: A petition to
recall the board was presented to
our management company. The
board then met in closed session
with an attorney "to advise the board on possible scenarios and
solutions." Who pays the attorney?
Board members are volunteers and rarely know how to properly handle a
recall petition/election. As a result, it is common for them to call
legal counsel to find out what to do.
. Following is a sampling of questions I get when boards are served with a petition:
If a husband and wife both sign the petition does it count as one signature or two?
Can/should the board verify the signatures? If so, how?
Is the petition confidential or should it be published?
How much time do we have to call a recall meeting?
How are nominations handled?
Do recalled directors have the right to run for the board?
And so on...
Since legal counsel is important in such matters, it is proper for the
association to pay for the advice. The last thing you want is a botched
recall and a lawsuit.
. If, however,
the board is meeting with the association's attorney for strategies on how to defeat
the recall, that's a political question and inappropriate for legal
counsel to be involved in. Boards have the right to fight a recall but
not with association resources.
The unavoidable side-effects of a recall are higher expenses involving
management, inspectors of election, and legal. One way to reduce the
cost is to revise election rules
to incorporate procedures for handling recalls. Having a written policy
eliminates some (but not all) of the cost, emotion, and suspicion
surrounding recall elections.
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
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