LAURA J. SNOKE, ESQ.
I graduated from Loyola Law School in 1981. From 1981 to 1985, I was an associate with Meyers, Bianchi & McConnell in Los Angeles. I joined Wilner, Klein & Siegel in 1985, became a partner in 1988, and worked there until I opened my own firm in 2005. I have an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a national organization which rates both the qualifications and integrity of attorneys based upon peer and judge reviews. An “AV” rating is the highest rating which can be achieved.
I specialize in representation of community associations, although I also represent individual homeowners and have a general civil practice focusing on real property, construction and business litigation and transactions. I represent general and specialty contractors, professionals, small businesses and individuals both in litigation, transactional matters and in providing general counsel services. I am also a certified mediator and arbitrator, and am a member of the Los Angeles County Superior Court panel of mediators, the American Arbitration Association panel of neutrals and mediators, the California Association of Realtors panel of mediators, the Los Angeles County Bar Association panel of mediators and arbitrators, and the mediation panel of the Los Angeles Chapter of Community Associations Institute.
My representation of homeowners associations has been varied. I have provided general counsel services, providing opinions on virtually all aspects of community association governance. I have also represented associations in various litigation matters. I have also represented associations in the negotiation of contracts, including construction and employment contracts. I have extensive experience in construction defect litigation and construction matters. I have achieved multi-million dollar settlements in construction defect litigation.
In litigation, I have represented associations in numerous contract disputes, mechanics’ lien litigation, developer disputes, CC&R enforcement matters, controversies involving architectural modifications and other use restrictions, disputes involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, assessment collection, corporate matters, insurance related matters, and actions seeking injunctive relief against homeowners, in court and before the American Arbitration Association. I have also represented associations in connection with general corporate issues, questions concerning CC&R's and by-law provisions, preparation of amendments to governing documents, insurance matters, title insurance disputes, property tax matters, and general issues relating to fiduciary obligations, etc. I have taken cases through trial and appeal.
I have represented associations in actions against adjoining landowners for damage caused to the property by construction. I have also been involved in resolving boundary-line disputes, damage to trees, encroachments onto the property, and similar matters.
My representation of associations includes historical properties. I represent Villa Riviera Condominium Association, a historical icon in Long Beach. Some years ago I negotiated a Mills Act contract between the City of Long Beach and the Association providing the owners with the opportunity to participate in the program which lowers property taxes in exchange for compliance with state and local laws concerning historical preservation. Other attorneys had advised the Association that 100 percent of the owners’ participation was required and that each of the owners was required to sign a separate contract. I convinced the City Attorney that the Association was the only proper party to the contract with the City.
I have represented associations of various sizes, including high-rise, mixed use projects. As an example, I currently represent Villa Riviera Condominium Association, a high-rise, mixed use development in Long Beach, and 1800 Pacific Coast Highway Association, also a high-rise, mixed use development, in Redondo Beach. For 1800 Pacific Coast Highway, I amended the governing documents which had provisions causing duplicative and expensive insurance requirements. I was also involved in litigation concerning a mixed-use high rise in Long Beach called Harbor Place Towers.
I was the principal attorney who litigated Miller v. Lakeside Village, one of the first cases concerning mold infestation and resultant injuries. I successfully defended the association in obtaining a dismissal of the case based upon the statute of limitations. The judgment in favor of the association was upheld by the California Court of Appeal in a published decision. I was also the principal attorney in Coleman v. Nosrati an unpublished opinion which upheld a foreclosure based upon an assessment lien.
I represented the association in the landmark California Supreme Court case of Nahrstedt vs. Lakeside Village Condominium Association. This lawsuit set important precedent on CC&R enforcement, and applies to associations throughout California.
Recently, I obtained two verdicts after trial in favor of my clients and successfully settled a construction defect case in which there was literally no property damage. The settlement involved one of the subcontractors undertaking the repairs at a greatly reduced cost. I was also successful in obtaining affirmance from the Court of Appeal of a judgment I obtained in favor of the association in which the association was able to recover its attorney’s fees in defending a lawsuit brought by an owner seeking to invalidate her recall as a board member.
