COURT REPORT: Post-NAR Settlement Practice Changes Shifts Date

Editor’s note: The COURT REPORT is RISMedia’s weekly look at current and upcoming lawsuits, investigations and other legal developments around real estate.

While NAR and other settlements pend both preliminary and final approval, the flow never stops in the court systems throughout the U.S. as updates continue to develop in the many commission lawsuits currently plaguing the real estate industry.

NAR changes date for post-settlement practice changes

In a letter to members released May 3, NAR Chief Legal Officer Katie Johnson announced practice changes required under the pending settlement will take effect on Aug. 17 rather than in July.

This change allows all parties a three-month window to adapt to the currently proposed (and not yet finalized) changes to commissions and the requiring of buyer’s agency agreements.

The letter also outlined changes to the MLS policies and model MLS governing documents that adhere to the settlement guidelines, which also become effective in August.

Several settlements are preliminarily approved

Lawsuit settlements by Compass, The Real Brokerage, @properties and Realty ONE Group and Douglas Elliman were all granted preliminary approval on Apr. 30 by Judge Stephen R. Bough of the Burnett case.

The official filing stated that Bough and the court find the proposed settlements are “fair, reasonable and adequate,” and that the negotiations to produce the settlement accurately represented both the plaintiffs and defendants.

Settlement parties will be contacting the court to schedule the final approval hearing on or before July 15, as the judge’s filing states, and the hearing will take place no later than Nov. 26, 2024 (NAR’s final approval hearing date).

MLS PIN lifts stay

Nosalek vs. MLS PIN is now lifting their stay of proceedings to begin moving through the court system again as of May 3. 

The case was originally ordered a stay back in February due to proceedings in other cases, and was granted a continuance of the stay recently on Apr. 29 due to the pending lawsuit settlements in the industry (namely HomeServices).

QJ Team vs. Texas Association of REALTORS® now stayed

The case is now staying its proceedings as the NAR settlement pends final approval. Due to defendants in the case (Fathom Realty, Keller Williams, HomeServices of America, Texas Association of REALTORS®, four other local REALTOR® associations and 23 local brokerages) being involved in the NAR settlement, the case cannot continue while the settlement is pending.

Gibson proposes initial dates

The Gibson defendants have requested the court move forward and set initial dates in the case in response to the plaintiffs recently filed Consolidated Class Action Complaint.

The consolidation complaint was unopposed by the defendants as well, and offered up the consolidation of Gibson and Umpa vs. NAR.

The filing offers that the defendants will answer the complaint “on or before 60 days after the date on which service is effectuated on all newly added Defendants.” The rest of a timeline for the consolidation of the cases is offered in the filing, including when a new proposed schedule for trial is due for all parties.

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