In 2011, Claimant Gregory Carl Torretta (“Torretta”) filed a claim with FINRA against Respondent Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (“Morgan Stanley”) for violations of FINRA rules, breach of employment contract, and wrongful termination.
Torretta was a former branch manager at Morgan Stanley at a
two-branch complex in Garden City, New York. His termination
allegedly stemmed from his oversight of another manager who was
underperforming in his duties. The unidentified manager complained to
Torretta about the oversight process in an email that was copied to
Torretta’s boss. The email also implied that Torretta had
discussions about leaving Morgan Stanley and suggested that Torretta
encouraged the manager to follow him.
Despite denying the allegations of having those discussions with
the manager, Torretta was given the choice to voluntarily resign or
be terminated. Torretta chose to voluntarily resign. The key issue in
the case was Morgan Stanley’s own procedures for handling such
matters which Torretta alleged were not followed.
In Torretta’s statement of claim, he requested compensatory
damages in the amount of $4.5 million. At the close of the hearing,
Torretta requested compensatory damages ranging from $8 million to $9
The hearing took place in New York City in front of Chairperson
Marguerite Filson, Public Arbitrator Paul Blederman, and Non-public
Arbitrator Joel Morton Newman. On January 1, 2013, the panel awarded
Torretta $1 million in compensatory damages. In customary fashion,
the panel did not explain the award.
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated from a FINRA
Member Firm, please contact the experienced attorneys at Cosgrove Law
For a copy of the opinion, see FINRA
Cause No. 11-01914.