Requests for Proposals (RFPs)

Invitation to Bid - Legal Services

The Ocean Pines Association is accepting proposals from legal firms to provide services for our organization. We invite your firm to submit a proposal by March 16, 2023 for consideration. A description of our organization, the services needed, and other pertinent information follows:


The Ocean Pines Association, Inc. is soliciting proposals from qualified legal firms interested in performing the duties and functions of attorney counsel and to provide other diverse legal services for the Association.


The Ocean Pines Association is a 501(c)(4) homeowners’ association. Annual revenues are approximately $16 million, and the Association employs 69 fulltime and 97 seasonal/part-time people. The Association is membership-based and has approximately 8,460 members.


The Association attorney serves under the direction and supervision of the Board of Directors and acts as the Associations legal advisor. The Association attorney is not an Association employee and is not entitled to the benefits of an Association employee; the position is strictly on a contractual basis. The Association Board of Directors reserves the right to retain or employ other attorneys or special counsel as may be needed, in its sole judgment, to take charge of any litigation or legal matters or to assist the Association attorney.


Proposals must be submitted in a sealed envelope bearing the caption: “Proposal for Ocean Pines Association Attorney Legal Counsel Services.”

Each envelope must contain three (3) copies - one (1) master copy and two (2) duplicates of the proposal.

Proposals are to be addressed to:

John Viola

General Manager

Ocean Pines Association, Inc.

239 Ocean Parkway

Ocean Pines, Maryland 21811

Proposals may be filed in person at the Association, at the above address, or may be mailed, or emailed to [email protected] Proposals must be received by March 16, 2023, by 4 p.m.

Early responses are acceptable; proposals will not be opened until after the submittal deadline. Late proposals will not be accepted. Postmarks prior to the deadline are not sufficient for acceptance. The Association will not be responsible for any errors or omissions in the proposals or for any delays in delivery.

The Association reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, to request additional information concerning any proposal for purpose of clarification, to accept or negotiate any modification to any proposal following the deadline for receipt of all proposals, and to waive any irregularities, if such would serve the best interest of the Association, as determined by the Association.

This solicitation does not obligate the Association to enter into an agreement with any proposer. The Association reserves the right to cancel this Request for Proposals at any time, at its discretion.

Proposals become the property of the Association and information therein shall become public property subject to disclosure laws. The Association reserves the right to make use of any information or ideas contained in submitted proposals.

The Association is not liable for any cost or expense incurred in the preparation of a response to this RFP and may modify or cancel this solicitation at any time.


Any questions, interpretations, or clarifications ­– either administrative or technical – from prospective proposers regarding this RFP must be requested in writing, no later than March 2, 2023. All inquiries must be submitted to John Viola, via email to the following email address: [email protected] Verbal explanations or instructions given during any phase of this solicitation will not be binding.

Any information given a prospective proposer will be furnished promptly as an amendment to the solicitation if that information is necessary in submitting proposals or if the lack of it would be prejudicial to other prospective proposers.


Any change to or interpretation of this solicitation by the Association will be sent to each party to which the RFP has been sent and any such changes or interpretations shall become part of the solicitation for incorporation into any agreement awarded pursuant to this RFP.


RFP Release Date: February 15, 2023

Deadline to Submit Questions: March 2, 2023

Association’s Response to Submitted Questions: March 9, 2023

Proposal Submission Deadline: March 16, 2023

Evaluation of Proposals: March 17, 2023


The scope of services is to provide the full range of legal services. The scope of services shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

1. Represent and advise the Board of Directors, the General Manager and assigned staff in all matters of law pertaining to their office. Give advice or opinion on the legality of all matters under consideration by the Board of Directors, General Manager or by any officers of the Association.

2. Attend and represent the Association’s legal interests at periodic Board meetings (including closed sessions and Board workshops), and other meetings on an as needed basis specified by the Board or General Manager.

3. Provide legal opinions, advice, assistance and consultation to the Board of Directors, General Manager and Association staff related to Maryland law issues, including, but not limited to, the Maryland Homeowners Act, contracts and franchises, real estate and property transactions, land use, environmental law, public improvements/capital projects, code enforcement, pending and current state and federal legislation and court decisions, tort liability and risk management, fees, taxes, assessments, personnel, human resources, collections of past due assessments and other matters as directed.

