Unwavering Purpose and Unmatched Experience

Our legal team has more than two centuries of direct experience in providing legal and strategic guidance to California community associations.

Our firm “partners” with boards of directors and professional management to develop a comprehensive understanding of each community's needs and goals AND to craft and implement customized and sustainable strategies to best protect and improve each community.

General Counsel

The legal needs of our community association clients fluctuate in frequency, scope and complexity.  However, our commitment to providing superior legal and strategic counsel is unwavering.

Our legal team’s experience encompasses a broad spectrum of California community associations including condominiums of all sizes, large master planned communities, mixed-use communities, high rise and mid-rise communities, age-qualified communities and everything in between.   

Examples of general counsel-type services that we provide include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Interpreting and amending governing documents
  • Negotiating and drafting contracts
  • Drafting easement and license agreements
  • Providing written opinions and recommendations
  • Attending Board Meetings and Annual Elections
  • Advising and assisting with efficient rule and covenant enforcement
  • Implementing new and modified local, State and Federal law

Governing Documents

We review, interpret and draft amendments to governing documents including:

  • CC&Rs
  • By-laws
  • Rules and regulations
  • Architectural and design guidelines

Our efforts provide you with the tools to efficiently govern your community. We help associations ensure that governing documents align with the needs of the community and stay current with changing laws and trends.

Civil Litigation

We spend time in the boardroom to keep community associations out of the courtroom. But if a case is litigated, Whitney Michael provides litigation expertise that comes from decades of combined experience. We pursue and defend actions for a wide range of civil cases, including:

  • Architectural disputes
  • Violations of governing documents
  • Breach of contract
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Personal injury/property damage
  • Election challenges

We also have a record of excellence in overseeing insurance claims, pursuing insurance coverage for our clients and filing necessary appeals.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

We view litigation as a last resort and pride ourselves in finding creative dispute resolutions before costly litigation commences. Oftentimes, we provide confidential, cost-effective and expeditious alternatives to litigation from informal discussion or meetings (IDR) to more structured alternative disputes resolution processes (ADR) such as mediation or arbitration.

Elections

To ensure the integrity of the Board and its decisions, we conduct elections in accordance with your community's governing documents and California law. We prepare and review election documents, conduct election meetings, provide legal guidance to inspectors of election and defend election challenges when they occur. We not only help clients with the typical director elections, but also with member votes on regular and special assessments, capital improvements, and amendments to governing documents. Because we represent many master planned communities, we have a unique breadth of experience with delegate voting as well.

Legal Training & Preparation

Training is a critical component of providing comprehensive, proactive legal services that is often overlooked. Our trainings include:

  • Board of director fiduciary duties
  • Efficient board meetings
  • Architectural committee training
  • Legal updates

We regularly provide legal training and ongoing legal updates to our clients to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to meet their fiduciary duties.

What Our Clients And Industry Partners Are Saying

We are committed to protecting and improving California community associations and we are very proud of what our clients and industry partners say about our team.

"I have worked with the team at Whitney | Petchul for many years. They have a strong understanding of the law as well as the governing documents for my associations. They are very responsive and highly accessible with wonderful personal customer service. They are always a phone call or an email away and provide opinions which are easy to understand and not full of legalese."

Rick Z.

"The team at Whitney | Petchul doesn’t just regurgitate Civil Code, they look at each issue with a strategic, solution-focused mindset. With this approach the focus is always on what is best for the client, and how to recover the best solution and bring about favorable results in a timely, cost-effective manner."

Jaime C.

"I have personally worked with Whitney | Petchul, APC for over three years and I admire their dedication and commitment to their clients. They show their commitment by pursuing matters important for the HOA communities that they serve and are above reproach in their ethics and transparency to the laws pertaining the HOA world. I also am always amazed at how accessible their legal counsel team is to the clients they serve with prompt returned phone calls and accurate, timely emails, this is a must in our busy industry!"

Gloria V.

"Over the last 22 years, their team has provided invaluable guidance in areas pertaining to contractual matters, issues with local municipalities, owner enforcement issues, property ownership concerns, Easement & Deed preparation, etc. Their firm is always very diplomatic and handles every situation with tact, while at the same time protecting the Association’s best interest. The experience and knowledge their firm provides has given the Association a sense of peace and confidence that true professionals are representing AVCA."

Aliso Viejo Community Association

"I could not be more fortunate as a General Manager to have a better support system and partnership than I do with the team at Whitney | Petchul. They are a crucial member of my managing team on our large master association and their prompt and detailed advice is very effective and valuable. I truly value the many years of experience they offer as the pinnacle of expertise in our industry."

General Manager, Irvine, CA

Whitney | Petchul
22342-A Avenida Empresa, Suite #100
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
(949) 766-4700
[email protected]

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