cases) to email and if/how they should be preserved and used as evidence in civil or criminal trials, so you should consult your association attorney AND master insurance company to create a policy for board members and residents.

7. It’s best for the board to set up one email account where all board members have access and should be used to send and receive all messages regarding association business. This way, everyone knows who said what and it’s easier to preserve one group of emails

8. If board members insist on having separate accounts, those should be reserved exclusively for association business. This way, if you get a request like Hector did, it’ll be faster and easier to retrieve the information. Otherwise, you may be compelled by a judge to provide your computer so it can be scanned for all association emails – and that will also expose any personal emails you have on your bills, kids, etc. (they have to scan the whole thing in case you accidentally on purpose try to hide or delete something)

9. When I sent emails on association business, I usually copied the other board members and the property manager so everyone knew what was being discussed. I also knew the property manager preserved those emails.


Finally, as a former treasurer myself, I’m a little concerned about your comment on expenditures no one can or will explain. I can understand that if those occurred before you joined the board (the previous board and/or treasurer may have kept piss poor records or don’t want their successors to know either – for that you may have to blast the information out of them). Otherwise, as treasurer, you should have been reviewing those monthly financial reports, as the treasurer often has a better idea than others as to where the money’s coming from and where it’s supposed to go.

If those expenses occurred while you were treasurer, I have to wonder if you were paying close enough attention during meetings or at least look for weirdness in the reports and question them. If there were numbers I didn’t understand, I would ask the property manager (copying board members) so I’d have the answer before the next meeting (we received the reports a week before meetings). If your colleagues and the property manager didn’t know or refused to tell you, you could have made all this known to your neighbors. Then we would see if they would try to blow off a group of angry homeowners at a board meeting!

FredS7
(Arizona)

Posts:867


01/11/2019 8:08 AM  
> ANY email involving 'official' corporate business (even if on your personal device) MUST be kept.

I would like to see a citation that states this.

In any case OP had not been informed that he must keep all emails. (I, as a board member, have certainly not been informed that I must keep all emails, and I don't intend to start.)

The lawyer legitimately informed OP that he should (1) send copies of emails he had and (2) not delete any emails in the future.

The lawyer has REQUESTED access to the computer. It seems to me that this is a request only. I would politely decline and say that I would respond to any properly drawn subpoena.

I have been peripherally involved with cases where lawyers have requested emails and asked that relevant emails not be deleted in the future. It was never suggested that emails should not have been deleted in the past. The deleted emails are probably available anyway, with much more difficulty, from server backups, etc.
AugustinD


Posts:1271


01/11/2019 8:25 AM  
Posted By SheliaH on 01/11/2019 8:03 AM
As others have said, you’ll really need an attorney.
...
You could try to contact your email provider to see if there’s a way to retrieve deleted emails. It might not be a speedy process, you might have to have your computer scanned – and all this may cost you some money, but so will a lawsuit, especially if you have to explain to a judge why you don’t have the emails.


-- Who, besides you, said Hector would really need an attorney? I disagree that (1) he should pay an attorney and (2) that he really needs one, except possibly for peace of mind.

-- I have seen and believe reports that CAI is biased to benefit the bank accounts of HOA managers and attorneys and scare people away from serving on boards.

-- Agreed that this HOA attorney may be deserving of replacement. Though I do not expect this is likely. Rather, to Hector, people here get it.

-- I say: Let the HOA attorney, all the insurers, and the management company figure this out. Hector should not lift a finger to retrieve emails he deleted before being contacted by the attorney.

-- Hector should ignore RoyalP's comment that Hector "may very well have violated many corporate law statutes." Same for RoyalP's comment that a director has to save all emails.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:307


01/11/2019 9:16 AM  
..... -- Hector should ignore RoyalP's comment that Hector "may very well have violated many corporate law statutes." Same for RoyalP's comment that a director has to save all emails. .....


