Friday, March 16, 2007

The Overlawyering of the CZ Master Association - a cottage industry?

The Overlawyering of the CZ Master Association - a cottage industry?

March 16, 2007

Without any clarifying statements, today, we received from Keystone Pacific, the CZ master association property manager, an un-dated Notice of Delegate District Meeting, including a Disclosure Statement dated March 2007. The disclosure focuses on "an investigation into the nature, extent cause and cost to correct alleged soils construction defects in certain portions of the commons", mostly associated with the Oaknoll/OakView tracts - you know, where the gates are supposed to be closed, but apparently because the board does not know if and agreement was ever signed, the gates are now open, exposing members to increased liability.

What with all the "lawyer activity" going on in the association, no wonder there is only time to focus on the trivial few and forget about the vital many when it comes to public safety, landscaping and fiscal accountability. Reminiscent of the piece that appeared in the Wall Street Journal, 2-28-07

"The power of the plaintiffs bar is on the wane," argued the American Lawyer; a cover story in Business Week promised to reveal "How Business Trounced the Trial Lawyers." With apologies to Mark Twain, the reports of the trial lawyers' demise are greatly exaggerated.

Consider one class-action lawsuit, in which a plaintiffs firm sued Deutsche Bank on behalf of an African tribe which suffered atrocities committed by imperial Germany in the 19th century. Or another, consolidating 10 complaints filed around the country on behalf of all South Africans injured by the former apartheid regime from 1948 to the present. One of the South African complaints was on behalf of a class including 32,000 plaintiffs; the class in another was estimated to encompass "millions of individuals." The defendants, almost 100 multinational corporations that did business in South Africa after 1948, were alleged to be liable for injuries on the theory that they had aided and abetted the apartheid regime. Purported damages in just one of the consolidated actions total $400 billion

The conclusion of the piece is that plaintiffs firms are flush with cash, experts in the business of creating cases, and undeterred by setbacks.....contingency-fee lawyers take each rejection as a lesson in which tactics work and which do not. They know that if they can weather dismissal motions in a single case, they can proliferate a succession of copycat class actions. Not significantly different from the way the CZ master association has been operating over the last five years or so!

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