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Subject: Association lawyer
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07/30/2021 12:49 AM  
Can the association lawyer meet with the Board alone? Ours seems hesitant to do so and wants to include the management company in everything. So I’m curious if this is standard procedure.
(South Carolina)


07/30/2021 4:10 AM  
It would depend on the topic.


07/30/2021 5:01 AM  
In some cases the manager may be the problem and it would make sense for the attorney to talk to the board alone. It's also not unusual to authorize a single person to talk to the attorney (typically the board president, but it could be someone else).

When deciding these things, it pays to remember everyone's role. The association is the lawyer's client, and association decisions are made by the board alone, although they may have input from the manager on various topics. The manager is a vendor/employee hired by the association to perform certain tasks - the manager has no independent authority, although the board may outline specific areas with specific limits in which the manager can be fairly autonomous.

This means the board is able to tell the attorney to speak only with them - perfectly legal. However, depending on the relationship with the manager, that person may be included in discussions if the board agrees. (Our former, extremely competent manager was even allowed to call our attorney for routine questions - although I think that was due in part to the service contract we had with that law firm, which included unlimited free 15-minute phone calls for general questions. It worked well, and we got a better informed manager as a result.)
(North Carolina)


07/30/2021 5:35 AM  
Our Board President of almost 7 years communicates directly with our attorney with Board approval. MC is not involved although they may know that we are seeking an attorney opinion on an issue.

Made this change because we found that when going through, or when including the MC, the attorney communication got jumbled. Our questions weren't really answered and in the long run it cost us more in fees.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
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