4. Provide training and/or advice to the Board of Directors, General Manager and Association staff related to the Maryland Homeowners Act.

5. Review resolutions, staff reports, contracts, deeds, leases, and other legal documents required by the Association.

6. Prepare legal opinions for Board of Directors, General Manager and others as directed.

7. Coordinate legal activities with other Association and outside agencies.

8. Provide written updates to new state or federal legislation or judicial decisions and suggest action or procedures to ensure compliance.

9. Perform such other legal duties as may be required by the Board of Directors as may be necessary to complete the performance of the functions mentioned above.

The Association may propose additional tasks as deemed necessary to complete the assignment. Any additional work shall be compensated, as agreed upon in the Legal Services Agreement between the successful firm and the Association.


All proposals must provide specific and succinct answers to all questions and requests for information. Indirect, imprecise, or incomplete responses can serve only to the disadvantage of the applicant. Answer the questions in the format and order presented. (Submissions of individual resumes alone will not be considered responsive to any specific question.)

1. Letter of Transmittal: Include a brief introduction and history of your firm. Also include your understanding and proven work history of the work to be performed. In addition, state why you believe that your firm is the best qualified to perform the services requested.

2. Table of Contents: Include a clear identification of the material by section and page number.

3. Describe your firm's qualifications for providing Association legal services. Include in your response:

a) The overall capabilities, qualifications, training, and areas of expertise for each of the partners/principals and associates that may be assigned to work with the Association, including but not limited to:

• Name of individual(s) with resume(s).

• Length of employment with firm.

• Specialization.

• Legal training.

• Scholastic honors and professional affiliations.

• Date of admittance to Maryland Bar.

• Years of practice.

• HOA or other local public sector experience (include billing summaries for the past five years if appropriate).

• Knowledge of, and experience with Maryland law.

• Years and statement of other types of clienteles represented.

• Litigation experience and track record.

• Knowledge and practice of law relating to land use and planning, real estate, environmental issues, and other related law.

• Experience in personnel, workers' compensation, general liability, and employee relations.

• Experience in contracts and franchises.

• Experience in the preparation and review of ordinances and resolutions.

• Experience in the Maryland Homeowners Act.

• If the firm, or any of the attorneys employed by the firm, have ever been successfully sued for malpractice, been the subject of complaints filed with the State Bar, or had discipline imposed by the State Bar, provide information on the nature of the incident, the dates on which the matter began and was concluded, and the results of the situation.

b) Specify the individual that you propose for appointment as Association attorney.

c) Specify the individual(s), if any, that you would propose as assistant association Attorney and/or who would be designated as competent, substitute/backup legal representation for the Association, in the event of the absence or unavailability of the Association attorney.

d) Describe systems/mechanisms that would be established to ensure timely responses to the Board of Directors, General Manager and Association staff.

e) Describe the response time we can expect from the Association attorney to inquiries made by the Board of Directors/General Manager.

f) Describe systems/mechanisms that would be established for monthly reporting of status of projects, requests, and litigation.

g) Identify the types of reports your firm would provide to the Board of Directors and General Manager. Submit sample copies of typical reports your firm provides to homeowners’ associations. Redact any references to any specific costs. Also, you may redact any sensitive information.

h) Describe your firm's suggested process for transmittal of requests and other material to Association attorney.

i) Describe the staffing of your office, including all permanent and temporary employees and their general duties and work schedules. Include any changes you would propose, now or in the future, should you be awarded a contract to provide legal services to the Association.

j) The Association will contractually require monthly-itemized statements for all services and will subject these statements to audit at least annually. Describe how you would provide for this reporting.

k) Submit an example of a typical invoice your firm provides to a homeowners’ association. Redact any references to specific costs. Also, you may redact any sensitive information. We are interested in the format, type of information included, and readability.

l) Identify the types of in-service training (such as ethics, Maryland Homeowners Act and directors’ roles and responsibilities etc.) your firm can provide to homeowners’ associations and/or boards of directors.

m) The Ocean Pines Association will require the firm with which a contract is established, prior to commencement of work, to provide evidence of appropriate general liability insurance, automobile liability insurance, professional liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, and workers' compensation insurance as needed. Describe how you would provide the same and in what coverage.

