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Saffie v. Schmeling

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Second Division

March 7, 2014

George SAFFIE, Jr., Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
Robert SCHMELING, Cross-complainant and Appellant; Burton Commercial, Inc. et al., Cross-defendants and Respondents.

APPEAL from the Superior Court of Riverside County. Mac R. Fisher and Craig Riemer, Judges. Affirmed. (Super. Ct. No. RIC500477).

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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COUNSEL

Snyder Dorenfeld and David K. Dorenfeld for Plaintiff and Appellant George Saffie, Jr.

Reynolds, Jensen & Swan and Barry R. Swan for Cross-complainant and Appellant Robert Schmeling.

No appearance for Cross-defendants and Respondents Burton Commercial, Inc. and Yousef Sasa.

OPINION

HOLLENHORST, Acting P.J.

This case arises from a real estate transaction that did not turn out as well for the buyer, plaintiff George Saffie, Jr. (buyer), as he had hoped. Saffie brought suit against his broker, Anthony Burton (buyer's broker) and his firm, Burton Commercial, Inc., as well as the seller, Yousef Sasa (seller), and the seller's broker, Robert Schmeling (seller's broker). Defendants filed cross-complaints against one another for indemnification.

After a bench trial on buyer's claims, and a separate hearing regarding defendants' indemnification claims, the trial court decided that buyer should take nothing on his claims against seller and seller's broker, but found buyer's broker and his firm liable in the amount of $232,147.50 for breach of

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fiduciary duty and negligence.[1] The court held that none of the defendants should recover anything on their cross-complaints for indemnity.

Buyer appeals the trial court's judgment only with respect to its finding of no liability as to seller's broker. Seller's broker cross-appeals with respect to the trial court's ruling on his cross-complaint, seeking to revive his indemnification claims only if the trial court's judgment that he is not liable to buyer were to be reversed.

Buyer contends that seller's broker's statement on a multiple listing service was false or inaccurate. For the reasons stated below, the trial court's judgment will be affirmed. The affirmance renders the cross-appeal moot, and it will be dismissed; thus, ...


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