Judge Says Merrill Lynch Must Pay $500K FINRA Award

By Ama Sarfo (October 26, 2012, 9:35 PM EDT) -- A Georgia federal judge on Thursday upheld a $520,000 arbitration ruling against Merrill Lynch, rejecting the company's claims that arbitrators with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority unfairly favored an elderly couple who sued the company for allegedly mishandling their investments.

Merrill Lynch argued that FINRA arbitrators' clear preference for former clients Robert and Jean Postell required the federal court to dismiss the award, but U.S. District Judge Willis B. Hunt Jr. disagreed, saying the arbitrators' supposed favoritism did not merit the award's dismissal.

"Petitioner has failed to state a claim for relief under the [Federal Arbitration Act] because Petitioner's allegations simply...

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