Is CAI’s ‘lack of candor to the tribunal’ intentional?

In my recent complaint letter to the NJ Supreme Court (Complaint filed with NJ Supreme Court for CAI lack of “candor to the tribunal) arguing that CAI lacked “candor to the tribunal” — a violation of attorney professional conduct, RPC 3.3 —  I also charged that the misrepresentation was not accidental or simply an oversight, but was intentional.  “This failure is intentional as evidenced that both the CAI-NJ and CAI ‘Central’ websites do not refer to 501(c)6 status at all.”   

Evidence was provided from several web pages from both CAI-NJ and CAI “Central” that clearly show a co-mingling of representations, an implication that CAI is an educational organization with HOA membership,  and a failure to clearly state that CAI is a 501(c)6 trade organization.

Furthermore, the very fact that CAI-NJ found it necessary to prepare a standard form to justify the validity for HOAs to pay CAI membership fees shows an awareness by CAI of a possible conflict of interest.  It shows CAI advocating for its own agenda and for its HOA clients to breach their fiduciary duties to their members under the law and governing documents.

Further evidence of intentional misrepresentation and a complete disregard of the truth can be found in a 2008 amicus curiae brief to the Colorado appellate court in Booth Creek Townhouse v. Bassick (No. 07 CA 2531)[1].   Here, 3 years after dropping HOA membership in 2005 and 16 years after becoming a business trade group, CAI repeats its boilerplate certification of interest and justification to assist the court.

CAI is a national educational organization . . . . Nationally, members include . . . homeowners associations and condominium associations . . . .” and “CAI is uniquely situated to provide information to this court because all parties within this industry are represented by this organization. 

It would have been entirely acceptable if CAI had just indicated that it promoted and supported the Colorado version of UCIOA, CCIOA (effective 1992) and its subsequent amendments, and let the statutes speak for themselves.  But, this alone would indicate a bias toward protecting HOAs.

No, the evidence is quite clear and convincing that CAI’s repeated misrepresentations were not just a slip of the mind.  These persons are not just Joe Schmoes, but self-proclaimed community associations experts and who provide seminars to the uninformed public.


[1] While a search of Colorado court cases fails to show a record of this case, CAI nevertheless did prepare and file this brief.  “CAI Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Homeowner in $550,000 Judgment (10/08)”  (Link found on http://www.caionline.org/govt/news/Pages/CAIHeads-UpArchive.aspx June 21, 2012).  (The homeowner charged HOA for failing to perform its maintenance duties. CAI believed that the HOA’s failure to maintain the property was “egregious,” and the “association was so blatantly . . . and unwilling to perform its required duties.”)

 

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Published in: on June 21, 2012 at 8:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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