Corcoran appeal of broker privacy ruling begins

November 18, 2009 04:45PM

Oral arguments began yesterday in the Corcoran Group’s appeal of a State Supreme Court ruling that found the firm took advantage of a former broker by accessing her client list after she was terminated from the agency, Crain’s reported. The landmark decision in favor of former top Corcoran broker Sarit Shmueli shows that client lists are germane to the broker’s interests and not the brokerage, and therefore cannot be accessed by an employer without the agent’s consent. In the filing, the court charged the Corcoran Group and, specifically, executive vice president Tresa Hall, who won REBNY’s lifetime achievement award last month, with “deliberately and maliciously stealing computerized valuable client lists of Sarit Shmueli upon her termination.” Shmueli was awarded $1.2 million in punitive damages and $400,000 in compensatory damages as a result of the case. The court began hearing arguments in the appeal yesterday and a ruling is expected by the end of the year. After yesterday’s court date, Shmueli said she’s confident that the court will find in her favor once again. “I don’t believe based on yesterday’s hearing that the Appellate Division will give Corcoran the license to steal again,” Shmueli said. Yesterday’s oral arguments come on the heels of a ruling in another case, in which a judge found the firm had been “negligent” with e-mails in connection with the sale of a Brooklyn condo.