Meet PA's Newest Member of the College of Community Association Lawyers

Feb 3, 2014

Marshal Granor, the newest Pennsylvania member of CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers, literally grew up in the real estate business.  Before Marshal was born, his father, Bernard, opened a real estate brokerage business in the basement of his parents’ home in the Fern Rock section of Philadelphia.  Since it was just seven row houses away, from the time Marshal could walk, he’d toddle over to the office and sit quietly on the large wooden chairs in his dad’s office.

He spent his summers working in the combined real estate and law office before he was 12.  “I learned how to dictate contracts by listening to my father’s voice over and over,” Granor explains.

Bernard and Marshal still work side by side.  Although Bernard is “semi-retired” these days, he keeps an active real estate and legal license.
Marshal grew up in northwest Philadelphia, and is a proud graduate of Central High School, the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University School of Law.

But what sparked his deep interest in community association law?  It started when Bernard and a partner began constructing houses. Granor explains, “When I was 16, my dad handed me a shovel and I became a construction laborer.  In those days, my dad and grandmother were partners in Granor Price Homes, and I learned a lot about construction with hands-on experience.  When I turned 18, I received my real estate license and sold new homes.”

After law school, Marshal sold homes in a new condominium community in New Hope, PA.  “I was introduced to the unique mini-democracy that is found in the modern condominium.”

In 1988, Granor joined the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Common Interest Ownership subcommittee, and began work drafting what became Pennsylvania’s Uniform Planned Community Act.  “It was an amazing experience to join several extremely bright lawyers to review the model law word by word,” explains Granor.  It took almost nine years to go from concept to enactment of the UPCA.
Once the law was adopted, Granor was drafted by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute to help teach the statute to lawyers across the Commonwealth.  He continues to teach continuing education classes each year to lawyers, community association managers, real estate professionals and title insurance agents, as well as teaching real estate for paralegal students at Manor College.

Much of Marshal’s legal work is drafting community association documents for developers and drafting amendments for associations.

In 2011, Marshal purchased Community Management Services Group and is now president of the association management company with operations in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.  Why the switch from law and real estate to community association management?  “I’ve created the documents for dozens of condominium and planned communities and been involved in constructing over 3,500 community association homes.  I have overseen the management of all of those, and have served on 26 association boards as a developer member.  I have worked through transitions and many of the day-to-day issues we find in the associations we now manage.  It seemed like a natural thing to do.  My goal is to elevate the level of service for the associations we manage,” said Granor.

What does Granor think of receiving CAI’s CCAL designation?  “I am surprised at just how excited I was when I found out.  CCAL is a very special designation, and it requires persevering through a rigorous process.  There are fewer than 150 CCAL’s in the US, so I am in the company of the best of the best community association lawyers in the country.   I enjoy learning from them and sharing my knowledge and experience with my fellow CCAL members.”

Granor will also share his knowledge with CAI’s membership at our chapter’s annual Legal Symposium which will be held this year on March 5th in King of Prussia.

In his spare time, Marshal enjoys singing in choirs.  “There is a power in voices blending together in harmony,” he says, “just as there is a joy when a community comes together with everyone working for the common good.”  Granor is co-president of the Hebrew Free Loan Society of Greater Philadelphia, an organization which grants interest-free loans to people in need in the Philadelphia area, as well as to start-up business enterprises. He has been a member of CAI since 1987.


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