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C.A.R. named as a defendant in seller class action lawsuit

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Yesterday, C.A.R. was named as a defendant in a seller class action antitrust lawsuit filed in California federal court (Central District). The lawsuit, Gael Fierro and Patrick Thurber v. NAR et al., alleges similar claims to those contained in the Burnett v. NAR case and many other “copycat” lawsuits that have been filed nationwide in recent months. In addition to NAR and C.A.R., the plaintiffs have sued several local associations of REALTORS® in California, MLSs, and corporate brokerage defendants. In brief, the plaintiffs claim that the defendants conspired and engaged in anticompetitive practices relating to NAR’s rules on the cooperative compensation offered by listing agents to buyer’s agents in the MLS. Suffice it to say, we believe these allegations are without merit for many reasons. We will present those arguments in court and have retained highly experienced antitrust defense counsel who will work with our C.A.R. legal team to do so.

As real estate professionals, you should continue to have  open and transparent discussions with your clients about how you are paid, including the negotiability of real estate broker compensation, and how compensation is structured.

Please continue to show your clients just how much value you bring to a real estate transaction with your knowledge and expertise. C.A.R.’s list of 167 things REALTORS® do for their clients can be found on Smart Zone, our specially created website to help you navigate a challenging market. You’ll also find buyer agent resources, including legal guides, and educational resources for using the Buyer Representation and Broker Compensation Form, business and legal tools on this site.

Finally, due to the current litigation against C.A.R., and the several other ongoing antitrust cases, C.A.R. will not comment on all aspects of this case. However, we are committed to keeping C.A.R.’s membership promptly informed of any significant developments to the extent it is appropriate given the active litigation and our focus on prevailing with a vigorous defense. We thank you for your loyal support and we will fight to make sure we can continue to provide the valuable services to those buying and selling real estate in California.


Melanie Barker

January 18, 2024

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