Homeowner Friendly Attorneys. An Unofficial Directory.

If you are a criminal or simply accused of a crime, by law you have a right to legal representation. However, in civil matters you do not have a right to an attorney, representation, or equality before the law. In Associations the problem is compounded because Planned Development legislation is poorly written (probably on purpose but that is a story for another page), unenforceable except via litigation, and there are few consequences for negligent and dishonest board members, managers, and attorneys. In fact, in order to enforce documents and the laws that are supposed to protect you, you cannot count on your local officials, your attorney general, or even government agencies because HOA problems are labeled "civil" matters. That means congressmen write the laws and you have to enforce them.

And enforcing the law with your board means you get to hire your own attorney with your money and the board also gets to hire an attorney with your money because they use your dues to fight you.

People Who Need HOA Attorneys Often Can't Afford Them

Here is an excerpt from a letter written by an attorney asking for HOA reform that pretty much sums up the problem:

I am writing to you today, as an attorney who represents both homeowners' associations and homeowners who are being victimized by their associations. The HOA Reform bill is critical at this point and comes at a time when the president of the Florida Bar, Mr. Ramon Abadin, has pointed out,{...}, the need for a new business model because the working class cannot afford an attorney and do not qualify for legal aid. I see this injustice every day in my practice as I have to tell clients the high legal fees and costs they would incur to hire me to protect them from being another HOA victim. These cases are not the type that are done on a contingency because rarely has someone been physically injured. I turned down at least one case a day, sometimes as many as five. Yesterday it was three. Most firms won't represent the homeowners because the associations are a 'cash cow.' ~ Barbara Billiot Stage

So you can see that even though we can point you in the right direction--actually hiring an attorney to help in HOA issues is the last resort. Most qualified attorneys in Association law are affiliated with the CAI (the organization that represents lawyers and vendors). Usually these CAI affiliated attorneys refuse to represent members, preferring instead to represent the boards with deep pockets. The attorneys listed here are the ones we have identified as homeowner friendly and not in bed with the CAI. Most of these attorneys will tell you the same thing attorney Stage wrote that it is very expensive to keep from "being another HOA victim."

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    Lawyers Who May Agree to Represent Owners, Listed By State.


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