Two of this firm’s clients recently prevailed in lengthy arbitrations. An arbitration is essentially a trial except that the case is tried to a private Judge (the arbitrator) and not to a jury.
In February of 2021, this firm participated in an arbitration hearing/trial on behalf of its client, Harold Nachtrieb, against his former employer, Key Private Bank (“Key”). Mr. Nachtrieb worked for Key as a Portfolio Manager in Key’s Wealth Management Group from February of 2015, through February of 2018. At the time of his illegal termination, Mr. Nachtrieb had over 25 years of securities and wealth management experience with special expertise in client retention and prospect development. Mr. Nachtrieb also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (“CFA”) designation which is considered the “gold standard” for financial advisors.
During the arbitration, Mr. Nachtrieb introduced evidence that his manager terminated his employment in retaliation for his internal complaints of illegal and unethical conduct against Key management. Based on those facts, Mr. Nachtrieb brought claims for relief for Breach of Contract (based on promises of non-retaliation contained in a Code of Conduct) and Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy (based on Mr. Nachtrieb’s ethical obligations as a CFA). After a six-day hearing/trial, the Arbitrator/Judge found for Mr. Nachtrieb on both of those claims and issued an Interim Award for $1,160,600.00. Mr. Nachtrieb was also entitled to another roughly $50,000 in pre-judgment interest and costs.
In August of 2020, our firm participated in an arbitration hearing for its client, Joerg Bitzigeio against his former employer, USA Table Tennis (“USATT”). Mr. Bitzigeio is the former high performance Director of USATT. During his tenure, the US Table Tennis team experienced unprecedented success. Nonetheless, a new Executive Director essentially forced him from his position and failed to pay him the $90,000 in severance due to him under his employment agreement if USATT materially reduced his job responsibilities. After the hearing/trial, the arbitrator awarded Mr. Bitzigeio $90,000 in severance and $8, 222.57 in prejudgment interest. It also ordered USATT to reimburse Mr. Bitzigeio for the $74, 931.50 in attorney fees and the $7,67.40 in costs that he incurred pursuing his claim.