Pagliara v. Johnston Barton Proctor & Rose, LLP, No. 12-5298 (6th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Pagliara, a licensed securities broker for more than 25 years, maintained a spotless record with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) except for this case. Under a 2002 licensing agreement, Pagliara served both Capital Trust and NBC until 2008. During that time, Butler followed Pagliara’s recommendation to invest $100,000 in bank stocks that later lost value. Butler’s attorney threatened to sue NBC and Pagliara. NBC retained JBPR for defense. Unbeknownst to NBC and JBPR, Pagliara offered to settle the claim for $14,900, $100 below FINRA’s mandatory reporting threshold. Butler refused. Pagliara then informed NBC of his intent to defend the claim in FINRA Arbitration and objected to any settlement of the “frivolous claim.” NBC insisted that Pagliara not have any contact with Butler, based on the License Agreement signed by the parties, which stated that: “NBCS, at its sole option and without the prior approval of either [Capital Trust] or the applicable Representative, may settle or compromise any claim at any time.” JBPR finalized a $30,000 settlement without obtaining a release for Pagliara. Pagliara sued, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, and intentional infliction of harm. The district court rejected the claims. The Sixth Circuit affirmed.