Securities Litigation and Arbitration
We have an extensive track record of successful engagements that can be matched by few firms of our size. With a dedicated focus on the financial services arena, we represent broker-dealers, registered representatives and other industry participants in a broad spectrum of securities disputes in court and in FINRA arbitration. Our principal attorney has handled approximately 200 FINRA arbitrations and has a lengthy record of success in those matters that have been tried to verdict. Our clients have entrusted us to litigate sales practice disputes of virtually every type, encompassing a wide variety of products.
As a small law firm, we are free from the conflicts faced by many larger law firms. This flexibility enables us to represent investors with substantial claims, along with claims in which one broker-dealer is adverse to another. Our founding partner is a certified arbitrator for FINRA and the NFA and formerly served as in-house counsel for an NYSE-member broker-dealer. This in-the-trenches experience provides unique insight to our advocacy.
Some of our representative matters include:
- Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC v. Genyou Hu (Case No. 13-03028). We represented Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC in connection with claims against a former employee concerning loan repayment and defended the counterclaim by the employee, including claims for Form U5 expungement. AWARD: The arbitration panel gave full compensatory damages to Morgan Stanley in excess of $330,000 and denied the employee’s counterclaims.
- Jay Lehman, et al. v. Monarch Capital Group LLC, et al. (Case No. 13-00016). We represented Monarch Capital Group LLC in connection with claims concerning a hedge fund investment. The customers sought damages of almost $2 million. AWARD: The arbitration denied all claims against Monarch Capital Group LLC and dismissed the broker-dealer at the conclusion of claimants’ case-in-chief.
- Berman Klein Realty Association, et al. v. Cantella & Co., Inc., et al. (Case No. 12-02212). We represented Cantella & Co., Inc. and the co-respondents in connection with claims of suitability and failure to supervise concerning the private placement of tenant-in-common (TIC) interests in real estate offerings. The customers sought rescission and/or compensatory damages in excess of $1 million. AWARD: The arbitration panel denied all claims and rendered a complete defense verdict.
- Jefferies & Company, Inc. v. John P. Coen (FINRA Arbitration No. 09-03263). Represented Jefferies & Company, Inc. in connection with claims against a former employee. The arbitration panel awarded Jefferies full compensatory damages in excess of $1 million. Jefferies has collected much of the Award through post-Award litigation.
- Jefferies & Company, Inc. v. Cohen Capital Partners II LP, et al. (FINRA Arbitration No. 08-01050). Represented Jefferies & Company, Inc. in connection with a dispute with a hedge fund that dishonored trades. The Award reflects that Jefferies collected “a substantial settlement payment” from Respondents. Additionally, all references to the arbitration were expunged from the Central Registration Depository records of Jefferies’ account executive, who was named as a third-party respondent.
- Credit Suisse First Boston LLC v. Repurchase Corp., et al. (NYSE Arbitration 2004-014931). Represented Credit Suisse in connection with claims against a former customer for unsettled trades. The arbitration panel entered an Award in favor of Credit Suisse for $755,000, plus attorneys’ fees and reimbursable expenses.
- Credit Suisse First Boston LLC v. Lance W. Bridges (NYSE Arbitration 2003-014828). Represented Credit Suisse in connection with claims against a former customer for an unpaid margin loan. The customer counterclaimed alleging a failed investment strategy. The arbitration panel denied the customer’s counterclaim and awarded Credit Suisse full compensatory damages plus $168,000 for attorneys’ fees and expert’s fees.
Securities Litigation in Court
- KV Pharmaceutical Co. v. Citigroup Global Markets (Civil Action No. 09 Civ. 6553 (SDNY 2009)). Recovered in excess of $75 million for Plaintiff in connection with a complex auction rate securities litigation.
- Peck v. Pacific CMA, Inc. (Civil Action No. 05 Civ. 569 (D. Co. 2005)). Defended Pacific CMA, a public company, against claims that it refused to allow shareholders to sell restricted stock in accordance with Rule 144. After a complex bench trial, the U.S. District Judge ruled in favor of Defendant, finding that the shareholders were “underwriters,” as defined by federal securities law, and thus not entitled to rely upon Rule 144.
- Martini v. Presque Isle Capital Management (Civil Action No. 04-354, 2006 WL 572136 (W.D. Pa. 2006)). Defended a registered investment advisory firm against claims of improper account management. Five of six causes of action were dismissed and the case was resolved on favorable terms for Defendants.
Litigation Ancillary to Securities Arbitration
- Jefferies & Company, Inc. v. Infinity Equities I LLC, 66 A.D.3d 540, 887 N.Y.S.2d 81 (1st Dep’t 2009). Successfully compelled arbitration against a non-signatory to an arbitration agreement by establishing that Respondent was, in fact, the signatories undisclosed principal. In so doing, Jefferies collected a substantial amount of money notwithstanding the fact that the principal was defunct and without assets.
- Friedman Schnaier v. AURA Financial Services (Index No. 110099/2005 (Sup. Ct. New York County). Obtained a TRO and preliminary injunction, in aid of arbitration, on behalf of an independent branch office of a broker-dealer in litigation with its former brokerage firm.