Real Estate

HousingWire to host commission lawsuit debate between Ketchmark and Lamacchia

Forum for two to discuss the arguments and outcome of the Sitzer/Burnett trial

On Jan. 26, HousingWire will host a virtual debate between Michael Ketchmark, the plaintiffs’ attorney in the Sitzer/Burnett commission lawsuit, and Anthony Lamacchia, CEO of Lamacchia Realty and an outspoken advocate for Realtors, to discuss the arguments and the outcome of the trial.

The recent landmark decision in the Sitzer/Burnett case included multi-billion dollar penalties for the National Association of RealtorsHomeServices of America and Keller Williams and spawned more than a dozen copycat lawsuits across the country.

Many real estate leaders think their profession was unfairly maligned during the trial and that Ketchmark weaponized misconceptions about the real estate industry to get the verdict. The debate, moderated by HousingWire Editor in Chief Sarah Wheeler, will provide a forum where Ketchmark and Lamacchia can go toe to toe on the value of the buyer broker, the future of real estate commissions and more.

Ketchmark is a trial attorney at Ketchmark & McCreight PC, a four-person law firm based in the Kansas City area. A veteran personal injury litigator, Ketchmark first gained national attention in 2002 when he won a $2.2 billion verdict against a pharmacist in Kansas City who diluted the chemotherapy drugs given to thousands of patients to maximize profit. Ketchmark has a streak of record-breaking verdicts including a recent $74 million verdict against Ford Motor Company in a wrongful death case and a $28 million verdict against a large health care corporation in a whistleblower case filed by a emergency room doctor. On the heels of the Sitzer/Burnett verdict, Missouri Lawyers Weekly named Ketchmark the Lawyer of the Year in the State of Missouri. Ketchmark is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law.

Lamacchia is CEO and owner of the Lamacchia Companies, which include Lamacchia Realty, to which he is broker, Lamacchia Property Management, Lamacchia Development and Crush it in Real Estate Inc., a training program for agents. Lamacchia is an active member of Realtor associations at local, state and national levels, serving on various government affairs and mortgage related committees at NAR for over a decade. In 2022 he was appointed the chair of the conventional financing and policy committee and is the 2023 co-chair of the communities of interest committee. In addition, he is a President’s Circle Hall of Fame member of the REALTORS Political Action Committee and has been ranked as one of RealTrends GameChangers.

The defendants in the Sitzer/Burnett lawsuit — the National Association of Realtors, HomeServices of America and Keller Williams — were found liable of colluding to inflate or maintain high commission rates and were ordered to pay damages of $1.78 billion, with treble damages as high as $5.36 billion. Since that verdict on Oct. 31, more than a dozen other lawsuits have been announced in different jurisdictions, including one Ketchmark filed on the same day of the verdict against NAR and seven big real estate brokerages.

A timeline of the commission lawsuits and all of HousingWire’s coverage can be found here.

Register for the debate here.

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