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Freeman Freeman & Smiley Attorney Michael Blumenfeld Wins $3.7 Million Award

June 10, 2014

FINRA Imposes $2.5 Million in Punitive Damages and Orders Expungement of Records

LOS ANGELES – June 3, 2014—Michael Blumenfeld, Chair of the Litigation Department for Freeman Freeman & Smiley, celebrated a win with his clients, Mr. Corey Casilio and Mr. William Leitch who suffered from false and damaging accusations from their former employer, John Valentine of Valentine Capital Asset Management upon leaving voluntarily to start their own firm.  FINRA found in favor of the former employees and awarded $3.7M, which included $2.5M in punitive damages.  “Michael did a great job in defending our client’s professional reputation,” said Steven L. Ziven, Managing Partner for Freeman Freeman & Smiley.

“This was a ‘must win’ case for our clients.  Their careers depended upon a victory and the expungement of the specious customer complaints and FINRA filings that were erroneously charged to them by their former employer,” said Michael Blumenfeld.  “Under the facts of this case, the $2.5 million punitive damage Award was wholly appropriate.”  In a case involving the damaging of our clients names, we charged that Mr. Valentine instigated, as well as assisted claimants and customers to draft complaint letters against our clients to contaminate their BrokerCheck records.  It is noteworthy to include that Mr. Leitch and Mr. Casilio did not have any direct contact with the customers that wrote complaint letters, nor did they handle their accounts.

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