Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog - Association General Counsel

Volatile Elections - The Aftermath

I don't know if you remember this, but there was an election recently that was rather volatile. With volatility comes uncertainty and unease and we are left to wonder where we should look for certainty and guidance. At the national level we must look to our country's foundational documents and laws including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the laws and the multitude of checks and balances inherent in the structure of our democracy. Those fundamental concepts or "governing documents," to use a term of art, form the core of our democracy. They provide our country with stability and allow our country to transfer power relatively peacefully, no matter how contested the election. read more

The Washington HOA Political Yard Sign Minefield

Election season has returned. Although, when is it not election season? This year's presidential campaign promises to be one of the most contentious in living memory, and there are a number of state and local candidates and ballot measures that promise to be very divisive as well. Moreover, there are political issues that are critically important to our friends and neighbors, even if those issues are not directly on the ballot. Many owners will want to display signs in support of candidates, campaigns, or issues on their Lots, Units, or in their Limited Common Elements. read more

Condemnation (But Not In The Biblical Sense)

When the government needs land to widen a highway, install a power line, extend light rail or build a runway, it just takes it from the surrounding landowners. Is this fair, or legal? I don't know about fair, but it is legal. read more

Misadventures in Rulemaking

Arguably the most challenging task a community association board of directors can undertake is drafting rules and regulations for their community. Good intentions, but bad drafting, can lead to unanticipated results and make enforcement difficult or impossible. read more

Documentation and Litigation

Clients sometime ask: "Will we get sued if we do this?" Beware of the attorney who answers this with "Yes" or "No". No attorney can know if or when a client will be sued. People sometimes sue when they shouldn't. The key is putting your association in a position to defend any claim, frivolous or otherwise. Having the proper documentation really helps a defense and can greatly reduce the time and expense involved. read more

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