Adams Stirling PLC
  California's Leader in Community Association Law January 19, 2024

We want to thank everyone who sent in a recipe for our community cookbook. The recipes are all wonderful.

The winner of the most creative title is Tammy Wolford, which we used on the cover of the cookbook: "
Rules, Regulations & Recipes: What's Cooking in Your Community Association?"

Here are the winning recipes in each of the four categories:

  •  Appetizers: Nacho Wings by Lori Stefanishion
  •  Soups/Salads: Good Faith Gazpacho by Steve Weil
  •  Main Dishes: Sauce and a Glass of Wine, Every Manager’s Sunday Gravy by Linnea Juarez
  •  Desserts: Lemon Jell-O Cake Annual Disclosure by Verna Whitlow

As a thank you for their participation, a bound copy of the cookbook went to each person who submitted a recipe. To see the cookbook and each of the recipes, click on Rules, Regulations and Recipes.
We are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the website.

Since its launch in January 2004, the website's content and usage has grown dramatically. Today it receives 1.4 million visits per year with 3.3 million page views. Almost 900 other websites point to

We want to thank all the board members, managers, homeowners, and industry professionals who contributed to the website through their suggestions, requests, and editing skills. Your contributions have been and continue to be invaluable.


We are pleased to announce that attorney Jamie Williams joined our Firm.

After graduating from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, Jamie earned her law degree from UC Law San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings College of Law).

Jamie gained valuable experience in community association law by serving for three years as Vice-President and Chair of the Legal Committee of her condominium association. It provided her with first-hand experience working with management, personnel, contractors and vendors, the association’s General Counsel and Land Use Attorney, city officials and managers, property developers, insurance providers, association members, and neighboring community homeowners.

Before joining ADAMS|STIRLING, Jamie was a sole practitioner managing her firm in San Diego. Jamie also served San Diego County as a Deputy District Attorney, handling misdemeanor trials, sentencing, felony preliminary hearings, and witness relations in the Victim-Witness Assistance Program.

If your association would like a proposal for legal representation, please contact us for more information.


In our last newsletter, Peter E was exasperated with owners with grand plans for the common areas, or who had petty complaints, or made unreasonable demands but never volunteered to serve. I invited readers to offer their experience with such people. -Adrian

Response #1. I have dealt with owners with grand plans by asking them to bring their proposal to the board. I meet with them and explain the overall process and any challenges, like obtaining a majority vote of all homeowners for large new expenditures. I offer to work with them and have harnessed valuable volunteers this way. -Anna Klein

Response #2. I ask owners with grand plans to address the board at a meeting where the entire community can hear the proposal. The person can use their open forum time to start a discussion. I then state the date and time of the next meeting and how I look forward to their feedback at that time. After a few responses like the above, they get the message and stop. –Matthew R.
Response #3. We have had several owners who raise expensive and often unrealistic demands on a consistent basis. Our approach has been for the property manager to email back something like "thank you for your letter, email or.... I will pass your note onto the board for discussion." If these items are brought up in the owner forum during an open meeting, we thank them for their input. –Anonymous
Response #4. I appeal to people’s best instincts and sense of fairness. I divide the number of units in the association by the number of directors on the board. That tells you roughly how often a given owner should be serving on the board, to be fair to everyone else. For example, if there are 20 units and 5 directors, then each owner should expect to serve once every 4 years. Then say to each owner: “Because you are a respected member of our community association, we need you to set a good example. And I know that you want to be fair to your fellow members. So let me ask you: When will you be taking your turn on the board? Let’s get you signed up well in advance. That way, you can render service to our community association in a way that works best for your own schedule. Also, we can apprise you of training opportunities as they come up, so that you can be up to speed when your term begins.” –David S.

Response #5. When faced with a similar scenario while serving on our Corona, CA HOA board, my response was typical every time: 1. That's a great idea! 2. We will form a committee to address your known intentions. 3. You will be appointed committee chair. 4. The end result to the board will be your analysis & report for the board to vote on. Although this may sound somewhat patronizing we did get [good] results and in remote cases less ambient noise. -Mark J.

Response #6. Board members are not omnipotent as many board members think they are. Attorneys love these directors because they authorize payment to the attorneys. The more inquiries from homeowners the more an attorney can advise and get paid by the board on how to avoid homeowner participation. That is called corruption and is not a way for progress to be made on any issue at a HOA/POA. -Greg S.

RESPONSE: I am in favor of attorneys getting paid, but you lost me on shutting down member participation. The most consistent complaint by boards is the lack of member involvement. No one will volunteer to serve on committees or the board. That was Peter E's complaint.

Response #7. Thank you for your helpful, informative newsletter. Advice about the squawkers... treat them with courtesy and constant invitations to participate. Invite them to come to board meetings and see the process. Every board has squawkers and they emerge after every election with the same old same old.... Thanks all y'all, it's a pleasure to read your offerings. -Cats W.

RESPONSE: I like your accent. Also, "squawker" is a respected legal term. It means a person who complains, cries, or whines a lot.


A Bull Fighter. I am President of our association. I love your newsletters as they give me good ideas about on how to handle certain situations. I feel like a matador in the arena waving my red muleta at a raging bull every day! Thanks for including this Tarheel resident! -Susan L.

Attorney Relationships. Your comments on attorney relationships is meaningful and insightful. A early mentor once told me, “He (she/they) who charges least for their services knows best what they are worth.” You get what you pay for, especially in professional services. Cheaping out always costs more in the long run. I am a former Palm Springs HOA president, with the scar tissue to prove it. -Leland B.

Boards can contact us--we're friendly and our rates are competitive.

Adrian J. Adams, Esq.
Founder & Managing Partner
DISCLAIMER. Our newsletter provides commentary, not legal advice. Boards need to retain an attorney to review all the facts and give a legal opinion on the issues they face. We serve as corporate counsel to California associations only. Request a proposal to represent your association.

PAST NEWSLETTERS. Readers can find current and prior year newsletters posted here. Older newsletters are not posted since the information they contain can change over time with new statutes and case law. The website, however, is kept updated with current information which can be found via the "Index" or through our website's internal "Google Search" feature.

I join Adrian in inviting you to contact us for your association's legal needs.

Hon. Lawrence W. Stirling, Senior Partner and author of the Davis-Stirling Act

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