MAY very well have violated ..... (through ignorance)

a director need not save ALL emails, merely emails pertaining to corporate business (good prudence)

as i stated CLEARLY above


RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:307


01/11/2019 9:23 AM  
“Modern email retention laws require all organizations to quickly execute a legal hold on archived email and provide data in the case of litigation.”

Origin of Email Retention Law

These demanding email archiving regulations, in which essentially nothing electronic that might be relevant for litigation can be deleted, began further back than many realize.

The need for email retention laws didn’t truly solidify until December 2006, when the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were significantly revised. This revision marked the tenth-time changes were made to the laws since their establishment in 1938. (Cornell’s law school has an excellent index and explanation of the rules here.)

{Y'all can find the links and research for yourselves}

The revisions meant that everything electronic (emails, directives, files, communication and requests) would now have to be retained — which means if the courts request any kind of electronically stored information and you don’t have it, you have a potentially devastating legal problem on your hands.



OUR OPINIONS ARE WORTH EXACTLY WHAT THE OP PAID, IOW: ZILCH


JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:427


01/11/2019 9:33 AM  
Hector,

I would head this one off at the pass. Call all of the board members and reassure them that there is no conceivable way that you would want to help the old management company to sue your association, if that is true. Think it through, know your points, get emotional, be convincing. Ask them to call off the lawyer.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:307


01/11/2019 9:40 AM  
TO REPEAT:

Posted By RoyalP on 01/11/2019 7:39 AM


Advice:

REMAIN SILENT

Choose the path of 'benign negligence' going forward.
eg. ignore them politely

Lawyer up when necessary or for your peace of mind.



JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:427


01/11/2019 9:53 AM  
Posted By RoyalP on 01/11/2019 9:40 AM
TO REPEAT:

Posted By RoyalP on 01/11/2019 7:39 AM


Advice:

REMAIN SILENT

Choose the path of 'benign negligence' going forward.
eg. ignore them politely

Lawyer up when necessary or for your peace of mind.






benign neglect?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:124


01/11/2019 10:42 AM  
Posted By RoyalP on 01/11/2019 9:23 AM
“Modern email retention laws require all organizations to quickly execute a legal hold on archived email and provide data in the case of litigation.”

Origin of Email Retention Law

These demanding email archiving regulations, in which essentially nothing electronic that might be relevant for litigation can be deleted, began further back than many realize.

The need for email retention laws didn’t truly solidify until December 2006, when the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were significantly revised. This revision marked the tenth-time changes were made to the laws since their establishment in 1938. (Cornell’s law school has an excellent index and explanation of the rules here.)

{Y'all can find the links and research for yourselves}

The revisions meant that everything electronic (emails, directives, files, communication and requests) would now have to be retained — which means if the courts request any kind of electronically stored information and you don’t have it, you have a potentially devastating legal problem on your hands.



OUR OPINIONS ARE WORTH EXACTLY WHAT THE OP PAID, IOW: ZILCH






This agrees with what our attorney told us. Emails are corporate records, and board members should preserve them just as they would preserve paper records.

ISPs usually have the ability to retrieve emails that individuals have deleted. IT folks always caution users to think before they send emails, because email is forever.
HectorR
(Florida)

Posts:13


01/11/2019 11:51 AM  
How would i go about responding back to the attorney?
I believe e i have complied to his request on a number of times.
I want to be professional about this.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:307


01/11/2019 12:01 PM  
Posted By JeffT2 on 01/11/2019 9:53 AM
Posted By RoyalP on 01/11/2019 9:40 AM
TO REPEAT:

Posted By RoyalP on 01/11/2019 7:39 AM


Advice:

REMAIN SILENT

Choose the path of 'benign negligence' going forward.
eg. ignore them politely

Lawyer up when necessary or for your peace of mind.






benign neglect?




Yes, benign neglect, guess I mis-wrote.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:307


01/11/2019 12:05 PM  
Posted By HectorR on 01/11/2019 11:51 AM
How would i go about responding back to the attorney?
I believe e i have complied to his request on a number of times.
I want to be professional about this.




