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Elina V. Brim

Partner

Alpharetta Main Office

p: 770-685-7000 f: 770-685-7002

Education

  • Georgia State University College of Law, J.D. Cum Laude
  • Georgia State University, B.A., Magna Cum Laude

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Georgia Supreme Court

Memberships

  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Community Association Institute - Georgia Chapter

Ms. Elina Brim assists homeowners associations and condominium associations in various aspects of operation. Over the past decade, she has successfully represented hundreds of associations in Georgia’s trial and appellate courts.

A significant portion of Ms. Brim’s work consists of covenant enforcement matters and liability defense work, defending our association clients in premises liability cases, breach of duty claims, negligence, breach of contract, discrimination and harassment claims. She provides honest and aggressive representation. Additionally, Ms. Brim is able to use her litigation experience to help our clients with numerous transactional matters, such as contract drafting and negotiations, easement agreement drafting and review, cost sharing agreements, and alternative dispute resolution. She provides general counsel advice regarding corporate structure and authority, and works with boards to implement desired covenant and bylaws changes.

She is a current member of the Community Association of Georgia’s Membership Committee, and formerly a member of its Magazine Committee. Ms. Brim graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgia State University with a degree in political science and minor in history. She graduated law school cum laude. During law school, Ms. Brim was a member of Business Law Society and Immigration Law Society. She participated in pro bono immigration drives where she assisted permanent residents in preparing applications for US citizenship.

Summary judgment granted on the issue of liability, leading to a settlement of the dispute with the owner regarding unapproved architectural modification. The owner replaced his roof with white shingles without obtaining approval of the Association. The covenants required approval for material modifications. The owner argued that the color change of the shingles was not a material change, and whether the replaced shingles were materially different should be decided by a jury. On summary judgment, the Association argued that the declaration, as a whole, treated any color changes as material changes. Further, the Association argued that the Declaration allowed the ACC to determine whether any change to the exterior of the property is material. The Court agreed with the Association, finding the owner liable for the violation. Following the order, the owner agreed to pay all amounts owed to the Association, including attorney’s fees and court costs, and agreed to replace the shingles with an approved color. The shingles were replaced within three months of the order on liability.

Judgment Affirmed By Court of Appeals - A tax sale purchaser acquired title to eight Association lots at tax sale and subsequently failed to pay assessments due to the Association. The Association filed a lawsuit alleging that the purchaser was responsible for payment of all assessments due after the date of the tax sales. The purchaser disputed liability for assessments claiming that the title conveyed in the tax sales was not sufficient to trigger liability for assessments. In the trial court, Mr. Finamore argued that the defeasible title acquired by a tax sale purchaser is sufficient to obligate the purchaser to pay assessments to the same extent as any other owner. If this was not the case, a tax sale purchaser could acquire title, wait an unlimited amount of time, and ultimately reap the benefits of any increases in value after the tax sale without ever having to pay a proportionate share of the cost. After presentation of evidence on damages, the trial court entered a judgment in favor of the Association in the amount of $66,362.00, including all assessments due after the tax sales. The purchaser filed an appeal arguing that the Association’s claim was barred upon the expiration of the Association’s one year right of redemption and that a tax sale purchaser should not be responsible for assessments that it cannot recoup. Stephen Finamore and Elina Brim collaborated on the appellate response brief. They argued that the purchaser’s barment of the right of redemption did not have any impact on the liability for assessments. Liability was triggered automatically upon acquiring title at the tax sale and could be extinguished by barring redemption. The question of whether the purchaser could recoup assessments paid after a tax sale was not a matter the trial court could decide because the purchaser did not pay any of the assessments and no one ever redeemed. However, the trial court could correctly decide that the purchaser did not pay assessments when obligated to do so. The appellate court affirmed judgment entered by the trial court in favor of the Association.

