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Friday, May 7, 2021

The Villages hires Fox legal analyst in battle with former sales representatives

Properties of The Villages has hired a Fox News legal analyst in its ongoing federal court battle with former sales representatives who broke away to form their own real estate firm.

John Lauro

John Lauro of the Lauro Law Firm on Tuesday filed a notice in U.S. District Court in Ocala indicating that he will be representing Properties of The Villages as an April trial is looming. Properties of The Villages will also be relying on the services of Laura Law Firm senior counsel Gregory Singer. Lauro replaces attorney Patrick Muldowney as lead trial counsel, however, Muldowney will remain as co-counsel.

Properties of The Villages is going after former top producers Christopher Day and Jason Kranz of NextHome KD Premier Realty. Properties of The Villages is also suing former sales representatives Angela Kranz, Cynthia Hughes, Nanette Elliott and Kelly Shipes, who defected to join Day and Kranz in their new real estate venture.

Properties of The Villages contends the former sales representatives violated their independent contractor agreements, which included a non-compete clause.

The former sales representatives are fighting for back pay they claim they are owed by The Villages. All have given detailed depositions describing uncompensated overtime, mandatory trolley rides, mandatory sales meetings and even being treated like Uber drivers and skycaps for would-be homebuyers arriving on the Lifestyle Preview Plan. Day has estimated he is owed $1.47 million in back wages, according to a deposition he gave last year. 

The Lauro Law Firm, with offices in Tampa and New York, is headed by John Lauro, a Georgetown Law School grad and former federal prosecutor in New York City. As a Fox News analyst, Lauro has weighed in on discussions about the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the allegations against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton. He has also appeared on ABC News and MSNBC.

Last year, the former Properties of The Villages sales representatives switched their legal representation from Dock Blanchard of Blanchard, Merriam, Adel and Kirkland PA of Ocala, to Jonathan Pollard of Pollard PLLC of Fort Lauderdale. Pollard’s practice is focused on competition law and he has extensive experience litigating both sides of complex non-compete and trade secret matters.

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