The crew at Shartsis Friese is hitting the bars tonight -- with much to celebrate.
This afternoon, a federal jury in San Francisco handed the firm a win against its retirement company, JP Morgan. The trial started June 8.
“We just got the verdict,” partner Frank Cialone said over the telephone on his way out of the courthouse this afternoon. Cialone, who represented his own firm, said the jury awarded the $1.3 million the firm had asked for in damages. With pre-judgment interest, it will amount to $1.5 million, Cialone said.
In the litigation, the firm had claimed that its plan contributions didn't meet IRS rules because of bad advice from its outside benefits consultant, and that it had to spend more than $1 million to bring the fund back into compliance.
“We got everything we asked for,” firm chief Art Shartsis said.
Oh, and today they’re also celebrating that it’s been 34 years since the firm’s founding. “What a fun anniversary present,” Shartsis said.
JP Morgan's counsel, Connie Anderson of the Los Angeles-based Klinedinst firm, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail, but we’ll update this if we hear back.
— Petra Pasternak