An Insider’s Look Into How Secondary Marketing Evaluates LOs

In this webinar we’ll explore the long-term financial impacts of renegotiations, extensions and fallouts, plus basic guidelines to be viewed as a professional by your secondary marketing department

HousingWire Annual Virtual Summit

Sessions from HousingWire Annual 2021 are going to be virtually streamed on October 25. Register now for FREE to tune into what housing industry leaders had to say this year!

How Freddie Mac is addressing affordable housing challenges

Freddie Mac is focused on addressing limited access to credit, housing inequalities, creation and preservation of affordable housing supply and advancement of homeownership education.

A NAR board member tells (almost) all

For this week’s Houses in Motion, a miniseries that is part of HousingWire Daily, we spoke with Lisa Dunn about the pressing issues in real estate, including disclosure of agent commission.


Judge tosses whistleblower letter, limits discovery in Zillow-Move suit

Motions to limit subpoenas, strike letter benefit Zillow in legal row

King County Superior Court Judge John Chun decisions on Tuesday in the ongoing legal battle between Zillow Group (Z) and Move (MOVE) over accusations of theft of trade secrets and unfair competition are a setback for Move.

Chun yesterday granted a motion to strike from the record a letter from former Zillow Group executive that charged that Zillow stole listings data, and which accused former Move executive Errol Samuelson of violating court order limiting his work.

In April, Chun agreed to seal in whole and redact key parts of a letter from the then-anonymous whistleblower claiming Samuelson took trade secrets from Move and the National Association of Realtors.

In the motion to strike, Zillow’s attorney’s called the filing of the letter an attempt “to turn the King County Courthouse into a tabloid magazine reached a new low when they filed with both the Special Master and the Court, an unsigned and unsworn letter written by a disgruntled former employee.”

Move and the National Association of Realtors filed suit against Zillow on March 17, 2014, after Samuelson, then Move's chief strategy officer, resigned from Move on March 5, 2014, and joined Zillow as the company's second-highest paid executive on the same day.

Move alleged that Samuelson and Zillow stole trade secrets and proprietary information from Realtor.

Now Chun has granted the motion by Zillow to throw out completely the letter, written by former Zillow Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Chris Crocker.

Chun also struck on Tuesday third-party discovery requests filed by Move seeking additional information regarding the Zillow-Trulia merger, which was announced in January 2014 and completed in early 2015.

The second decision by Chun means that Move’s desire to question by subpoena Trulia personnel, as well as those from Zillow-Trulia merger advisors Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), will be curtailed.

Amanda Woolley, a spokesperson for Zillow, told HousingWire in an email, “We are pleased with the court's decision.”

Move declined to comment.

The original lawsuit from March 2014 alleged breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of trade secrets and accused Samuelson of misappropriating trade secret information by acquiring it using improper means, and by copying it without authorization.

Move has also since alleged that when he was still at Move, Samuelson informed Zillow executives that Move was considering a merger with Trulia.

Zillow has denied the accusation.

(h/t Inman News)

Most Popular Articles

FHFA to make desktop appraisals permanent

Desktop appraisals, a temporary flexibility implemented in March 2020 amid lockdowns and social distancing, will become permanent, the FHFA said today.

Oct 18, 2021 By

Latest Articles

CFPB orders ‘Big Tech’ to turn over payment system plans

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a series of orders Thursday that will require large tech companies to hand over information on their payments systems to better understand how these firms manage and access users personal data.

Oct 21, 2021 By
3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please