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Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



How To Strengthen Your Case

The heart of the matter. Discovery is the meat and bones of litigation. It’s when the parties in a legal dispute can request information from each other to either advance their claim or support their defense. It is your basic research, but it’s not just papers and documents. It’s emails, text messages, chat messages, old memoranda, board minutes and resolutions, as well as identifying witnesses and people with knowledge of what’s being asserted in the case. The important thing about discovery is that all of this has to be made known to your lawyer so that he or she can distill the information and determine what additional documents are needed, and then figure out what evidence will be presented in court. And it’s the board’s responsibility to help provide that. 


Stepping up. Some boards want to be active in all phases of litigation. Others, especially at larger buildings, might have a legal liaison or a committee of people who act as filters for the information that’s being sought. This liaison will communicate with the attorney and report back to the board any further actions or evidence that might be required. Managing agents are also involved — typically as witnesses at the minimum, and often as board liaisons. They’re also the ones who collect information for us.  


Whether you sue someone or get hit with a claim, there’s no way around the discovery process. The takeaway is to be prepared. Make sure you have information preserved. Speak with your counsel. Start getting your ducks in a row — paper your files, collect your information, identify who your witnesses are. That way, when you begin the actual process with your counsel, you can hand them information right off the bat that will help you in court.

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Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

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