You do not 'respond back'. That is THEIR game of intimidation.

You either:

Get your own attorney and let him/her respond.

or

Ignore them until/unless you receive an official 'court document' or court order instructing otherwise.

then

Get an attorney.


AugustinD


Posts:1271


01/11/2019 12:11 PM  
Posted By HectorR on 01/11/2019 11:51 AM
How would i go about responding back to the attorney?
I believe e i have complied to his request on a number of times.
I want to be professional about this.


Dear Mr. _____,

As I have told you repeatedly, I have given you all the emails you requested. My computer has no more, either deleted or not deleted. I respectfully decline your request. Further requests by you on this matter will be ignored. If I can help in any other way, please let me know.

Sincerely,

Hector _____
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7927


01/11/2019 12:41 PM  
Posted By RoyalP on 01/11/2019 12:05 PM
Posted By HectorR on 01/11/2019 11:51 AM
How would i go about responding back to the attorney?
I believe e i have complied to his request on a number of times.
I want to be professional about this.




You do not 'respond back'. That is THEIR game of intimidation.

You either:

Get your own attorney and let him/her respond.

or

Ignore them until/unless you receive an official 'court document' or court order instructing otherwise.

then

Get an attorney.






Sound advice.
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:402


01/11/2019 1:13 PM  
If you were a board member during all this conflict, the HOA attorney will represent the entire board about this contract dispute. ( being sued) Tell this attorney to talk to the HOA attorney.

If you were OFF the board, (resigned) and you continued to be involved in this debacle, you individually could be responsible if you continued to represent yourself as the board in discussions with the MC or discussed board decisions involving this lawsuit with the MC.

What is it? Otherwise, why is this lawyer coming after just YOU?


HectorR
(Florida)

Posts:13


01/11/2019 3:00 PM  
The attorney is coming after me because he tends to belive that when i requested the copy of the contract, the MC stated that contract termination is 30 and not 90 days. I have told him.numerous times that I dont have such email. When inrequested a copy of the contract it was just so that I can see what the MC was responsible for and that was all.
This is really affecting my day to day life, he is stressing me and its really bothering me.
They are making me feel like im hidding something which I am not f i had something I would give it to them no questions asked.
AugustinD


Posts:1271


01/11/2019 3:14 PM  
Hector, for what it is worth:

As you are able, do your best to stay cool and, as you noted, professional. If you stay calm now, and do not, for example, fling back expletives at this HOA attorney or any of the current board, you are more likely to be calm in the coming days and weeks..

I believe what is happening to you is a little too common in HOA-land. You have a board that loathes you because you are not a "team player." They have the power to pay this HOA attorney to harass you, though the HOA attorney will successfully deny that is what he is doing. The HOA attorney is happy to bill the HOA endlessly for nonsensical legal representation such as trying to intimidate board members.

The advantage of hiring an attorney is that all communications will go through your attorney. Your attorney can make sure the HOA's attorney knocks off the intimidation. The disadvantage is that this costs you a fortune. The Board's intent is in fact probably to force you to hire an attorney and spend a few thousand dollars. It's their punishment of you.

You are going to have your reputation hurt somewhat. It is the price of having been a board minority and having co-directors who are idiots. But if you stay cool and professional, then it will hurt less.

Time does heal. I would not hire an attorney.

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6045


01/11/2019 5:09 PM  
I'm trying to remember something from a previous thread of yours, Hector, which I can't find.

In it, I THINK you wrote that you personally told a vendor to improve their performance within 90 days. You were on the Board at the time, but I don't recall that the board authorized you to "warn" the vendor to improve. Sometime after your warning, the board voted to terminate the vendor. I don't recall if the vendor was your management company.

