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Another cockamamie broker commission lawsuit, an accounting giant exiting its namesake building and Alec Baldwin’s unlikely home selling strategy. From the wild and wooly world of real estate, here are the Hits and Misses for the week of Jan. 15-19.

Miss: Invasion of the Copycat Lawsuits. It appears the new trend in litigation is to file lawsuits against real estate professionals, their parent companies and their trade groups, with the insistence that they are part of a vast conspiracy to shake down the home sellers who pay broker commissions. The latest was filed this week in Los Angeles, adding to a growing archipelago of lawsuits taking root around the country. Perhaps it is time for the industry to start countersuing the characters wasting everyone’s time and money on worthless litigation? Seriously, when will the industry start to fight back?

Miss: I Left My Building in San Francisco. The accounting firm KPMG is moving out of the San Francisco office building that bears its name. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the company first leased space in the 25-story downtown property 10 years ago and expanded to nearly one-third of its 380,000 square feet space. The exit of KPMG from The KPMG Building is the latest blow to a city that has seen the departure of office and retail tenants along with residents who have become fed up with the deterioration of its quality of life.

Hit: Understanding the Impact of Underappraisals. Earlier this week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency published the report “Underappraisal Disparities and Time Adjustments” that considered how disparities in appraisers’ use of time adjustments for local house price growth was an often-overlooked factor in the underappraisal of homes owned by racial and ethnic minorities. This well-researched and well-written report highlighted a significant problem and offered intelligent steps to correct this situation.

Miss: Alec Baldwin Has a Home for You! Perhaps the wackiest story of the week involved actor Alec Baldwin, who turned up on YouTube in a sales video to market his $19 million home in the exclusive Hamptons section of New York’s Long Island. As someone who is known for his combative on-screen roles and his equally tumultuous off-screen behavior – including his fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of a low-budget Western and his endless insistence that it wasn’t his fault – Baldwin was unusually somber and solemn in this video, to the point that its bouncy jazz soundtrack often overwhelmed his whispery recitation of the property’s appeal.

In Memoriam: David H. Stevens. The saddest news story of the week involved the passing of David H. Stevens after a valiant fight against cancer. Dave had a brilliant career in the private sector and in public service, and I had the privilege of getting to know him during his leadership years as the head of the Mortgage Bankers Association. The world is a lot less interesting without his insight and passion, and he left behind a legacy that was truly peerless.

Phil Hall is the editor of Weekly Real Estate News. He can be reached at [email protected].

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