Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Webinar: Aging Buildings and Looming Natural Disasters: Averting a Surfside, FL Tragedy for California Community Associations

November 30, 2021 @ 12:00 pm 1:30 pm

1.5 Participatory MCLE Credits

Four speaker panel (two community association attorneys and two experts on HOA insurance underwriting) will discuss the Surfside, FL tragedy and its application to California community associations facing dilapidated infrastructure, decreased funding during the pandemic, low reserves, and the looming threat of natural disasters. Extremely knowledgeable and experienced community association attorneys Mary Howell and Barry Ross will discuss (from both the association and homeowner perspectives) current infrastructure, financial, and long-term planning challenges facing community associations, including inadequate reserves funding, appropriately utilizing experts and reports, establishing healthy association funding, disaster preparedness, inadequate provisions in governing documents, and much more. Community association insurance underwriting experts Clifford Treese and AJ Scott will discuss association risk management and insurance underwriting issues, pitfalls, and products, and the current state of the community association insurance landscape amidst the ever increasing threat of natural disasters (i.e., wildfires and earthquakes) and aging condominium buildings and infrastructure.

Speakers: Barry Ross, Mary Howell, Clifford Treese, and A.J. Scott
Moderator: Mark Allen Wilson

Barry Ross

Mr. Ross has completed over 100 jury and non-jury trials and over 50 mediations and arbitrations. He has completed 15 appeals to the Court of Appeals, including seven published decisions.

During his prestigious career, Mr. Ross has served as Deputy City Attorney for the City of Hawthorne, California, and the City of Long Beach, California. He has been in private practice in Orange County since 1986. He is also a respected teacher and lecturer. He has been the guest speaker several times at the Orange County City Attorneys Association and the Orange County Bar Association, Real Estate Section. Mr. Ross’ February 2012 presentation before the Real Estate Section is entitled “Representing Property Owners in Disputes with Homeowners Associations.”

Mr. Ross has served as a Director of the Woodbridge Village Association in Irvine, CA, a homeowners association comprising ten thousand homes, thirty thousand adult residents and a $9 million annual budget. He has served as a Board member for 15 years. He has served as president for five years.

Mary Howell

Mary Howell graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 1972 with a B.A. in biology. She is a 1976 graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law. In practice in San Diego since December of that year. As a former shareholder of Epsten, APC, Mary’s practice has been limited to the representation of community associations. Clients included associations in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange counties. In addition to counseling associations on corporate governance and interpretation and enforcement of governing documents, Mary’s case work on behalf of associations encompassed litigation of CC&R enforcement cases, appellate representation, defense of common interest developments
(e.g., breach of fiduciary obligation, wrongful termination, failure to maintain) and actions for declaratory relief.

A long-time champion of senior housing, Mary is well-known for her advocacy of seniors and her work on behalf of senior communities in California. As a respected authority on the topic, she has authored texts for attorneys on the federal and California laws that relate to age restricted communities and has been lauded for her work by numerous civic organizations and state and local governments.

Mary has also been an adjunct professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and has
authored numerous articles and handbooks for homeowner associations, including Small Claims Court for Homeowner Associations, and the Resource Manual for California Senior Communities. Mary has served as a judge pro-tem for San Diego County courts, and has appeared in various cases as an expert witness on community association issues. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the State Bar’s Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Subsection.

From 1994 to present, Mary has served as an instructor for the California State Bar’s Continuing Education of the Bar classes on community associations and the Davis-Stirling Act. She is a past president of the San Diego Chapter of the Community Associations Institute and a frequent lecturer at CAI’s national Community Association Law Seminar, as well as CACM’s annual legal Symposium. Mary is a member of CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). She serves on CAI’s amicus team, and CACM’s
legislative committee. She recently co-authored the updated CEB text on Advising California Common Interest Developments, published in 2013. In 2014, the San Diego Daily Transcript named Mary as a Top Attorney in the Real Estate & Construction Transactional practice category.

Mark Allen Wilson, Moderator

Mr. Wilson has been a member of the State Bar of California since December 2006 and specializing in real property law and real estate law since 2011.  Mr. Wilson joined Community Legal Advisors Inc. (“CLA”) in mid-2018 as a civil litigation attorney specializing in community association law.  He advises property managers and community association leadership in a general counsel capacity, providing legal advice and opinion letters, and handles civil litigation regarding CC&R’s enforcement, injunctions, quiet title, judicial foreclosures, and federal and state housing discrimination laws, among other community association related litigation.  Mr. Wilson is a member of the Executive Committee for the California Lawyers Association, Real Property Law Section (“RPLS”) and is Chair of the RPLS Common Interest Development-HOA Practice Area Committee.  He is also a member of the Community Association Institute (“CAI”) and a member of the California Association of Community Managers (“CACM”).

CLA Members:  $82.50
Non Members: $112.50

We are committed to accessibility! Virtual events are equipped with closed captioning. To request an in-person accommodation, send us a note at or contact us at 916-516-1760 for assistance.


View all CLA events

Forgot Password

Enter the email associated with you account. You will then receive a link in your inbox to reset your password.

Personal Information

Select Section(s)

CLA Membership is $99 and includes one section. Additional sections are $99 each.