Arbitration, like boxing, can leave the odds-on-favorite on the canvass
In Statements of Claim filed in July 2011, Claimant UBS asserted breach of contract; common count for money lent; common count for account stated; and unjust enrichment concerning separate November 2008 promissory notes. Claimant UBS sought against Respondent Kirwan and Respondent Meninger, $300,407.85 and $185,287.19, respectively, in compensatory damages plus interest, costs, attorneys' fees, and other fees. In the Matter of the FINRA Arbitration Between UBS Financial Services Inc., Claimant/Counter-Respondent vs. James P. Kirwan, Respondent/Counter-Claimant - AND - Joanne M. Meninger, Claimant/Counter-Respondent (FINRA Consolidated Case Number; 11-02752 (consolidated with -02753), April 4, 2013).
SIDE BAR: On May 2, 2012, Respondent Kirwan and Respondent Meninger filed a Motion to Consolidate FINRA Arbitrations 11-02752 and 11-02753; following opposition from UBS, the FINRA Arbitration Panel granted the motion on June 20, 2012.
Respondent Kirwan and Respondent Meninger generally denied the allegations, asserted various affirmative defenses, and filed Counterclaims asserting breach of contract. Separately, Counterclaimant Meninger alleged that she did not receive any paychecks for commissions during her former UBS employment.
Counterclaimant Kirwan sought
Counterclaimant Meninger sought $90,000 in unpaid compensation.
At the close of the hearing, Counterclaimants Kirwan and Meninger requested $1,260,000.00 as an offset for damages.
The FINRA Arbitration Panel denied UBS's claims against both respondents; and the Panel found UBS liable and ordered it to pay to Respondent Kirwan and Respondent Meninger $250,000 in compensatory damages.
Bill Singer's Comment
Ouch! UBS comes a gunnin' for the two former employees to the tune of about $486,000 but walks away filled with some $250,000 in buckshot - that's almost three-quarters of a million bucks between what the brokerage firm sought and what it wound up paying. I know that Respondent Meninger asserted that UBS had caused him three years of constant stress but, I dunno, if you ask me, I think UBS walked away from this hearing with a massive case of acid reflux.
Kudos to respondents' legal counsel Paul A. Lieberman, Esq., of Stark & Stark, Lawrenceville, NJ.