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07/01/88 Hank Mcwhorter, v. Realty World-Star

July 1, 1988

HANK MCWHORTER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

REALTY WORLD-STAR, INC., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIFTH DISTRICT

525 N.E.2d 1205, 171 Ill. App. 3d 588, 121 Ill. Dec. 898 1988.IL.1056

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County; the Hon. Nicholas G. Byron, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE WELCH delivered the opinion of the court. KARNS and LEWIS, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WELCH

Defendant-appellant, Realty World-Star, Inc., appeals from a judgment of the circuit court of Madison County in favor of plaintiff-appellee, Hank McWhorter. Plaintiff began working as a real estate salesman for defendant on March 1, 1983. On November 8, 1983, plaintiff and defendant entered into an independent contractors agreement whereby plaintiff was to provide services to defendant in return for payment of commissions by defendant. Among plaintiff's duties were to obtain listings of houses for sale and to sell those houses. Paragraph 2 of the independent contractors agreement provides:

"Salesperson shall receive as compensation for his services commissions on any sales which he makes or on any listings which he obtains in accordance with the commission rates then in effect in the Star organization."

Paragraph 5 of the agreement provides in part:

"The rights of the parties to any commission or division thereof which accured [ sic ] prior to the time of said notice [of termination] shall not be divested by the termination of this contract."

Finally, paragraph 9 of the agreement provides:

"The salesperson recognizes that, in order to insure the orderly conduct of the business and enhance the reputation of the Star organization and the salesperson associated with it, Star has developed a policy and procedure manual, salesperson agrees to abide by the terms of such policy and procedure manual insofar as it pertains to the handling of salesperson's service as a salesperson, and as to the means of securing listings, handling prospects, and consummating negotiations; but salesperson otherwise shall have full discretion as to the conduct of his activities."

Plaintiff's employment with defendant was terminated on April 30, 1984. While still employed by defendant, plaintiff obtained listings for defendant on three properties. These three properties were sold by defendant subsequent to the termination of plaintiff's employment. Defendant refused to pay plaintiff the commissions allegedly owed to him for the listings, and plaintiff brought suit.

The cause was tried to the court sitting without a jury. Relying on its office policy manual, defendant argued that plaintiff was entitled to commissions on properties sold subsequent to termination of his employment only if sales contracts on the properties had been signed and accepted by both buyer ...


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