Sunday, June 8, 2014

Yes, You Can Sue Your Firm and Win

While this is something of an unusual case, a California wealth adviser must pay two ex-employees almost $3.7 million for allegedly defaming them.,

A FINRA arbitration panel ruled in favor of Corey Casilio and William Leitch, who claimed that John Valentine, their former boss, made defamatory accusations against them after they left Valentine Capital Asset Management Inc, in Danville, California, in 2011 to start their own advisory firm.

The three arbitrators in the case, awarded Mr. Casilio and Mr. Leitch punitive damages of $2.5 million, in addition to compensatory damages of $800,000, according to the case’s award document. The arbitrators also ruled that Valentine must pay Mr. Casilio and Mr. Leitch’s attorneys’ fees, totalling almost $340,000.

The panel concluded that Mr. Valentine instigated customer claims against Casilio Leitch Investments in Walnut Creek, California, collaborated to plant accusations of fraud, created false evidence and coerced one of the firm’s clients to manipulate Google’s search results to show defamatory accusations with the purpose of deterring clients from doing business with the two advisers, according to the ruling posted on Finra’s website. Mr. Valentine alleged Messrs. Casilio and Leitch were both dismissed from his firm, while his former employees said they left voluntarily, according to the case file.

For more information, Two financial advisers awarded $3.7M from ex-boss by arbitration panel | Business Insurance


The attorneys at Sallah Astarita & Cox include veteran securities litigators and former SEC Enforcement Attorneys. We have decades of experience in securities litigation matters, including industry employment disputes. We are one of the few firms to defeat, in total, a six figure promissory note claim. For more information regarding securities employment disputes, contact Mark Astarita at 212-509-6544 or email us.