WSCAI Law Day Header

Community Association Law Day



Saturday, April 21, 2018
8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Lynnwood Convention Center
3711 196th St SW,
Lynnwood, WA 98036
(425) 778-7155


Member Registration
(per person)
$69 thru 4/7
$79 thru 4/14
$89 after 4/14

Non-Member Registration
(per person)
$99 thru 4/7
$109 thru 4/14
$119 after 4/14

Benefiting WSCAI’s Legislative Action Committee

Law Day North for Condos and HOAs

WSCAI Law Day North – Lynnwood, WA

This is a single-day event held at the Lynnwood Convention Center. There will be several legal sessions taught by experienced attorneys who understand the laws that affect Condominiums and HOAs in Washington State. All registrants will be provided continental breakfast and a buffet lunch. A silent auction will be held throughout the day and the winners will be announced during the afternoon reception. The event includes 30 industry-related exhibitors.  Net proceeds benefit WSCAI’s Legislative Action Committee (LAC).

Columbia Bank - Program Sponsor

Columbia Bank Program Sponsor

Schedule For Law Day North:

[8 a.m.]   Registration / Exhibit Hall / Continental Breakfast / Silent Auction Opens

Continental Breakfast Sponsored by: Allana, Buick & Bers, Inc.

[8:45 – 10 a.m.]   Concurrent Sessions (select one)

Legal Topics – Basic Training for Board Members and Managers

Presented by attorney David Silver

New board members may not appreciate that they control a Washington corporation responsible for management and maintenance of accounts and assets that can be valued at millions of dollars. Competent stewardship of the association requires knowledge of the board’s and association’s legal duties, obligations and rights.

This session will discuss basic legal topics involving condominium and homeowner associations, including the laws that govern condos and HOAs, governing documents, corporate governance, meetings, and common pitfalls and how to avoid them. The program will also include time for Q&A so that attendees can interact and ask questions.

  • Description of condominiums and HOAs from legal perspective
  • Laws that govern condominiums and HOAs
  • Governing documents
  • Board roles and responsibilities
  • Governance basics
  • Common trouble areas

Emotional Support Chickens and Other Tales from the World of Fair Housing

Presented by attorney Tim Feth

Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination in the terms and conditions of housing. Many people know that associations are not permitted to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, family status, or other protected status. But what, if anything, does the Fair Housing Act require your board of directors to do when an owner keeps emotional support chickens or service horses? Are accommodations required for a person who has been diagnosed with a hoarding disability? Associations are required to make reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications for disabled owners, but what is “reasonable” and how should requests for accommodation be handled? Come explore the answers to these questions and more as we discuss the best practices related to anti-discrimination law.

  • Introduction to the Fair Housing Act
  • Introduction to other applicable laws
  • Theories of liability under anti-discrimination law
  • Overview of reasonable accommodations
    • Requirements
      • Request must be made
      • Requester must show that he/she is disabled
      • Requester must show nexus between disability and request
    • Denying requests for reasonable accommodation
  • Overview of reasonable modifications
  • Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals
  • Parking space accommodations
  • Familial Status Discrimination
  • Hoarding

Bylaws - The Middle Child of Governing Documents

Presented by attorney Jennifer Mullin De Winter

Bylaws are the governing document that is most often overlooked but has critical guidance for governance and operation of the association and board. The bylaws should explain how the association wants to run itself as a corporation. Often, provisions that belong in the declaration or rules make their way to the bylaws. Bylaws cannot conflict with the declaration or any state or federal statute and courts have rejected amendment’s regulated use of property. This presentation will cover the most common provisions belonging in the bylaws, and common issues with drafting or amending bylaws. Requirements for bylaws are very similar for condominiums and HOAs, so this presentation is suitable for both.

  • What do statues require?
    • Notice (should comply with notice requirements in declaration)
    • Annual meetings
    • Special meetings
    • Quorum (statutory requirements)
    • Order of business for meetings
    • Parliamentary procedure
  • Association membership (all owners are members)
  • Meetings
  • Voting
    • Number of votes (according to declaration)
    • Voting owner/Voting representative
    • Voting at meetings/proxies
    • Restrictions
    • By mail or electronically
  • Board
    • Number and qualifications
    • Terms of office
    • Elections
    • Removal
    • Vacancies
    • Meetings
    • Waiver of notice
    • Action without meetings
  • Officers
    • What are they?
    • Election and removal
    • Authority
  • Committees
    • Authority to appoint
    • Dissolving
    • Committees holding board authority
  • Amendments to bylaws

[10 – 10:30 a.m.]   Exhibit Hall / Silent Auction Break

[10:30 – 11:45 a.m.]   Concurrent Sessions (select one)

Collection Basics & Best Practices

Presented by attorneys Valerie Farris Oman and Samantha Brown

In an ever-changing economy, it is always important for managers and board members to understand the many lien enforcement and collection options at an association’s disposal. Join us for an introduction to community association collections, including definitions and explanations of options from acceleration to receivership and everything in between.

