Wrongfully Terminated Officer of Brokerage Firm Awarded $425,863 (Including Her Attorneys’ Fees and Costs) and Expungement of Form U-5 Language

Newport Coast Securities, Inc. v. Deborah Scott (FINRA Arbitration No. 11-03419) 

After terminating its Chief Compliance Officer (Deborah Scott), Orange County-based brokerage Newport Coast Securities (“NCS”) brought a FINRA arbitration against her, after which she retained the Law Offices of Montgomery G. Griffin. Following the firm’s analysis of the facts and law, the firm filed a counterclaim on Ms. Scott’s behalf, seeking damages for wrongful termination and revisions to the language NCS placed on Ms. Scott’s Form U-5. In response, NCS voluntarily withdrew all of its claims. Ms. Scott’s claims against the firm eventually proceeded to a seven-day arbitration hearing, after which she was awarded $425,863, including $125,863 in attorneys’ fees and costs. NCS was also ordered to pay all FINRA forum fees (an additional $19,650). In addition, the Panel found that language placed on Ms. Scott’s Form U-5 was “defamatory in nature” and ordered that it be removed permanently.