Corcoran ruling upheld in appellate court

December 09, 2009 03:58PM

A ruling against the Corcoran Group was upheld yesterday, in a landmark case that found agents — and not firms — to be in ownership of their own client lists, Crain’s reported. Three years ago, the New York state Supreme Court ruled in favor of ex-Corcoran Group agent Sarit Shmueli, who claimed that her former employer, and executive vice president Tresa Hall, in particular, had stolen her client list “deliberately and maliciously” off of her computer after she had been fired. Shmueli was awarded $400,000 in compensation and $1.2 million in punitive damages. The brokerage’s appeal, which began proceedings last month, didn’t go completely unrewarded, however. The appellate court ruled to vacate the punitive damage award for Shmueli, on the grounds that the “defendant’s practice of precluding a terminated employee from having access to its computer system does not evince a high degree of moral turpitude,” according to court filings. Shmueli said that she will pursue an appeal of the ruling in order to regain her punitive damage award.

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