  • Community association statutes in Washington State, including which statutes apply to which type of associations.
  • Discussion of the many lien enforcement and collection options available to associations, including
    • Acceleration
    • Liens
    • Judicial foreclosure
    • Non-Judicial foreclosure
    • Personal lawsuit
    • Garnishment
    • Judgment liens
    • Receivership
    • Utility termination
    • Security deposit
    • Payment plans
    • Rent interception
  • Discussion of the “default” or fall-back options in the statutes
  • Which options must be in your governing documents, and which options are available even if they’re not in your documents.
  • Different types of bankruptcy and how to deal with an owner who has filed bankruptcy.
  • Discussion of lender-initiated foreclosures and what associations can do when a unit is in foreclosure.
  • Discussion of when using a collection agency might be a good option for an association to consider.

When it Rains, it Pours: Repairs, Responsibility, and Insurance Issues Relating to Water Leaks

Presented by attorney Ken Strauss and insurance broker Brett Nebeker

It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday, and a sprinkler pipe causes a flood. Or the roof leaks. Or a guest has fallen asleep in a bathtub and flooded the three units below. Handling these issues is often a multiple-step process, involving an immediate evaluation and repair, an insurance claim, evaluation of your governing documents to allocate responsibility for the damage, hiring contractors for permanent repairs, and working with occupants who want everything fixed immediately. In this seminar, we will provide guidance and answer questions from the perspective of community association counsel and an association insurance broker, with the goal of demystifying the process, providing practical advice, and warning you of potential pitfalls.

  • Understanding the association’s role
    • Common declaration provisions
    • Statutory obligations
  • Responding to leaks
    • Mitigating damage
    • Repairs
    • Right of entry
  • Insurance claims
    • Association insurance
    • Homeowner insurance
    • Working with insurers
  • Allocating responsibility
    • Declaration provisions
    • Damage and misconduct
    • Uninsured losses
  • Avoiding risk
    • High-risk components
    • Inspections

Take It from Us (Literally!): Boundary Disputes, Plats, View Protection, and How to Lose Property Rights if You’re Not Careful

Presented by attorneys Tony Rafel and Tim Feth

Plats are the most commonly overlooked documents that define the legal rights of our communities. And what landowners don’t know about their plats can hurt them. For example, if you don’t know that a neighbor’s fence encroaches on your land, after ten years the neighbor can become the lawful owner of the trespassed-upon land! Known as “adverse possession,” these situations can lead to expensive litigation. In order to avoid contentious and often emotionally-charged legal battles, our community board members and leaders have a responsibility to listen to what our plats are trying to tell us: Where are the legal boundaries of our property? What other persons or entities could have rights in the property? Are there any restrictions on how sections of the property can be used? Consulting your plat is essential in answering these questions. We’ll discuss how to read a plat, what information to look for, and what to do with that information.

  • The importance of the plat
    • What is it
    • Compare to condo survey map and plans
    • Compare to survey
    • What information does it contain?
      • Legal boundaries/Lot lines
      • Easements
      • Encroachments
    • What information is not contained in the plat?
    • How does the plat interact with the association’s governing documents?
  • The role of surveying
    • Compares legal boundaries with physical boundaries
    • When should an association have one conducted?
  • Boundary disputes
    • Adverse Possession and related legal theories
      • Overview of elements, purpose
      • Overview of the doctrine of Mutual Recognition and Acquiescence
      • Statute of limitations
    • Examples of HOA/Condo boundary disputes
      • Disputes with neighboring properties
      • Disputes within communities
    • Boundary disputes and the role of the Washington Condominium Act
  • View Protection
    • How are view easements created
      • Covenants
      • Easements
    • Examples/cases

[11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.]   Networking Lunch & Legislative Update in Exhibit Hall

[1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.]   Panel Discussion

People Problems: Dealing with difficult owners, tenants and board members

Panelists to include attorneys, managers and homeowners

Even the best associations face inevitable conflicts. When occupants don’t follow the rules, board members and managers must make difficult decisions in how to best address problems. When it is the Board itself that may be contributing to the problem, the issues become even more complicated. This panel discussion will feature experienced community managers and attorneys, offering advice on identifying problems and providing tools and solutions for these unique situations.

