Last week I received a thank you message from a Boston lawyer, who is also a client. This is a success story about how I prevent matters from exploding, while some other lawyers seem to thrive on explosions.
This lawyer from Boston retained me on a Boca lawyer’s referral. The client is the trustee of a trust created by a father for a disabled daughter. Last year, the trust bought a unit for the daughter to move into, so that she could move from Boston. She needed a lease from her own trust to in order to continue receipt of her federal disability-based rental subsidies.
The client insisted that I’d have to sue the condo association to force it to approve a lease, due to a two-year waiting period for owners to lease units. The attorney/trustee had fought with the association last year for quite some time to get the trust approved as an owner by the condo board. The board would not approve the trust as an owner since “fictitious entities” are not allowed to own in the condominium association. It took court action and a settlement to have the trust approved as an owner. So, when I was retained, there was still an entire year until the unit could be rented under the condo’s rules. The client was sure it would take a lawsuit.
I assured him that we wouldn’t have to sue. I knew that some conversations would achieve the objective. I also knew that a lawsuit would cause the association to dig in and fight. I know the lawyer on the other side and have a healthy and respectful relationship with him.
It took some jockeying, but within weeks, the condo association approved the lease. I had to explain the suit I’d file if forced to litigate, but my approach to the opposing attorney was collaborative, and he prevailed on his board to approve of the lease, despite the two-year rental restriction.
The client found out first by receipt of the Certificate of Approval from the board, via email. I received an email stating: “Mike, I was greeted today with the sweet vision of success-attached please find the COA!!! You have no idea how grateful we are for this, and for your skill in negotiating the outcome. Please let me know if you went over… on this project. Assuming not, please accept the balance of the retainer as a bonus for the stellar outcome. Having dealt with these same parties myself, I had very little hope of such a quick and painless victory.”
A lawyer-client gave me a bonus for the battle he never had, which he was sure he would have! That’s how I prefer to practice law--EXPLOSION AVOIDED!