Case Notes in


First published: Jun 2013
Barasch v. Williams Real Estate Co., Inc.

Again, this is not a case that directly involves cooperatives or condominiums. However, it is an issue we see frequently. Here, the court, relying on various factors to determine whether a shareholder/director had an absolute right to all board-attorney communications, offered some guidance. Barasch and Williams clearly were adversaries to one another at a certain point in time. In fact, the communications from counsel discussed ways in which Barasch could make it difficult for Williams to take action in accordance with the plan of the other, majority directors. The New York appellate court found it important that Barasch’s claims were made by her in her capacity as a shareholder and that the corporate attorney-client privilege trumps the director’s right to information when the director is acting in her capacity as a shareholder. The decision states that it is important for cooperatives and condominiums, in any instance where they are asked for documents in a litigation with a director, to review carefully whether the documents and communications are privileged and thus should not be produced.

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