Legislative Action

We believe that effective representation of our condominium clients involves more than providing solid legal advice; it also requires helping to shape the legislation and regulations affecting them.  That’s why members of the firm devote hundreds of hours of volunteer time to working with CAI and CAI-New England to protect the interests of condominium communities.

Members of our legislative action team have worked in the legislature, adding insights into the legislative process to our in depth knowledge of condominium law.  Two of our partners head the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Legislative Action Committees (LACs), which track pending legislative and regulatory proposals, develop industry responses to them, educate lawmakers and regulators, and make sure the views of the condominium industry are represented and understood.  These committees work offensively and defensively, supporting initiatives that help communities manage their affairs and opposing those that impede their ability to do so.  The Rhode Island LAC scored a major victory recently in the passage of a long-sought “Super Lien” statute for condominiums in that state.

Stephen Marcus, a founding partner of the firm, was instrumental in securing passage of Massachusetts’ priority lien law for condominiums more than a decade ago.  Stephen and other members of the firm also had a hand in the approval of legislation expanding the power of condominium associations to grant easements and preserve development rights.  Richard Brooks, another founding partner, has worked tirelessly to persuade cities and towns to provide the same municipal trash collection services to condominiums they provide to single-family homes.  As a result of his efforts, 27 Massachusetts condominiums no longer have to contract separately for and self-fund those services.

At the national level, members of the firm participated in CAI’s successful effort five years ago to amend the bankruptcy reform legislation to preserve the right of condominium associations to enforce their priority lien and collect common area fees after a bankruptcy filing.  More recently, we worked with CAI to secure revisions in the proposed bankruptcy “cram down” legislation clarifying that condominium fees would not be included among the homeowners’ debts that bankruptcy judges would have the authority to reduce.