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Fight at Las Vegas Realtors meeting leads to police response

Updated March 11, 2024 - 2:40 pm

A physical altercation broke out between two local real estate agents at a Las Vegas Realtors’ Brokers Forum on Friday, ending with police being called to the scene, according to multiple sources who witnessed the confrontation.

The organization on Saturday released a statement attributed to president Merri Perry that acknowledged the incident but did not name those involved.

“During the meeting, two of the Las Vegas Realtors members in attendance began to argue, leading to a verbal altercation. LVR leaders who were organizing the meeting tried to diffuse the situation and called LVR security to remove one of the members from the meeting. When the member continued to create a disturbance, LVR called the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, who eventually removed the person from the LVR building. There was no physical violence and no one was hurt. LVR remains committed to fostering an inclusive, positive and safe environment for its members and others, with safety being our top priority.”

The meeting was a brokers forum, which is held a few times a year to update members on various subjects regarding the real estate industry. A real estate agent present at the meeting spoke on condition of anonymity to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, saying at least 100 people were in attendance and that the incident stemmed from a question real estate agent Eric Mendoza of Simply Vegas Real Estate asked of the board. Mendoza declined to comment when contacted by the Review-Journal.

The witness said Mendoza was repeatedly denied the ability to ask a question regarding representation related to a recent lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court of Nevada that alleges the National Association of Realtors, the LVR and various brokers have “conspired” to artificially inflate their commissions for years.

Another broker also “charged” at Mendoza at one point, and the two had to be separated, according to the witness. The broker involved in the incident did not respond to a request for comment from the Review-Journal.

An email obtained by the Review-Journal said Mendoza has since stepped down from his position as a corporate broker with the firm, but is still on staff.

The email states this decision follows recent events at the LVR Brokers Forum, where, despite his undeniable passion and dedication to our company, Eric’s actions did not align with the spirit or values that Simply Vegas stands for. It’s essential for us to uphold these standards, as they are the foundation of our reputation and success in the real estate industry.”

It further states Simply Vegas “wants to acknowledge that Eric’s actions, though misguided in that instance, stemmed from his deep love and enthusiasm for Simply Vegas.”

A public social media post on Facebook from Annie Browning DiMartini, who is listed as the broker and owner of Luxe One Realty, confirmed the altercation revolved around Mendoza’s question, which was about why an agent who is with the LVR is “also an attorney representing the plaintiff against our association?”

The local real estate industry has been rocked by two “copycat” lawsuits that have the potential to drastically change the residential real estate industry, and multiple real estate agents interviewed by the Review-Journal said Department of Justice officials were in Las Vegas on numerous occasions prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, issuing subpoenas and interviewing brokers on subjects related to commissions charged by brokerages.

The lawsuits are part of a wave of almost two dozen copycat lawsuits popping up across the country since a federal jury in Kansas City, Missouri, found NAR and several residential brokerages liable in October for $1.78 billion in damages for conspiring to artificially inflate commissions on residential home sales.

Las Vegas Realtors made its first public statement in February concerning the two lawsuits filed in Nevada claiming the association artificially inflated commissions.

“As emphasized numerous times for many years by the National Association of Realtors and others, the compensation and commissions involved in a residential real estate transaction are negotiable between real estate agents and their clients,” Perry said in a statement posted on the website of LVR, the state’s largest Realtor trade association.

Contact Patrick Blennerhassett at pblennerhassett@reviewjournal.com.

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