DEBRA SHEPPARD has been a licensed California attorney since June of 1988. She is a graduate of the San Fernando Valley College of Law, where she was invited to participate in the Law Review and Moot Court Honors programs. While attending law school, Ms. Sheppard worked at a law firm which specializes in representing community associations. She continued with that firm as an attorney until she formed her own law practice in 2000.
For over 25 years, Ms. Sheppard has focused her work on handling all aspects of community association representation, including counseling association board members regarding the collection of assessments and day-to-day management issues, interpreting and revising governing documents, providing legal opinions, preparing construction contracts, collecting assessments, and handling the discipline of owners, the formation of easements, slope failure issues, and other issues affecting associations. She also handles litigation matters, including construction disputes, actions against developers, injunctions against owners and tenants who are in violation of the governing documents, and the collection of assessments through judicial foreclosure. Ms. Sheppard also defends her association clients in litigation which is not covered by insurance.
In 1995 , Ms Sheppard handled the disposition of two homeowners associations whose members’ condominiums were virtually destroyed in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, including the sale of the buildings and land to developers, the preparation of purchase and sale agreements, the negotiation with lenders of short pay arrangements, advising the associations on methods of disbursing the sales proceeds and which issues required the votes of members, and the corporate dissolution of one association. She also advised associations with regard to the annexation of a new group of homes to an existing association.
Ms. Sheppard has experience in assisting associations with water intrusion claims culminating in microbial (mold) contamination. Ms. Sheppard represents approximately one hundred (100) homeowners association clients, ranging in member size from seven units to over five hundred units located in Los Angeles and VenturaCounties.
She authored an article, “FCC Issues Its Latest Satellite Dish Ruling in California Case” which appeared in the July/August, 1998 issue of the CAI publication, Focus. Ms. Sheppard represented Chatsworth Country Townhomes Association in preparing its response to an FCC Petition filed by James Sadler relating to the installation of a satellite dish.
Community association issues is a topic Ms. Sheppard has lectured and written about many times.
– In September of 1998, she spoke at a seminar presented by the Community Associations Institute, Greater Los Angeles Chapter, to board members and property managers regarding the satellite dish law.
– In May of 2001, January of 2002 and April of 2002, Ms. Sheppard participated in round table discussions with board members and property managers regarding maintenance issues at seminars sponsored by the Community Associations Institute (CAI).
– On April 29, 2003, Ms. Sheppard spoke before the Real Estate Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association on community association laws. The seminar satisfied a portion of the continuing legal education requirements for the attorneys who attended.
– On October 29, 2003, September 29, 2004, October 5, 2005 and October 4, 2006 Ms. Sheppard spoke about new laws at a CAI-sponsored seminar in Valencia.
She participated in round table discussions in October 2004 for a CAI-sponsored trade show.
– Additionally, Ms. Sheppard authored an article for the November/December 2005 issue of Focus, a Community Associations Institute publication, on new assessment collection procedures.
– Ms. Sheppard occasionally writes for the Ask the Expert online column on the CAI website.
– Mrs. Sheppard also mediates community association and other disputes.
Ms. Sheppard is a member of the California State Bar, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and the Community Associations Institute (CAI).