State-Miller v. Cedar Rapids BOR: Iowa Supreme Court Determines That Membership-Based MLS Access Does Not Violate Antitrust Laws
In State ex rel. Miller v. Cedar Rapids Board of REALTORS®, the Supreme Court of Iowa addressed the reasonableness of board membership as it related to MLS access. The court held that if all membership criteria were reasonable and if membership was available to all applicants on the same terms, that MLS access could be limited to board members.
Pope County Bar Association v. Suggs: Arkansas Supreme Court Determines Brokers' Efforts in Completing Pre-Printed, Standardized Forms Do Not Constitute Unauthorized Practice of Law
In 1981 the Supreme Court of Arkansas addressed whether activities by a real estate broker constituted the unauthorized practice of law. The court held that it was in the public interest to permit brokers to fill in the blanks of certain standardized, printed forms in connection with simple real estate transactions, provided the forms had been approved by an attorney.
Note: This case is not published in a reporter or Westlaw and may not constitute current law. Consult with counsel before relying on this case.
Levinson v. Maison Grande: Federal Court Rules That Plaintiff Must Show "Market Power" for Tying Claims
In Levinson v. Maison Grande, the district court addressed unlawful tying arrangements with regard to sales of real estate. The court held that in determining market power with respect to land, the inherent uniqueness of real estate is not controlling, and the facts and circumstances of each case are to be considered. The court further held that because the plaintiff could not establish market power, there was no tying arrangement, and no violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
King v. Larsen: California Appellate Court Upholds Arbitration Award Arising From Intra-Board Dispute
In King v. Larsen Realty, Inc., the California Court of Appeal reivewed the trial court's confirmation of a Board arbitration award. The court of appeal held that the trial court properly confirmed the award.
NAR® v. Homeowner's Corp. of America: National Association of REALTORS® Prevails in Suit for Trademark Infringement
Note: This case is not published in an official reporter and may not be cited as authority. Consult with counsel before relying on this case.
In NAR® v. Homeowner's Corp. of America, a North Carolina district court addressed trademark issues concerning the terms "REALTOR®" and "REALTORS®." The court held that the defendants infringed upon the marks, and enjoined the defendants from further use.
Foss v. Berlin: Ohio Broker Who Drafted Real Estate Sales Contract Was Engaged in Unauthorized Practice of Law
In 1981 the Court of Appeals of Ohio addressed whether the drafting of a real estate sales contract by a broker constituted the unauthorized practice of law, thus voiding a contract and relieving the seller from paying a commission. The court held that although the drafting of the contract was the unauthorized practice of law, the broker did not attempt to collect anything for legal services provided and was awarded the commission plus interest.
In Ellis v. Tri-City Commercial Sales, Inc., the Court of Appeals of Georgia addressed an alleged conspiracy to deprive a brokerage of a commission. The court affirmed the award of actual and punitive damages, as it found: (1) the firm was the procuring cause of the sale, (2) it had a contractual right to commission, and (3) defendants engaged in a bad-faith attempt to deprive the brokerage of that commission.
In Edmund J. Flynn Co. v. LaVay, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals addressed a broker's claim of breach of contract against a developer. The court affirmed that no express contract existed but that, under express and implied-in-fact agency principles, the broker was due compensation for the value of his pre-sale marketing activities.
Asleson v. West Branch Land: North Dakota Supreme Court Reviews MLS Listing Errors and Determines Agent's Duty to Inform of Errors
In Asleson v. West Branch Land, the Supreme Court of North Dakota addressed the issue of constructive fraud regarding an MLS listing error in the context of a buyer and seller who were both members of the MLS. The court held that a listing agent has the duty to inform MLS users of errors in a listing and that a user of the service is entitled to rely on the information found therein.