BETH A. GRIMM
Community Association Attorney, Mediator, Expert Witness,
Speaker and Author
Beth A. Grimm
P.O. Box 397
Benicia, Ca 94510
Ph. (925) 787-0890
Girard & Vinson Law Offices, Walnut Creek California,
1981 as paralegal, 1988-1995 Attorney)
1988: J.D., John F. Kennedy School of Law, WC, CA.
1981: Certificated Paralegal, St. Mary's College, CA
HOA RELATED EXPERIENCE:
- 14 years - Girard and Vinson, Walnut Creek - representing homeowner associations and school districts, advising boards
- 20 years - Beth A. Grimm, P.L.C. - representing homeowner associations and advising homeowners in CIDs (Common Interest Developments)
- Total: 34+ (combined) years of experience in solving problems in HOAs and advising homeowner/community associations and people who live in them.
I have spoken at public hearings before the legislature many times about CID issues and served on specially appointed committees dealing with Homeowner Association issues at the request of legislators and aides including Assemblyman Thomas Hauser, Robyn-Boyer Stewart, and Assemblywoman Barbara Lee. I have attended and given testimony at (including written testimony) several of the hearings of the California Law Revision Commission hearings relating to common interest development proposals for changes in the law in the past 20 years.
Relevant Expertise: Attended early on all courses required for the "Professional Community Association Manager" (PCAM) through Community Associations Institute (CAI), a national industry group serving associations and owners throughout the country, with 10 local California chapters, to learn the "nuts and bolts" of the industry.
Experience: I represent community associations in the areas of document updating and enforcement; elections, meetings, recall; formulation of policies, practices and procedures; construction and other contracts, service providers and managers; employment matters; legal disclosure requirements; architectural standards and review; and disputes that arise between association members, board members, neighbors, contractors, and residents, including the conduct of hearings, violation letters, and recommendations for action. I have advised associations in all aspects of insurance matters and disputes, and in considering and obtaining insurance coverage. I am able to interpret CC&Rs (Declarations of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) and am familiar with various forms of disputes over common area and exclusive use common area, and the definitions of Condominiums vs. Planned Developments.
I represent concerned homeowners in various types of disputes with associations, interpretation of governing documents, communicating with boards, architectural issues, recall efforts, inspection of records and enforcement hearings.
I have conducted litigation, mediations and negotiations in various aspects of community association matters, for associations and for homeowners, including organized groups of homeowners. I have extensive mediation training and experience. I no longer serve as an advocate in litigation. I do consulting and expert witness work on a limited basis (as time permits).
Participation in Service Organizations/Volunteer Service: Besides the usual aspects of legal representation for associations, I served as a member of the Community Associations Institute-California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) since 1988. This is a statewide group of industry professionals immersed in legislative issues and proposed laws that affect community associations. I served on the executive committee for that group as a delegate and as the Statewide Public Relations Chairperson for more than 15 years. I also served as a volunteer mediator for Contra Costa County Conflict Resolution Services and for the EASE (Early Attempt at Settlement) Program in the Contra Costa County Courts for more than 5 years. I served as governmental liaison regarding records inspection requests for a year in Contra Costa County.
Industry Group Affiliations: I am a prior member of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) and its College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). I was initiated into to the Distinguished Speakers' Club of CAI and have spoken at several national and California seminars. I authored THE CLAC CORNER - a periodic update of "what's happening in Sacramento", the BILL OF THE MONTH alerts, and assisted with the grassroots fax tree for CAI-CLAC for more than 20 years. I had reached emeritus status as member of CLAC, when actively participating. I served as the East Bay Resource Chairperson for ECHO (Executive Council of Homeowners) for more than 6 years during two different time periods.. ECHO is a more localized industry group serving associations and homeowners in the Bay Area and throughout the state. I also serve on the Legal Resource Committee of ECHO for more than 20 years. I have authored numerous state and national articles for the CAI (THE CAI UPDATE) and THE ECHO JOURNAL for ECHO. I belonged to the California Association of Community Association Managers (CACM) for 10 years. These are the 3 major industry groups for homeowner associations in this state.
