More Broker Cat-Fighting Over Fort Worth Dirt: Now Williams Trew (Sotheby's) Is Suing Briggs Freeman (Sotheby's)

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briggs freeman logoI told you a few weeks ago that Sotheby’s International sued Briggs Freeman, one of it’s own franchisees, due to the beefs of another one of it’s franchisees, Williams Trew Real Estate Services of Fort Worth. Turns out the judge did not grant Sotheby’s a temporary restraining order last month.

Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater threw out Sotheby’s request for a TRO “Because plaintiff has not shown that it faces a substantial threat of irreparable harm between the time its TRO application was filed and when the court can address its preliminary injunction application, the court denies the application. The denial of the TRO application does not suggest a view on the merits of plaintiff’s pending preliminary injunction application.”

Anyhow, I guess Williams Trew decided to take matters into their own hands: On Friday, the 13th of September, Williams Trew Sotheby’s International Realty of Fort Worth filed suit against Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty of Dallas and Robbie Briggs. The beef is tortious interference — WT says Briggs has interfered with Williams Trew’s contract with Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.

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The lawsuit, filed in 348th Tarrant County State District Court, seeks actual and punitive damages and a permanent injunction barring certain business activity. Here’s what WT founding partner Martha Williams told the Fort Worth Business Press:

“Competition in the marketplace is fine so long as it is conducted lawfully,” said Martha Williams, a founder of Williams Trew in a news release. “We were forced to file this lawsuit due to Briggs Freeman’s refusal to acknowledge Williams Trew’s contractual rights with Sotheby’s International Realty.”

Here is Robbie Briggs response:

Robbie Briggs Statement Re: Williams Trew SIR v. Briggs Freeman SIR Tortious Interference suit

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Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

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