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In The News

See Tony’s entire interview with ReelLawyers 

On February 24, 2022, the Washington Supreme Court issued a decision in Surowiecki v. Hat Island Community Association recognizing that homeowner associations have broad discretion in making financial decisions.  In May 2021, CAI’s Amicus Curiae Committee approved and filed an amicus brief authored by Anthony Rafel, Rafel Law Group’s Managing Partner and a fellow in CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL).  The issue on appeal was whether equal per-lot assessments proposed by the Board and ratified by the members were “equitable,” as required by the governing documents, where some lots were developed with homes but Surowiecki’s 270 lots were not.  The Supreme Court held that “the association’s decision on assessments is entitled to substantial deference.”  In language closely mirroring CAI’s arguments, the Court reasoned that, “when a homeowners’ association makes a discretionary decision in a procedurally valid way, courts will not substitute their judgment for that of the association absent a showing of fraud, dishonesty, or incompetence (i.e., failure to exercise proper care, skill, and diligence).”  The court said it adopted this rule “in recognition of the respect due to the self-governance of homeowner associations, the importance of finality in budgeting, and the avoidance of interfering with associations’ ability to meet their financial obligations.”  This is a major win for associations in Washington State and may be helpful to associations nationwide in resisting challenges to discretionary decisions.

Anthony Rafel teaches Community Association Law for Washington and Oregon at the OWCAM Credentialing Course (April 2019)

Anthony Rafel presents “Water Loss Between Units: Allocating Responsibility for Uninsured Losses” at WSCAI Law Day (April 2019)

Anthony Rafel co-presents “Fair Housing” at WSCAI Community Associations Day (September 2018)

Anthony Rafel presents “Steering Clear: Serving Associations Without Giving Legal Advice” at CAI Oregon Law Day (June 2018)

Anthony Rafel teaches “Community Association Law for Washington and Oregon” at the OWCAM CAMP Credentialing Course (April 2018)

Anthony Rafel presents “This Meeting Will Come to Order: Meeting Minutes and Parliamentary Procedure” at WSCAI Community Associations Day (September 2017)

Anthony Rafel publishes “Getting Away” in an HOA: What can Associations do About Vacation Rentals?” in the WSCAI Journal (January 2016)

Anthony Rafel presents “Governance in the Digital Age: Electronic Notice, Voting, Email & Websites” at WSCAI Community Associations Day (September 2015)

Anthony Rafel co-authors “FHA Legal Requirements for 55+ Communities in an Aging Population” in the Regenesis Report and the WSCAI Journal (June 2013)

Rafel Law Group contributes legal forms to the 2012 “Guide to No Smoking Policies for Community Association Board Members, Managers, Attorneys and Condominium Developers,” published by Oregon Smokefree Housing Project, Clark County (WA) Public Health Department, and CAI Oregon. download PDF of publication

Anthony Rafel selected as presenter/panelist at MC Consultants’ 17th Annual West Region CD Conference in San Diego (September 2011)

Anthony Rafel co-presented “Advanced Tools for Managers- Unlocking Powerful Secrets of the Nonprofit Corporation Act” at WSCAI Manager’s Only Day (June 2011)

Anthony Rafel published in the Community Associations Journal Nov/Dec 2010, “Tying Up Loose Ends: End of the Year Checklist for Self-Managed Communities”

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