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$1 Million FINRA Arbitration Award in Retirement Investment Dispute

February 11, 2011

By: North Carolina Lawyers Weekly Staff February 22, 2011

Plaintiffs were long-time investors with Raymond James and followed the recommendations of a branch manager to purchase stock in a local business as part of their retirement planning. It was later determined that the Raymond James branch manager was not authorized to “sell away” and he actually pocketed a finder’s fee.
The local business in which the plaintiffs invested went out of business due to considerable financial liabilities. The branch manager was sanctioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and was fired by Raymond James.

Prior to the arbitration, Raymond James refused to make an offer to settle contending that the branch manager’s actions were outside the course and scope of his employment.
Arbitration Report

Type of action: FINRA arbitration
Injuries alleged: Economic losses
Case name: Wayne Welsher et al. v. Raymond James & Associates, Inc.
Case number: FINRA 09-00137
Court: FINRA Arbitration Panel, Wake County
Arbitrators: Richard Miley, Michael Weisel and John Barlow
Verdict or settlement: Arbitration award
Date: Feb. 1, 2011
Amount: $1 million
Highest offer: $0
Experts: George Westmoreland (Rogers, Ark.)
Were liability and/or damages contested? Yes
Was the opposing party represented by legal counsel? Yes
Has the plaintiff been successful in actually collecting the judgment? Yes
Plaintiff’s attorneys: H. Mitchell Baker III and M. Troy Slaughter (both of Wilmington); and Ken Shemin (Rogers, Ark.)

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