Representative Results

The following is a representative sample of the Firm’s results on recent matters by practice area:

Recruitment Law

  • The Firm represented a financial advisor in connection with her resignation from a brokerage firm to join a competing brokerage firm. The advisor's former firm filed an action in Massachusetts Superior Court seeking an injunction enforcing the financial advisor's non-solicitation and confidential information protection agreements with the brokerage firm. Despite the existence of these contractual restrictions, Manchel & Brennan convinced the Court that the former brokerage firm failed to satisfy its burden of proving a likelihood of success on the merits and, therefore, the Court denied, in its entirety, the former brokerage firm's motion for injunctive relief.
  • The Firm initiated litigation on behalf of a client in pursuit of a senior management-level employee who resigned and went to work for a competitor in direct violation of his non-compete and non-solicit obligations. Immediately after initiating the litigation, the employee agreed to the entry of an injunction enforcing his non-compete and non-solicit obligations.
  • The Firm represented two financial advisors in connection with their resignation from a brokerage firm to join a competing brokerage firm. The advisors’ former firm filed an action in Massachusetts Superior Court seeking an injunction enforcing the financial advisors’ non-solicitation and confidential information protection agreements with the brokerage firm. Despite the existence of these contractual restrictions, Manchel & Brennan convinced the Court that the former brokerage firm failed to satisfy its burden of proving a likelihood of success on the merits, irreparable harm and balancing of the equities. Accordingly, the Court denied the former brokerage firm’s motion for injunctive relief, in its entirety.
  • On behalf of its client, an investment management company, the Firm filed an action in Massachusetts Superior Court alleging that two of its former employees conspired with two corporate entities to unlawfully solicit business from its customers and to recruit other employees to a newly-formed competitor who had ties to these two corporate entities. Although the former employees had no restrictive covenant agreements with the investment management company, the Firm asserted claims of breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with contractual and beneficial relations, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and violations of M.G.L. Chapter 93A. All of the defendants moved to dismiss the action. The Court agreed with Manchel & Brennan’s opposition to the motions, and denied all of the defendants’ motions in their entirety.
  • The Massachusetts Superior Court granted the Firm’s motion for a preliminary injunction requiring the defendant, a former employee of the Firm’s client (a high tech company), to return any confidential or proprietary information and enjoining the defendant for one year from soliciting business from any customer or any potential customer whose name became known to defendant during his employment. The former employee appealed the decision to a Single Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. The Single Justice affirmed the entry of the preliminary injunction, with only a minor modification.
  • On behalf of a national insurance company, the Firm sought and obtained emergency injunctive relief in the United States District Court for the District of Texas, pursuant to which a group of departed agents and registered representatives were enjoined from soliciting customers of their former employer and were further ordered to return all removed documents and information.
  • The Firm represented several affiliated financial services companies in a dispute with a number of agents who left to join a competitor. The Firm filed an action in New York state court seeking the return of, and promise not to use, certain confidential, business information. After a chamber conference with the judge, the former agents entered into a formal Stipulation agreeing to the relief requested by the Firm.
  • The Firm filed an action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois seeking a temporary restraining order against agents seeking the return of, and promise not to use, confidential, business information, and seeking to enforce restrictions on their communications with clients. The Court granted the Firm’s request and entered the proposed order submitted by Manchel & Brennan. The dispute proceeded to arbitration where, on the eve of a preliminary injunction hearing, the agents and their new broker-dealer agreed to a stipulation and order precluding them from soliciting any client they previously serviced.
  • The Firm represented several affiliated companies in a dispute with a former manager who had recruited the companies’ advisors to leave and join him at a competitor. The Firm initiated an action in Missouri state court to enforce the non-recruitment and other covenants contained in the contracts with the companies. The Court granted the Firm’s request for a preliminary injunction.
  • The Firm’s clients, several affiliated financial services companies, learned that a number of financial advisors were planning to leave in a manner inconsistent with their contractual and common law obligations, including a plan to remove and use confidential information. The Firm initiated an action in Connecticut Superior Court and obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order enjoining the financial advisors from completing their plans. The financial advisors were simultaneously terminated and served with the restraining order.
  • The Firm represented several affiliated insurance companies in a dispute with an agent who had left to join a competitor. The Firm initiated an action in Michigan state court to enforce the restrictive covenants contained in its contracts with the agent. The Court granted the Firm’s request for a temporary restraining order.

