The New Normal

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By Rhonda R. Adato

We are now entering the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Summertime Is approaching, and with the new season comes questions regarding how associations should manage their common area recreational facilities during the current phase of the pandemic.

Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency on March 4, 2020, quickly followed by a Stay at Home Order on March 19, 2020. The State of California and local municipalities began Issuing COVID-19 regulations soon after, including regulations, restricting gatherings, mandating mask-wearing, limiting the use of pools, gyms, and playgrounds, setting forth cleaning protocols, and more. These regulations often arrived and changed at rapid-fire pace. Association managers, like many Californians across a wide swath of Industries, struggled to keep up with the changes.

The COVID-19 regulations in place during the last two summers provided some sense of structure (albeit and often onerous and confusing one) as associations were required to follow the law. What other option was there?

Now, many COVID-19 regulations have been rolled back, but California’s State of Emergency remains in place. The pandemic, unfortunately continues, mutating into different strains that dominate the news and bring more uncertainty. We have not entirely returned to a pre-COVlD world, as much as we wish to do so. So how, to approach the upcoming summer?

Associations may consider doing the following:

Defer to the law. New governmental restrictions, such as mask mandates, may come into place in the event of new surges. Associations can consider adopting rules that mirror existing governmental restrictions verbatim in order to bolster the reasonableness of those rules. Or, associations can simply refer residents to the governmental regulations for a more hands-off approach.

Address clashes. At least anecdotally, it seems that confrontations are on the rise as Americans enter the third year of a difficult, stressful pandemic. Associations should Investigate and appropriately address any governing document violations, including nuisances, harassment violations, or hostile environment harassment based on a protected status.

Clean smarter. Hopefully, the longer the pandemic goes on, the more we learn about how COVID-19 and its mutations spread. Associations should rely on their cleaning and janitorial professionals regarding best practices for maintaining common area facilities in as reasonably safe a condition as possible.

Continue to rely on experts. Associations can and should continue to rely on qualified experts like cleaning professionals, legal counsel, and Insurance representatives to minimize the associations’ liability, Including with regard to managing the common area and holding meetings and events.

With these steps, associations can ready themselves for the upcoming summer, as we settle into the “new normal” of the post-shutdown world.



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* This article was originally published in CAI San Diego  Community Insider  Magazine in the Summer  2022 edition and was adapted from the original article, The New Normal as authored by Rhonda R. Adato, Esq.

CACM Law Seminar & Expo – Cheers to 30 Years!

“A Toast to…”

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth at the 2022 CACM Law Seminar & Expo.  We loved seeing you in-person after two long years and “toasting” with you to celebrate!

We hope you enjoy all of the toasts from our fellow colleagues… Cheers!

“Never cross-pollenating legal opinions” – Marybeth O. Green, Seabreeze Management Company  **WINNER**

“Here’s to you, here’s to me, here’s to Epsten for keeping HOA free (of lawsuits)” – Therese McLaughlin, Phonc Professional HOA Consultants, Inc. **WINNER**

“CACM” – Lisa C. Terry, TOTAL Property Management, Inc.

“Educated Managers & Management Companies” – Loni Peterson, Solera Oak Valley Greens Association

“Jon Epsten” – Mindy Dent, The Management Trust

“Kindness” – Karina Reta, Powerstone Property Management

“Everything good” – Amanda Nevarez, Powerstone Property Management

“A happy life” – Maxwell G. Cawthon, Weldon L. Brown Company, Inc.

“Covid because it brought out the best in people and it tested our strength” – Laura Hurtado, Meissner Commercial Real Estate Services

“End of the pandemic” – Shahla Agha, Powerstone Property Management

“To all the hard working managers” – Claudia Sitta, Professional Community Management

“Epsten, wishing you all the best” – Therese Chrzan, Castle Breckenridge

“Drinking!” – Megan Daniel, Powerstone Property Management

“My village” – Brianna Miers, Powerstone Property Management

“Being able to pivot!” – Devon Nichols, Powerstone Property Management

“Living in the moment” –  Aly Lopez, First Service Residential

“Good things to come in 2022” – Samantha Lacy, Powerstone Property Management

“Seeing everyone in person” – Steven M. Cammarata, Cammarata Management, Inc.

“Cheers to an amazing year” – Wendy Mullens, Balboa Management Group

“Happy Friday” – Marlena Martinez, The Management Trust

“Freedom” – Megan Daniel, Powerstone Property Management

“Lets continue to keep an open and honest outlook with everyone we meet” – Cheryl Weepie-Garcia, Huntington West Properties, Inc.

“All Managers” – Michelle Mata, The Management Trust

“Cheers! The pandemic is over!” – Joann Pucello, Phonc Professional HOA Consultants, Inc.

“May the road of happiness lead you to beautiful things!” – Linda Sanchez, Ross Morgan & Company, Inc.

