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Sandra M. Bonato — Principal

Areas of Practice

Sandra Bonato is a partner in the law firm of Berding | Weil. In her practice, Ms. Bonato represents community associations in day-to-day operations and transactional matters and in real property, title and land use issues. She has broad experience in working with community associations, their boards of directors and managers and in applying California's highly regulated statutory scheme for common interest developments.

Ms. Bonato has been with Berding | Weil since 1991 in a variety of capacities, including as Director of Client Services, as head of the firm's assessment collection department, as an associate attorney and now as a partner in Berding | Weil's corporate legal department. Her work includes effectively helping associations fill their financial needs, interpreting governing documents, drafting mediation briefs, easements, licenses, document amendments and operational policies for association clients, detailed title and land use analyses, and in-depth studies of fair housing laws, federal telecommunications regulations, director fiduciary duty issues. She is an experienced legislative analyst and tracks pending legislation and regulatory law on both the federal and state levels on behalf of the firm's association clients.

Ms. Bonato has been legislative columnist for the Executive Council of Home Owners' monthly magazine, the ECHO Journal, and has published articles in both local and statewide publications on topics that include bank loan financing, effective member communication in community associations, association disclosure obligations in real estate transactions, and how federal and state fair housing laws and the Americans With Disabilities Act impact community associations and disabled members. Ms. Bonato authors the firm's annual Disclosure Checklist and related materials, produces Berding | Weil's annual Community Association Statute Book, and is a regular contributor to the firm's newsletter, the Community Association ALERT.

Educational History

Ms. Bonato received her Juris Doctor in December 1998 from John F. Kennedy University School of Law in Walnut Creek and her Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1970 from the University of San Francisco.

Professional Memberships and Activities

Ms. Bonato is a member of the State Bar of California and its Real Property Section and Subsection on Common Interest Developments. From 1998 through 2005 she served as chair of the Legislative Committee for the Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO), remains active on the Committee today, and was honored in 2001 as ECHO's Volunteer of the Year. Ms. Bonato serves on the ECHO board of directors. Before joining Berding & Weil, Ms. Bonato worked as a community association manager for condominium and townhome properties. She is a member of the California Association of Community Managers (CACM), holds the Certified Community Association Manager (ccam) professional designation and, as an attorney, is a member of CACM's statewide faculty instructing manager certificate candidates in community association law. In July 2007, she was awarded CACM's Vision Award for Excellence in Education. She is a past director of the California North Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) and has served on several committees for CAI's San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.