The hedge fund, founded by billionaire Ray Dalio, was found to have "filed its claims in reckless disregard of its own internal records, and in order to support its allegations of access to trade secrets, manufactured false evidence," court documents made public on Monday showed."We conclude that Claimant [Bridgewater] did not have a reasonable basis for filing its claims of misappropriation of trade secrets or disclosure of confidential information as to Squire or Minicone," according to the documents, which quoted the findings of a panel of three arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association.
SIDE BAR: During Minicone's and Squire's tenure, Former FBI Director James Comey (2013 - 2017) was General Counsel at Bridgewater Associates from 2010 until early 2013.
WHEREFORE, Petitioners respectfully request that this Court:
a. Enter an Order pursuant to CPLR § 7510 confirming the Award.
b. Enter a judgment thereon in favor of Petitioners pursuant to CPLR § 7514, in the amount of $1,991,411.49, together with post-Award, pre-judgment interest at the statutory rate pursuant to CPLR § 5002 from July 1, 2020, through the date Judgment is entered; plus postjudgment interest at the statutory rate pursuant to CPLR § 5003 until payment is made; plus Petitioners' reasonable attorneys' fees and costs; and
c. Award Petitioners such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.
[T]he Tribunal found, nothing presented as evidence by Bridgewater throughout the Arbitration constituted a trade secret:[W]e find that the evidence presented establishes that the alleged trade secrets, that is, the trade secrets as described, constituted publicly available information or information generally known to professionals in the industry, and that Claimant [Bridgewater], a highly sophisticated entity, knew that the trade secrets as described did not constitute trade secrets.See Petition, Ex. 2 (Award at 17) (emphasis added). In addition to Bridgewater knowing that the information it alleged as "secrets" did not constitute trade secrets, the Tribunal found that Bridgewater manufactured false evidence regarding its alleged "secrets":We conclude that Claimant [Bridgewater] did not have a reasonable basis for filing its claims of misappropriation of trade secrets or disclosure of confidential information as to Squire or Minicone. We conclude Claimant filed its claims in reckless disregard of its own internal records, and in order to support its allegations of access to trade secrets, manufactured false evidence.Id. at 17 (emphasis added). Beyond the finding there were no trade secrets, the Tribunal also found that Bridgewater withheld evidence regarding its supposed "secrets" in defiance of the Tribunal's repeated orders:Finally, Claimant [Bridgewater] continued to press its claims even after discovery and the Tribunal's orders made it clear that Claimant's refusal to provide models and complete PEDs [Plain English Documents] foreclosed the possibility of prevailing on its misappropriation claims. Claimant's actions in continuing to press its claims constitute further evidence that its intentions were not to prove misappropriation, but rather, were to adversely affect Respondents' ability to conduct a competitive business.Id. at 17; see also id. at 19:Bridgewater defied the Tribunal's repeated orders to provide sufficient specificity for each of its alleged trade secrets to enable Respondents to determine what they were accused of misappropriating, thus making it impossible for experts and the Tribunal to compare Claimant's actual methodologies with TCM's methodologies. Claimant's refusal supports a negative inference,viz., that had the information been provided, it would have been obvious that Respondents' methodologies were not the same as Claimants.
at Pages 4 - 5 of the Petitioners' Memorandum
Bridgewater does not seek to vacate the panel's decision concerning any claims that were legitimately at issue in the arbitration. Prosecuting trade secret claims while maintaining those secrets' confidentiality is notoriously difficult. See generally Kevin R. Casey, Identification of Trade Secrets During Discovery: Timing and Specificity, 24 AIPLA Q.J. 191 (1996). While Bridgewater continues to believe its trade secret descriptions were sufficient, it respects the parties' contractual agreement to arbitrate this dispute and the arbitrators' decision to deny both Bridgewater's and Petitioners' substantive claims.Bridgewater objects only to that portion of the majority's decision which governing law and the parties' contracts independently and expressly forbid: the award of attorneys' fees to Petitioners. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion fails and the award must be vacated.
"The Chairperson of FINRA's Board must have a proven track record of leading complex organizations, and above all must have an unwavering commitment to investor protection and market integrity," said Board member Kathleen Murphy, who chairs FINRA's Nominating and Governance Committee. "In conducting our search for Bill's successor, it was clear that Eileen exceeds all of these qualifications and more."
SIDE BAR: Article I of FINRA's By-Laws states in pertinent part:(tt) "Public Governor" or "Public committee member" means any Governor or committee member who is not the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation or, during the Transitional Period, the Chief Executive Officer of NYSE Regulation, Inc., who is not an Industry Governor and who otherwise has no material business relationship with a broker or dealer or a self regulatory organization registered under the Act (other than serving as a public director of such a self regulatory organization); . . .
Note that Article I does NOT define the exclusion as based upon employment "with a broker or dealer . . . " but as the individual at issue having "no material business relationship with a broker or dealer . . ." I'm not going to accuse FINRA of bad faith but, you tell me: Given Murray's 32-year resume as published by FINRA and her concurrent service as a member of HSBC's Board, is it correct that she has "no material business relationship with a broker or dealer?" Apparently the answer is "yes," which makes you wonder just what constitutes the "material" substance of being a non-industry "Public" Governor at FINRA.
Eileen Murray Elected Chairperson of FINRA Board of Governors / Maureen Jensen and Eric Noll Appointed as New Public Governors (FINRA Release)https://www.finra.org/media-center/newsreleases/2020/eileen-murray-elected-chairperson-finra-board-governorsThe FINRA Board of Governors unanimously elected Eileen Murray, former Co-Chief Executive Officer of Bridgewater Associates, LP, as Chairperson to replace the departing William H. "Bill" Heyman. Also, Maureen Jensen, former Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Securities Commission and Eric Noll, Chief Executive Officer of Context Capital Partners were appointed to the FINRA Board as public governors, effective at the August Annual Meeting.Bill Singer's Comment: As I have long argued and will so persist, FINRA's Board of Governors is a non-representative entity nurtured by an indefensible system of gerrymandering whereby over 91% of the organization's member firms (those designated as "Small" and defined as having at least 1 but no more than 150 registered representatives) are restricted to only 3 of 24 seats (less than 13% of the organization's membership). Worse, FINRA's Nominating and Governance Committee, which nominates candidates for Governors, does not have one Small Firm Governor among its seven member committee https://www.finra.org/about/governance/standing-committeesWith the exception of Small Firm Governor Stephen Kohn, who is now seeking re-election to a second term, I know of no current Governor who is aggressively supporting efforts to seat a Small Firm Governor on the Nominating Committee.Given FINRA's social engineering of its Board and key Committees, and given the ongoing demise of FINRA's overall membership, I refuse to afford this so-called self-regulatory-organization any legitimacy and continue to call for its decertification. Consequently, while I welcome the election of Eileen Murray as Chair, I urge her to rectify the outrageous lack of fair representation on FINRA's Board and Committees.
SIDE BAR: For a very unsettling and troubling example of how FINRA handled (mishandled) prior allegations of misconduct by a major member firm during an arbitration, read: "Wall Street Whistleblower Johnny Burris Speaks Truth To Power" (BrokeAndBroker.com Blog / June 30, 2017) http://www.brokeandbroker.com/3516/burris-whistleblower/