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naughty billing on a mntnce billAug 20, 2007


in a cop, the managing agent, at behest of the board pres, consults the coops attorneys on a matter relating to an employee . the matter was caused by an incident with a shareholder but it was not a direct incident in that the shareholder actually did nothingdirectly to incur the legal fees - the board/managing agent just needed some info. and advice . 7 months goes by and the board decides to put the legal fees on the shareholders bill (they were billed to the coop and paind many months ago -) with no notice - just, zingo, added onto a mntnce bill. seems illegal to me no? to say nothing of inappropriate. advice? r esponses?

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Legal fee (to SB) - FN Aug 20, 2007


Can you explain/elaborate a little bit so we can help.

FN

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)
more info - ba Aug 20, 2007


I cant go too much into detial for various reasons but I can tell you that it involved a building employee as a primary suspect in a theft. the determination was made byt the police and the coops lawyers got involved althoght he union lawyers are supposed to be working for members. in fact, ti may just have been an inappropriate usage fo funds byt the board pres - anyhow - some 8 months later they are attempting to bill the shareholder even thought he client was techincally the coop and the cost was incurred by the board and managing agent as they needed consultation.

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Re: more info - Steve Aug 21, 2007


> "the matter was caused by an incident with a shareholder but it was not a direct incident in that the shareholder actually did nothingdirectly to incur the legal fees ... "

I'm no lawyer, ba, but that seems to be the crux of the issue.

It's entirely possible that "an incident with a shareholder" would result in the shareholder paying legal fees, but it seems impossible to tell from this. It's worth remembering that one can incur liability (such as for a bill) even if one is not directly involved.

In our co-op, if a shareholder makes a request (or a demand) that requires the co-op to use legal services, the shareholder is charged for those services. The alternative -- that everyone in the co-op should share in paying the bill -- just isn't fair to the rest.

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thanks - there was nothing direct. - bs Aug 21, 2007


thanks - there was no direct request. it was entirely an option of the board to seek counsel and they did not even have to incur the fee. now they are trying to pass it on - the costs - and it seems inappropriate. again, the shareholder did nothing directly.

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seeking counsel - steve Aug 21, 2007


The board certainly has the option of seeking counsel, even if the issue in question appears clear-cut.

This shareholder may certainly ask the board for an explanation of their reasoning behind passing on the bill. Be sure the person does so in a polite, non-confrontational way, to ensure a response.

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update - bs Aug 21, 2007


the board has informed the shareholder the charge was an error. phew.

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Yay - Steve Aug 21, 2007


Yay!

Nice to know that your board can admit a mistake.

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