Two prolific Aspen real-estate brokers are at odds over an estimated $80 million in property listings, according to a complaint filed in Pitkin County District Court.
Realtor Gary Feldman is suing Joshua Saslove and his firm, Joshua & Co. of Aspen, on allegations that Saslove has gained an unfair business advantage by wrongfully using Feldman’s advertising materials and listings. Feldman is asking a court to enter an injunction to forbid Saslove from using the listings. The suit also is seeking a court-appointed receiver to oversee any Saslove commissions that arise from any sales the listings generate.
The suit also accuses Saslove of “cajoling” Feldman’s clients to abandon him and take their business to Saslove.
The dispute comes after Saslove “abruptly and unexpectedly terminated” Feldman on May 9, alleges the suit, filed Friday by Aspen lawyer Peter Thomas. The termination, the suit alleges, was spurred by Feldman’s effort to enforce a partnership agreement that Saslove denied, the suit says.
In 2007, Saslove hired Feldman, a former president of the Aspen Board of Realtors and the Aspen Realtor of the Year in 1994, from the Coates, Reid and Waldron Realty firm, which Saslove acquired in 2009.
At the time of his hiring, Feldman was made the managing partner of Joshua & Co., and both Feldman and Saslove agreed that if the partnership dissolved, Feldman would be able to retain all of his clients, the suit says.
Meanwhile, Feldman generated “millions of dollars” in revenue for Saslove’s firm, but ever since Feldman and Saslove met at Palm Beach, Fla., in February 2012, “Defendants have attempted to deny the existence of any partnership,” the suit says.
The suit makes 12 claims for relief and an unspecified amount in damages. It accuses Saslove of misleading Feldman into believing he would be the firm’s managing partner.
“It appears that defendants’ representations that Mr. Feldman would be a managing partner of the firm were false, were intended to be false and were designed to induce Mr. Feldman to bring his book of business to the firm and serve as its managing partner, without delivery of the agreed-upon consideration of a partnership interest,” the suit says.
Phone messages left with Feldman and Saslove seeking comment were not returned Monday.