Legal News

Merril Lynch Trips over its Own Feet in $10 Million Arbitration Challenge
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

While Merril Lynch is in the act of challenging an April 3 arbitration ruling on the grounds that the arbitration panel’s chairwoman was biased against Merrill, as reported by Reuters. Apparently new evidence shows Merrill has managed to put its foot squarely where it belongs – in its mouth.

The brokerage giant is challenging the arbitration ruling in favor of two brokers, Tamara Smolchek and Meri Ramazio on the grounds that the arbitration chairwoman, Bonnie Pearce did not properly disclose that she was married to a lawyer, Robert Pearce, who has represented Merill’s adversaries at least five times and won a $1.3 million award against Merrill. However, Merrill’s claims may be trashed as a motion filed by the firm of Wednesday revealed that, in fact, a Merrill lawyer had researched the husband, Robert Pearce, and his prior award against Merrill, before the arbitration ever began.

The discovery was made Wednesday from a filing made by Miami lawyer Peter Homer, and showed that Merrill’s attorney in the Smolchek case, Douglas Spaulding found five pages printed from Robert Pearce’s website, eight days before the first hearing on January 23.

  
What
Where


Spaulding also found a copy of the 2003 arbitration award where Merrill was ordered to pay Pearce’s clients $1.3 million in damages over misleading research.

On multiple occasions, Merrill has claimed that it was unaware of Pearce’s relations or the kind of cases her husband pursued before the arbitration hearings in the Smolchek case began.

Marc Dobin, a lawyer in Jupiter, Florida told Reuters, “It’s a screw-up; it hurts their credibility with the judge … You can’t argue arbitrator bias that you didn’t know about if you knew about it.”

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




A Merrill spokesman declined to comment to the media over the mess, but commented that “Spaulding had no recollection of accessing this information or reviewing it prior to the hearing.”

Vacating the Smolchek arbitration is critical for Merrill not only because of the $10 million award, but also because the panel criticized in writing Merrill’s conduct towards brokers. More than 3000 brokers left Merrill Lynch after it was taken over by the Bank of America, however not a single claim for vesting of deferred pay was approved by Merrill’s “good reasons” committee, as observed by the arbitration panel.





 

RELEVANT JOBS

Staff Attorney

USA-VA-Fairfax

The Staff Attorney is responsible for managing the Fund’s delinquent contribution and withdraw...

Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-TX-Sugar Land

Civil Litigation Firm in Sugar Land, TX. is seeking an attorney with 2 - 5 years litigation exp...

Apply now

Second Year Litigation Attorney

USA-CA-Sacramento

SECOND YEAR LITIGATION ATTORNEY   Cook Brown, LLP, a Sacramento boutique labor & employme...

Apply now

Associate Attorney - New Orleans

USA-LA-New Orleans

Slocumb Law Firm, LLC, is a national personal injury law firm. This is an excellent opportunity for ...

Apply now

BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Personal Injury Litigator

USA-VA-Fairfax

Northern Virginia office of our client is seeking a personal injury litigator with 4+ years of stron...

Apply Now

Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Larkspur

Larkspur office of our client seeks an associate attorney with 4-6 years of experience/background pr...

Apply Now

Associate Attorney

USA-MI-Bloomfield Hills

Bloomfield Hills office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks an associate attorney wit...

Apply Now

Most Popular

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top