Will you like $25 million to go with that salad?


lettuce Will you like $25 million to go with that salad?

Enough is enough, I have Lechuga and Hollow up to my eyeballs already! (this of course is only my opinion). Because I’m in Miami, every other local blogger is writing about the lawsuit and with every right. Some are scared, some are being extra cautious and adding disclaimers to their sites, and some are in complete awe (I’m one of those).

So here’s my interpretation of the scoop:

Lucas Lechuga, a Miami Realtor who specializes in condos along the Biscayne Corridor from Brickell to Wynwood wrote a post about a particular building (The Opera Tower). In that post he gives his opinion about the building and mentions the developer and bankruptcy (the post HAS been taken down so excuse the missing link). Lechuga’s broker at the time asked him to remove the post or edit it and Lechuga chose to keep the post and find another broker- (read Sellsius’ Real Estate Blogger Says – Take This Job And Shove It, I Ain’t Working Here No More – in my opinion this post was very timely because it was around the time real estate bloggers started discussing broker censorship and control). Then this week Lechuga gets sued by the developer for $25 million and also gets fired from EWM, his new brokerage. THAT’s what I call a couple of months packed with excitement!

Here’s what Miami is saying about the whole ordeal…I wander if we will all get sued at the end.

  • Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal who authors Transit Miami started the ball rolling:

I believe this whole thing has been blown disproportionately out of the water, starting with an exorbitant $25 million for defamation. How can anyone quantify that much in damages to begin with? Luckily for Lechuga, the lawsuit likely won’t hold much water in court according to herald interviews with local attorneys. From what I can tell, this has the appearance of a glorified publicity stunt amid a crumbling housing market. Who am I to say anyway? Only time will tell…

In the growing universe of local bloggers, Miami Realtor Lucas Lechuga carved out an early space. He is a real estate professional who writes a blog to enlighten readers and inquisitive, prospective buyers and sellers of his opinions about the real state of the condo market in one of the nation’s most overbuilt cities.

Seems that an allegation that Developer Tibor Hollo went bankrupt in the 80s is the sticking point, along with some predictions that his current projects are headed for failure. Doesn’t this sort of alternate-revenue-seeking lend credence to the latter assertion, though?

  • Steve from “Klotz” and in “Blood”

Always happy to encounter stories like this one…..Evidently this litigation had nothing to do with his looks, either.

And please don’t miss Joe Ferrara’s legal take on the issue – Those guys from Sellsius are DA BOMB! (opinion again)

So what does this mean for Real Estate Bloggers? Does it mean we have to state “this is my opinion” on every single statement we make? Will a disclaimer be enough? Should we be scared? Should Lechuga run with his tail between his legs?

The fact is that Lechuga has and will get a lot of press from this and it can’t be all THAT bad, although I would not like to be in his shoes.

Don’t be afraid to give your opinion but check the facts. I do think it’s unfortunate that EWM fired Lechuga, especially after I’ve talked to Beth Butler, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of EWM, so many times and she seems to be such an advocate of blogging.

This is the lame statement given by Ron Shuffield, president of EWM to the Miami Herald, “”We just don’t condone making statements, especially negative statements, about anyone, so we have terminated our relationship with our associate.” (please note that calling Mr. Shuffield’s statement “lame” is only my opinion – it is not meant to be a fact or a personal representation of Mr. Shuffield, EWM or any of EWM’s affiliates) GEESH!!! is that what the blogging world will turn to?

** originally written on AgentGenius.com **

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