1. Yes, it's a whole new look! Have questions or need help? Please post your question in the New Forum Questions thread Click the X to the right to dismiss this notice
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Seeing tons of unread posts after the upgrade? See this thread for help. Click the X to the right to dismiss this notice
    Dismiss Notice

Southern Walk HOA charged me $1,506.88 in “legal” fees for daring to ask to see the HOA docs

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by cogs, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    54
    Vikas,

    Yes, please read the first post in this thread and many posts in the Openband forum.

    Smart approach, but that analogy doesn't apply here. Correct analogy is:
    Think yourself as a venture capitalist in a chemical plant manufacturing industrial strength glue. Formula and the process is very well documented, like the rules of the Federal Court System. Your production manager doesn't follow formula or the process and the entire production batch gets rejected. Next day the same result. This goes on and on for 2+ years. You suggest to CEO of the company the production manager needs to go. CEO refuses with excuses like, a steep learning curve for the new production manager, we have already invested too much in this production manager etc.

    If SWHOA is learning from its mistakes and improvising, there would no issues. There are clear guide lines for federal court system. Our HOA's case was thrown out 4 times because, they did not comply with the guide lines, just the production manager did not comply requirements above.



    I am suggesting that as option.

    No one is asking this board to reveal its litigation strategy, never did. I am strictly going by results. The minutes packets DO NOT have any legal strategy or they ever did.
    Do you support the HOA charging a homeowner in over $1500 "legal" fees because he/she asked to inspect the records which are are entitled to according the association rules and state law? Its a yes or no answer. You should not allow the board to give you convoluted justifications.

    Again, lets get back to the above example of chemical plant. As a venture capitalist, I need not know minute details of the problems. I do know that the plant manager has failed to produce a single batch of glue in 2+ years and he needs to go. Further, CEO has become a hurdle by blindly and irrationally backing the plant manager. Hence, the CEO needs to go. Let a competent CEO and plant manager take over. It would be their responsibility to produce the product.

    I have no problem with your opinion of the board and its strategy. I request you to do due diligence. Dont believe what you are told in a phone conversation. They are known to give misleading and false information in one-on-one conversations. Do your due diligence.[/QUOTE]
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  2. vikasgarg24

    vikasgarg24 New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mr Sashi

    As a Business owner before we suggest any other person we ask them one question " Do you have a better options which can be implemented". Anybody on road can suggest anything and advice anything, But I believe on reality on specific situation. I personally didn't like a general theoretical answers. based on my review you went very deep and study lot on the case.

    I am repeating my question again: "Do you have another full proof plan as different from current board management.". I believe in one thing. If other person do not have alternative then let current person/team keep working on the job.
     
  3. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    5,348
    Likes Received:
    238
    So if someone is digging a hole trying to get to China... just because someone can't offer a viable alternative.. it's better to just let those people keep digging the hole deeper and deeper?

    What about just 'stop the bleeding'?
     
  4. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    54
    Vikas,

    A fool proof plan has to come for smart attorneys with proven track record. I briefed all the issues I found to this board and requested them to:
    1. Seek a second opinion
    2. Hire an additional attorney experience in appellate court for the oral arguments.

    I was told later by a director, that they consulted the same attorney and they feel very confident about the case.

    That second option is called, Pro Hac Vice (attorne for the occasion). Landsdowne different used expert attorneys at District Court and Appellate court levels and the results speak for themselves.

    BTW, did you know how many times Mr. Rommel appeared in the

    When things are not going as planned, you as a business owner would seek second second and third opinions from the experts, dont you?

    Do you keep seeing the same doctor, if the treatement he prescribed is not working?

    My beef is simple. Why is this board adamant in keeping the same attorney who failed 2.5 years a single complaint admitted in the court? After spending over $400k, is not time to look to improve our chances of winning?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  5. sowalker

    sowalker New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    No he has no plan.....nor has he an outcome. He has been asked several times what he wants but offers no specific outcome. He can generate a manifesto real fast if you need one of those.
     
  6. vikasgarg24

    vikasgarg24 New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sashi

    This is my last post on this issue on this forum. Based on small discussion I conclude as below

    1. You don't have any plan or suggestion how to move forward
    2. You have suggestion and looks like with partial knowledge of the facts and understanding
    3. Your suggestion is to consult other attorney but don't know to whom and why to select that person. Like this is the same way when current employee is working on issue and things are not going people say hire some one else. Yes this is a good option and on the other side if other person do not have alternative first person was smart as he don't have any precedent and work so hard and come with some conclusion.
    4. I believe in fighting till last moment and do not leave the hope in between. (as compare to your options to wait and watch)
    5. Based on your comment you have issue with current attorney only not with current board members. If you think board members are smart then we need to trust them.
     
  7. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    54
    Vikas,
    So, you support repeating the same thing with the same team which filed miserably for 2+ years. You are entitled to your opinion.

    I know you are asking me the same questions which this board is justifying to keep doing the same thing. A director of the board asked me the same question recently. Unfortunately, this person did not know that did not know that SWHOA filed 3 motions (for some reason, he was arguing that there was only on judgement in District court) in the district court before appealing in the appeals court, nor he did know what is "case or controversy".

    What did Einstein say about insanity?

    Yes, that is an option which should be considered seriously, for if Landsdowne wins, they are setting the legal precedent for us. We can follow the precedent and win at fraction of the cost and time compared to reinventing the wheel.