Such coverage must be provided by an insurance company(ies) authorized to do business in the State of Maryland. Certificates must name the Ocean Pines Association, Inc. as an Additional Insured and shall provide that contractor's policy is primary over any insurance carried by the Ocean Pines Association, Inc. and that the policy will not be cancelled or materially changed without thirty (30) days prior notice in writing to the Association. The successful firm must agree, if awarded a contract because of its proposal, to indemnify and hold harmless the Ocean Pines Association, Inc. its officers, agents, and employees from any and all claims and losses accruing or resulting to persons engaged in the work contemplated by its proposal or to persons who may be injured or damaged by the firm or its agents in the performance of the work. Prior to commencement of any work, these and other provisions will be established contractually.

4. Additionally, describe your firm's qualifications for providing the following specific legal services:

a) Clearly describe your range of experience with research, litigation and legal opinions involving MD HOA law and the governing document of large HOA’s, project negotiation, eminent domain issues, and the drafting and implementation of agreements and contracts (i.e., lease, purchase, Owner Participation and Disposition and Development Agreements) and litigation.

b) Describe your experience in labor negotiations.

c) Describe how you would structure the working relationship between the Board, General Manager, department heads, and other members of staff.

d) In what time increment is work billed?

5. The Association seeks to identify and avoid any conflicts or possible conflicts of interest. The Association reserves the right to prohibit participation if a significant conflict of interest is determined to exist. Please address the following:

a) List any political contributions of money, in-kind services, or loans made to any member of the Association by the applicant law firm and all its attorneys, including the attorney being proposed to represent the Association.

b) List all homeowners’ associations for which your firm currently provides services or are under retainer.

c) List all homeowners’ association clients for which your firm previously provided services over the last five years.

d) List all cases in which you have been retained either for a Defendant or a Plaintiff in which Ocean Pines Association, it’s Directors or General Manager, and partners, principals, and associates who may be assigned to work with the Association were a party or were brought into the case. Include any current conflicts or potential conflicts related to pending litigation.

e) For the firm and/or the proposed Association attorney, specify current or known future professional commitments, so that the Association may evaluate your continuing availability for providing legal services to the Association.

6. It is anticipated that the Association will expect the selected firm to provide a system wherein "general" services are provided under a fixed monthly retainer and any additional "special" services are billed at pre-negotiated hourly rates. Please address the following:

a) Give your definition of "general" legal services. Would all general services be included in your monthly retainer?

b) Define any "extra" services such as litigation and describe if such services will be billed at a different hourly rate or basis.

c) Give your definition of "special" legal services. How are they differentiated from general legal services? Would any special services be included in your retainer? If so, identify them.

d) How would your firm aid the Association to remain within its adopted budget for its legal services?

e) Describe your firm's preference for method of payment, payment terms, and your procedure for billing of retention, hours, and expenses and any other accounting requirements.

f) Define the type and unit rates for reimbursement of expenses, for example, rate for mileage, reproduction of documents or word processing charges, unit costs for telephone costs, etc.

g) Provide the costs of any in-service training your firm can provide to the Association.

h) If you expect to have a cost-of-living adjustment incorporated into the agreement with the Association, explain how you propose it be computed and implemented.


The Board of Directors shall evaluate, and review submitted proposals. In reviewing the proposals, the evaluation committee will carefully weigh the following factors:

a) Responsiveness to the information requested in the RFP.

b) The firm is properly licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland.

c) The firm has no conflicts of interest about any work performed by the firm for the Association, and all potential conflicts have been identified.

d) Understanding of the scope of services required.

e) Proposed solutions to the specific legal needs of the Ocean Pines Association.

f) Depth and breadth of experience and expertise in the practice of law, most specifically in those areas most often encountered in Homeowners Association operations.

g) References.

h) Range and quality of services provided by the firm.

i) Capability to perform legal services promptly and in a manner that permits the Board of Directors, General Manager, and staff to meet established deadlines and to operate in an effective and efficient manner.

j) Degree of availability for quick response to inquiries that arise out of day-to-day operating questions or problems.

k) Degree to which firm and individual attorneys remain current through continued professional development and active communication with practitioners in the HOA law field.

i) Communication skills.

m) Cost of services.

