Ethics Appeal Exercises

On this page are training materials to assist REALTORS® serving on ethics appeal tribunals better understand how to consider and make proper decisions.

Use: These fact scenarios are fictitious and highlight critical issues for ethics appeal panelists. There are several different ways to use the materials. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Mock Appeal Hearing: Have the appellant explain their basis for the appeal. The other party can explain why the decision should be upheld, and the chair of the hearing panel can summarize the case and explain why the decision should be upheld. The audience should have an opportunity to ask questions of the appellant and hearing panel chair, just like in a real appeal. Once all information/testimony has been presented, the panel should break into executive session to decide whether to 1) affirm the decision of the hearing panel, 2) modify the recommendation of the hearing panel and impose alternative discipline that does not exceed that recommended by the hearing panel, 3) dismiss the matter if the findings of fact do not support the hearing panel’s conclusion, or 4) refer the decision back to the P.S. Committee for a new hearing by a different hearing panel.
  • Breakouts: Break into small groups to read the appellant’s positions. After discussing the case as a group, vote on whether to 1) affirm the decision of the hearing panel, 2) modify the recommendation of the hearing panel and impose alternative discipline that does not exceed that recommended by the hearing panel, 3) dismiss the matter if the findings of fact do not support the hearing panel’s conclusion, or 4) refer the decision back to the P.S. Committee for a new hearing by a different hearing panel.

Materials: The materials for each year differ slightly, but include some or all of the following:

  • Complainant letter/respondent letter/blank findings of fact form and a "bad" findings of fact form to illustrate poor decisions
  • "Insider" or "facilitator" notes that provide learning points and explanations
  • The materials for some years (i.e., 2009) are consolidated into a script for role play, and some years include two fact scenarios (2012)

Debriefs accompany each exercise so that the facilitator can provide learning points and explanation as to what lessons are being taught by each scenario. Associations may choose to use these materials as is, or use them as a stepping stone for writing your own scenarios.  These are organized according to the year the scenario was developed. Notations to the right of the file names indicate the bases cited for appeal that the scenario covers and the year the scenario was used by NAR in its training seminars.

Fact Scenarios
(Complaint and Response)

Ethics Decision

Basis Cited for Appeal

Year used by NAR

Findings of fact exercise (DOC: 73 KB)

Ethics appeal exercise with notes (DOC: 93 KB)

Discipline too severe, misapplied code, panel biased  2015
Findings of fact exercise (DOC: 72 KB)

Ethics appeal exercise with notes (DOC: 45 KB)

Discipline too severe, misapplied code, panel biased  2014

Findings of fact exercise (DOC: 95 KB)

Ethics appeal exercise with debrief (DOC: 49 KB)

Panel biased; discipline too severe; procedural deficiency 2013

Findings of fact exercise with debrief (DOC: 124 KB)

Ethics appeal second case (DOC: 88 KB)

Ethics appeal exercise with debrief (DOC: 36 KB)

Panel biased; important witness not at hearing; discipline too severe 2012

Findings of fact exercise and ethics appeal exercise with debrief (DOC: 133 KB)

  Panel biased; misapplication of the Code; discipline too severe 2011

Findings of fact exercise with debrief (DOC: 124KB)

Ethics appeal exercise with debrief (DOC: 38 KB)

Misapplication of the Code; panel biased; discipline too severe 2010

Findings of fact exercise (DOC: 87 KB)

Ethics appeal script for role play (DOC: 72 KB) Misapplication of the Code; discipline too severe 2009

Findings of fact (DOC: 121 KB)

Ethics appeal exercise (DOC: 55 KB) Misapplication of the Code; discipline too severe 2008

Note: The ethics appeal scenarios presented in the attached documents have been used during the National Association’s Professional Standards Education Seminars. Learn more about attending these seminars

The debriefs/answers/guidance provided for the various exercises is based upon the adopted policies/Code of Ethics & Arbitration Manual at the time the exercise was created.

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