An Illinois federal judge overseeing a case alleging the National Association of Realtors violated antitrust laws ruled Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice can respond to what it says is the NAR's "incorrect portrayal" of a 2008 consent decree between the government and the association.
U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood said she'll allow the DOJ to file a statement of interest in the case, after the government said it wants to clarify the 2008 agreement, which the NAR has cited in a bid to escape claims it violated antitrust laws by requiring home sellers to pay inflated commissions to both buy-side and sell-side brokers. The government made a similar filing in September in a parallel case in Missouri.
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The plaintiffs are represented by William Anderson and George Farah of Handley Farah & Anderson PLLC; Steve Berman, Daniel Kurowski, Rio Pierce and Whitney Siehl of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP; Matthew Berry, Beatrice Franklin, Marc Seltzer and Steven Sklaver of Susman Godfrey LLP; Robert Braun, Benjamin Brown, Alison Deich, Carol Gilden, Kit Pierson and Daniel Small of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC; Benjamin Elga and Brian Shearer of Justice Catalyst; and Marisa Katz and Vildan Teske of Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel PLLP.
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