Defense Verdict - Elina Brim recently obtained a defense judgment for our association client in the State Court of Fulton County. A condominium owner sued the association for failing to maintain a limited common element above her unit, which led to water damage to the unit and property within it. The owner alleged negligence, fraud in the inducement, and breach of a settlement agreement. With respect to the negligence claim, Ms. Brim successfully argued that the claim was barred by the doctrine of res judicata, since the parties had a settlement agreement relating to the source of the leak. Further, with respect to the fraud in the inducement claim, the trial court agreed with the Association that the settlement agreement was not procured through fraud because the settlement agreement contained a merger clause that prevented the unit owner from relying on anything outside of the agreement. Lastly, with respect to the breach of contract claim, the association obtained a dismissal with prejudice due to the unit owner’s violations of the discovery process.

Summary judgment - Brendan Hunter and Elina Brim obtained a judgment for our association client in the Superior Court of Forsyth County in excess of $40,000.00, which included $22,000.00 in fines. The case arose when the homeowner refused to perform maintenance on his property and refused to pay assessments. With respect to maintenance, the homeowner argued that a jury must make a determination of a maintenance violation. Further, the owner argued that a jury must make a determination on his statute of limitations defense. Mr. Hunter and Ms. Brim argued that the Association’s determination of a maintenance violation is not reviewed under an objective standard. Rather, the only judicial issues were whether the exercise of the board’s authority was procedurally fair and reasonable, and whether the substantive decision was made in good faith, and was reasonable and not arbitrary and capricious. Mr. Hunter and Ms. Brim also successfully argued that the statute of limitations commenced to run from the date of the board’s determination that a violation was occurring on the owner’s property. The Court granted the Motion for Summary Judgment, finding that the owner was in violation of the Declaration and finding that the statute of limitations did not bar the Association’s claim.

Summary judgment - Successfully defended the procedure used by the association to adopt a leasing amendment. The Buckhead Grand Condominium Association, Inc.

Protective Order Hearing - Successfully defended a board member against allegations of stalking, harassment and intimidation. Kennesaw Battle Condominium Association, Inc.

Dismissal - Obtained a dismissal of a complaint seeking to require a condominium association to take enforcement actions, and challenging the board's authority to specially assess certain common expenses. The dismissal was upheld on appeal. The Garden Brook Condominium Association, Inc.

Summary judgment - Obtained a court order against a homeowner requiring the owner to remove unapproved roof modification. Stephens Mill at Riverside Homeowners Association, Inc.

Summary Judgment - Successfully argued that a homeowners association has no duty to disclose construction defects to prospective purchasers. Stonepark of Dunwoody Condominium Association, Inc.

Dismissal - Obtained a dismissal of a complaint against a condominium association seeking to hold the association liable for defamation of character at an association meeting. Dunwoody Hills Condominium Association, Inc.

Summary Judgment - Successfully defended the association's architectural decision regarding the disapproval of an accessory structure on a homeowner’s lot and obtained a court order requiring removal of such structure. Brooke Farm Homeowners Association, Inc.

Trial - Successfully defended a suit filed by two owners requiring the association to maintain garage doors. Academy Park Neighborhood Association, Inc.

Request to add claims - Successfully prevented the addition of counterclaims by the owner for water damage in excess of $50,000.00. Chattahoochee Chase Condominium Association, Inc.

Summary Judgment - Obtained a judgment against the declarant in excess of $200,000.00 for unpaid assessments to the association. Madison Park at Suwanee Town Center Residential and Commercial Condominium Association, Inc.

Trial - Obtained a judgment in favor of the association for attorney's fees incurred by the association in enforcing the covenants' architectural provision. The trial court also granted the association's request to foreclose on its statutory POA lien. River Mansions Homeowners Association, Inc.

Summary Judgment - Successfully defended the association's right to regulate parking on public streets within the community. Wellington Manor Homeowners Association, Inc.

Education

  • Georgia State University College of Law, J.D. Cum Laude
  • Georgia State University, B.A., Magna Cum Laude

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Georgia Supreme Court

Memberships

  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Community Association Institute - Georgia Chapter

Support Staff

Minerva Lipuma Legal Assistant 770-615-8683