“Another 30 years!” – Gerard K. O’Donnell, Interpacific Asset Management

“CACM may the next 30 years be as great as the last 30 years!” – Antoinette Stratton, Balboa Management Group

“Good riddens Covid-19” – Valerie Vanhorn, Walters Management

“New friends, starting all over, and all that attended today” – Cynthia Solis, Jenkins Real Estate and Property Management

“Boards, managers, and vendors all working together to achieve quality in the communities” – Laurel Dial, Consensys Property Management

“Emily and her amazing fam” – Meredith Leatherman, Albert Management, Inc.

“To CACM’s 30 years and to the next 30 years of great services and education” – Robert Muratalla, Professional Community Management

“Getting together after Covid” – Cari Burleigh, Seabreeze Management Company

“The resilience and courage of the American people” – Marina C. Masar, Dynamic Property Group

“Gathering again, mask free” – Roseanne Zemming, Cannon Management

“Friends, family & Jenkins” – Charla Duncan, Jenkins Real Estate & Property Management

“Happy 30th!” – Kaylynn Hudson, The Management Trust

“Life! It is too short, live it today before it is gone & smile” – Stephanie Schumann, The Management Trust

“Epsten!” – Brian C. Blackwell, West Coast HOA Management Firm, Inc.

“Finally being all together again” – Heather Panek, Cannon Management

“To old friends” – George Gallanes, Weldon L. Brown Company, Inc.

“It’s all going to be ok!” – Jessica Williams, The Prescott Companies

“Happy dirty 30!” – Paola Scrimsher, The Prescott Companies

“Health, love & happiness” – Dawn Livingston, GRG Management, Inc.

“To get rid of the Covid pandemic!” – Michelle Espinoza, Powerstone Property Management

“Positive happy today, tomorrow & always!” – Maria Miller, Niguel Shores Community Association

“49ers winning the Super Bowl” – Kelly Thompson, Action Property Management, Inc.

“Blessing of children” – Brenda P. Wesley, Weldon L. Brown Company, Inc.

“Erin GoBragh! May the luck of o’ the Irish be with us for another 30 years!” – Janine Weston, Hammer Real Estate

“Live music” – Rebecca McDonald, Walters Management

“Live life like there is no tomorrow. Never know what tomorrow will bring” – Christina Mercer, Powerstone Property Management

“Family’ – Salle Yerumyan, LBPM Properly Managed

“Covid almost over!” – Hugo Herrera, LBPM Properly Managed

“Continuing zoom meetings” – Catie Contreras, Action Property Management, Inc.

“Ukraine” – Jenny Mucha, Lake Forest II Master Homeowners Association

“Life is beautiful and so are you!” – Julie Gould, Pernicano Realty & Management, Inc.

“Our friend of many years, we miss you Brenda!” – Nancy Blasco, Stone Kastle Community Management, Inc.

“For the next 30 years. Meow!” – Grace Babcock, The Management Trust

“Life!” – Christie Alviso, Stone Kastle Community Management, Inc.

“Cheers to waking up to another day” – Dee Rowe, Walters Management

“Happiness, health, love & life” – Deena Arvizu, Walters Management

“Unity & equality” – Leeann Polarek, Baldwin Real Estate Management

“Professionalism and growth in an amazingly important industry” – Kelly McGalliard, PGA West Residential Association, Inc.

“Peace and health for everyone!” – Angelica Chacana, LBPM Properly Managed

“Health & happiness for a better 2022!” – Carol Calhoun, Associa Desert Resort Management

“Being able to see all our colleagues again” – Jamie Kim, Walters Management

“The dog poop that will still be on the lawn on Monday” – Debbie Graffam, Next Step Community Management

“The house always wins!” – Alysia Dale, Powerstone Property Management

“Sun City Lincoln Hills!” – Staci Erksine, Sun City Lincoln Hills Community Association

“Cheers to learning zoom!” – Tiffani Santiago

“A great dress!” – Kara Wright, Powerstone Property Management

“Waking up!” – Robert E. Sides, Regatta Seaside HOA

“A successful and healthy year to all of our friends, family & business partners!” – Ashley Herrera, Powerstone Property Management

“Living life” – Kimberly Harrigan, Camco Condominium Association Management Company

“Getting together!” – Maria Grant, The Management Trust

“More business account money!” – Marinel Castillo, LBPM Properly Managed

“Good times to come in future years” – Marilyn Smith, Powerstone Property Management

“Love each other” – Nicole Villegas, GRG Management, Inc.

“Covid is behind us!” – Jerry C. Storage, Desert Princess

“The amazing people that work in this industry. You are the reason I am able to do my job…seriously” – Vanessa Silva, The Management Trust

“Good health” – Miguel Torres, Powerstone Property Management

“Continual Growth” – Linda Sok, CondoServices

“30 more years” – Pam Cooper, Accell Property Management

“Life. Life is precious. Cherish every moment” – Amethyst Schy, The Management Trust

“God bless Ukraine” – Jerry McDonald, Coronado Shores Landscape & Recreation

“Life” – Amy Yankauskas, The Management Trust

“MLB coming back. Go Angels” – Mallory Whalen, Associa Equity Mangement & Realty Services

“Civility & restraint” – Devon Nichols, Powerstone Property Management

“Cheers to 30 years” – Kari Martin, The Management Trust

“30 years to CACM” – Brenda Baker, Condominium Management Services

“Pivot through 2022 – soar for the sky! The Sky’s the limit” – Amelia Marques, Huntington West Properties, Inc.

