All association boards of directors at one time or another must meet with the association’s attorney. These meetings assist the board through the legal maze that every association encounters. To reduce legal expenses there are some simple steps that should reduce legal fees and improve the efficiency of everyone involved.
Preparation before the meeting is critical to maximizing the time with the attorney. Provide the following to the attorney before the meeting so that he or she can prepare:
- Agenda of what needs to be discussed (Prioritize, if multiple issues try and limit to 3 issues or less)
- List of questions that the board wants answers to
- Documents that need to be reviewed beforehand by the attorney (i.e. Association’s governing documents if not already on file with attorney, contracts, relevant board meeting minutes, correspondences)
- List of everyone who will be in attendance and their relationship to the issue
It will generally save the association money if this meeting can be done during regular business hours at the attorney’s office. The board should bring the following to the meeting:
- Final Agenda
- List of any additional questions
- Physical exhibits (i.e. photographs, notes, etc.)
During the meeting:
- Avoid bringing up issues that are not on the agenda
- Obtain timeline on how further issues will proceed
- Have attorney follow-up with the issue(s) discussed in writing for association’s records
- If the issue discussed is of a sensitive nature, board members should seek clarification from the attorney on what can be discussed about the issue at a meeting with non-board members.
- If it is determined additional meetings are needed, try and schedule at end of this meeting
Whatever the nature of the meeting, being organized and maximizing everyone’s efficiency can save the association money and the board members time.