    Winning this litigation and getting rid of Openband is what matters. Smart people weigh all options and make intelligent decisions. There is no virtue in keep doing the same thing and loosing over and over again.


    http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/stare_decisis
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  8. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    5,348
    Likes Received:
    238
    Not sure what posts you are reading... but based on the 'small discussion' you might want to re-read it.
     
  9. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    54
    Checked SWHOA attorney Kurt Rommel's experience in the 4th Circuit Appeals Court.

    According to the court records, Mr. Rommel argued before the Appellate court just once in his entire career, that too 12 years back when SWHOA entrusted him the responsibility of the appeal process.

    kurt_rommel_at_appeals_court.png


    Who in their right mind hires an inexperienced attorney for such an important litigation.

    As a matter of fact, I asked the Board about Mr. Rommel's experience at the Appellate level about a year ago. Board gave false information. Not sure it was a deliberate attempt to mislead or they are just clueless.

    Conversation from the facebook group in Dec 2012:

    ==============================================================
    John Hines 10:21am Dec 4
    I don't know off the top of my head, but I'm sure it's part of the public record that you could research. Keep in mind that the 4th Circuit will make their decision largely based on papers that have already been filed, not based on in-court arguments.
    Original Post
    Shashi Aadipudi7:40pm Dec 3
    Q to the board.
    Since the litigation has entered the appeals phase, can someone tell us how much appellate experience does Kurt has and what is his track record. Did you ever plead a case of this magnitude and importance before the appeals court before?


    Shashi Aadipudi6:21pm Dec 4
    John, I am not sure the is any website which summarizes the attorney's performance. Clients should question about expereince before hiring a professional, whether it be a doctor, lawyer or painter. Since you (and the board) have access to Kurt, you can ask him directly. He will (must) provide the answers truthfully.

    Erika M. Cotti 6:24pm Dec 4
    Shashi, Mr. Rommel's has an extensive experience in DC, MD, VA and Federal Appeals & complex litigation. More over his firm Miles & Stockbridge was selected after an exhaustive interview process. His firm was highly recommended to the HOA by the previous and current VA Bar President, Ms. Pia Trigiani. I have worked with Ms. Trigiani for several years on a broad scope of matters, not the least of which was getting new law passed during the 2012 legislative session.
    =========================================================

    My mistake was, I did not check the court records myself at that time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  10. sowalker

    sowalker New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Vikas- see how clear it is what he wants?
     
  11. DENALI08

    DENALI08 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    3
    COGS - have you considered filing a complaint with the states Ombudsman for HOA's about the treatment you ave been receiving. I'm thinking you might have case against SWHOA!
     
    kmjtt likes this.
  12. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,380
    Likes Received:
    55
    The swhoa is put of control and needs to stop wasting our money. I'm sick of it and I do wish you the best of luck Shashi and you have my support. I will be at meeting and will do what I can to help you.
     
  13. Sunny

    Sunny Chief Advisor

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Messages:
    1,317
    Likes Received:
    15
    Only a few people contacted me about the pre-meeting I proposed. Maybe it was a stupid idea? It is cancelled for now. I suggest everyone go to the SWHOA meeting this month.
     
  14. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    54
    It was a good idea, but you did not give it a chance to succeed. Your proposal was buried in a large thread. Kinda hard to for people to find it. You were not receptive to me advertising it either.

    If you are serious, try announcing in a new thread both here and at facebook group.

    Yes, everyone should go to SWHOA meeting, but that's basically for Q/A type of interaction. If you ask any tough questions, they the Board will invoke Robert's rules which essentially gives the full control. Any real debates and real exchange of ideas can only happen outside the HOA meetings.

    If you want to champion this cause, start with the few people who responded and build a coalition.
     
  15. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    54
    Yes I did. Ombudsman will rule only only if the HOA validates the states laws. I am considering it.
     
  16. sowalker

    sowalker New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Considering it? Didn't you have like 50 examples of them egregiously violating your rights and the law?
     
  17. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    125
    yea Sunny I think the pre-meeting was a good idea and wish we would still have it. I am interested ad I know of a few others that are too, but we need to advertise and get the word out. I will be away from my PC most of the day today but we need a separate thread for this. And I can start a discussion on the Facebook page later if that would help... but please get the space back at the Nature Center.... let us know if that is arranged.
     
  18. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2002
    Messages:
    5,114
    Likes Received:
    232
    Problem with the Ombudsman is that things will move too slowly to have any resolution before the next Annual Meeting (assuming their is one).
    They're about to violate their own by-laws by not having the Annual Meeting at least 30 days before the end of the fiscal year. Given the amount of lead advertising required, not sure if they can get it done in time.

    If Broadlands HOA does go to court over this, I'll be happy to testify, as I was the first resident in Broadlands to know about this thing when the Developer raised it at an HOA Board meeting. I can testify to the fact that the Developer created it it, Broadlands HOA had no say in it (since the Developer had the majority on the Board), and that the Developer signed off on it representing both entities. The Developer also created language prohibiting Broadlands HOA from doing anything with the easements after residents assumed control of the Board.
    Developer was very good in foreseeing and tying up all the loose ends.
     
  19. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Messages:
    5,177
    Likes Received:
    228
    When in DOUBT, sue anyone and everyone!
     
  20. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    54
    Yes, I believe if I sue SWHOA I can easily win, so I am keeping my options open. Litigation is not the goal for me, so....
     

Share This Page