Joseph A. Dougherty, a shareholder in the Litigation Section of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Philadelphia office and chair of the firm's Trade Secret and Restrictive Covenant Practice Group, was noted the week of December 21, 2009, by a number of sources — including Law360, Investment News, Financial Planning and On Wall Street — for his successful representation of St. Louis-based brokerage client, Stifel Nicolaus.
As reported by Law360, "An arbitration panel of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has ordered Wachovia Securities LLC to cough up $1.1 million in attorneys' fees after dismissing accusations that broker Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Inc. raided it by stealing away four former Wachovia financial advisers. … In a ruling Friday [December 18, 2009] the FINRA arbitration panel denied all claims asserted by Wachovia and granted the counterclaims brought by three of the financial advisers who left Wachovia."
According to an article published by Investment News, "The brokers — Frank Brand, Marvin Slaughter, Stephen Jones and George Stukes — joined Stifel in January 2008 from A.G. Edwards in South Carolina. Wachovia, which bought A.G. Edwards Inc. in 2007, has since been renamed Wells Fargo Advisors LLC. … The award also ordered the parties to advise a federal judge in South Carolina that sworn declarations filed by Wachovia Securities 'may contain materially false representations of fact,' and that a videotape used as evidence by Wachovia to obtain a temporary restraining order from the court 'does not support the allegations' made by the firm."
Dougherty was quoted in an On Wall Street article, titled "FINRA Fires Back at Wachovia Over Raiding Claims," saying, "This decision shows the advisors did nothing wrong and brokers remain free to choose where they want to work." He went on to add that "Stifel has been successful in defending a number of similar claims in California. In May 2008, Samuel Slayden, a former A.G. Edwards branch manager in Santa Rosa, Calif., defended a claim against raiding after he moved to Stifel with three other advisors."
Additionally, Investments News, The News Journal and FierceFinance.com published articles, which discussed the case further. In the December 23 Investment News article, Dougherty was quoted saying, "We're obviously pleased. … The 33 days of arbitration hearings that spanned more than a year show how hard fought this case was."