16
December
2011

Terminated Representatives – How does the Protocol apply to them?

It’s Friday afternoon and your manager unexpectedly calls you into his office. When you get there, you’re surprised to find an HR representative is already there. Thus, begins any employee’s worst nightmare. You are being terminated and will be asked to leave the building immediately. Oh, and you will need to pay back that promissory note as well. For a representative subject to an employment agreement containing non-solicitation and confidentiality provisions, does the Protocol provide any protection in this situation?

Written by: Dennis J. Concilla

01
January
2011

What is the Broker Protocol?

Each year hundreds of Registered Representatives leave their firms to create new firms or move to other companies. Until 2004, these transitions were often accompanied by lawsuits. Former employers sought to enforce contractual non-solicitation and non-compete provisions limiting contact by the departing individual with their established clients. These suits could be costly and sometimes resulted in injunctions preventing the brokers from continuing to serve their customers. The Protocol for Broker Recruiting virtually ended this litigation among firms that chose to enter into the agreement. 

Written by: Dennis J. Concilla

07
December
2011

Social Networking - Was that tweet a solicitation?

In just a few short years, social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have become an accepted and some would say essential tool of business communication. Employers seeking to preserve the confidentiality of their customer lists have struggled to keep pace in this rapidly changing environment. This issue has also been the subject of many recent articles and our firm was asked to comment on it earlier this month for an article appearing in the Wall Street Journal. News for Brokers, Wealth Managers and Their Clients. Wall Street Journal (November 4, 2011).

Written by: Dennis J. Concilla

27
July
2010

Third Circuit Case Explores Nooks and Crannies of Trade Secret Misappropriation Under Pennsylvania Law

A July 27, 2010 decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. v. Botticella, No. 10-1510, upheld an injunction preventing a senior executive from commencing employment at Hostess Brands, Inc., a bakery rival to the plaintiff Bimbo. The decision is notable in that the Court enjoined Mr. Botticella’s employment, in the absence of any non-competition agreement, on the basis that there was a “substantial likelihood,” but not an “inevitability,” that Mr. Botticella would disclose or use Bimbo’s trade secrets in the course of his planned employment at Hostess.

Written by: Dennis J. Concilla

09
April
2011

DAMAGES AWARDED BY FINRA PANEL FOR FAILING TO JOIN THE PROTOCOL

If joining the Protocol will effectively transition a broker to a new employer without the fear or cost of litigation, can the new employer be held liable for failing to do so when its recruits are sued by their old employer? Maybe so. In an arbitration award issued in July, 2010, a FINRA panel sitting in Indianapolis ordered a broker-dealer to pay 2 million dollars to a pair of brokers it hired from Merrill Lynch for damages sustained in what appeared to be a botched transition.

Written by: Dennis J. Concilla