Topics will include:

  • Disruptive and disorderly occupants
  • Mental health issues
  • Illegal acts
  • Unauthorized alterations
  • Prohibited business activities
  • Director conflicts of interest
  • Rogue boards
  • Board removal
  • Codes of conduct
  • Governing document enforcement

[2:30-3:30 p.m.]   Reception

Sponsored by: Superior Cleaning & Restoration
Silent Auction Closes between 3-3:15 p.m. (precise time will be announced at event)


Register for Law Day North

Click the form image to download a printable pdf, or to register online:


David Silver

David Silver

Partner and Seattle’s lead general counsel at Barker Martin, P.S.

David Silver is a partner and Seattle’s lead general counsel at Barker Martin, P.S. Dave’s practice focuses on advising condominium and homeowner associations regarding all aspects of governance, assisting associations with their day-to-day interactions with third parties, and interpreting, amending and enforcing CC&Rs. Dave is an active member of WSCAI and has been a speaker at numerous educational events.

Tim Feth

Tim Feth

Associate Attorney, Rafel Law Group, PLLC

Tim Feth joined Rafel Law Group PLLC as an associate attorney in 2016 after graduating with honors from the University of Washington School of Law. Prior to law school, Tim earned his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, summa cum laude, from Central Washington University. He currently serves on WSCAI’s Market Expansion Committee.

Jennifer Mullin De Winter

Jennifer Mullin De Winter

Legal Operations Administrator, CAI

Jennifer Mullin De Winter is the Legal Operations Administrator and an attorney who provides general in-house counsel to Community Association clients. As the Legal Operations Administrator she works closely with Ken Harer and the other general counsel in-house attorneys to provide smooth workflow and ensure prompt service to our clients. She also provides legal advice on all aspects of community governance and risk management to Boards of Directors and Management. Jennifer graduated Seattle University School of Law.

Valerie Farris Oman

Valerie Farris Oman

Partner Attorney, Condominium Law Group

Valerie Farris Oman is a partner attorney at Condominium Law Group. She represents and assists community associations on collections matters along with general counsel and governance issues. Valerie is passionate about providing high quality legal services to her clients. Valerie graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law.

Samantha Brown

Samantha Brown

Associate Attorney, Condominium Law Group

Samantha Brown is an associate attorney at Condominium Law Group who represents and assists community associations on collections matters. Samantha has practiced law in Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and Alaska. She graduated cum laude with a JD from Northern Illinois University and a B.A. from Augustana College.

Ken Strauss

Ken Strauss

Partner, Flanagan Strauss, PLLC

Ken Strauss is a partner at Flanagan Strauss, PLLC, providing representation in all aspects of community association law. Since 1999, Mr. Strauss has focused his practice on community associations, serving hundreds of associations in Western Washington as well as California. His practice includes general counsel services, construction defect litigation, dispute resolution, contract negotiation and formation of non-profit corporations.

Brett Nebeker

Brett Nebeker

Partner, Rice Insurance

Brett Nebeker is a Partner at Rice Insurance where he heads up the Condo/HOA Practice Group. Rice Insurance has made the Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies over the last two years.

Anthony L. (“Tony”) Rafel

Anthony L. (“Tony”) Rafel

Managing Partner, Rafel Law Group, PLLC

Anthony “Tony” Rafel serves as Vice President of WSCAI’s Board of Directors. Tony has been practicing law in the Pacific Northwest for more than 35 years, focusing on community association law for the last 25 years. He is the Managing Partner of Rafel Law Group PLLC, with offices in Seattle and Portland, and practices actively in both states, handling construction defect and product defect, insurance recovery, covenant and rule enforcement, boundary and view disputes, and nuisance cases, among many others.

Theresa Torgesen, Esq.

Theresa Torgesen, Esq.

Partner, Sound Legal Partners, PLLC

Theresa Torgesen, Partner at Sound Legal Partners, PLLC is an experienced attorney who has dedicated most of her career to representing condominium and homeowner associations as general counsel. She supports association managers and board members in their community leadership roles, assists them in identifying and addressing potential risks, and collaborates with them to develop practical solutions when problems arise. Theresa is passionate about education and advocacy and is an active volunteer for WSCAI. She is a frequent presenter of educational seminars and currently serves as the Co-Chair of the CAI Washington State Legislative Action Committee (LAC).

Condominium Law Group, PLLC

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