With HomeServices of America losing it’s appeal earlier this month and now NAR’s recent filing it appears that the Sitzer/Burnett commission Lawsuit is headed to trial starting October 16th.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR), the leading organization for real estate professionals in the US, is ardently working to prevent specific aspects of its historical dealings from being presented in the upcoming trial this October. According to a recent article from Inman, by Andrea V. Brambila, the organization has requested the suppression of evidence related to a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation.
Key points from the Inman article include:
1. Motions in Limine: Lawyers for NAR and four renowned real estate franchisors have submitted four “motions in limine” to the U.S. District Court in Western Missouri. These pre-trial motions are aimed at excluding certain pieces of evidence, arguing that their introduction might lead to an unfair bias against one party.
2. Antitrust Class Action: NAR, along with entities like Keller Williams, Anywhere, RE/MAX, and HomeServices of America, is currently in the midst of an antitrust class action named Sitzer/Burnett. The lawsuit alleges that some NAR rules potentially violate the Sherman Antitrust Act, leading to inflated costs for sellers.
3. Contentious Topics: Four primary subjects are at the heart of these motions:
– Changes in NAR rules that occurred in November 2021, influenced by a now-abandoned antitrust settlement with the DOJ.
– Discriminatory practices in the real estate realm, emphasizing a 2020 apology by NAR President Charlie Oppler for past policies contributing to racial segregation.
– Governmental investigations, especially the DOJ’s probe into NAR.
– Historical court rulings associated with NAR.
4. DOJ Investigations: One of the pivotal motions seeks to prevent mentions of governmental investigations into NAR, particularly by the DOJ. After retracting from a previous agreement with NAR in 2021, the DOJ resumed its probe into some of NAR’s policies. Currently, a legal tussle is ongoing in an appeals court regarding these investigations.
As we edge closer to the trial, the ramifications of these motions and their influence on the trial’s trajectory remain uncertain. However, the unfolding events undoubtedly spotlight the complex interplay between regulatory bodies, real estate giants, and legal systems.
*Source: [Inman’s recent article](https://www.inman.com/2023/08/25/nar-seeks-to-suppress-doj-probe-from-jury-as-commission-trial-nears/)*.