Could that chain of events have anything to do with the current problems?
HectorR
(Florida)

Posts:13


01/11/2019 5:39 PM  
Yes the vendor was the MC I personally but it was for the lawn contract. The entire board was present when we all agreed for them to fix their problems within 90 days.
And yes a short time after we all agreed to terminate the lawn contract.
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:402


01/11/2019 11:49 PM  
And there are minutes of these two actions?

1) Discussion of unsatisfactory work by the landscape company and 2) motion and vote to terminate contract?

Or did you act on your own, without authorization?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7813


01/12/2019 5:06 AM  
Thanks for the catch on this one. Wasn't sure why it was directed toward Hector as the only one they wanted emails from. It's usually the whole board members who should be providing records as well. Especially meeting notes where these decisions where made.

So something isn't quite passing the "smell test" here. Not saying it's a bad thing. Just some detail or communication has to be missing that not coming through. Like does the MC provide the lawncare? If so, he did tell the lawncare people to shape up or ship out in 90 days PERSONALLY. Which was outside scope of responsibility/permission.

Do not know/understand if it was because of this personal request that then cascaded into firing the MC. If so, then maybe the timeline wasn't followed fully in terminating the contract. Requesting the MC's contract doesn't show the intention of why it was requested. Some may interpret differently as why it was requested during this time frame. The MC since fired may say it was due to 30 - 90 days notice. The reason why wasn't put in the request was it?

So my guess is that the HOA's lawyer is wanting copies of the email of which the OP communicated dissatisfaction with their lawncare vendor. Plus establish the timeline of when contract copy was requested. Which could prove the HOA's stance on proper termination and proper notice was given.

Former HOA President
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:307


01/12/2019 7:21 AM  
Hector,

There exists an anti telemarketer technique called the 'yes game'.

It requires self discipline but becomes enjoyable after a few times.

When a 'marketer' calls you simply says yes. - NO OTHER WORD

am i speaking to xyes?

yes

how are you doing today?

yes

may i interest you in an erlfisd?

yes

long sales pitch

yes

may i have your credit card number?

yes

what is the number?

yes

the sound of a phone being slammed

your number will probably not be called by THAT boiler room again
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:124


01/12/2019 8:52 AM  
Posted By RoyalP on 01/12/2019 7:21 AM
Hector,

There exists an anti telemarketer technique called the 'yes game'.

It requires self discipline but becomes enjoyable after a few times.

When a 'marketer' calls you simply says yes. - NO OTHER WORD

am i speaking to xyes?

yes

how are you doing today?

yes

may i interest you in an erlfisd?

yes

long sales pitch

yes

may i have your credit card number?

yes

what is the number?

yes

the sound of a phone being slammed

your number will probably not be called by THAT boiler room again




I'd suggest saying "no" repeatedly - you don't want to give telemarketers a recording of your voice saying "yes" to anything, or you might find some interesting charges on your phone bill.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7813


01/12/2019 9:30 AM  
Here is the deal. The HOA sounds they are in breach of contract with the MC's company. They need to STOP playing the "lawyer up game" and just pay out the rest of the contract. That is all that is really owed to the MC at this point. The payout will be much cheaper and all this will just go away.

It doesn't sound like your HOA did give the MC the proper chance to fix issues. Even taking it upon yourself kind of proves their point. So at this point I would just tell your Board to cool it with the lawsuit and accept the loss. Hope ya learned a lesson and understand the MC's contract/responsibilities next time.

Former HOA President
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:124


01/12/2019 10:28 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 01/12/2019 9:30 AM
Here is the deal. The HOA sounds they are in breach of contract with the MC's company. They need to STOP playing the "lawyer up game" and just pay out the rest of the contract. That is all that is really owed to the MC at this point. The payout will be much cheaper and all this will just go away.




I agree with Melissa. MC's can simply tie up an HOA in court to run out the contract when the HOA is in breach. An HOA that has decided to find a new MC needs to either let the current contract run to the end of its term or pay it out immediately and go on their way.

