A prominent Boca Raton luxury real estate broker recently lost a seven-year legal battle against a former client who gave him a bad review.
On April 6, a jury in West Palm Beach found the client, Rick S. Felberbaum, his law firm Felberbaum & Associates PA and an affiliate of Christie’s International Realty were not guilty of defaming David Roberts, owner of Royal Palm Properties LLC, or RPP, which markets homes at the Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club.
“We’re happy, that’s for sure,” said Stephen Mendelsohn, a Greenberg Traurig shareholder who represented Felberbaum. “We thought the case was strong on the defense, but we knew we were in for the long haul. Our client was committed to seeing it through to the end.”
Roberts did not return a phone call seeking comment. His attorney Robert Sweetapple said his client intends “to pursue all appropriate relief in post-trial motions and at the appellate level.”
The dispute originated in 2008, when Felberbaum hired RPP to list a $4 million house he owned in Royal Palm. About a year later, after Felberbaum didn’t receive any offers, he switched brokers to Premier Estate Properties, which has an affiliation agreement with Christie’s to use its logo. Premier subsequently sold the home and asked Felberbaum to write a testimonial to put in a newsletter.
Felberbaum obliged and the newsletter was mailed twice to Royal Palm residents.