Waiting to Hire A Florida Condo Attorney May End Up Costing You More In The End

As a Florida Attorney that aims in representing condo owners and homeowners involved in disputes with their Associations I get  calls each week from owners that simply can’t decide whether they should retain an attorney “now” or wait and see how things go. Many clients simply can’t afford to retain an attorney on an hourly billing basis or they are afraid to spend the money.

I had recently been asked to represent some clients that decided to “wait and see” before hiring me.  During that time they were sued by their association.  They didn’t properly respond to the lawsuit or show up for court dates hoping the matter would simply go away by itself. Unfortunately, they waived valuable defenses and in the process of not showing up for Court dates they made the Judge angry and unsympathetic to their claim.

Eventually when things got so out of control that they were faced with being held in contempt of court and the possibility of facing a bench warrant for their arrest they decided to finally hire me.  While I was able to diffuse the situation and keep them from facing the most severe sanctions by the Court they wound up spending a lot of money for me to simply do some damage control.  If they would have hired me early on in the case we could have taken the offensive and would have been in a position to recover damages from the Association as well as Prevailing Party Attorney Fees.  Instead they had to pay for my time as well as for the Association Attorneys.

Remember the Association uses your money to pay their attorneys to fight you. Don’t think that you can be successful fighting experienced professionals without proper legal representation.

If you are faced with a claim by your Association here are some helpful tips:

  • Document everything in writing with confirming letters of anything that is promised or said;
  • secure all evidence by taking photographs or hiring competent experts;
  • if you are served with a lawsuit you have 20 days to file a motion to dismiss or serve your defenses;
  • most defenses are permanently waived if not asserted in your timely answer to the association complaint;
  • once you have been served by the Sheriff or Process Server the Association lawyers can simply mail you copies of important court filings like motions, discovery requests, hearing notices and deposition notices;
  • make sure to check your mail regularly for such filings and read them carefully so as not to miss any important deadlines or required court appearances.

The Law Offices of Herb M. Milgrim, P.A. is a Florida Law Firm that takes pride in representing Condo Owners, Homeowners and Cooperative Owners that have disputes or are contemplating Litigation or a Lawsuit against their Association. Herb Milgrim is a tough trial attorney with over 20 years of experience. We provide prospective clients with a Free Case Evaluation. Once we have been retained we review all of the relevant documents and governing Florida Laws and advise our clients on the best course of action.

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