Condo Media - June 2018 - 64
Ask a Busy Person
Why did you choose law as a career?
I was always argumentative as
a child. I liked to argue points and
defend myself when I thought I was
right. Everyone always told me I
was going to be a lawyer and I never
questioned that. I never wanted to do
How did you get involved in condominium law? It wasn't an obvious
choice, considering that I didn't much
like property law in my first year in law
school. My first job after graduating
was in a law firm where I was representing banks during the foreclosure
crisis. I got to know Richard Brooks,
who was often on the opposing side of
my cases. He eventually asked me to
join MEEB, which turned out to be a
You didn't like property law and
you had no experience with condominium law. Was it difficult getting
up to speed in an unfamiliar area?
At first, I was always seeing things
I hadn't seen
before. But I
There are so many
different facets of
and there is always
something new to
learn. That's one of the things I like
most about it today. I don't see things
I haven't encountered nearly as often,
but I still find there's more to learn.
What do you find most satisfying
about your work? Helping boards
achieve their goals or resolve
their problems. When boards
ask, "Can we do this," I like being able to review their documents and say, "Yes you
can-and here's how."
What do you find most
challenging? I think
the biggest challenge-
CONDOMINIUM PRACTICE GROUP,
MARCUS, ERRICO, EMMER & BROOKS, P.C.
or maybe the biggest fear-is making
sure the advice I give is correct and
doesn't lead boards astray. I never
want to give boards advice that creates a bigger problem than the
one they had.
How and why did you get
involved with CAI-NE?
I recognized shortly after
I joined MEEB that the most
senior partners were all deeply
involved in the organization, and it was
clear to me that if I was going to
work at the firm and if I was
serious about making a
mark there, I had to join
and become active in
CAI-NE, too. It was
also a way to contribute
to the industry,
recognizing that what
you give you get back
several times over.
You've been particularly active in
the New Hampshire Legislative
Action Committee (NHLAC). Can
you talk about that experience?
The committee has been able to
combat legislation that would have
been truly awful for condos, and
that has been really gratifying. One
measure would have imposed personal liability on board members for
specified misconduct, which would
have made it exceedingly difficult to
recruit folks to join a board. Another
would have required more than 50
percent of owners
to appear at a
meeting just to
be able to pass a
budget. The bills
were proposed by
were trying to do
the right thing but
the practical consequences. The
LAC has been able to educate legislators on these issues and I'm glad to
have been part of those efforts.
What would it surprise people to
know about you? That I'm a very
silly person. I know I come across as
serious and staid, but I really am not
like that at all. I'm always doing silly
things to make my kids laugh. I also
tend to be irreverent. But I know these
things don't come through unless you
get to know me.
What's the best advice you ever got
and from whom? My dad taught me
that if you work hard and put in the
time, you'll get the rewards,
however you define them.
He didn't actually say the
words, but I learned by
watching him work ridiculous hours as a boiler
operator, so we could
afford to live in a nice town
and so my sister and I could
go to good schools.
If you could give condo boards one
piece of legal advice, what would it
be? Read your condominium documents, know what they say, understand
what they allow and what they don't.