Monday, July 19, 2010


Last month the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued its ruling in Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts v National Real Estate Information Services, a case in which REBA sought to enjoin real estate closings that weren't conducted or supervised by Massachusetts lawyers. The case ended up in the US District Court where the judge not only ruled against REBA, but also awarded NREIS attorney fees of almost $1 mil. REBA appealed.

The 1st Circuit reversed the District Court's decision (especially the imposition attorney fees)ruling that what did and did not constitute the unauthorized practice of law in this area was unclear under Massachusetts law. To get a determination of that, the Court of Appeals certified the question to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The SJC decision which will be a year or more than a year in the future, will have great implications for the real estate closing business for everyone involved.

Here's the full 1st Circuit decision.

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