Condo Media - June 2020 - 64

Ask a Busy Person
How did you get involved in condominium law? It was actually my
second career. After graduating from
college, I worked for a gas company. After
about 18 months there, I realized that
if I wanted a different kind of career, I'd
have to go back to school. My dad was a
teacher and I'd always thought that might
be a possibility, so I got my teaching
certificate and taught history and social
studies in middle school and high school.
I also coached soccer, track, and softball.
I enjoyed both - the coaching and the
teaching. After about seven years, I was
thinking about going to grad school, but I
decided I wanted a career that would give
me more flexibility and different opportunities than education. Law school had
always been in the back of my mind. My
girlfriend - now my wife - supported the
idea and I decided to go for it, thinking
I could always go back to teaching if
the law didn't work out.
Apparently, the law did work
out. How did you make your
way to MEEB? My first job
after law school was with a small
firm in the metro west area of the
state. The firm had a general practice
that included a lot of real estate work, and
I particularly enjoyed the land use component - dealing with zoning and planning issues. A general practice was great
for a new lawyer - I learned a lot about
different areas. That said, I wasn't mastering any of them. I decided I wanted to
specialize in a niche area of the law, and
MEEB offered that opportunity.
What do you like most about condo
law? Although it is a niche, it has a
lot of different components. You don't
do the same tasks or deal with the same
issues all the time. It's challenging and
the challenges are always different. You
have to deal with different people and
different personalities, and I like that
aspect of the practice, too.
What have you found most difficult
or most challenging? The time
pressures. So much of what we do is

64

CONDOMEDIA June 2020

that is struggling with financial problems
recover and become successful - that's
also extremely rewarding.

WILLIAM THOMPSON, ESQ.
PARTNER
MARCUS, ERRICO, EMMER & BROOKS, P.C.
time-sensitive. There is
also the pressure to
do a great job for
clients - to meet
their expectations.
They look to you
for guidance and
you don't want to let
them down, but they
don't always want to hear
the advice you give them, and
that can be hard. You have to tell clients
what they need to know, even though
you know there's a risk they may go
elsewhere. Enforcing board decisions
can also be difficult at times. Sometimes
what's best for the community isn't
best for individual owners. All owners
have to pay their share of expenses, but
sometimes owners don't pay - not because they are bad people, but because
they aren't able to. Taking legal action
against these individuals to protect the
association's interests is necessary -
but it can be hard.
What do you find most satisfying?
This probably has something to do
with my teaching background, but the
most rewarding thing for me is when I
can educate owners and board members,
defuse tensions, and help get them all
on the same page. Helping a community

Is there a particular mistake that
you see condominium boards make
repeatedly? They try to do everything
themselves. They make decisions without consulting experts in order to save
a few dollars. Their intentions are good,
they are trying to do what's right, but
they can get into a lot of trouble. Boards
need to learn when they need expert
advice and get it. They also need to learn
not to take things personally. Some
owners are going to criticize them, and
they aren't always nice about it. Board
members need to develop a thick skin.
How and why did you get involved
with CAI-NE? When I joined MEEB,
it was clear how much the partners
valued CAI and how involved they were
in the organization. They did a great
job of encouraging new attorneys to get
involved too. Attending events and serving on different boards and committees,
I've seen how important the association
is. It's a community of people who are
involved in different areas of the industry
and who care deeply about it. Serving on
the MA Legislative Action Committee
(MALAC) for the past 11 years, I've seen
a lot of issues that have affected the condominium industry, and I like to think
I've helped at some level in shaping some
of them. I've also co-chaired the Awards
Banquet Committee for several years and
have enjoyed helping to plan that event
and seeing it evolve from year-to-year.
What would it surprise people to
know about you? Maybe that I
continue to play outdoor soccer in a
competitive men's league. Possibly more
surprising - that my
first job, when I was
in high school, was on
a turkey farm. Most
people could probably guess what you
do when you work
on a turkey farm.



Condo Media - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - June 2020

Contents
Condo Media - June 2020 - Cover1
Condo Media - June 2020 - Cover2
Condo Media - June 2020 - Contents
Condo Media - June 2020 - 2
Condo Media - June 2020 - 3
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Condo Media - June 2020 - 5
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Condo Media - June 2020 - Cover3
Condo Media - June 2020 - Cover4
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