Marla J. Diaz
Ms. Diaz focuses her practice on representation of community associations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. She has significant trial and general litigation experience in the state and federal courts in the Commonwealth of Virginia, including litigating various community association issues, construction defect, commercial litigation, and real estate litigation. Ms. Diaz also has significant experience representing community associations before various administrative boards, including the Virginia Fair Housing Board and various County Human Rights Commissions.
- Recognized as a “Leader in the Law” by Virginia Lawyers Weekly to the 2018 Class of “Leaders in the Law”
Memberships & Activities
- Member: Fairfax Bar Association
- Experienced in representing community associations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia
Community Associations Litigation
- Represented community associations in a variety of litigation matters, including covenant enforcement, defense of federal and Virginia fair housing discrimination claims, defense of breach of contract claims brought by owners and defense of fiduciary duty claims against boards of directors. Ms. Diaz also represents community associations at the general district court level in assessment collection actions.
Contract Negotiations and Dispute Resolution
- Experienced in negotiating agreements for construction, maintenance and improvements of the common interest community association property and common facilities
- Represented community associations in conciliation proceedings related to federal and Virginia fair housing claims
Counsel to Boards of Directors
- Provides advice to boards of directors of community associations on many aspects of the day-to-day business of operating and governing a community association, including compliance with governing documents, operating procedures, meeting issues, compliance with Virginia statutes governing community associations, homeowner disputes, assessment collections, and various director issues
Delinquent Assessment Collection
- Regularly advises boards of directors on cost-effective delinquent assessment collection procedures and draft policy resolutions designed to better manage the association’s collection efforts
- Oversees the delinquent assessment collections for various community associations and represents them in various court to collect the delinquent amounts owed to the association
Rules and Covenants Enforcement
- Advises community associations regarding changing case law and legislation effecting the covenant enforcement efforts of the associations
- Drafts policy resolutions regarding covenant enforcement and further assists enforcement of the association’s covenants by instituting legal proceedings to enforce the covenants
Interpretation/Amendment of Governing Documents
- Experienced in providing interpretations of community association’s governing documents and advising boards of directors regarding the actions they can and cannot take on behalf of the association
- Drafts amendments to governing documents to address the changing needs of community associations
- Advises community associations regarding claims against developers related to warranty issues and works with boards of directors to develop cost-efficient plans for addressing warranty claims
Estates and Trusts Litigation
- Has contested a suit that involved issues on holographic wills and partnership interests
- Had prepared numerous guardian and conservatorship petitions
- Defended a surety bond company in a breach of fiduciary duty claim against a conservator
- Litigated complex jurisdiction issues for probate of will on behalf of the wife of the decedent and did subsequent pre-litigation work on will contest issues raised by the children of the decedent
- Brought suit in an action to challenge the actions of a trustee and attorney-in-fact under a power of attorney
Speaker on community association matters for the Washington Chapter of the Community Association's Institute
Co-Presenter: Falling Waters, CAI Manager Luncheon, March 2015
Co-Author: "HUD Adopts New Rules Clarifying Associations' Liability For Harassment And Third Party Conduct Under the Fair Housing Act," Currents Magazine, Southeastern Virginia Chapter of CAI (December 2016)
Speaker: "Your Community, You're Connected: Association Communications," Fairfax County Government Channel 16 (January 29, 2019)
Speaker: "Your Community, You're Connected: Assessments, Penalties and Collections," Fairfax County Government Channel 16 (January 10, 2017)
HUD Adopts New Rules Clarifying Associations' Liability for Harassment and Third Party Conduct Under the Fair Housing Act
Marla Diaz was quoted in length in WTOP’s article, “Judge Delays Ruling on Landmark Express Lanes Case.” The Judge's decision could have a significant impact on users of Virginia's Express Lanes. Marla argues the fines charged to her client are excessive and violate the 8th Amendment and the Virginia Constitution.
No one who becomes a board member for their community association does so with the idea that they want to discriminate against their neighbors. Yet, more and more boards are facing discrimination accusations under the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act. It is critical, therefore, for board members - and the managers and lawyers who assist them – to understand the civil rights laws that apply to them and how these laws can affect the day to day operation of the community association.
“A federal court judge made a ruling Friday that will award title to an 1879 painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir to the Baltimore Museum of Art — though it may be some time before the tiny water view of the River Seine makes it back home to Baltimore. Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia granted the Baltimore Museum of Art's motion for a summary judgment and rejected a Virginia woman's claim that "Paysage Bords de Seine," which is valued at somewhere between $22,000 and $100,000, should belong to her.
Evolving community needs and changing legal requirements often present a community association board of directors with a daunting task: amending the association’s governing documents. A well-crafted amendment that complies with applicable law is the obvious objective of any board of directors that is considering proposing revisions to its governing documents. Developing this amendment document itself is generally the easy part of the amendment process if the association is represented by an experienced community association attorney.
Marla J. Diaz represented a client who was sued by Transurban for unpaid tolls, administrative costs, and civil penalties exceeding $2,200.00, arising from the client’s use of the HOT Lanes on Virginia’s I-495 beltway. Ms. Diaz successfully argued that the Transurban claims were barred by the relevant statute of limitations and all summons against her client were dismissed.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is delighted to announce that Marla Diaz, a community associations lawyer, and Todd Brooks and Aaron Casagrande, both bankruptcy lawyers, have been named Partners of the firm, effective January 1, 2015.
In his congratulatory remarks, the firm’s managing partner, Martin T. Fletcher, said, “It is a privilege to welcome these exceptional attorneys into their new and expanded roles. Each has delivered tremendous value to clients and will make important contributions to the continuing growth of our firm.”