Court Ruling Means That Morgan Stanley Will Face a Los Angeles Jury In Financial Elder Abuse Action

(July 16, 2020, Los Angeles, CA). Financial elder abuse is real, and it’s unacceptable. I’m pleased to report that Reif Law Group P.C. defeated a motion for summary judgment brought by Morgan Stanley in a case pending in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Our clients allege that an investment advisor in Morgan Stanley’s Beverly Hills branch co-managed a speculative, active trading strategy of uncovered calls with margin for an investor client in his 80s and 90s.  Our clients allege that the defendants generated excessive commissions, failed to disclose the risks and cumulative commissions, and did not report or act on the investor’s known diminished capacity and relocation to a convalescent home. (Voce, et al v. Morgan Stanley & Co., LLC and John R. Privitelli, LASC Case No. 19STCV14477.)

The Court’s tentative ruling, which was adopted as the final ruling on July 14, 2020, denied Morgan Stanley’s motion entirely on both claims for breach of fiduciary duty and financial elder abuse. The Court found Morgan Stanley’s motion “replete with procedural improprieties” and that plaintiffs presented “a genuine issue of material fact as to intent to defraud…”.  At oral argument, the Judge commented that “this was an easy one” to deny.

We look forward to presenting this case to a Los Angeles jury and will be seeking the attorneys’ fees and treble (3X) damages under the law.

[Links to Opposition brief, tentative ruling and final ruling]