Condo Media - May 2018 - 29

Attorneys who question the need for
mediation agree with him. Brooks says
an important part of his job as an association attorney is to advise clients when
litigation is not in their interests.
Mediation advocates suggest that's a
message some litigation-minded boards
may be more willing to accept from a
neutral mediator than from an attorney
they think is supposed to fight and win
legal battles on their behalf. While skilled
attorneys may be able to play the role of
a neutral mediator, Marquis agrees, in a
dispute between boards and owners, the
attorney may not be perceived as neutral
by either party. And it is the perception
of neutrality by both sides that makes
mediators and mediation successful.
A REALITY TESTER
Mediators can't give legal advice, nor
can they support one party over the
other, Marquis emphasizes, but they can
point out weaknesses in the positions of
both. Shuttling back and forth during a

"If you can get the parties to the table, amazing
results are possible. There is magic in mediation."
mediation, "I'm a reality tester," she says,
serving both as a sounding board and as
something of a psychologist for both sides.
"I use my psychology degree as much as
my law degree," she notes. When the parties reach an impasse, "I can help them
focus on the fix, not the fight."
Even staunch mediation opponents
like Shapiro agree that structured mediation can be effective in some cases and
may sometimes be in the best interests
of an association client. "I'm not a fan of
mediation, but I don't slam the door and
say 'never,'" she says. "I don't like it personally, but it's not about me. If it's best
for a client, I have to step aside."
Mediation advocates, for their part,
acknowledge that not all disputes can be
mediated. "Sometimes, one side or the
other is so obstinate and so recalcitrant,

there is nothing an association can do other than sue or be sued," Rosen observes.
"That's why the court dockets are full."
"Mediation doesn't make sense for
some issues," Marquis agrees. "If you're
dealing with collections, with health or
safety or other issues that have to be addressed immediately, litigation may be in
the association's best interests." But given
the chance, she believes, mediation can
work for most parties in most disputes.
"If you can get the parties to the table,
amazing results are possible. There is
magic in mediation."
n NENA GROSKIND IS PRESIDENT
OF ECONTENTPLUS, PROVIDING
EDITORIAL CONTENT FOR
WEBSITES, PRINT AND ELECTRONIC
NEWSLETTERS, AND MAGAZINES.

May 2018

29



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - May 2018

Contents
Condo Media - May 2018 - Cover1
Condo Media - May 2018 - Cover2
Condo Media - May 2018 - Contents
Condo Media - May 2018 - 2
Condo Media - May 2018 - 3
Condo Media - May 2018 - 4
Condo Media - May 2018 - 5
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Condo Media - May 2018 - Cover3
Condo Media - May 2018 - Cover4
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