Employment Law

  • In October of 2010, the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the Superior Court's dismissal of race discrimination and other claims that a former employee brought against the Firm's client, a large employer in Massachusetts and elsewhere. The Appeals Court found that the Superior Court judge had correctly dismissed all claims after the plaintiff's repeated failure to present any viable basis for his claims.
  • Julie Brennan obtained yet another Lack of Probable Cause Finding from the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination on behalf of a client. The client was accused of religious discrimination by a former employee who is Muslim. The employee alleged that the employer denied him internet access to a religious website and terminated his employment due to his religion. Julie convinced the MCAD of the lack of merit of the complaint, and the MCAD dismissed the complaint.
  • Brian Lamkin obtained a Lack of Probable Cause Finding and dismissal from the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in a case brought against one of the Firm’s clients by a former employee claiming discrimination on the basis of his Middle Eastern origin and religion. The former employee had been asked to resign after the client had received evidence that he was a violent individual who posed a threat to his co-workers. The MCAD found that the former employee had presented no evidence of discrimination, and that the client’s interest in protecting its workforce was a legitimate reason for ending his employment.
  • The Firm recently convinced the Massachusetts Appeals Court to affirm summary judgment in favor of its client on an age discrimination claim. The plaintiff was a long-term employee of the client who was terminated for performance reasons, but claimed she was terminated due to her age.
  • The Firm developed an interactive and comprehensive unlawful harassment training program for a client. Thereafter, the Firm’s attorneys conducted the training for all management staff for the client, on a nationwide basis.
  • The Firm recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of a client on claims involving negligent hiring and retention. The plaintiff alleged that the client had negligently hired and retained a worker who engaged in race discrimination against the plaintiff, a customer. The Firm was able to reaffirm the important legal principle that an employee must have acted within the scope of his employment in order to create liability for his employer.
  • The Firm was successful in obtaining summary judgment for a national insurance company sued by a former employee. Manchel & Brennan argued that the claims against the Firm’s client, each of which was based upon or related to a personal injury to the former employee, were barred, as a matter of law, by the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Statute.
  • The Firm obtained a No Probable Cause Determination on behalf of one of its clients from the Orlando Office of Human Relations concerning a former employee’s gender and pregnancy discrimination claims.
  • The Firm obtained a No Probable Cause Determination on behalf of one of its clients from the Nevada Equal Rights Commission concerning a former employee’s race discrimination claim.
  • The Firm represented two insurance companies and an affiliated broker-dealer in an NASD proceeding which they filed against their former agent and registered representative. The Firm sought to collect an outstanding debt which the agent owed to the insurance companies, which he refused to pay. The agent asserted common law and statutory counterclaims of wrongful termination and withholding of wages and tortious interference with business relations in connection with respect to the agent’s termination. The agent sought over $9 million in damages. After a two-week NASD arbitration hearing, the three member NASD Panel dismissed all of the agents’ counterclaims and granted judgment, in part, to the Firm’s clients on their breach of contract claim.
  • The Firm defended a national retailer in a discrimination action brought by a former employee. The Firm successfully convinced the State of Illinois Department of Human Rights and Human Rights Commission to dismiss the former employee’s claims of age, race and sex discrimination for lack of substantial evidence.
  • The Firm convinced the MCAD to issue a Lack of Probable Cause Finding in favor of the Firm’s client on a retaliation claim asserted by its former employee. The former employee appealed the decision and an MCAD Commissioner affirmed the Lack of Probable Cause finding dismissing the claim.
  • In the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the Firm represented a construction company and three of its managers in a wrongful termination action brought by a former manager. On behalf of the individual defendants, the Firm obtained a dismissal of all Title VII discrimination claims. On behalf of the company, the Firm obtained dismissal of the Title VII retaliation claim (due to failure to exhaust administrative remedies); the intentional interference with contractual relations claim and the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act claim. Thereafter, the Firm pressed in discovery for medical and psychiatric records of the plaintiff and the Court compelled the plaintiff to produce the records. When the plaintiff failed to produce the required records, the Firm convinced the Court to dismiss the action and enter judgment for Defendants, which included an award of attorneys’ fees to the Firm’s client to be paid by the plaintiff relating to the client’s expenditures in compelling the records.

