Wells Fargo Loses Game of Chicken with Former Employee. Also, Brokers Bedeviled by Client Spouses.

January 10, 2011

In yet another FINRA member firm versus former Associated Person dispute involving an alleged breach of a promissory note/bonus retention, Claimant Wells Fargo Advisors filed a FINRA Arbitration Statement of Claim against Respondent Lawrence in June 2010. Claimant Wells Fargo sought $23,525.00, plus interest and $1,475.00 in costs. In the Matter of the FINRA Arbitration Between Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, formerly known as Wachovia Securities, LLC, Claimant, versus Deward T. Lawrence, Respondent (FINRA Arbitration 10-02939, December 31, 2010)

As is somewhat typical in these cases, Claimant was represented by StreetWide Asset Recovery Group, Inc. and the Respondent represented himself.  Given the financial difficulties that many former registered person now find themselves in, these pro se defenses are often the norm.

The FINRA Arbitrator found Respondent Lawrence liable for and ordered him to pay to Claimant $555.92.

Comment from Bill Singer: Regular readers of BrokeAndBroker.com know that I often despair of the paucity of facts and/or explanations that are provided in FINRA's arbitration decisions -- and we start off the New Year with more of the same. 

How or why this pro se Respondent managed to escape a nearly $25,000 debt for a mere $555.92 is not explained to us by the FINRA Panel and the facts are so sparse that it's pure speculation if we try to make a meaningful inference. Nonetheless, it's likely that Respondent Lawrence went eye to eye with Claimant Wells Fargo/Wachovia and neither party blinked. The outcome of this game of Promissory-Note Chicken seems to have been a fairly resounding victory for the Respondent. 

Street Legal by Bill Singer

Till Death (And Arbitration) Do Us Part

You know how it goes - something like this:

I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

How touching. How sweet. Maybe it even brings a tear to your eye. Of course, that tear may well be the result of your crying when one of those spouses steals from the other and you get caught in the middle of a nasty lawsuit or arbitration.