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Legal Action

Purpose:

The Legal Action Committee shall monitor legal actions instituted in the state of Georgia that could or would have an impact on the real estate profession or those engaged in it. Additionally, the Legal Action Committee shall administer the Legal Defense Fund.

Composition:

Number on Committee: Twelve 
Chairman: Appointed by the President 
Vice Chairman: Appointed by the President-Elect 
Makeup: Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Vice President of Member and Public Services, Vice President of Professional Development, Chairman of the State and Local Government Affairs Committee and eight At-Large members. The President, the President-Elect and the Vice President of Administration and Finance are ex-officio members 
Restrictions: Except for those members who serve by virtue of office, no more than two members may be from the same primary Member Board

Except for those members who serve by virtue of office, no more than two members may be from the same Region

Term: One year for the Chairman of the State and the Local Government Affairs Committee. Two years (staggered) for the At-Large members

Limits: N/A

Quorum: Five

Reporting: Vice President of Administration and Finance, Finance Committee, Executive Committee, Board of Directors (See Duties and Responsibilities for authority to expend funds.)

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Shall receive and consider requests from REALTOR® members to provide assistance on legal matters which could have an adverse impact upon REALTORS® as a group. The assistance provided by the committee is normally in the form of having Georgia Association of REALTORS’® legal counsel write a friend of the court (amicus curiae) brief or provide other technical support with respect to the legal matter. In some instances, the committee will consider reimbursing the REALTOR® member directly for all or a portion of the member’s legal expenses. All decisions of the committee to provide assistance are made on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to provide legal assistance in any particular matter, the committee will consider among other things, whether the case: (1) is one which could lead to the establishment of a legal principle or precedent that could either benefit or conversely harm the interests of REALTORS® throughout the state; (2) is at a stage of proceeding where it is timely to provide legal assistance (i.e., the issue in the case is ripe for handling and is not either premature or too late to be addressed); (3) is one where the provision of legal assistance by the Georgia Association of REALTORS® is likely to make a difference in the outcome of the case; (4) does not, absent of extraordinary circumstances, involve a dispute between two REALTORS®; and (5) is one that involves legal matters, issues, or procedures which go beyond those generally encountered or employed by REALTORS® in their normal business dealings. Assistance will be considered only in response to a properly submitted written request by the REALTOR® Member to the Georgia Association of REALTORS®. (Note: Between regularly scheduled meetings of the Legal Action Committee, the Chairman and Vice Chairman shall have the joint authority to review requests for financial assistance, lawsuits, interrogatories, correspondence, etc. and where deemed appropriate, consult with Georgia Association of REALTORS® Legal Counsel or refer matters to Georgia Association of REALTORS® Legal Counsel to insure timely participation.)
  • Shall have the authority to expend funds up to a maximum of $10,000.00 in support of specific litigation as it may deem appropriate. Expenditures in excess of $10,000.00 for a single case must be approved by the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors. Appeals to a higher court shall be viewed as new instances of litigation and the Legal Action Committee is authorized to approve funding from the Legal Defense Fund up to an aggregate amount of an additional $10,000.00 for each case. However, in no event shall funds be authorized to be spent that are in excess of the sum constituting the Legal Defense Fund of the Georgia Association of REALTORS®
  • Shall review and recommend action regarding other legal affairs of the Georgia Association of REALTORS® as assigned 
  • Shall stay abreast of litigation that adversely affects those engaged in the profession
  • Shall investigate ways and means to provide information to the members about legal actions that have a potential or actual detrimental effect on those engaged in the profession
  • Shall promote the necessity for members to be constantly aware of legal developments that affect them
  • Shall provide means of disseminating information to the members advising them of their legal responsibilities and liabilities
  • Shall promote to the members the absolute necessity for their legal counsel to have or acquire "adequate knowledge" of the legal areas that might affect them
  • Shall act as liaison between Georgia Association of REALTORS® and the Georgia Bar Association to encourage harmonious relations between the professions
  • Shall provide educational programs for the benefit of the members of Georgia Association of REALTORS® and their legal counsel
  • Shall perform such other duties as directed by the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee or the President 
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