Dax Watson, the Managing Partner of the firm’s Phoenix, Arizona Law Firm, with the assistance of Michael Orcutt, a Partner of the firm, defended a real estate brokerage in a complex real estate litigation case wherein an agent with the brokerage wore several “hats” in a real estate transaction. The agent was a member of an investment company that purchased a home to complete a “fix and flip.”
Prior to closing on that purchase, a former client of the agent contacted him about possible investment opportunities. The agent offered the client the home his investment company was acquiring. The former client became a current client as part of the final transaction to the client.
The client alleged that the agent did not disclose that he was part of the investment company that was acquiring and then selling the property to him. Further, the agent and the investment company made a profit on the “flip” to the client and that profit was not disclosed either.
The client sued the agent and the brokerage for non-disclosure and breach of fiduciary duty. Because of jurisdiction issues, the matter was subject to a compulsory arbitration.
Mr. Watson and Mr. Orcutt elected to focus the defense on damages. They did so because there were a number of challenging issues with respect to agents’ various roles in the transaction and disclosure concerns.
However, they could make a compelling defense argument that the buyer was not harmed or damaged. The arbitrator agreed and they did obtain a complete defense verdict.
To learn more about this case please call the Lipson Neilson Phoenix office at 602-626-8888 or email Dax Watson at DWatson@lipsonneilson.com.