May 29, 2020
Dean M. Roberts, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its New York Real Estate & Finance Law Practice Group, presented the webinar, “Voting, Meeting Remotely & Bridging the Tech Divide in Co-ops, Condos & HOAs,” sponsored by Honest Ballot on May 27 to over 500 participants for The Cooperator.
“COVID-19 has raised many questions about how condo and co-op boards are able to conduct business as well as how residents can continue to participate in their communities’ governance while still social distancing. It’s been a confusing and difficult road, but we are finally getting to a point where there may be some answers,” said Roberts.
Roberts addressed the primary concerns boards and residents have about holding board elections and other vote-dependent functions while social distancing, what boards and managers should know ahead of time about the laws around electronic voting and meeting, the steps a board should take in transitioning from in-person meetings and voting to an electronic/online format, the biggest challenges in getting residents to accept and participate in virtual meetings and electronic elections from a management perspective, what liability concerns a board might have around virtual meetings and elections, recommendations for boards and managers to better inform residents about the procedures and improve buy-in and participation, and the opportunity for associations to adopt remote elections and owner/shareholder meetings even after the crisis has subsided.
Roberts focuses on real estate litigation with a sub-specialty in the representation of cooperative housing corporations and condominiums. He has handled all facets of condominium and cooperative ownership from sponsor/purchase and conversion to representing well-established tenant-shareholder Boards of Directors. Roberts also represents cooperative corporations and moderate-income co-ops in all areas of litigation, including landlord/tenant litigation.
Through his involvement with the Coordinating Council of Cooperatives, Roberts is active in court reform efforts and the cooperative movement. In his community, he works to promote affordable housing as a director of the Cooperative Development Fund Board of Advisors and other housing programs. Roberts earned his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law – Newark in 1987 and his B.A. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers College, in 1982.