Article by Edward Shoulkin analyzes SJC ruling expanding potential liability of real estate brokers

BOSTON (Aug. 14, 2013) – In an article published by the New England Real Estate Journal in its Aug. 9 issue, Edward Shoulkin analyzes a recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that expands potential liability of real estate brokers related to misrepresentations of zoning designations.

In DeWolfe v. Hingham Centre, Ltd., the SJC ruled that real estate brokers have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care when making representations concerning a property’s zoning designation. The court further held that simply relying on information provided by a seller will not insulate a broker from liability if the circumstances and other information available to the broker make such reliance unreasonable.

Shoulkin suggests in the article that as a result of the SJC’s decision brokers should always discuss with sellers any questionable information received from them, and in many instances investigate it further before marketing a property. Most importantly, he suggests that buyers should always be advised in writing to perform their own investigation into the applicable zoning laws and permitted uses of listed properties, and to consult with their own attorneys, real estate agents and home inspectors concerning such matters.

Shoulkin is a skilled trial and appellate attorney with 20 years of experience in a broad range of litigation matters. He has particular expertise in defending professionals in civil disputes and disciplinary proceedings, including accountants, health care providers, financial advisors, attorneys, and real estate brokers.

About Barton Gilman

Barton Gilman is one of New England’s leading civil litigation law firms with offices in Boston and Providence. Its experienced trial attorneys appear regularly in the federal and state courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Providence Business News named the firm as one of Rhode Island’s Best Places to Work five consecutive years (2008–2012).

View as PDF