“Where would I be without you!” – Sheryl Kaonis-Rochon, EBMC

“Taking life to the next level. Surpassing all my wildest dreams” – Claire Hosking, Summit Property Management, Inc.

“Me & you” – Ana Ryustem, Interpacific Asset Management

“To those I loved & lost. Till we meet again” – Kathleen Wright, North Coast Village HOA

“Being in person again!” – Alyssa Carle, Powerstone Property Management

Epsten, APC & CAI San Diego Joins the Fight to End Hunger in San Diego

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CAI is asking our community to help the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and their North County Food Bank chapter provide emergency food to vulnerable families affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. These Food Banks comprise the largest hunger-relief organization in San Diego County, and distribute food to those in need at 200 distribution sites across the county as well as through 500 nonprofits with feeding programs.

Monetary donations received by the North County Food Bank will be used to purchase food items to be given to those in need. Actual product mix and quantities purchased may vary. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. The North County Food Bank is a chapter of the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank which is a 501(c)(3) organization. Tax I.D. number: 20-4374795.

Sign ups for the August 8th volunteer shifts open on July 9th via using join code: cail

Epsten, APC Blood Drive

WHAT: Epsten, APC is hosting a blood drive in partnership with San Diego Blood Bank.

WHEN: February 17, 2021 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

WHERE: Epsten, APC, 10200 Willow Creek Road Suite, 100 San Diego, CA, 92131.

NOTES: Anyone 17 and older who weighs at least 114 pounds and is in good health may be eligible to donate blood. A good meal and plenty of fluids are recommended prior to donation. All donors must show picture identification. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment to donate, but walk-ins are welcome.

Sign Up/Schedule:

Donor Information:

For more information, visit or call 1-800-4MYSDBB (1-800-469-7322).

Donating blood is an easy and convenient way for you to make a lasting difference for someone in need.  If you have never donated blood before, make a commitment to save a life on 02/17/2021. Check out these FAQs and make your appointment today.

When you donate blood, you are helping people in our community like two-year old Josiah pictured here.

Josiah was diagnosed with a one in a million brain tumor that spread to his spine and lower back. He is undergoing chemotherapy and has since received more than 20 transfusions of both blood and platelets. He still has a difficult road ahead and will likely require many more transfusions to help heal his body during his battle with cancer.
Thank you for joining us in saving lives.

Team EG&H is Going Pink!

Clients, Colleagues & Friends are invited to participate in this year’s Making Strides of San Diego Breast Cancer 5k Walk on Sunday, October 21st.

Please join us in any of the following ways:

  • Walk with us!
    • The walk starts at 7:30 a.m., registration is FREE and there is no minimum fundraising requirement.
    • Friends and family are welcome to walk with us too!
    • All participants who register by October 1st will receive a free t-shirt.
    • Plus, Epsten will donate $25 for every client manager and/or board member that walks with us!
    • Register Now!
  • Donate Online to support Team EG&H and those affected by Breast Cancer
  • Share with others to join us!

For more information, please view our team page:

Thank You Team EG&H!

Thank you all for taking time out of your weekend Sunday morning to join us in our 2017 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and for your support in recent months.

Together, we are proud to have raised over $3,500 (crushing our goal of $2,500) – and, are pleased to see that number still growing! Our team page is still live to see our current progress or for anyone who still has donations to submit.

Again, Thank you all for your support of our firm and your support in the fight against Breast Cancer – and, ALL Cancer!

We look forward to walking with you again next year.

Go Team EG&H!

PS – Pictures are available via our Facebook page to “like” and enjoy.

View Facebook Photo Album Here

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k

Clients, Colleagues & Friends are invited to participate in this year’s Making Strides of San Diego Breast Cancer 5k Walk on Sunday, October 15th.

Please join us in any of the following ways:

  • Walk with us!
    • The walk starts at 7:30 a.m., registration is FREE and there is no minimum fundraising requirement.
    • Friends and family are welcome to walk with us too!
    • All participants who register by October 1st will receive a free t-shirt.
    • Plus, Epsten will donate $25 for every client manager and/or board member that walks with us!
    • Register Now!
  • Donate Online to support Team EG&H and those affected by Breast Cancer
  • Share with others to join us!

For more information, please view our team page:

Epsten, APC Wins the Fight Against Hunger

Throughout the month of May, our Epsten staff and attorneys joined forces with Feeding America San Diego in their annual Food from the Bar competition, a competition in which local San Diego law firms compete to raise food, funds and resources for local families struggling with hunger.

Epsten, APC volunteered over 75 hours, collected and donated 217 pounds of food, raised a total of $2,750 dollars and earned 79, 322 points in the competition taking 2nd place in their league and 3rd overall!  Because of the dedication and hard work from all of this year’s Food from the Bar participants, Feeding America San Diego raised a total of $24,028 dollars and 2,662 pounds of food, to secure over 98,330 meals to children facing hunger in San Diego this summer!

Thank you to everyone for your support and contributions.