Liddle & Robinson Attorneys at Law New York City


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In a January 2007 Order, the New York State Supreme Court held that L&R's clients, three former New York Stock Exchange Seatholders, had pleaded viable claims against the NYSE and its Chief Executive John Thain for breach of fidcuairy duty.
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In a March 21, 2006 decision, the Honorable Denise L. Cote of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted a Liddle & Robinson Motion to Vacate an NASD Arbitration Award entered in favor Elizabeth and Donald Rich against Liddle & Robinson clients Philip L. Spartis and Amy J. Elias.

While the Court noted that "an arbitration panel's decision is entitled to great deference," it agreed with Liddle & Robinson that a panel exceeds its power when it issues an award arising from claims concerning a security which is the subject of a class action settlement, bar order, and releases.

The Riches sought damages from Salomon Smith Barney, Mr. Spartis and Ms. Elias arising from the alleged mishandling of their WorldCom employee stock options. During the arbitration, Liddle & Robinson advised the Louisville, Kentucky arbitration panel of the fact that the Riches failed to opt out of the WorldCom class action litigation, and thus had released all their claims against Salomon Smith Barney, Mr. Spartis and Ms. Elias. The Panel ignored this information and, instead of dismissing the Riches' WorldCom claims, issued a $448,000 decision in the Riches' favor on them.

The Court ruled that for the Panel "to go ahead and 'decide' the matter anyway is ill-advised and clearly beyond any power the arbitrators have." The Court thus took the unusual step of vacating the Riches' Award.

Lawyer(s): Jeffrey L. Liddle

Web Info (URL): www.nysd.uscourts.gov/courtweb/pdf/D02NYSC/06-01158.PDF

Ross Gilbert sued Salomon Smith Barney and Jack Grubman for violations of federal securities laws, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and failure to disclose conflicts of interest relating to Jack Grubman's market research on WorldCom, Global Crossing and Flag Telecom. After a 10-day arbitration hearing a NYSE arbitration Panel sitting in Phoenix, Arizona held SSB and Grubman jointly and severally liable for losses totaling $510,000. The Panel also assessed all NYSE forum fees, totaling $33,900, against SSB.

Lawyer(s): Jeffrey L. Liddle

Our client, Philip L. Spartis, served as a Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. (SSB) Corporate Client Group Director until February 2002. Claimants Deborah Surrette and George Hughes were SSB customers who sued Mr. Spartis and SSB, alleging, among other things, that Mr. Spartis acted negligently, fraudulently and breached his fiduciary duty to Claimants with regard to the handling of their employee stock options. We defended Mr. Spartis, claiming that the allegations against him were meritless because Mr. Spartis was not involved in the alleged sales practice violations, let alone commit any wrongdoing as to Surrette and Hughes. On October 18, 2005, after a 7-day hearing, a NYSE Panel issued an Award dismissing all of Claimant's claim and assessing all of the $20,850 in forum fees against the Claimants. Notably, the Panel also ordered the expungement of the arbitration from Mr. Spartis's regulatory record, stating that "after 13 hearing sessions, the panel orders that all references of this arbitration matter be expunged from Philip Spartis' CRD records as he was not involved in the alleged investment sales practice violation and the allegations are erroneous."

Lawyer(s): Jeffrey L. Liddle

Our client, Helen R. Gallucci and the Gallucci Family Limited Partnership in which she was the general partner, sued her broker, Salomon Smith Barney, for unsuitable advice and use of margin, churning her accounts to generate excessive commissions, and failure to adequately supervise her accounts. On January 14, 2005, a NYSE arbitration panel awarded Ms. Gallucci and the partnership $329,497 in damages.

Lawyer(s): Jeffrey L. Liddle

Web Info (URL): www.nyse.com/pdfs/2002-010231.pdf

Our client, Philip Spartis, was accused by the New York Stock Exchange's Enforcement Division of failing to cooperate with the NYSE in connection with an investigation. A NYSE Hearing Panel found, after a hearing, that Mr. Spartis was not guilty on all counts.

Lawyer(s): Jeffrey L. Liddle

Web Info (URL): www.nyse.com/pdfs/03-176x.pdf

Our client, Gopal Narasimhan sued Wall Street Access for damages he suffered as a result of the company's failure to properly execute an options transaction. The arbitrators awarded Mr. Narasimhan damages of $40,500.00 plus interest, and assessed all of the forum fees, totalling $13,500, against Respondent.

Web Info (URL): www.liddlerobinson.com/pdf/narasimhan.pdf

Our clients were shareholders of Modification Systems, Inc. (MSI), a closely held corporation that manufactured and modified computer simulators for nuclear power plant. They claimed in a derivative lawsuit that MSI and its President, Francis Meyers, as well as other officers and directors, engaged in securities fraud by voting to accept Meyers subscription for MSIs stock below book value, as well claims for breach of fiduciary duty as the result of MSI awarding Meyers compensation and other benefits for non-corporate use. The plaintiff-shareholders did not make a demand on MSIs directors for corrective action. Demand on a board of directors is intended to allow the corporation itself to take over the suit, brought in the corporations behalf, thereby permitting the directors to occupy their normal status as conductors of the corporation s affairs. The issue on this appeal was whether the federal district court should have permitted the shareholders to amend their complaint to plead in detail facts why a demand on the board of directors would be futile. The federal appeals court agreed that the district court had been wrong, and revered its decision, thereby allowing the shareholders to proceed with their claims. In a significant concurring opinion by Circuit Judge Henry Friendly, legendary for his knowledge of the securities laws, he explained that the shareholders had established that any demand on the board of directors would be futile. The case subsequently settled, in an agreement under which MSIs president agreed to purchse the plaintiffs stock at a 100% profit, as well as MSI agreeing to pay a protion of the our cleints attorneyds fees.

Lawyer(s): Jeffrey L. Liddle

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