Condo Media - November 2020 - 64

Ask a Busy Person
personally satisfying for me because
it demonstrated that sometimes the
system works as it is supposed to.

Why did you decide to become a
lawyer? After college, I didn't know
what I wanted to do but I liked research
and writing. I thought law would be a
good fit. I worked as a paralegal for a
year and that convinced me I definitely
wanted to go to law school.
How did you come to specialize in
condominium law? My first job after
graduating was with a small law firm
that primarily handled federal criminal
defense and personal injury - I knew I
didn't want to do that. After two years
there I joined Lisman Leckerling, focusing on litigation and general practice.
After working with Carl Lisman,
a specialist in condominium law and
one of the authors of the Uniform
Common Interest Ownership Act,
my practice evolved in that direction.
What do you like most about the field?
In law school, my favorite course was
secured transactions, which makes me
about the biggest nerd you'd ever meet.
I liked it because it's a code-based system
and I like condominium law for the same
reason. Like the Uniform Commercial
Code, the Common Interest Ownership Act (CIOA) is a comprehensive
legislative system. It doesn't answer all
questions about condominiums, but it
provides a legal framework within which
you can analyze them. Condominium
problems are puzzles and the CIOA
helps you put the pieces together.
You combine both transactional work
and litigation in your practice, which
is a little unusual. Most attorneys do
one or the other. I think the combination works well. There are a lot of problems you can solve without litigation, and
I like doing that. But I also like litigation,
which a former colleague described as
doing surgery with a surgeon on the other side trying to undo everything you do.
Because of my litigation experience, I am
always thinking about how the wording
of an amendment or positions my clients
take will be perceived if I have to stand in
front of a judge and explain them.

64

CONDOMEDIA November 2020

CHRISTINA JENSEN
DIRECTOR, LISMAN LECKERLING, P.C.
What do you find most difficult or
most challenging? When there is not
good solution to a problem. There are
some things you can't untangle, so you
have to craft the best solution possible
within the limits of the statute and the
governing documents. It's not going to be
perfect and it may not be what you want
to do. And that's really frustrating.
Is there a case you've handled that was
particularly gratifying? I defended a
group of condominium owners in a suit
filed by another owner who had acquired
more than half of the units, giving him
effective control of the association. He
used his majority votes to increase assessments to easily 10 times what they had
been in the past, then sued owners who
objected and initiated foreclosure actions
against them. When we tried the case, he
told the judge that he had a controlling interest and could do whatever he wanted.
But some of the changes he had made
required two-thirds of the votes, which he
didn't have. The judge overturned those
measures and ruled
for my clients on
the foreclosures.
The owners got to
keep their properties
and they recovered
their legal fees. It
was a great outcome
for them and it was

How and why did you get involved
with CAI-NE? Carl [Lisman], has
been involved for years. We thought
it would be helpful to get managers,
board members, and owners together
informally to discuss some of the issues
they are facing and suggested the idea to
Claudette Carini, the CAI New England
Chapter Executive Director. I worked
with her to develop a seminar we did
last summer. It was well received and
I've participated in several more since
then - virtually because of COVID. I also
noticed that Vermont wasn't regularly
included in the regional news section of
Condo Media, so I offered to take that on
one month, which turned into a second,
and a third. I've enjoyed getting more
involved in the organization, learning
more about association management
and about the different sectors that support the condominium industry. I talk to
other attorneys all the time, but it's fun
and serves us all well, I think, to get out
of our pigeonholes and learn what other
industry professionals are doing.
What would it surprise people to
know about you? That I'm an avid
horseback rider. I've always owned
horses. I own two today - Sebastian
and Toucan. I'm also bilingual in
French - that's something most people
don't know. I majored in French Literature in college. I love the language and
I love speaking it. I can't explain why.
I just do, and I've kept up with it over
the years. One of my friends is a retired
French professor, and she keeps me
on my toes.
If you could give condo
boards one piece of legal
advice, what would it be?
Read your governing documents. If there is something
you don't like, we can probably
fix it. But you need to know
what they say.



Condo Media - November 2020

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Contents
Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover1
Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover2
Condo Media - November 2020 - Contents
Condo Media - November 2020 - 2
Condo Media - November 2020 - 3
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Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover3
Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover4
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