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KASSATLY v. YAZBECK

June 22, 1990

RICHARD KASSATLY, Plaintiff,
v.
JOSEPH A. YAZBECK, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: REVERCOMB

 GEORGE H. REVERCOMB, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 This action arises out of the lease and possible sale of The Grand Hotel by Joseph Kaempfer and his various real estate partnerships to Joseph Yazbeck and his business ("Yazbeck defendants"). Plaintiff Richard Kassatly, a former confidant of Joseph Yazbeck, brings this action alleging that he is entitled to a "finder's fee" for the transaction.

 By Memorandum and Order dated March 19, 1990, *fn1" the Court granted the Kaempfer defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissed Count II against the Yazbeck defendants. The focus of that motion was the extent of Kassatly's participation in the Grand Hotel transaction -- whether Kassatly acted as a "broker" or a mere "finder." Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration examines a different issue -- namely, whether a broker involved in the sale of a business, including its real estate, *fn2" is subject to the District of Columbia's broker licensing requirement. See D.C. Code, § 45-1926(c) (1986 ed.). *fn3" Plaintiff argues that the District of Columbia excludes a "business chance broker" from its licensing requirements, even if the subject transaction tangentially involves real estate.

 The District of Columbia Real Estate Licensure Act of 1982 defined the term "business-chance broker" *fn4" and required that business-chance brokers be licensed. D.C. Code, §§ 45-1922, 45-1926 (1981 ed.). This legislation was repealed in 1983. D.C. Law 4-209, 30 D.C. Reg. 390 (1983). In 1984, the District amended its licensing statutes, deleting all explicit references to "business-chance brokers." See D.C. Code §§ 45-1921 et seq. (1986 ed.). From this plaintiff argues, there is no licensing requirement for business-chance brokers, even those whose "business opportunities" involve real estate to some degree.

 The definitional statute under the 1984 Amendment does not automatically suggest that a "business chance broker" qualifies as a real estate broker or property manager. See § 45-1922 (10), (12) (1986 ed.). However, the licensing statute is quite explicit:

 
(b)(1) For purposes of this chapter, a person will be performing as a real estate broker if:
 
(A) The person accepts of fee, commission, or other valuable consideration for exchanging, buying, selling, renting, or leasing real estate or businesses ;
 
(B) The person negotiates a loan secured by a mortgage, deed of trust, or other encumbrance on real property or a business ; or
 
(C) The person is engaged in any activity specified by § 45-1922(12). D.C. Code, § 45-1926 (1986 ed.) (emphasis added).

 The legislative history of the 1984 Amendment confirms that the licensing statute was intended to cover "business chance brokers."

 
Deletion of Business Chance Broker from the Statute :
 
[The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs], the [District of Columbia Real Estate] Commission and Mr. Anthony Mizzer, [a former Real Estate Commissioner], recommended deleting all references to business chance brokers from the statute and eliminating the business chance broker member from the real estate board.
 
It was their position that the licensure requirements for business chance brokers are identical to those for a real estate broker, therefore they suggested streamlining the licensure process by combining ...

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