Welcome to The Law Offices of Richard Salpietra
Common-Interest Development Law

Community Association Counsel

The Law Offices of Richard Salpietra serves as special counsel to over 90 common-interest developments, including single-family homes, condominiums, high-rises, planned developments and business parks.  The firm provides legal advice to the board of directors on all community association legal issues.  The firm’s services include drafting, preparation, revision, interpretation and enforcement of governing documents, such as the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, Architectural Guidelines, and Rules and Regulations.

The firm also provides legal advice to community associations regarding annual meetings, special meetings and voting procedures; reviews insurance policies and advises on insurance matters; drafts and interprets property easements; and prepares license agreements, permissive use agreements, maintenance and indemnity agreements, settlement agreements and waivers.  The Law Offices of Richard Salpietra also provides general counsel advice regarding management/vendor contracts, personnel matters, owner disputes, property issues, and prepares letters of opinion regarding complex legal issues.

Maintenance Agreements

If an association wants to make arrangements for an individual owner to assume the maintenance obligation of a certain area of property, the legal professionals at The Law Offices of Richard Salpietra can prepare agreements that clarify the maintenance obligations of specific areas within an association. Such agreements detail the owner’s and association’s responsibilities and include indemnification to protect the association. The firm will then arrange for the recording of the fully-executed Maintenance and Indemnity Agreement with the County Recorder’s Office.

Insurance Claims

When insurance claims are made or questions arise regarding insurance coverage, the legal professionals at The Law Offices of Richard Salpietra can provide advice and counsel about the extent and scope of coverage under various types of insurance policies, including directors and officers policies, general liability and project specific policies, contractors’ insurance and bonds, surety insurance, business interruption, and homeowners insurance. The firm also provides advice regarding the proper course of action and/or pursues litigation on behalf of the association if there are coverage issues and bad faith claims.

Review/Amend Governing Documents

Having CC&Rs or Bylaws which are outdated due to changes in the law can lead to disputes over which requirements prevail -- those in the association's governing documents or those found in California statutes. In order for the board to use the CC&Rs or Bylaws as a reference on how to properly run the association, changes may be required in order to make the documents current or clear up conflicting provisions. Depending on the types of changes required, the legal professionals at The Law Offices of Richard Salpietra can either assist in the process to amend provisions, or rewrite the entire document and prepare restated CC&Rs or Bylaws. The firm can also ensure that the amendment or restated document is properly approved and adopted.

Letters of Opinion

The Law Offices of Richard Salpietra can provide formal answers to legal questions and/or address particular legal issues that arise in the governance of an association, as requested by the board or community manager. The firm will research the association’s governing documents, subdivision and tract maps, recorded documents, statutory law and case law in order to render a legal opinion regarding the issue at hand. A written letter of opinion is provided on which the board can confidently rely in determining its course of action.

Civil Litigation

In civil litigation matters, The Law Offices of Richard Salpietra and its associated litigation firm seek the most effective and economic path to resolution.  When negotiations fail and litigation becomes unavoidable, we have the knowledge and the experience necessary to take your case to trial and the commitment to protect your interests.  We represent individuals, businesses and community associations in the following types of cases:

Real Estate Disputes: regarding property line/boundary disputes, complex title issues, easements, licenses, real property purchase agreement disputes and other matters involving real property.

Personal Injury: all types of serious injuries, including spinal cord and brain injuries.  Also, cases resulting from automobile, boating, ATV, railroad and pedestrian accidents, medical and dental malpractice, wrongful death, products or premises liability and slip-and-fall accidents.

Construction Law: disputes with contractors, subcontractors, materials suppliers, building departments and review committees.  Also, mechanic's lien disputes, construction contracts, construction accidents, property damage due to construction, and premises liability matters. 

Insurance Disputes: when an insurance company acts unreasonably in denying a claim for coverage, it is important to understand your rights and options.  We have many years of experience handling bad faith insurance matters and other insurance disputes, including failure to promptly or thoroughly investigate a claim, inadequate claims processing, unreasonable denial of payment, delay in payment, failure to settle an underlying suit against the insured and failure to defend a suit against the insured.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

When disputes arise, it is often advantageous to preserve relationships between the parties.  The Law Offices of Richard Salpietra works to preserve these relationships as much as possible.  Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) can be a viable means to an efficient and expedient resolution.

The firm represents individuals and associations in:

Expert Witness Services

As an attorney, a licensed architect and licensed general contractor, Richard Salpietra is uniquely qualified to provide design review services for architectural review committees and community association boards of directors.  Mr. Salpietra also provides expert witness services for residential construction and architectural services.

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