Finance Defamation: Employee Wins David v. Goliath Arbitration

lawsuitAnother David v. Goliath finance defamation case hit headlines. Thanks to a reportedly overzealous internal investigation, a panel of arbitrators ordered Morgan Stanley to fork over $2.4 million, in defamation reparations, to a former independent advisor associated with the firm. The case serves as a fuel for folks who feel they’ve been unfairly fired and want to fight back.

It All Started When…

As is frequently the case, this finance defamation tale involves a termination.

In short, Morgan Stanley felt an employee (we’ll call him “Ethan”) shirked proper protocol. So, the company conducted an internal investigation, and ultimately severed ties with one of its high-producing money managers. Confident in Morgan Stanley’s culpability, “Ethan” initiated a defamation arbitration.

Why Did Arbitrators Side With Employee In This Morgan Stanley Defamation Case?

In a decisive ruling, the FINRA panel chastised Morgan Stanley employees for “a flawed internal investigation that was conducted, acted upon, and reported with reckless disregard for its accuracy and completeness.” The firm was also flogged for acting “in at least a grossly negligent manner (if not with a self-serving, malicious motive).”

The plaintiff, however, didn’t escape criticism, with the arbitrators conceding that he “could have been more diligent and proactive in terms of acclimating himself and his team to some of the requirements” at Morgan Stanley. But the panel put a “far greater degree of fault on the part of [Morgan Stanley] during [the plaintiff’s] employment and after his termination.”

David v. Goliath Finance Defamation

Are the pockets of multinational corporations deep? Of course they are. Nevertheless, employees can walk away winners in David v. Goliath finance defamation law cases. Attorney Aaron Kelly explained, “The laws are the laws. Having a surfeit of resources doesn’t erase legal standards. This year, alone, we’ve seen a handful of banking and investment employees win big against firms and finance luminaries — because no matter how many attorneys someone stacks on their side, a wrong is a wrong.”

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