Antitrust Settlement Notices in Burnett v. NAR

QUESTION: I’m affiliated with a Keller Williams franchise, and an old client of mine called me asking about an antitrust settlement offer they received in the mail. I told them that as far as I knew, the antitrust case from Missouri (I couldn’t remember the name) was going on appeal. The client seemed very confused since the settlement offer seemed to indicate that the case is over, and they did not understand why they were getting a notice in North Carolina for a Missouri case. Can you tell me what’s going on?

ANSWER: Prior to the trial in the Missouri antitrust case (Burnett v. NAR), Keller Williams, Inc., Anywhere Real Estate, Inc., and RE/MAX LLC agreed to settle with the plaintiffs in three cases. Those three cases were: Burnett in Missouri; Moehrl, et al. v. National Association of Realtors, et al., in Illinois; and Nosalek v. MLS Property Information Network Inc., et al., in Massachusetts.

NAR did not settle in those cases, and the verdict in Burnett was the one that made headlines last year.

In the cases that Keller Williams, Anywhere, and RE/MAX settled, the class of plaintiffs was opened to include anyone who sold a home in the United States using an MLS, and not just the states where the cases were located. Now that those settlements are moving toward a final approval in May of this year, anyone who is a potential plaintiff, which can be anyone who sold a home and not just a former client of the three firms that settled, is being notified that they can either claim their piece of the class action settlement funds or opt out and file their own case. If another client contacts you about this issue, simply inform them that they should consult with an attorney or read the class action settlement website for more information.

As for NAR, they continue to remain open to a reasonable settlement of all these cases. However, for now, the appeal process is still moving forward. Post-trial motions will be fully briefed later this month. In those motions, NAR will ask the trial judge to grant relief from the jury’s verdict. It is anticipated that once those motions are decided, then NAR will move on to the next step in their appeal.

Release Date: 2/29/2024

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