It was time for the the Chicago-based senior association's annual meeting. The board and residents, men and women, some in their 70s, were emotionally charged and concerned about various issues that the board would discuss. The issues do not matter now, because soon after it started, the meeting became so out of hand that insults began to fly, from audience members to board members. Soon, the president of the board became so enraged that he slugged someone. The police were called. Arrests were made.
No, it’s not the newest reality show, “Boards Gone Wild,” although if you talk to enough real estate attorneys and managers you can definitely put together a cast of characters that could make The Jersey Shore kids look like angels. Each episode could include chilling tales of board members who are embroiled in crazy lawsuits, mishandled misunderstandings, fraud and shady dealings. Hollywood, are you listening?
Jordan Shifrin, a principal with Buffalo Grove-based law firm Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit says that he’s seen and heard of many types of crazy scenarios like this. “This situation was illustrative of an association that couldn’t get anything done and wasted time at meetings,” he says. “They didn’t have the funds to do projects they wanted to do, and here are these two septuagenarians rolling around. When you charge someone or take a swing at someone, you’re not thinking.”
No charges were filed in the throwdown between the two elderly board members, and nobody’s mug shot appeared on America’s Most Wanted, but the board members were given a stern lecture from the judge about behaving themselves.
In his 30 years of practice, Michael Kim, an attorney at law with his own firm, Michael C. Kim & Associates in Chicago, says that he’s come across a wide variety of appalling board members too.