A Wisconsin Realtor gets 18 months (probation) for criminal defamation…

… after writing on ActiveRain that another Realtor was linked to the Russian mob.

*note: I added the word “probation” into the title to be more clear!

Miami Real Estate Agent is being sued for $25M for…

comments he made on his blog about a developer!Wow!The short version:  The blogger said that a development was sure to have lots of problems along the lines of what happened when the developer went bankrupt in the ’80s.   Problem is, the developer never went bankrupt (although he admits financial problems).Interestingly, the law professor who is interviewed doesn’t think the developer has much of a case against the real estate agent, but even if the case is dropped, damage has already been done to the agent, Lucas Lechuga, considering his broker let him go and he’s now got to pay legal fees!

”We just don’t condone making statements, especially negative statements, about anyone, so we have terminated our relationship with our associate,” said EWM President Ron Shuffield.

Interestingly, another Ron Shuffield goes on to say:

“I viewed these statements to be more negative in tone than just providing information,” Shuffield said, adding the firm wouldn’t have hired Lechuga had it known about the blog…”We want to encourage associates to be a positive source of information,” Shuffield said.

Interestingly, I wonder if this will put the scare on other Miami bloggers and in particular, other Esslinger Wooten Maxwell Realtors like Kevin Tomlinson of the South Beach Real Estate blog.However, in therms of the story I’m a bit conflicted.   While I hate to see a blogger get kicked around for comments he (apparently) thought were true, there’s definitely a lesson to be learned about the need to be smart in your blogging.By the way, the blog post in question has been edited to take away the incorrect facts, but can still be found here:  Closing to Begin at the Opera Tower Very Soon.UPDATE:  There’s now a video

I’m fascinated by HouseValues investment…

and while I’ll refrain from having an opinion for fear of lawyers (yes… I am lawyer-phobia even if some say this condition doesn’t exist), I’m definitely reading what others are saying:

With a little searching you can find even more stories around the web, but those are the ones with interesting articles and/or comments!

Also, it seems worth noting that my sources were right on this! (see comment #42).   😉

Local Tax Assessor gets hammered…

…by real estate professionals in the comments of Danilo’s post where he describes how a Loudoun County official has been playing hard-ball in telling him to take down an assessment of the Assessor’s office.

Interestingly, over the past few years, I’ve had multiple people tell me I had to take things down of Rain City Guide and with the one exception of the listings search (it upset the NWMLS that our IDX home search was on a subdirectory of RCG because RCG was “not an agent’s site”, so I had to move it to http://annaluther.com), I can’t think of anything else I’ve taken down.  One of the benefits of not being an “agent site” in the traditional sense is that I haven’t had to get caught up with all the baggage that can go with being a REALTOR.

With that said, I’m hope that Danilo’s broker backs him up.   Otherwise he’ll likely be facing a similar decision as Shaun did last month.

(more interesting comments on Bloodhound