Condo Media - May 2018 - 31

Also recognizing the value of ADR and anticipating that
interest in it will continue to grow, CAI-New England has
developed a Condominium Dispute Resolution (CDR) program offering information and dispute resolution services
to members. Although there are many experienced and
effective mediators, they do not always have specialized
knowledge of condominium associations and condominium
law, Claudette Carini, CAI-NE's executive director, notes.
The chapter's program, she says, is designed specifically for
condominium communities, its mediators "are experienced
condominium law practitioners," and the program is overseen by CAI-NE.

MANDATORY OR VOLUNTARY?
While opinions vary on the relative benefits and disadvantages of ADR for condominium associations (see feature article
on page 24), there appears to be broad agreement that the
process should not be mandatory.
Ellen Shapiro, a partner in Goodman, Shapiro, Lombardi,
LLC, says she has participated in court-ordered mediations
before and "they don't usually end with everyone singing
Kumbaya," she says. The parties aren't mediating because
they are equally committed to crafting a solution, Shapiro
notes. "They're mediating because a judge told them they
had to," a mindset that is unlikely, or at least less likely, to
produce a solution.
The proposed Rhode Island statute referenced earlier
called for an arbitration process that would have been both
mandatory and non-binding for community associations and
owners. The Rhode Island Legislative Action Committee

(RILAC) objected to both of those features. A structure
that allows either party to appeal the arbitrator's decision
just adds time and cost to the process without guaranteeing a resolution, RILAC co-chair Edmund Allcock, a partner
in Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks, P.C., pointed out in his
arguments against the bill.
The RILAC also questioned why the arbitration requirement would apply only to condominium association disputes.
"Why not require arbitration of disputes between patients
and optometrists," Allcock asked the legislation's sponsor,
who is an optometrist. "If condominium associations want
their disputes arbitrated, they can amend their documents
to require it," Allcock notes. "But [there is no rationale] for
imposing nonbinding arbitration on one class of disputes by
legislative fiat."
Because it appeared likely that the bill would be enacted
last year, the RILAC proposed a number of amendments designed to improve it. The major changes narrowed the scope
of the bill, which would have required arbitration for virtually
all condominium disputes, by specifying nine areas the RILAC
thought would benefit most from the process. The committee also suggested CAI-NE oversee the state arbitration
program the bill would have created, to ensure that arbitrators would have a working knowledge of condominium law.
Although the bill's sponsor rejected those changes ("We
don't know why," Allcock says), he also indicated that he was
not going to re-file the measure this year. "We expect it will
resurface in some form at some point," Allcock says, and if it
does, "we will be prepared to work with the legislator again
to improve it."

pick the right tools

for your next project.
With community association lending expertise like ours,
you'll get the job done right.

take that to the bank.
Erin Bowen CMCA
VP/Regional Account Executive
860-459-4713
Toll Free 866-800-4656, ext. 7481
erin.bowen@mutualofomahabank.com

mutualofomahabank.com
AFN46067_0913

Member FDIC
Equal Housing Lender
EQUAL HOUSING

LENDER

May 2018

31



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
Condo Media - May 2018 - 6
Condo Media - May 2018 - 7
Condo Media - May 2018 - 8
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Condo Media - May 2018 - 11
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Condo Media - May 2018 - Cover3
Condo Media - May 2018 - Cover4
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