The top-ranked firms will be requested to attend a meeting with the Board of Directors to be interviewed. The interviews will allow the designated firms an opportunity to answer any questions the Board may have regarding their proposals. Participation in the interviews will be at no cost to the Association. The Association will take notes of each proposer's oral representations during the interviews. These notes may be read back to the proposer for clarification and/or validation, and some material may be incorporated into the legal services agreement. The Board of Directors will make the final determination of the successful firm.

Note that to maintain the integrity of the interview process all proposing firms are prohibited from contact with the Board of Directors outside of the formal interview process.

During the evaluation process, the Board reserves the right, where it may serve the Association's best interest, to request additional information or clarification from proposing firms, or to allow corrections of errors or omissions. In addition, qualifications and references of the top candidates will be verified. The Association reserves the right to verify any information contained in proposals, including references, resumes, etc. The Association reserves the right to investigate and research proposals, including facts and opinions that could be helpful in evaluating the capabilities of firms, whether they were specifically included in the proposals.


Award of contract will be to the proposer whose proposal best complies with all the requirements of the RFP documents and which provides the best solution for the needs of the Ocean Pines Association, Inc. Evaluation methodology and criteria are described in the section entitled, "Evaluation and Selection Process."

The successful firm will be required to enter into a legal services agreement with the Association, which will include the requirements of this RFP, as well as other requirements to be determined. The Association reserves the right to negotiate the price, terms, and scope of services with the proposer, prior to entering into an agreement.

The Agreement shall have a term of five (5) years, with an optional sixth, seventh, and eighth additional years with the law firm selected. The agreement will contain provisions requiring the selected law firm to indemnify the Association and provide that the Association attorney is an independent contractor serving at the will of the Board of Directors. Provisions will also be included in the contract allowing the Board to terminate the agreement, at its sole and entire discretion, upon the provision of notice.

The Agreement may be terminated upon at least a ninety (90) days’ notice by either party.

If a conflict exists between documents associated with this RFP, the following order of precedence shall apply:

1. Ocean Pines Association, Inc. agreement

2. Ocean Pines Association, Inc. RFP

3. Proposer's response

The Agreement shall be signed by the selected firm and returned, along with the other required documents, to the Association within ten (10) working days of receipt of the agreement. The period for execution may be changed by mutual agreement of the parties. Agreement is not effective until approved and signed by the Board of Directors. Any work performed prior to the receipt of the fully executed Agreement shall be at the proposer's own risk.


The Association encourages proposers to resolve issues regarding the project requirements or RFP process through written correspondence and discussions during the period in which clarifying addenda may be issued. The Association wishes to foster cooperative relationships and reach a fair agreement in a timely manner. Proposers filing a protest must do so within five (5) calendar days after Notice of Intent to Award. The protesting proposer shall submit a full and complete written statement detailing the facts in support of the protest. Protests must be sent by certified or registered mail or delivered in person to the General Manager, or his or her designee. The Association will provide a decision on the matter. The decision must be in writing and sent by certified or registered mail or delivered in person to the protesting proposer. The decision of the Board of Directors is final.

Interpretation of the wording of this document shall be the responsibility of the Association, and that interpretation shall be final.

Invitation to Bid - 2022 Road Rehabilitation and Paving Project

The Ocean Pines Association, Inc. invites firms to submit a bid for the road rehabilitation and paving of multiple roadways within the Ocean Pines Subdivision located in Worcester County, Maryland. The deadline to submit a bid has been changed to 2 p.m on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022. (Please see Addendum 2 for information about the due date change.)

Click here to download the bid invitation.

Click here to download the Ocean Pines 2022 Road Rehabilitation and Paving Addendum 1.

Click here to download the Ocean Pines 2022 Road Rehabilitation and Paving Addendum 2.