JIA Case Study

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B. The Decision to Reduce the Frequency of the JIA’s Yearly Meetings to One Annual Meeting Will Not Expose the JIA to Any Significantly Liability Risks
In Maryland, the JIA was established by means of the Maryland Property Insurance Availability Act, which is found in Md. Code (1957, 2001 repl. vol., 2016 suppl.) § 25-401 et seq. of the Insurance Article (“INS”). Similar to the DCPIF, the JIA is also an unincorporated association. INS § 25-403(a)(2). Contrary to the DCPIF, however, the JIA does not empower any executive official to promulgate regulations governing the JIA. Rather, the statute requires the Governing Committee to adopt a Program of Operation that includes, amongst other things, provisions for the “management of the Association.”
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. . . A court will vacate an arbitration award if it is not within the scope of the issues submitted to arbitration . . . [or if] the arbitrator failed to consider all matters submitted.”
Id. at 678 (alterations in original) (quoting Bd. of Ed. v. Prince George’s Cnty. Educators’ Ass’n, 309 Md. 85, 105 (1987)). On the other hand, a court will not question the decisions made by agents of the JIA if those decisions are consistent with the association’s governing authorities. Id. Accordingly, neither the JIA nor its agents may be held liable for decisions made regarding the governance of the JIA, so long as those decisions are not made with deliberate dishonesty or in bad faith. In the instant matter, you have asked whether the JIA may reduce frequency of its yearly meetings to one annual meeting. For the reasons stated above, the Program of Operation only requires the JIA to hold one annual meeting per year. The JIA may be obligated to hold an additional Special Meeting if six (6) members of the Governing Committee call a Special Meeting under Article VI(B) of the Program of Operation. According, the decision to reduce the number of yearly meetings to one annual meeting is consistent with the JIA’s governing authorities. Accordingly, there is not significant risk that the decision to reduce the frequency of meetings to one annual meeting will be held to be dishonest or a decision made in bad faith. As such, the decision to reduce the frequency of the JIA’s yearly meeting to one annual meeting will not expose the JIA to any significantly liability

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