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Nasty Partnership Split Leads to FINRA Arbitration

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Aug 19, 2010 11:32 am

In a FINRA Arbitration Statement of Claim filed in March 2009, James Alan Tekavec alleged that Frank Patrick Cunnane breached their partnership agreement and misrepresented to Tekavec that their partnership of continued commission sharing would continue once the parties moved to FiNet, an independent broker-dealer division of Wachovia Securities. In the Matter of James Alan Tekavec, Claimant, versus Frank Patrick Cunnane and Wachovia Securities, LLC, Respondents (FINRA Arbitration #09-01561, August 12, 2010).

The Gotcha?

Claimant Tekavec alleged that shortly after he and Respondent Cunnane registered with FiNet, Cunnane presented an employment agreement, which offered an untenable position of taking a substantial pay cut. Claimant further alleged that Respondent Wachovia tortiously interfered and aided Respondent Cunnane when the firm denied Claimant his rights in the partnership. Tekavec alleged that Wachovia further injured him when the firm refused to reinstate him in his former position. Claimant asserted breaches of contract, fiduciary duty, and partnership agreement, and sought $2,158,604.13 in compensatory damages plus costs and attorneys' fees.

Not the Way That I Recall It

Respondents Wachovia and  Cunnane generally denied the allegations. Respondent Cunnane specifically asserted that Claimant Tekavec was not led by Cunnane to believe that he would be entitled to share income 50/50 with Cunnane, or that he had some ad infinitum partnership relation. Respondent Cunnane categorically asserted that there was no partnership agreement, no contract or breach of contract, no fiduciary duty, and no misrepresentation of facts; and, accordingly, that  Claimant had no legal basis for any claimed damages.

In a Counterclaim, Cunnane claimed that Tekavec was unjustly enriched at the expense of Cunnane in connection with payments made by Cunnane when Tekavec was unable to work. Cunnane alleged that Tekavec knowingly made false and malicious claims designed to wreck the integrity and professional reputation of Cunnane. Cunnane sought $778,373.00 in compensatory damages.