Based on 13 reviews
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Any homeowner (or collection of homeowners) who resides in the typical HOA where a conflict arises (and due to the complexity of self-governance, conflict is inevitable) knows how difficult it is to find reliable legal counsel that actually represents homeowners. The opposite is also true: It is relatively easy to find attorneys who represent HOA boards, management companies, and the HOA industry in general.
Thankfully, our small group of homeowners who had a dispute with our HOA Board found Dean Smart, who successfully guided us into mediation with our Board to resolve CC&R conflicts. All previous attempts to obtain resolution of the conflict had failed. We only succeeded after retaining Dean and could not be more satisfied with the outcome.
Dean was friendly and supportive when it came to helping me and my wife contend with unreasonable demands made by our HOA. His advice to us was methodical and precise in putting a stop to the HOA's bullying and harassment. We are both grateful for having been referred to him by a different lawyer, that knew of his sterling reputation.
Dean was helpful to our group, guiding us through a challenging issue with our HOA. He made himself available through many emails and conference calls, and eventually in person at a successfully completed mediation. Dean helped us prioritize our concerns both before mediation and after, as we wrote up the final mediation agreement. We would not hesitate to recommend Dean Smart, an honest and reliable Lawyer.
As a small group of home owners challenging the board there were more emotional issues than legal issues. Dean helped us sort through the real issues where we did have a legitimate challenge and kept us on focus through the process. He stayed on point even in the face of the opposing attorney who was more intent on creating problems than solving them. We were able to settle the issue through mediation which save us time and money. I would recommend him for any conflict with a homeowner association.
Years ago I was in a HUGE lawsuit with my HOA. Dean Smart was hired by the HOA to sue me. After looking at ALL the details he REFUSED to sue me. I was so impressed that he wasn't just in it for the money as most attorney's are. To this day we are still good friend because of his honesty and integrity.
Dean represented us in a very involved and challenging Business litigation case that involved a partnership/LLC, real estate/construction project and a personal guaranty. The partnership/LLC cohesiveness disintegrated. Suit included false claims against us by our partners and a iron clad personal guaranty, signed by all partners with a large financial institution. Which was an un-defensible case to a defensible case. Involved a claim of several hundreds of thousand dollars. Dean's legal expertise, ability to detail the facts, determination to stand strong and perseverance resulted ultimately in the plaintiff walking away and dropping the lawsuit. Would highly recommend Dean Smart and his firm. He has the client's best interest at heart. And represents his clients professionally and fairly.
I've had the good fortune to know and use Dean for the past 6 years on a variety of legal issues on both a personal and business level. On a personal level, Dean advised me and guided me throughout the process of losing my home beginning with a notice of foreclosure - which as you can imagine was the worst day of my life - the ensuing process of seeking a loan modification and ultimately negotiating a successful short sale of the property. Dean seems to be especially knowledgeable in all transactional areas of real estate and I especially appreciated the fact that during an extremely emotional time for me and my wife - losing our home - he was able to bring a sense of calm, focus and clarity to the process.
On another note, Dean brought tremendous value to me and my business, in his ability to successfully ameliorating an ugly situation when a former business associate/colleague of mine made slanderous and false accusations against me in an effort to avoid a financial obligation owed me in a prior business transaction. Dean was able to cut through the deception and quickly bring about the truth, subsequently establishing the validity of the debt obligation owed my company.
Lastly, I mistakenly purchased what I believed to be a special car via the internet. To say it was a Frankenstein would be kind. It was several separate cars that had been chopped up and then reassembled. The seller refused to acknowledge that which we had discovered and flatly refused to take the car back. Initially I felt like such a complete fool for purchasing what I thought was such a special car. Then I panicked thinking I was going to be stuck with a real piece of crap. I think that being in North Carolina provided him a false sense of immunity to any out-of-state legal action by me. Unfortunately, he didn't know about Dean Smart. Not only did Dean force the seller to take back the vehicle, he was also successful in causing the seller to pay the return shipping, refund the entire purchase price to me, as well as garnering me an additional five thousand dollars for my pain and suffering. Needless to say, I was thrilled with the outcome.
Based upon my past experiences I find it easy to endorse Dean's legal acumen but what truly deserves an endorsement and stands out most of all, is his personal commitment to me as a person, first and foremost, and then as a client.
Dean Smart was able to come to my defense with a home foundation slope slippage problem within our condo complex which the HOA kept insisting it was not their responsibility to fix this. Dean was very thorough in his investigating and getting to the root of the problem which put the responsibility back on the HOA. Even though this resulted in a lawsuit against the HOA and handled through mediation, Dean was able to get the positive outcome for me. He tackled the issues quickly and was very knowledgeable about HOA vs Homeowner rights. I thoroughly recommend Dean Smart for any issues arising with HOAs or with real estate in general. Thanks Dean!
I live in a 2-unit townhouse and discovered late last year that I have termites. I submitted a termite report to my HOA and the Board refused to pay for eradication based on the policy in the CC&Rs stating that owners are responsible for 1 unit. I could not find this policy in the CC&Rs. Regardless, the HOA stood strong that this was the policy. Not only did the Board want me to pay for my home (1 unit) but for my adjoining neighbor since she was unwilling to pay. I repeatedly asked for proof of this policy with no luck. After weeks of frustration, I contacted Dean and he was able to provide great advice which led to a victory. If you have any issues with your HOA, I would high!y recommend Dean Smart. He definitely fights for the voice that cannot or will not be heard by the ever so powerful HOA. Thanks Dean!
Dean E. Smart did a careful, detailed evaluation of a ruling against me made by my HOA Board of Directors. He produced a highly detailed legal document which outlined factual/legal information in a logical, methodical brief which determined that I was following the CC&R's correctly.
I contacted Mr. Smart through his website and was given a very fair quote which he adhered to even though the case became more time consuming than originally assumed. He explained to me that he would not know the result until he studied it. I appreciated his honesty as well as his promptness in working on my case. Communication went well via e-mail.
Mr. Smart is the second attorney who worked on my case. The first was helpful, however, I realized that a specialist in HOA disputes might be better, hence I contacted Mr. Smart. His reasoning, attention to legal detail, and knowledge of HOA law came to the rescue. I strongly recommend his services.