First Commerce Title
For a long time I have wanted to write an article about real estate agent and broker malpractice. I found this subject one difficult to get my arms around; there is no overarching or integrating theme. Fact is: there are a whole bunch of ways to commit malpractice and other than the general concepts of negligence and deceit, there is no single theory to tie all these areas together.
So I decided to present this subject like a box of mixed Valentine candies. A little explanation is in order. For the most part, lawyers are taught the law in law school and afterwards on our own by the case-law method. This means we read about actual cases that happened and attempt to extract principles from the cases that will have general application to similar fact situations that arise in the future. Who writes these cases? Judges do, specifically appellate judges. If parties go to trial and one or more of the parties believe that the trial court has made an error in the application of the law to that case, the aggrieved party can file an appeal. When the appellate court rules, a three judge panel issues a written opinion to explain why the court has ruled as it has. If the case reaches the Louisiana Supreme Court, then a seven judge panel hears the case and issues a written opinion. Sometimes these judges disagree; votes are counted and the majority issues the opinion that decides the case. In most instances the minority will issue a dissenting opinion; these dissenting opinions also have value because they can point to the direction of future holdings.
Now we are going to talk about some actual cases.
Seller provides incorrect information to agent – agent will not be liable.