Legal Case Summaries

In Grillo v. BOR® of the Plainfield Area, the Superior Court of New Jersey addressed the practice of the Board of REALTORS® which denied non-members access to a multiple listing service (MLS). The court held that the Board's denial of access to non-members was unreasonable and was an illegal restraint upon trade.

Grillo was a licensed real estate broker in New Jersey. The...

In Bartsas Realty, Inc. v. Nash, the Supreme Court of Nevada reviewed the dismissal of a broker's claims against a property seller for: (1) tortious interference with contract; (2) breach of oral agreement; and (3) fraud. The court affirmed the dismissal of the first two claims for failure to state a claim, but reversed and remanded the fraud claim for further proceedings.

Nash (...

In Bullard v. Austin Real Estate Board, Inc., a broker refused to comply with a Board requirement to arbitrate an MLS commission dispute pursuant to the bylaws and the arbitration manual. As a result, he was expelled from membership, and court intervention was sought. The court affirmed the expulsion, stating that a voluntary association can set its own standards, as long as they are not...

The California District Court of Appeals addressed actions taken by a Board in expelling a member who had violated the Code of Ethics. The court held that it would not disturb the findings of the Board of Directors that resulted in the expulsion of a member because the Board’s interpretation of its bylaws was reasonable.

Williams v. Inglewood Board of REALTORS®, 33 Cal. Rptr...

In Williams v. Inglewood Board of REALTORS®, the California District Court of Appeal addressed a Board's expulsion of a member who violated the Code of Ethics. The court held that it would not disturb the findings of the Board of Directors or the expulsion, because the interpretation of the bylaws was reasonable.

Williams (plaintiff) and Mathis belonged to the Inglewood Board...

In Sanders v. Devereux, the Court of Appeals of Maryland addressed a commission dispute between brokers. The court found that the broker who introduced the purchasing group to the vendor for further negotiation was procuring cause of the sale, not the closing brokers, who were part of the initial purchasing group and who had collaborated with the seller to deprive the first broker of his...

In Johnson & Co. v. Schuberth, the Appellate Court of Illinois reviewed a trial court decision confirming a Board arbitration award. The appellate court affirmed the trial court, as it found that under current and previous state law, Board members were required to arbitrate inter-member disputes.

Johnson, a real estate broker, contended he was owed one-half the commission from a...

Note: NAR’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice were revised, renumbered and reformatted in 1995. The following cases have been organized according to the revised numbering of the Articles of the Code of Ethics. Where a summary of a case includes a reference to an Article of the Code of Ethics, both the original and revised numbering are noted. Only the current versions of the texts...

In Sustick v. Slatina, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, addressed a broker's allegations of tortious interference with contract by a real estate purchaser. The court held that the purchasers interfered with the broker's opportunity to earn a commission when they told the broker they were no longer interested and then purchased the home directly from the seller....

In McCue v. Deppert, the Superior Court of New Jersey addressed allegations by a broker against a purchaser for malicious interference with a listing contract. The court held that the buyer, who was initially shown the subject property by the broker, and who misrepresented to the seller that there was no broker involved, was liable to the broker for damages.

Kramer (Owner) orally...

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