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Michael T. Kennedy — Partner

A Little Q&A

Some Fun Facts:

Zodiac Sign: Aries

Favorite Animal: Oscar.  He's a black lab who specializes in napping, swimming, and plopping down in mud puddles when I take him hiking.

Favorite Food: Tacos and burritos.  Duh.

Favorite Book:
I've been getting hooked on true crime podcasts.  Marc Maron is a staple, and I just discovered the Anthropocene Review podcast.

Any Other Interesting/Fun Fact:
I've raced sailboats all my life, including racing from LA to Hawaii twice.

Q

As a Construction Defect Litigator, what is your biggest focus?

A

I think it's important to make sure that all building standard violations re investigated, and that they are all repaired with minimal financial impact on the Association and its membership. Whether the builder performs repairs, or its insurance company funds a settlement, it all needs to be repaired. The Association usually only gets one shot, so it's important to investigate cases thoroughly, and then to prosecute claims aggressively to maximize the recovery. Plan B is to make the membership pay for repairs, and that's not a good look.

Q

What strengths does your experience add to the firm?

A

I defended builders in construction defect cases for 15 years. Having had the defense lawyer's job, dealing with the insurance companies and knowing what motivates them to settle and what doesn't, I have a pretty good idea of what's going on behind the scenes on the other side. I've got a pretty good idea what the builders and their insurance carriers need to be able to make a realistic settlement offer, and I think the fact that they know me give some credibility when I'm presenting a client's claim.

Q

What drew you to this line of work?

A

We moved to South Orange County when there were 20,000 people in the Saddleback Valley. I saw a lot of growth, and most of my friends who didn't go to college worked in construction, and a lot of the ones who did go to college ended up in some aspect of real estate development.  A lot of this new construction was done correctly, and a lot was not.

Q

What brings you the most satisfaction on the job?

A

Maybe it's a character flaw, but I really enjoy litigation; investigating the building performance and working with the experts to figure out how to fix it. The most satisfying part once the claim is resolved and the Association is able to begin repairs.

Q

What do you enjoy most about working at Berding | Weil?

A

The snacks. Kidding. Kind of. It's really nice to feel like part of a good team that has a well-respected reputation not just in the HOA industry, but among the defense lawyers and builders as well.

Q

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

A

Being Daddy to 2 little girls, and racing sailboats.

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800.838.2090