- breach of contract,
- breach of fiduciary duty and duty of loyalty,
- misappropriation and misuse of confidential information and trade secrets,
- tortious interference with contractual and business relations, and
- unfair competition.
Claimants initially requested $740,047.70 in compensatory damages; $60,000 in attorneys' fees, and other relief. At the close of the hearing. Claimants requested $809,745.00 in compensatory damages. In the Matter of the FINRA Arbitration Between Gary Goldberg & Company, Inc., and Gary Goldberg Planning Services, Inc., Claimants v. Sidney Abramowitz, Leah Lebovits, and Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Respondents (FINRA Arbitration 09-01975, June 23, 2011)
Respondents generally denied the allegations and asserted various affirmative defenses.
On June 14, 2011, Respondent Lebovits was withdrawn as a party by stipulation of the parties.
The FINRA Arbitration Panel found Respondent Abramowitz liable and ordered him to pay to Claimants $24,686.00 in compensatory damages and $20,000 in attorneys' fees pursuant to the terms of the relevant employment agreement.
Bill Singer's Comment
We recently examined a case in which a former employee filed a FINRA arbitration seeking nearly $2 million in damages and the FINRA Arbitration Panel awarded that Claimant about $65,000 - whether anyone won that case is still open to debate. See, RBC Loses $2 Million FINRA Employment Arbitration - Or Did It? ("Street Sweeper," June 28, 2011). Now we have the shoe on the other foot. In the case in this article, a former employer has filed a FINRA arbitration case against a former employee, resulting in a verdict of about $45,000 versus a demand for over $800,000.
Rather than repeat all of my brilliant insights from my June 28th Street Sweeper Blog, how about I just send you back to the column? The trick is to read that older article in front of a mirror so that everything that I said about the winning employee will now apply, in reverse, to the winning employer in this case.