San Mateo, CA 94401
The Legal Department is integral to the Company’s day-to-day operations and strategic success and provides practical, business-oriented and efficient advice on all legal matters. The department is functionally responsible for all Essex’s legal affairs, and serves both to ensure legal and ethical compliance, and to collaborate with across departments as a business partner to help create enterprise value consistent with Essex’s business model. The culture of the department is fast-paced, collaborative, smart, and professional.
The successful candidate must have strong litigation experience and also should have some experience, or interest in, handling a variety of landlord/tenant legal issues and other property operational legal matters. The candidate must be business oriented and able to work in a collaborative and fast pasted environment. Common sense is a must.
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Review, organize, assign and assist in defending litigation matters including issue spotting for indemnity and tender obligations/opportunities; preparing and tracking litigation budgets; responding to discovery; attending mediations; designation of person(s) most knowledgeable; calendaring for compliance, appearances and hearings; tracking of demands and offers; reviewing settlement agreement; and ensuring timely payment
Create and maintain tracking of litigation matters, resident issues and HR matters, gathering essential criteria for various department reports, create and update e-files
Communicate litigation trends to Operations and Management and assist in developing risk management training and tools
Create and maintain tracking of best practices in Operations for central response on crucial issues
Liaison with insurance broker, prepare and update status for Bordereau Reports; report issues for potential claims; request SIR information; request third party assistance on matters we believe can be settled or if there appears to be a “red flag” issue
Liaison with Third Party Claims Management Company advising on issues; contacts; authority; and settlement agreement language
Advise and assist in preparation of defending small claims matters
Review and respond to all formal requests for materials (subpoenas, request for production, warrants, etc.)
Review and approve surveillance materials for release to authorities
Handling and advising on tenant relation matters, such as drafting cease and desist notices, negotiating settlements, evaluating habitability and discrimination claims, and other complaints, etc.
Handle all eviction related questions from property operations.
Assist in providing advice as it pertains to landlord/tenant disputes.
Interface directly with the on-site teams and customer care to more efficiently resolve tenant issues before they escalate.
Draft responses to tenant issues and interface directly if tenants retain counsel.
Assist in initiating, developing, recommending, and implementing policies, procedures, and goals related to the eviction process and cost control.
Assist with responding to fair housing and reasonable accommodation inquires.
Assist with responding to regulatory agreement compliance and property matters.
Review all operations incident tickets and respond with SOP and further handling requirements
Organize and track Key Vendor Contracts; monthly eviction reports, resident report cards, bankruptcy filings, garnishments and environmental reports
Review employee terminations for maintaining and preserving when litigation, personal injury or issues are present. Confirm with IS Department materials to be maintained.
Organize and track violations, testing requirements and lease agreements for compliance as required
Prepare various agreements including Lease Terminations; Lease Extensions; Payment Plans; Transfer Agreements; Relocation and Concession Agreements
Prepare and provide templates for reoccurring issues at communities (appliance relocation, withdraw renewal, final warning letters, etc.)
Liaison with environmental hygiene vendor requesting reports, review of findings, further handling and finalizing reports for resident review
At least 7 years of paralegal experience in a law firm or in-house setting with strong litigation management experience required
Bachelor’s degree preferred
Some experience, or interest in, handing landlord tenant matters and property management matters
Superior written and verbal communication skills
Ability to work independently in a fast paced, high volume position while maintaining a caring customer service persona
Strong attention to detail and excellent organizational skills
Excellent communication skills and positive, problem-solving attitude
Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
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