LRS cases run the gamut, including securities issues

Issue July 2004 By Krista Zanin

Personal injury, bankruptcy, divorce and malpractice issues aren't the only cases that come through the phone lines of the MBA's Lawyer Referral Service.

The service handles cases that are as broad as the legal profession itself, as recently demonstrated by a case dealing with the sale of corporate stock.

Attorney Richard M. Gelb was put in touch through the Lawyer Referral Service as well as another attorney with a client who alleged his broker/dealer did not sell his stock in time, which resulted in the client losing thousands of dollars. The client had received the corporate stock as an employment incentive.

"Through a series of errors at the broker/dealer, including the fact that stock had been treated as lost, the stock got processed much later than it should have," said Gelb of Gelb & Gelb LLP of Boston, who was assisted on the case by associate Daniel C. Hohler.

Months passed before the stock was eventually sold. At that point, the stock price had dived nearly 70 percent, resulting in damages to the client of more than $300,000, according to Gelb.

"Because of errors and because of the way it was processed, the stock diminished in value over a period in time," Gelb said.

On behalf of the client, Gelb filed an action against the broker/dealer at the National Association of Security Dealers. Through arbitration, the case eventually settled for more than $200,000, Gelb said.

Gelb & Gelb specializes in litigating matters for corporations and high net-worth individuals ranging from issues dealing with corporate shareholders of closely held companies to executive compensation and employment issues to domestic relations issues.

The LRS Case in Point is a regular feature in Lawyers Journal. The feature highlights cases that pertain to interesting legal issues or large fee generating cases that were referred to attorneys through the MBA's Lawyers Referral Service.

LRS makes more than 25,000 referrals each year to its 1,200 attorneys across the state.