Sadly, at this point it sounds like the HOA and maybe also the HOA's attorney are looking for scapegoats, so in the OP's place I would not be talking to anyone at all except through someone I'm paying to be on my side. The HOA's D&O insurance should cover the OP's actions during the time he was on the board, provided he was not guilty of malfeasance. Any actions taken by the OP when he was no longer on the board would not be covered by D&O insurance. If he was messing around in this issue when he was no longer on the board, then I recommend having a talk with an attorney, for peace of mind if nothing else, and let any communication with the HOA come through the attorney.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:307


01/12/2019 12:07 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 01/12/2019 8:52 AM
Posted By RoyalP on 01/12/2019 7:21 AM
Hector,

There exists an anti telemarketer technique called the 'yes game'.

It requires self discipline but becomes enjoyable after a few times.

When a 'marketer' calls you simply says yes. - NO OTHER WORD

am i speaking to xyes?

yes

how are you doing today?

yes

may i interest you in an erlfisd?

yes

long sales pitch

yes

may i have your credit card number?

yes

what is the number?

yes

the sound of a phone being slammed

your number will probably not be called by THAT boiler room again




I'd suggest saying "no" repeatedly - you don't want to give telemarketers a recording of your voice saying "yes" to anything, or you might find some interesting charges on your phone bill.




YES
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:307


01/12/2019 12:08 PM  




KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6045


01/12/2019 1:03 PM  
I tend to agree with Cathy that it's POSSIBLE the board is setting Hector up to be blamed for the (perhaps?) invalid firing of the MC without giving it 90 days notice, which APPARENTLY the contract with the HOA board requires.

We'd advised Hector on his previous thread (I think) to review the contract with the MC. But the rest of the board is responsible to abide by the terms of the contract too. And apparently the board voted to terminate the MC at a duly noticed meeting.

With Cathy: Is the board's vote to terminate the MC recorded in meeting minutes?

I agree with Augustine, Hector, write this letter: Make sure you refer to your HOA by name and the dates of this attorney's written requests. Then cease all communication.

Dear Mr. _____,

As I have told you repeatedly, I have given you all the emails you requested. My computer has no more, either deleted or not deleted. I respectfully decline your request. Further requests by you on this matter will be ignored. If I can help in any other way, please let me know.

Sincerely,

Hector _____

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16091


01/12/2019 2:39 PM  
Hector,

You contacted an attorney. Follow their advice.
In fact have them (your attorney) write a letter on your behalf and, if need be, reprint and resend those emails to the attorney (along with your attorney's cover letter). Make sure that the letter is identifies who you talked to and when (date/time if you have it) about the letters along with the initial sending of the letters.

Since this occurred while you were on the board, (after you pay for your attorney) send your attorney bill to the Board (certified) requesting reimbursement as you the issue in question occurred while you were on the Board and you are indemnified by the Board (D&O insurance likely won't cover the issue).

Note: This is an excellent example why Associations need Association email for directors and why volunteers should make darn sure they use them. To do otherwise could have your personal computers/accounts and (if used) your employers computers/accounts open for inspection if ordered by a court.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2580


01/14/2019 3:35 AM  
It's also a good example of why directors and prospective directors should be well versed in any "indemnification" clause in the HOA's governing documents. When D&O insurance won't cover something, that's where the indemnification comes into play.

Another point is that if the board has discussed anything with the HOA attorney about possible litigation with the former MC then under Florida law they can conduct closed board meetings on the issue. Any such meetings still need to be noticed but they don't have to divulge any details to anyone, including Hector at this point if he's off the board.

Finally, as I understand it most contracts with management companies in Florida contain termination clauses that let either party cancel the contract with 30 or 60 days' notice with or without cause. This is pretty standard for all HOA contracts for services. A 90 day period to allow a vendor to fix any issues sounds wacky. If the same HOA attorney recommended that MC contract be signed with that 90-day termination clause then maybe he's not the brightest bulb on the tree to begin with. I'd ignore him. The former MC is not likely to sue you personally if they end up filing a lawsuit at all.
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