Karen Bennett Community Association Consulting

Expert Witness Experience

I worked for developers from 1971-1983. I was the manager of the Design Studio for AVCO Community Developers and my job was to help new homebuyers select their interior home choices. My staff ordered, scheduled and assisted homeowners in this process ending with a final walk through of their new home.

I left AVCO when that developer sold off his undeveloped land and closed that division. I went to work for a large property management firm in 1983 as a portfolio manager of common interest developments. My career continued with further education, responsibilities and promotions. I left the property management firm after eleven years. I was responsible for approximately 80 homeowner associations, forty employees and a four million dollar annual budget.

I received both the Professional Community Manager (PCAM) designation from Community Associations Institute and the Certified Community Association Manager(CCAM) from California Association of Community Managers (CACM). I was elected President of the Orange County Regional Chapter of Community Associations Institute in 1992. I have been awarded the Hall of Fame Award (1994) and the prestigious May Russell Award (1999) from my colleagues in the industry. I received the Presidents Award in 2000.

I testified many times in deposition and in jury or bench trials when I worked for the management firm. When I started my consulting business in 1994, I began testifying as an Expert Witness. I have testified as a plaintiffs expert in deposition for developer construction defect cases. Additionally, I testified for various cases involving homeowner associations as a plaintiff or defense witness. I have testified as an expert in a bench trial involving an association being sued by a vendor. It was noted by the judge in that case, that my testimony aided him in making a decision that was favorable to my client (Newport Crest Homeowners Association in Albert v. Newport Crest - August 1997). I also testified in a jury trial, Sagatelian v. South Lake Owners Association in January 2000. I testified for the defendant being sued by a homeowner over second-hand smoke.

I was mentioned favorably, in the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal decision, filed September 6, 2001. That case involved an owner suing an association because a request for copies of minutes was withheld. The Court had ordered the association to produce the minutes but denied awarding attorneys fees and costs. The appeal reversed the decision. (Moran v. Oso Valley Greenbelt Association)



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