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Separate Attorneys for the Condo Association and the Management Company?

J.W. from New York writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I live in a mid-sized condo (between 50 and 100 units) in NY. We are having issues with our management company. Numerous board members recently resigned. We have a big remediation project on the docket. Our annual meeting is next week. Should the attorney for the board be the same person who works for the management company or should we have our own? Thank you.

Mister Condo replies:

J.W., always nice to hear from our neighbors in the Empire State! Sounds like you have a lot going on at your condo right now. As you know, I am not an attorney so please consider this advice friendly and not legal. For a true legal opinion, I suggest you seek out an attorney in your area, preferably one that specializes in community association law. That being said, here is what I think.

If the Board is considering taking action against the management company then each party would likely need their own attorney unless they chose to represent themselves without counsel. If the management company and the Board are actually working together on a lawsuit against a third party, then I don’t see a problem with the same attorney representing both parties as the interests are similar. However, if there appears to be an issue between the interests of the association and the interests of the management company, it would not be unusual for each to have its own attorney. Even though it may cost more money to hire separate attorneys for the association and the management company, it is the safest way to assure that the association’s best interests are served. Best wishes!

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