Attempt to Void Settlement

Arbitration Panel Orders Return of Settlement Payment, and Awards Nothing.

WEINBERG v. BEAR STEARNS & CO., INC., NYSE ID #2000-008216 (Los Angeles, 10/18/00):

Recently confirmed, this Award presents an unusual outcome in a “two-bites-of-the-apple” scenario.

According to the “Case Summary” section of the Award, Israel and Molly Weinberg entered into a settlement agreement with Bear Stearns. In this arbitration claim, they sought to set aside the settlement as the product of duress and fraud and to proceed with claims of unauthorized trading against Bear Stearns and two individual Respondents for unspecified compensatory damages, $300,000 in punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

The three-person Arbitration Panel allowed the Weinbergs to rescind their settlement agreement, but, on the merits of the Weinbergs’ claims, the Panel awarded nothing.

Instead, the Weinbergs must return $99, 470.51 to the Respondents and pay $2,250 towards the $5,250 in forum fees. The Arbitrators’ determination to deny the claims of unauthorized trading was reduced to a judgment of confirmation (over Claimant’s vacatur objections) in state court in a brief Order and Judgment (Case No. NS008356 (Calif. Super. Ct., LA Cty., 3/16/01)).

(SAC Ref. No. 01-40-03)

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Mark Astarita is a nationally recognized securities attorney, who represents investors, financial professionals and firms in securities litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations and enforcement proceedings.

He is a partner in the national securities law firm Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC, and the founder of The Securities Law Home Page -, which was one of the first legal topic sites on the Internet. It went online in 1995 and is updated daily with news, commentary and securities law related links.