Dismissal on a Directed Verdict in NY FINRA Arbitration
Obtained a dismissal on a directed verdict in a FINRA arbitration in New York. The defense represented a broker-dealer in a dispute with its former customer regarding the unauthorized use of her account information. The claimant was a customer of one of the broker-dealer’s New York branches, where her ex-husband also worked as a broker. In the claimant’s request for attorney’s fees in a separate divorce court proceeding, she claimed to be destitute and alleged that her ex-husband was in the better financial position. Knowing the claimant was misrepresenting her financial circumstances in the divorce proceeding, the ex-husband gained unauthorized access to the claimant’s account information. He attached a printout of the claimant’s account portfolio to his cross-motion for attorney’s fees, while accusing the claimant of misrepresenting her financial circumstances. Despite being advised of the ex-husband’s unauthorized access to the claimant’s account information, the judge in the divorce proceedings, found the claimant had not been forthcoming in presenting her financial circumstances to the court and denied her motion for attorney’s fees. The claimant then sued our broker-dealer client in FINRA arbitration for failure to supervise, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, invasion of privacy, and theft of private financial client information as a result of the ex-husband’s access to her account and submission in the divorce proceeding. In addition to legal arguments based upon failure to state a claim, the defense used the divorce court opinion in the FINRA arbitration to prove the claimant sustained no damages.