Securities and Commercial Litigation

  • Julie Brennan and Carly Krolak succeeded in convincing a Massachusetts Superior Court judge to order to arbitration certain claims that were brought by a trustee on behalf of a trust against its investment advisor and broker-dealer. The trustee of the trust objected to the submission to arbitration, arguing that she never saw, reviewed or signed the operative agreement containing the mandatory arbitration provision because the investment advisor informed her that the agreement was a "boilerplate form." Therefore, she signed the agreement without reading it. The plaintiff also argued that the mandatory arbitration provision was unconscionable. The Court rejected all of the plaintiff's arguments and granted our clients' motion to dismiss the case and compel arbitration of the claims.
  • An accredited investor sued his former registered representative and former Broker-Dealer. The Firm represented both Respondents in arbitration. A FINRA Panel ruled in favor of the Respondents, dismissed the action in its entirety, ordered that the financial advisor's record be expunged and ruled that the customer was obligated to pay forum fees. The Award, as required, will be submitted to the trial court for an order directing FINRA to carry out the expungement directive. Consequently, there is no record of this action on the advisor's licenses.
  • On behalf of its broker-dealer client, the Firm initiated a FINRA Arbitration against two of its client's former advisors. The statement of claim sought repayment of advanced commissions paid to the advisors because the underlying transactions were not completed and therefore the commissions were not earned. The advisors asserted various counterclaims against the Firm's client. After the one week March 2010 arbitration, the FINRA Panel issued an award requiring the advisors to pay the broker-dealer ninety-nine percent of the claimed advanced commissions and only requiring the broker-dealer to pay the advisors ten percent of their claimed counterclaim damages.
  • Steve Manchel and Brian Lamkin defeated an opposing party's attempt to have a federal court throw out an $11 million arbitration award the Firm had obtained in favor of its client. Instead, the court confirmed the award in its entirety, making the award enforceable as a federal court judgment. The Firm obtained the award in 2009, after an arbitrator found that the client's joint venture partner had breached numerous contractual and fiduciary obligations to the client, an international inventor and entrepreneur. Including interest and attorneys' fees, the award was approximately $1 million dollars higher than the parties' contractual maximum, and significantly greater than any settlement offer.
  • The Firm filed a motion to dismiss on behalf of its client, an insurance company, which was one of several respondents in a FINRA arbitration filed by a customer alleging sales practices violations. The motion convinced the customer to voluntarily dismiss the Firm’s client from the arbitration.
  • The Firm convinced opposing counsel to voluntarily dismiss the Firm’s client from a FINRA arbitration prior to the Firm having to file any answer or motion. The Firm represented a broker-dealer that was named as a respondent in a FINRA arbitration filed by a former customer alleging various sales practices violations. The Firm’s client was one of several broker-dealers and insurance and annuity companies named as respondents. Through discussions with claimant’s counsel and the provision of supporting documents, the Firm convinced claimant that the Firm’s client was not a proper target of the arbitration.
  • The Firm was able to obtain voluntary dismissal of a claim valued at $1.5 to $3 million in damages filed with the NASD. After the Firm filed a motion to dismiss on behalf of its client, the claimant voluntarily dismissed the claim.
  • In the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Manchel & Brennan was able to obtain a dismissal of a case against the Firm’s client, a Massachusetts-based provider of digital in-room entertainment and high-speed internet services to the hotel industry. The client had been sued by the dominant competitor in the industry for hiring a former employee that it claimed had misappropriated trade secrets and customer information. The Firm convinced the Court that it did not have personal jurisdiction over the Massachusetts company.
  • Several customers filed an NASD Action in Alabama against their financial advisor, his securities broker-dealer and an insurance company relating to their purchase of variable life insurance and annuity products. The Firm represented the insurance company which was the underwriter of the insurance and annuity products. The Firm was able to convince the customers that their allegations related to the acts or omissions of the financial advisor and broker-dealer, not the insurance company. The customers subsequently dismissed the insurance company from the NASD Action.
  • Manchel & Brennan represented a party in a close corporation who was sued in Massachusetts Superior Court. The plaintiff sought an injunction against the Firm’s client. On behalf of its client, the Firm filed a cross-motion to appoint a receiver. Manchel & Brennan convinced the Court to deny the majority of the plaintiff’s request for injunctive relief and to appoint the receiver requested by the Firm.
  • The Firm represented a minority shareholder in a closely held corporation dispute. The Firm was successful in avoiding litigation and structuring an exit strategy for its client, including severance, consulting fees in addition to valuation, and payment for his ownership interest.
  • The United States District Court for the District of Oregon granted the Firm’s motion to compel arbitration and dismissed the action that had been filed against the Firm’s clients. Several of the companies did not have an arbitration agreement with the advisor, however, the Firm successfully argued to the Court that their close relationship and the operative arbitration agreement required the dispute to be arbitrated.
  • Manchel & Brennan represented a broker and a national broker-dealer which was sued in arbitration by customers claiming they were sold unsuitable investments. An NASD Panel ruled in favor of the broker and the broker-dealer, dismissed the action in its entirety, and ordered that the broker’s record be expunged. That Award was upheld by the trial court, which ordered the NASD to carry out the expungement directive. Consequently, there is no record of this action on the broker’s license.
  • The Firm represented two brokers who were sued in arbitration by a customer claiming he was sold unsuitable investments. An NASD Panel ruled in favor of the brokers and the broker-dealer, dismissed the action in its entirety and ordered that the brokers’ records be expunged. That Award was upheld by the trial court, which ordered the NASD to carry out the expungement directive. Consequently, there is no record of this action on the brokers’ licenses.
  • In three recent customer dispute arbitrations, Manchel & Brennan successfully moved for and obtained pre-merits dismissals of all claims asserted.