Copperill v. Sloane

NASSAU COUNTY
Alternative Dispute Resolution

New York Law Journal

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Justice Stephen Bucaria

Copperill moved to restrain a brokerage account of Sloane's wife, Jeanne, in this petition to confirm an arbitration award issued by the Financial industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Copperill, a former client of Sloane's, filed a claim with FINRA against him asserting claims for fraud, among other things. FINRA granted an award in Copperill's favor finding Sloane, and others, jointly and severally liable for disgorgement of commissions, entitling Copperill to pre-judgment interest, attorney fees and punitive damages, which were available under FINRA's rules. Copperill sought to confirm the FINRA award, and a judgment confirming the award was granted, but modified to delete punitive damages. The court noted in the course of considering Copperill's petition to restrain the brokerage account, it questioned if it had subject matter jurisdiction to confirm the FINRA award. It noted while the FINRA award did not expressly state which causes of action were sustained in finding for Copperill, the court noted the fraud and misrepresentation claims were all Securities Exchange Act violations. Thus, as the award was based on a liability created by the Act, the court was without subject matter jurisdiction to enforce the award, vacating the order confirming it.

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