If a complaint has been filed against you to Real Estate Council of Ontario (“RECO”), then you need the assistance of a knowledgeable and skilled professional discipline lawyer at your side. Posner Craig Stein (“PCS”) defends real estate professionals, including agents and brokers, in investigations and proceedings at RECO. Being the target of a complaint and facing allegations of professional misconduct can be anxiety-provoking, frustrating, and time-consuming. Entrusting PCS with your RECO case means that you will have an experienced and trusted advocate at your side throughout the complaints and discipline process. We understand the potential impact that complaints and professional misconduct allegations can have on your reputation and financial situation. We know that your livelihood can depend on ensuring that the complaint is found to be without merit and that allegations of professional misconduct are dismissed. Our real estate professional defence lawyers work tirelessly, creatively – and in a relentless manner.
RECO enforces the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (“REBBA”), which promotes transparency, honesty, integrity and fairness in real estate transactions, and requires competent and conscientious service.
RECO’s Registrar will notify you and your broker of a complaint and provide you with sufficient detail to respond. The Registrar may request information in relation to the complaint from the real estate professional and there is an opportunity to respond to the allegations. When a complaint is filed, you have a professional obligation to respond promptly to all communications from RECO and to co-operate with any inspection.
The Registrar determines whether a complaint or allegation of misconduct can be resolved at this early stage, or whether it requires referral to the disciplinary committee. PCS assists real estate professionals in making submissions and responding to the Registrar. The Registrar screens complaints and can refer a real estate professional to the Discipline Committee for a hearing for professional misconduct or incapacity. The Registrar can also, instead of referring the complaint to the Discipline Committee, caution the real estate professional, order them to compete further education, attempt to mediate or resolve the matter informally, or take other appropriate action.
PCS real estate professional defence lawyers guide real estate professionals through the inspection and response stage of a RECO complaint. The earlier a real estate professional retains quality defence counsel, the better the opportunity to ensure you walk away with your reputation, license, and livelihood intact. In an inspection, we will work in concert with you to ensure you are well prepared. We will ensure that all of the relevant information that demonstrates your competence and integrity is placed before the inspector, so that RECO has the tools it needs to dismiss any complaints against you.
The Discipline Committee determines if a real estate professional has failed to comply with REBBA or its regulations.
Hearings before the Discipline Committee involve hearing from witnesses, cross-examination, calling evidence, and making submissions before the committee. Our team of real estate defence lawyers have extensive expertise in these areas, developed over decades in tribunals and courtrooms across Ontario.
Carefully calibrated and effective cross-examination of witnesses called by the prosecution in your discipline proceeding can result in a dismissal of professional misconduct charges. The key to success is extensive preparation, skillful and targeted questioning, and the experience to adapt to the witness’s answers as they come. PCS real estate defence lawyers will bring these skills and attributes to your defence.
If the RECO Discipline Committee has reached an unfair or unreasonable decision, you have legal recourse. Real estate professionals can appeal to the LAT within 30 days of the release of the Discipline Committee’s decision. The LAT is an independent, quasi-judicial agency created by the government of Ontario. Appeals to the LAT involve the examination of the record of the proceedings before the Discipline Committee, the drafting of written legal arguments, and can involve oral arguments before the LAT.
Our real estate defence lawyers bring their experience and skill to bear on your case. We will subject the record of your proceeding to microscopic scrutiny to properly develop the arguments that have the greatest chance of winning on appeal. Our trial and appellate experience gives us the necessary perspective to properly examine a record and find the errors that will provide you with powerful arguments on appeal.
Critical to success on appeals is written advocacy – and written work is polished and persuasive. PCS’s experience in written advocacy has been honed over years of preparing written submissions in many different Ontario tribunals, and courts including the Divisional Court, the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. When it comes time to argue an appeal, we will be fully prepared to present your case in a forceful and persuasive manner.
Beyond RECO’s complaint and disciplinary process, PCS real estate defence lawyers also assist real estate professionals address allegations of breaching provisions of REBBA.
PCS real estate defence lawyers can assist with the investigatory phase, pre-trial and trial proceedings in the Ontario Court of Justice. We attend court on your behalf, review disclosure meticulously, conduct Crown and Judicial pre-trials, prepare you and your case for trial, and conduct the trial.
If you are found guilty of breaching REBBA, the consequences can be severe and can include significant financial penalties, imprisonment or both. The earlier a real estate professional retains quality defence counsel, the better the opportunity to ensure you walk away with your reputation, record, license, and livelihood intact.
Trials for REBBA offences are often complex, and involve hearing from witnesses, cross-examination, calling evidence, and making submissions before a Judge or Justice of the Peace in the Ontario Court of Justice. As experienced trial lawyers, our team of real estate defence lawyers have extensive expertise in these areas.
Carefully calibrated and effective cross-examination of witnesses called by the prosecution in your trial can result in an acquittal or withdrawal of the charges. The key to success is extensive preparation, skillful and targeted questioning, and the experience to adapt to the witness’s answers as they come. PCS real estate professional defence lawyers will bring these skills and attributes to your defence.
Posner Craig Stein is the right real estate professional defence firm to handle complaints made against you or defend you against REBBA investigations and prosecutions because:
If you are a real estate professional and have been the subject of a complaint or provincial court prosecution, it is to your benefit to retain an experienced real estate professional defence lawyer immediately. Posner Craig Stein may be able to help you avoid serious consequences, such as reputational and financial damage.