The Condominium Authority Tribunal (“CAT”) and Superior Court operate on virtual platforms, with CAT hearings typically concluding via written argument. These forums have their own rules and directions and, occasionally, comments from adjudicators to guide process. This decision from the Superior Court comments on using written materials efficiently and to win in modern practice.
Gone are the days of “bullshit baffles brains.” Writing is expected to be clear, concise and simple. A client’s expectation of their lawyer in litigation should be that they will advocate in a focused way. Time and money should be spent considering that 95% of disputes will resolve versus filing materials to paper the trial of the century.
But the lawyer’s job also starts with the client’s material. A recent CAT decision described the disputed rules in that case as: “unhelpful, outdated, and difficult to enforce fairly and consistently.” The CAT strongly recommended that the condo undertake a review of its rules and either amend them or create more suitable ones.
In that vein, boards and managers (and drafting condo lawyers) need to consider ways they can improve at the source. Take a look at governing documents and see whether they are easy to understand and enforce. Demand letters should be straightforward so that owners and adjudicators can understand them. Set yourself up for success in compliance or enforcement, whether voluntary or ordered by the CAT or court, by keeping it simple.