The following letter was received from Board Legal Counsel and is shared here to make sure that all are aware of a conflict of interest ethical standard issued by the Real Estate Bar Association as it relates to attorneys representing clients as both REALTORS and closing attorneys.
It has come to my attention that there are more and more attorneys who are getting their license as a real estate broker. I recently came across an ethical standard from the Real Estate Bar Association (REBA), Ethical Standard N04, which states an attorney cannot fulfill his/her obligation to advocate for his client in a real estate transaction if he is also getting compensation as a real estate broker. I am not sure that all members of your Board who are attorneys are aware of this rule from REBA. I don’t believe your organization has a similar rule; however, any attorney should should be cautious about following the rules set out by REBA.
Maybe you can incorporate this in a news letter so it can be circulated. I have attached a copy of the REBA ethical standard (PDF) in full for further review and information.
Michael J. Shepard, P.C.
55 Church Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Phone (413) 499-0316
Fax (413) 443-7125