With the thousands of condominium and HOA communities built in the last two decades or so, it was inevitable that The Florida Bar would, and has now officially, recognized Condominium and Planned Development Law as an area of the law where practicing attorneys can distinguish themselves by becoming Board Certified. Board certification recognizes an attorney’s special knowledge, skills and proficiency in an area of law and professionalism and ethics in practice.
I am very proud to announce that as of June 1st, 2018 I will be part of the first ever group of attorneys in the State of Florida to become Board Certified in Condominium and Planned Development Law. In fact, I was exempt from the examination having proven that I have been substantially involved in condominium and planned development law for a minimum of 20 years, and possess the necessary character, ethics, and reputation for professionalism.
In order to even apply for certification, the applicant must have been engaged in the practice of condominium and planned development law for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of application.
The applicant must demonstrate continuous and substantial involvement in the practice of law, of which at least 40 percent has been spent in active participation in condominium and planned development law during at least 3 of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of application.
The applicant must demonstrate substantial practical experience in condominium and planned development law by providing examples of at least 20 substantive tasks or services performed on behalf of, or in connection with, community associations and planned developments, such as:
(1) drafting, reviewing, interpreting, or revising development and governing documents, title instruments and reports, title insurance policies, contracts for sale and purchase, and statutory and administrative laws, rules, and provisions;
(2) drafting financing instruments for developers, lenders, investors, or community associations;
(3) planning and drafting project legal structures and entities;
(4) dealing with development funds and associated development documents;
(5) drafting other project related documents;
(6) serving as an arbitrator or counsel for a party in an arbitration;
(7) serving as a mediator or counsel for a party in a mediation;
(8) drafting opinion letters;
(9) serving as legal counsel at a trial, on appeal, or in administrative hearings;
(10) representing owners, purchasers, developers, lenders, investors, community associations, governmental agencies, or political subdivisions in matters relating to condominium and planned development law; or
(11) any other activity deemed appropriate by the condominium and planned development law certification committee.
The applicant must also describe, through examples or narrative, the applicant’s law practice of representing community associations, developers, lenders, investors, or owners in matters involving condominium and planned development law during the 5-year period preceding the date of application. The examples or narrative must include the approximate number and type of clients the applicant has represented during the 5-year period.
The number of attorneys practicing community association law has exploded since I first started. It’s rewarding that The Florida Bar has recognized that those attorneys with significant experience and knowledge of this particular area of the law are entitled to special recognition through Board Certification. I’m incredibly proud to have become Board Certified and take incredible pride in the fact that this area of the law that I devoted my life to and that I love to teach to all of you, has received the special recognition it deserves.