CCG Obtains Court of Appeals Win on Behalf of Real Estate Title Company

On June 11, 2021, CCG successfully obtained affirmance of the trial court’s dismissal of all claims brought against its client, a real estate title company, sued for allegedly failing to distribute proceeds from the sale of real estate.

The plaintiff, estate of a former joint tenant, sued Bluegrass Land Title for breach of contract and tortious interference with contract by allegedly failing to distribute real estate sales proceeds pursuant to a third-party fee-splitting agreement. The plaintiff claimed that a fee-splitting agreement, entered by and between the joint tenants, caused a legal partition of the real estate thereby requiring the title company to distribute sales proceeds to the estate at closing.  In the trial court, CCG argued (1) that the fee-splitting agreement did not affect a partition of the subject real estate as a matter of law, and (2) the plaintiff had failed to plead any actionable misconduct which would support a tortious interference claim.  The trial court granted our motion to dismiss in its entirety and the plaintiff appealed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

On appeal, CCG member Jonathan Matthews, with briefing assistance from Parker Wornall, successfully defended the trial court’s decision to throw out the case.  The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled that the fee-splitting agreement did not affect a partition of the real estate and that nothing alleged in the complaint, even if proven, would support a finding that Bluegrass Land Title enabled or induced a breach of contract. 

For more information, or to find out more about how our Appellate Law practice intersects with the evolving real estate industry, contact Jonathan Matthews or Parker Wornall.