I taught a class certified by the Department of Real Estate in California called: "The Davis Stirling Act in Plain English" for 8 hours of DRE continuing education credit for 5 years and also have conducted monthly Brown Bag Lunch and Legal-EEZE programs at the teaching center where my office is located for about 5 years.
TRAINING/EXPERIENCE AS A MEDIATOR
1994, 30 hour training, Pepperdine University, Center For Dispute Resolution, Mediation Skills
1994, Certification Training, Contra Costa Conflicts Resolution Panel (CRP) training, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill, CA
November, 1994, 40 hour training, Rosenberg and Moulton, "Mediation Works", Tiburon, California
March, 1995, 30 hour Certification training, Contra Costa County Bar Assn
July, 1996, 30 hour advanced training, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA
July, 1997, 30 hour advanced training, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California
November 1998, 30 hour advanced training, Tony Roffers, Sacramento
October 2005, 30
hour training with Steve Rosenburg, Marin County Attorney and Trainer
Volunteer Mediator, CRP Community Based Mediations and Contra Costa County Bar Assn. Court Mediations: I served as a volunteer mediator for the Conflicts Resolution Panel of Contra Costa for more than five years. Some of the mediations were large group mediations involving vehement neighborhood disputes. All mediations in which I participated with that group have come to successful resolution by agreements of the parties. I also volunteered with the courts EASE program (a form of mediation) and served on my local Bar Association ADR Committee for several years.
HOA Mediations: I have conducted mediations within my field of law through referrals on the subjects of neighbor-to-neighbor and owner to board disputes, enforcement, architectural and use issues, and resolution of very difficult situations in HOAs.
SERVICE, WEBSITE AND BLOGS
Speaking and Authoring Expertise: I write articles for and speak for various CID industry groups as well as local realtors groups to bring relevant information to owners, realtors, homeowners, managers and board members.
I have conducted my own individual seminars and spoken at many California industry seminars. I have also spoken at national seminars on homeowner law and use of electronics in the law office.
My writings are enjoyed by many others as well. For 30 years I have authored and distributed newsletters detailing the nuts and bolts, practical and legal aspects of running a homeowner association and problem solving for Boards and Owners in California, In the early years it was called THE CALIFORNIA HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION LEGAL DIGEST. Now my free monthly E-newsletter is called WHAT'S NEW IN HOA LAND. I have authored 3 books: THE DAVIS-STIRLING ACT IN PLAIN ENGLISH, FINDING THE KEY TO YOUR CASTLE, THE CONDOMINIUM ANSWER BOOK (published by Sourcebooks, Inc.) and most recently, THE SMALL HOA SURVIVAL GUIDE. These and more than 35 Primers and Guides on numerous topics are available here on my website.
My books and the newsletter articles have been reproduced and quoted widely and have been well received in the industry as helpful tools.
For more than 20 years, I have operated a website offering an incredible amount of free information for readers, all related to common interest development living and the law. (www.californiacondoguru.com). This website is listed on the California Department of Consumer Affairs website reference page as a reference. Over the past 10 years I have kept up blogs to address problems and questions posed by homeowner association boards, managers, and homeowners, as well as industry vendors and professionals.
AWARDS - RECOGNITION
- 1994 Distinguished Service Award for volunteer efforts for the Community Associations Institute - California Legislative Action Committee (CAI-CLAC).
- 1994 Bay Area Chapter CAI President's Award -CAI Bay Area Chapter.
- 1995 Distinguished Service Award, CAI-CLAC
- 1996 Crystal Madonna from by CAI/CLAC for volunteer service.
- 1996 Author of the Year, CAI National
- 1996 Alumni of the Year Award, John F. Kennedy University School of Law
- 2005 Speaker of the Year - Bay Area/Central California Community Associations Institute (CAI)
RATES: For most mediations, based on an estimate of usual mediation 3-6 hours - $400 per hour plus travel time and expenses. [$2600 Retainer required, split among the parties involved, refunds will be paid if retainer is not used, additional retainer will be required if multi-day mediation is required or followup sessions are needed.]