Joel M. Miller

Representative Matters

Federal Court Summary Judgment Dismissing Action Against Former CEO

Obtained federal court summary judgment dismissing action against former CEO of thrift institution by purchasers of thrift's securities.

Fraudulent Conveyance, Successor Firm Liability and Jewel v. Boxer “Unfinished Business” Claims

Representation of a major law firm in adversary proceedings asserted by bankruptcy trustee of a dissolved law firm alleging fraudulent conveyance, successor firm liability and Jewel v. Boxer “unfinished business” claims. The unfinished business doctrine requires a law firm that hires partners from a bankrupt firm to pay the profits from matters not finished before bankruptcy to the trustee.  Successfully argued for the client and seven other major firms in the New York Court of Appeals which determined the unfinished business doctrine is not New York law. Based on this decision, California also dismissed similar claims. 

FINRA Arbitration Against a Financial Advisor

FINRA arbitration against a financial advisor. Encouraged the panel to grant a motion to dismiss prior to discovery or evidentiary hearings on the ground of the interests of justice related to the age of the claim and the likelihood that other family members would be required to testify. Such dismissal is rare if not unprecedented.

Action for Breach of Contract to Sell Securities

Substituted for counsel who lost a summary judgment motion in an Illinois state court action for breach of contract to sell securities. The client, needing a last-ditch effort to avoid a $20 million judgment, obtained an order setting aside summary judgment. After obtaining discovery disclosing weaknesses in plaintiff’s claim, the case settled on first day of trial for a small part of the potential judgment.

Employer Refusal to Indemnify an Employee for Defense Costs

Where an employer refused to indemnify an employee for defense costs, persuaded the state court to refuse to order arbitration on the ground that the employer had waived its right to arbitrate by refusing to proceed in a prior arbitration.

Breaches of Representations and Warranties

Substituted for counsel in a California state court action defending a bank sued by purchaser of a portfolio of home loans for breaches of representations and warranties.

Oversee Counsel Preparing for Trial to Revise Trial Strategy

Asked to oversee Florida counsel preparing for trial to revise trial strategy and use a more aggressive approach, arranging a beneficial settlement.

Adversary Proceeding in Bankruptcy Court Concerning the Purchase of Subprime Servicing Rights

Representation of a mortgage loan servicer in adversary proceeding in Bankruptcy Court concerning the purchase of subprime servicing rights from the debtor.

Defense of Principals of a Hedge Fund Advisor Against SEC and Criminal Charges

Defended principals of a hedge fund advisor against SEC and criminal charges where the fund terminated business following the failure of the fund’s strategy. No indictment was returned and the SEC claims were settled favorably.

Maritime Writs of Attachment

Advised international bank as to the validity of numerous maritime writs of attachment served daily to attach electronic fund transfers from non-U.S. parties moving millions of dollars through the bank’s wire facility in New York.

Pre-Hearing Settlements for Two Large Institutional Investors

Obtained extremely favorable pre-hearing settlements for two large institutional investors in litigation over hundreds of millions of dollars of auction rate securities.

Action to Terminate a Fund Advisory Contract

Defeated action to terminate a fund advisory contract for a mutual fund based on allegations of fraud as to a related fund.

Defended Broker/Dealer Against Claim by an Investor in a Real Estate Partnership

Defended broker/dealer against claim by an investor in a real estate partnership and obtained minimal settlement during discovery.

Defended Partner in Large National Law Firm

Successfully defended partner in large national firm against claim of malpractice which many thought was not defensible. Following cross-examination and presentation of a defense, the claimant abandoned the claim.

Fraudulent Note Transaction

Obtained dismissal on motion for an international law firm that provided a closing opinion to a fund that invested $50M in a fraudulent note transaction created by Marc Dreier.

Defended Claims in FINRA Arbitration Brought by a Former Employee of an Investment Bank

Successfully defended claims in FINRA arbitration brought by a former employee of an investment bank for deferred compensation.

Actions and Arbitration Against Former Employees Who Left to Join Competitors

Representation of a major investment bank in actions and arbitration against two groups of former employees who left to join competitors; obtained temporary restraining orders to prevent dissemination of client’s trade secrets, proprietary information and violations of employees’ garden leaves and non-solicitation agreements.

Defended Attorney Against Claims of Aiding and Abetting Clients’ Tortious Action

Defended attorney against claims of aiding and abetting clients’ tortious actions. The First Department dismissed this action on motion in an opinion affirming the limitations of lawyer liability.

Raiding and Theft of Confidential Information

Settled at nuisance value a claim against two employees of investment bank in arbitration seeking $25M for raiding and theft of confidential information.