I have written many articles concerning condominium and homeowner association matters and I have lectured extensively in this field. I also provide clients with newsletters, articles and related information concerning legal developments, including recent appellate cases and legislation affecting homeowners associations.
I have acted as a private mediator and arbitrator and as a volunteer before the courts of Los Angeles County. I have qualified as an expert witness in community association law. I believe my thirty years’ experience as a litigator, transactional attorney and mediator provide me with unique insight and skills in assisting associations with any issues or disputes which may arise.
I am a member of Community Associations Institute, Woman Lawyer’s Association of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Century City Bar Association. I have served on different committees, and spoken at numerous seminars, for CAI. I have been involved with the California Legislative Action Committee, which monitors legislation on behalf of CAI in Sacramento. I have attended the National Conventions, and was a panelist at the convention in Scottsdale, Arizona. I recently presented at the Community Associations Institute Law Seminar in Temecula, California. In addition to my volunteer work through the courts, I volunteer my services to various community-based organizations as well.
Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village (1994) 8 Cal.4th 361
Miller v. Lakeside Village (1991)1 Cal.App.4th 1611
Coleman v. Nosrati, Second Appellate District B085950; Superior Ct. No. BC083835
Autry,. Villa Riviera Condominium Association, Second Appellate District B201699;
Super Ct. No. NC038837
- "Benefits of Mediation For Common Interest Developments", 2012
- "Summary of Legislation Effective January 2,2012" (additional summaries of legislation from 1998-2007);
- "What is the Association's Obligations with Respect to Accommodations for Disabilities?", 2010;
- "Court of Appeal Upholds Short-Term Rental Restrictions: Governor Vetoes Bill Limiting Enforcement of Rental Restriction", 2008;
- "Summary of Methods and Requirements For Enforcement of Members' Obligation to Follow the Provisions of Governing Documents", January, 2005;
- "Summary of Assessment Collection Policies and Methods", November, 2005;
- "Outline of Selected Issues Regarding Enforcement of CC&Rs, Bylaws and Rules and Regulations", August, 2005;
- "Outline of Obligation of Members of Boards of Directors of Community Association", August, 2005;
- "How to Conduct a Successful Annual Meeting", October, 2004;
- "Selected Issues Regarding Enforcement of CC&Rs and Rules and Regulation", 2004;
- "Outline for Enforcement of Architectural Restrictions", April 17, 2002;
- "Policy Statement Concerning Installation of Satellite Dishes", 2002
- "Legal Issues Of Association/Manager Liability For Injuries Or Property Losses On Complex", 2001;
- "Community Associations - Legal Developments: The Pet Bill - Legislative Power, November", 2000;
- "AB 1823 Community Association - Legal Developments", October, 2000;
- "Insurance Issues in Hypothetical Situation", November 7, 1996 - CAI-CLAC Business and Education Expo;
- "Comparing Methods Of Collecting Delinquent Assessments" (W/Delinquent Assessment Collections Time Line), November, 1996
- "California Supreme Court Adopts Doctrine Protecting Associations (Lamden v.La Jolla Shores Clubdominium Homeowners Association)"
Plus:"Recommendations For Board Decisions In Light of This New Case", August,26, 1996;
- "Non Judicial Foreclosure Sales - Are They Constitutional?", (Spring, 1996)
- "Supreme Court Decides Nahrsted v.Lakeside Village: A Victory for CC&R Enforcement", September, 1994;
- "Guidelines For Association When Asbestos is Discovered", April, 1994;
- "Legal Issues of Association/Manager Liability for Injuries or Property Losses on Complex", December, 1993;
- "Attorney's Fees in Construction Defect Litigation - Are they Ethical?"
- 1991, July/August Community Associations Institute;
- 1993, "Legal Perspective" - Community Associations News;