Every condominium or homeowner association should have an association law firm to provide legal advice. Considering that Florida law continues to change as well as the potential liabilities for the association, having an on-going relationship with a condo or HOA attorney is in the best interests of your association.
There are many good association attorneys that provide excellent legal advice. When hiring an attorney, your association should ask the following questions:
1. How long has the attorney been practicing law?
2. Does the attorney specialize in association law?
3. If you interview the partner of the law firm you need to ask if you will be dealing with the partner or one of his associates?
4. Billing. Besides hourly rates of the attorney, ask if you are you being charged for paralegal time? If one attorney is handling your matter and another attorney in the firm reviews the work, are you being charged by both attorneys or by just one? There are firms that will not bill for paralegal time or for any other staff except the attorney. Check it out.
5. Ask your attorney if you can have his/her cell number so that you can reach him/her in case of an urgent matter. Some attorneys will go out of their way to make sure you can communicate with them while others give you the number to their switchboard.
6. One of the biggest complaints against attorneys is that the client cannot get a return call within a reasonable time. When you sign a retainer agreement, ask if the law firm will give you a guarantee that your call will be returned within 1 or 2 business days.