A gavel sits atop law books on the table in a courtroom.

Attorneys scuffle over evidence as commissions trial approaches 

Both sides in the Sitzer/Burnett case filed motions over the right to use — or exclude — evidence from parties who have already settled.

September 21, 2023
2 minutes

As the Sitzer/Burnett trial date approaches, attorneys for both sides in the buyer-broker class action lawsuit submitted documents this week arguing that evidence and depositions from defendants who have already settled should — or should not — be presented at trial.

What evidence is being disputed? Documents indicate the plaintiffs plan to present taped deposition testimony from Ryan Gorman (formerly at Coldwell Banker/Anywhere), David Liniger (RE/MAX), Nick Bailey (RE/MAX) and John Peyton (formerly at Anywhere).

What do the defendants say? Attorneys for the remaining defendants — NAR, Keller Williams and HomeServices of America — filed a motion stating that since Anywhere and RE/MAX have settled, evidence and arguments relating to those companies should be excluded from the trial scheduled to start on Oct. 16. 

"Anywhere and RE/MAX are now in the same boat as the other non-named real estate brokers and affiliated entities in Missouri — none of them will be participating in the October trial, and evidence and testimony regarding these other non-named brokers and entities will not be introduced. Anywhere and RE/MAX should be treated no differently," wrote the defendants' attorneys in their motion.

What do the plaintiffs say? In response, attorneys for the plaintiffs said they intend to present evidence of a "complete conspiracy" through expert reports, including those from any defendants who've settled. Attorneys cited other cases where this procedure was used.

"Anywhere and RE/MAX have settled, but those settlements do not affect the evidence submitted at trial, nor do they affect the nature and extent of damages that can be awarded by the jury," the plaintiffs' attorneys wrote.

As of Sept. 21, the judge has not made a ruling in response to the motions.

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