Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010
The MBA files brief in appeal of REBA v. N.R.E.I.S decision
The Massachusetts Bar Association
filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Court of Appeals
in support of the Real Estate Bar Association (REBA), which is
appealing the April 2009 ruling of Judge Joseph L. Tauro's decision
in Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts v. National
Real Estate Information Services, Inc. (NREIS).
REBA brought suit against NREIS arguing that the defendants
engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by performing real
estate conveyances and issuing title insurance. In his ruling,
Tauro sided with NREIS limiting the role of lawyers in residential
real estate closings. He also sided with NREIS in their
counterclaim that REBA's interpretation of the unauthorized
practice of law issue violates the United States Constitution's
Dormant Commerce Clause, and awarded fees and costs to NREIS
totaling over $900,000.
The MBA believes that due to its order granting summary judgment
for the defendants, the district court adopted a definition of the
practice of law which is contrary to the policy of the
Although the MBA's arguments centered on support of REBA's claim
that Tauro erred in his determination that NREIS is not engaged in
the unauthorized practice of law, the MBA also supports the appeal
of Tauro's order on legal fees. The MBA believes that the REBA suit
was not state action and the imposition of liability on REBA under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 penalizes the free exercise of the
constitutionally protected right to bring reasonably based claims
for judicial relief.
Click here to see the MBA's amicus curiae brief
in Real Estate Bar Association v. National Real Estate
Information Services, Inc.