June 6, 2002
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Staff and News Services
The legal attack is broadening against brokerage firms alleged to have given poor or misleading financial advice about stock options to Microsoft Corp. employees.
Klayman & Toskes, P.A., a San Francisco law firm, is preparing to file a suit against UBS PaineWebber Inc.’s Long Beach, Calif., office on behalf of a Bellevue-based Microsoft employee, said Lawrence Klayman, a partner in that firm.
The firm has filed a case against the Cupertino, Calif., branch of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter on behalf of a Microsoft employee in San Francisco, Klayman said.
It also has filed suits against Salomon Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Both those firms have also been targeted by the Seattle firm of Hagens Berman LLP.
The suits allege that the firms violated securities laws and contractual obligations in advising clients how best to exercise Microsoft’s stock options. Some Microsoft employees were bankrupted as a result.
The suits will be arbitrated rather than heard in court, as brokerage firms routinely require clients to waive the right to a courtroom trial.