Broker Defense

Real estate brokers are obligated to provide buyers and sellers with full disclosure and honest information regarding real estate properties and transactions. The San Jose, California law firm of Rossi, Hamerslough, Reischl & Chuck ("RHRC") represents real estate brokers who are being sued or charged with a California Department of Real Estate violation. The firm understands that a real estate broker's license, reputation, and livelihood may be at stake, and its attorneys work efficiently to resolve any concerns.

The firm frequently conducts seminars and lectures for real estate agents and brokers. RHRC also advises agents and brokers on disputes that may potentially lead to claims or litigation against them and provide preventative measures to reduce brokers' risk.

Defending a Real Estate Broker or Licensee

Having defended real estate licensees for over 30 years, RHRC is well versed in the rights and remedies available to real estate licensees who have been sued. RHRC has enjoyed a well respected reputation for successfully defending real estate brokers wrongfully accused of failing to meet their fiduciary duties or other obligations. The firm understands the need to protect the integrity of the real estate licensee while allowing the licensee to focus on their ongoing business instead of being distracted by unwarranted claims. Its real estate attorneys are active in drafting many of the forms brokers use today. They know the fiduciary and licensing requirements for brokers and the types of damages and methods of recovery that are available to plaintiffs suing a broker for negligence or breach of fiduciary duty. Its attorneys are familiar with the transactional forms and legal defenses that will best protect the broker's real estate license.

Protecting a Real Estate License

As experienced broker defense attorneys, RHRC is familiar with the licensing requirements of the California Department of Real Estate. The firm aggressively defends real estate brokers to help them protect their license, including representation before the Department of Real Estate, if necessary. The firm strives to reach an efficient and favorable resolution so that brokers may continue in their occupation.

RECENT CASES

Defended a real estate broker against action by the CA Department of Real Estate (DRE) seeking to revoke the broker's license has result for a conviction of shoplifting, and obtained a restricted license rather than revocation.

Defended a real estate broker against a revocation against brought by the DRE for multiple alleged violations of DRE regulations including claims for improper supervision of agents and trust fund violations, and obtained for the broker only a 90-day suspension which was stayed by the DRE.

Obtained a restricted license for a real estate salesperson applicant following denial of the license by the DRE due to prior felony convictions.

Obtained a restricted license for a real estate salesperson following an action by the DRE to revoke their license as a result of multiple misdemeanors involving alcohol and drugs.

In Re: Lee v. Slusher, et al. (Alameda County Superior Court Case No. HG05246095) Defended a mortgage broker who purchased property in lieu of foreclosing on his lien. More than three years after escrow closed, the seller claimed that the buyer failed to pay the full purchase price, and that her signature was forged on the deed. The notary, the escrow officer, and the title company all denied liability. A favorable settlement was reached.

In Re: Delman v. Nguyen (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case No. 1-05-CV-051849). Defended a real estate brokerage and its agent against breach of fiduciary duty claims, among others, by a residential real estate buyer claiming that the purchased property was subject to an undisclosed prescriptive easement. Following mediation of the dispute, the buyer released all claims against the brokerage and its agent for nuisance value, opting instead to pursue his neighbors for trespass and encroachment.

In re: Crakow v. Giannell, et al. (Mediation). Defended a real estate brokerage and its agent relating to the sale of residential real property where the buyer claimed that certain flooding and noise nuisances were not disclosed during the underlying transaction. Following mediation of the dispute, wherein the brokerage and agent were defended on claims of breach of fiduciary duty, the case settled for nuisance value and fully resolved.

In Re: Tam v. Prestige Realty, et al. (Alameda County Superior Court Case #RG03080609). Arbitrated a case against sellers who tried to perform a "commissiondectomy" on the listing broker (refusing to pay the broker for services). The broker had an exclusive listing agreement and diligently marketed the property. Sellers, unbeknownst to the broker, entered into a purchase contract with one prospective buyer directly, cheating the broker of her commission. The broker sued for her full commission plus attorney's fees. After two days of arbitration, sellers realized they were losing the case and agreed to a mutually satisfactory settlement.

Rossi, Hamerslough, Reischl & Chuck

1960 The Alameda, Suite 200 · San Jose, CA 95126 · (408) 261-4252