Case Notes by

Lloyd F. Reisman, Partner, Belkin Burden Goldman

First published: Dec 2023
You Like Beige, I Hate It

TAKEAWAY Boards and shareholders alike should read this decision (and the lower court decision) as cautionary tales of how a seemingly innocuous issue can snowball into a complete breakdown in communication and trust, and ultimately result in costly litigation. While it may be too late for the parties involved, boards and shareholders who find themselves in similar situations should consider mediation as a first attempt to resolve these “domestic” disputes amicably. In particular, boards should consider encouraging shareholders to submit their disputes with neighbors to mediation so that the parties are afforded an opportunity to communicate their concerns and interests. Ideally, having been given an opportunity to do so, they will be able to develop their own mutually agreeable resolutions without the board’s involvement and legal expense (let alone without resorting to litigation). Boards seeking to require mediation of disputes among residents should work with their attorneys to develop and implement appropriate changes to house rules and other governing documents.

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