Condo Media - May 2018 - 27

litigation itself resolves most disputes,
which is why, he says, conflicts rarely
end up in court.
"They involve letters, and threats,
and meetings in which the board and
owners work it out. It's mediation without a mediator."
Shapiro agrees with Brooks, that
mediation has the desirable effect, for
owners, of evening out a power balance
that favors associations. "You have a
10,000-pound gorilla in one corner
(the association) and a mosquito (the
owner) in another. But it's not my job
as association counsel to set up a level
playing field. My job is to make sure the
statute and the condominium documents are honored."
TOO MUCH DISCLOSURE
The mediation process itself can weaken an association's position, Shapiro believes, because it requires a discussion
that is open, honest, and transparent on
both sides. "As a litigator, that means

I have to put all my cards on the table,
and that's what I dislike most about it.
If the mediation fails, everyone has seen
my cards. They know what I'm going to
do in court."
Procedural concerns aside, mediation
simply doesn't make sense for most condominium disputes, Shapiro contends.
"You can't mediate a collection dispute,"
she says. "The law says owners must pay
their fees. There is nothing to mediate."
And that is true, she suggests, of most
rules enforcement disputes.
"In an automobile accident damages case, there's a high and a low point
between which the parties can mediate,"
she explains. "But if an owner is allowing
a dog to relieve itself in common areas,
what's the middle ground? The dog
can only poop there three days a week?
There is no wiggle room," she says, and
no reason for an association to mediate
the dispute.
Mediation advocates suggest that even
where there is "no wiggle room," where

only one outcome (enforcement of the
rule) is possible, mediation can lower the
emotional temperatures that can rise on
both sides in a condominium dispute.
The owner, who feels attacked by an
overbearing board, digs in her heels and
insists that the board can't tell her or her
dog what to do or where to go; the board
pushes back, insisting, "Enforce the rule
or start paying the fines."
But if instead of squaring off over
dueling memos and complaints, the
board and the owner meet in a controlled
environment moderated by a neutral
mediator, the owner, who might have
been moved to pursue a senseless, but
expensive, lawsuit, gets what she really
wants-an opportunity to express her
frustration and her love for her dog; and
the board, by listening, comes across as
more sympathetic and less autocratic.
The rule is enforced, but without litigation and without the lingering bitterness
that would color future interactions
between this owner and the board.

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4/3/18 4:03 PM

May 2018

27



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
Condo Media - May 2018 - 9
Condo Media - May 2018 - 10
Condo Media - May 2018 - 11
Condo Media - May 2018 - 12
Condo Media - May 2018 - 13
Condo Media - May 2018 - 14
Condo Media - May 2018 - 15
Condo Media - May 2018 - 16
Condo Media - May 2018 - 17
Condo Media - May 2018 - 18
Condo Media - May 2018 - 19
Condo Media - May 2018 - 20
Condo Media - May 2018 - 21
Condo Media - May 2018 - 22
Condo Media - May 2018 - 23
Condo Media - May 2018 - 24
Condo Media - May 2018 - 25
Condo Media - May 2018 - 26
Condo Media - May 2018 - 27
Condo Media - May 2018 - 28
Condo Media - May 2018 - 29
Condo Media - May 2018 - 30
Condo Media - May 2018 - 31
Condo Media - May 2018 - 32
Condo Media - May 2018 - 33
Condo Media - May 2018 - 34
Condo Media - May 2018 - 35
Condo Media - May 2018 - 36
Condo Media - May 2018 - 37
Condo Media - May 2018 - 38
Condo Media - May 2018 - 39
Condo Media - May 2018 - 40
Condo Media - May 2018 - 41
Condo Media - May 2018 - 42
Condo Media - May 2018 - 43
Condo Media - May 2018 - 44
Condo Media - May 2018 - 45
Condo Media - May 2018 - 46
Condo Media - May 2018 - 47
Condo Media - May 2018 - 48
Condo Media - May 2018 - 49
Condo Media - May 2018 - 50
Condo Media - May 2018 - 51
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Condo Media - May 2018 - 53
Condo Media - May 2018 - 54
Condo Media - May 2018 - 55
Condo Media - May 2018 - 56
Condo Media - May 2018 - 57
Condo Media - May 2018 - 58
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Condo Media - May 2018 - 60
Condo Media - May 2018 - 61
Condo Media - May 2018 - 62
Condo Media - May 2018 - 63
Condo Media - May 2018 - 64
Condo Media - May 2018 - Cover3
Condo Media - May 2018 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201911_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201907
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201812
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201609
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201607
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201311
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201308
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201211
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