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Linda E. LaPrade v. Kidder, Peabody & Co., - 10/8/1999

Award Amount- $65,000.00

Case Summary: Kidder Peabody hired our client, Linda E. LaPrade, in January 1989 as an assistant vice president and the manager of the New Issue Agency Syndicate. In July 1989, Kidder Peabbody promoted her to vice president, product manager-agency bond trading. Notwithstanding her successes, she claimed that her supervisors knew that in order for her to achieve succeed, she would have to engage in potentially unethical or even illegal behavior, and instructed her to do so. She claimed that her supervisors threatened her job if she did not comply with their direction. Although she initially resisted her supervisor's instructions, she eventually caved to their pressure. During the summer of 1991 the SEC launched an investigation into securities firms' operations with respect to new issues of Agency securities, resulting in a Kidder internal investigation. Ms. LaPrade alleged that as a result of these investigations Kidder discriminated against her when it scapegoated her for inflating pre-sale order indications, despite the fact that (1) her male counterparts at Kidder had engaged in the same conduct, and (2) she had informed Kidder's in-house lawyers that her male superiors threatened to terminate her if she did not inflate pre-sale order indications. She alleged that Kidder wrongly and discriminatorily forced her to resign, singled her out and put her in a false light in its communications with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Fiscal Agents, placing inappropriate and damaging information on her Form U-5. She further alleged that Kidder wrongfully discriminated against her by paying her less than males whose jobs involved comparable skills, effort and responsibilities. On October 8, 1999 a NASD arbitration issued an award that found that Kidder had defamed her on her Form U-5, and also awarded her $65,000.00 in damages. The panel instructed Kidder Peabody to file an amended Form U-5, and also assessed Kidder Peabody $61,424.00 in forum fees.

Jeffrey L. Liddle

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