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Lincoln Financial Fired Lesnik amid Wells Fargo Bankruptcy, Unspecified Settlement Mid-Trial

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 12 -- Jeffrey Lesnik was a stock broker working for Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation when they fired him in November 2017, he says because he had filed a bankruptcy petition due to misdeeds by Wells Fargo.  

Jump to February 28, 2020, when Lesnik's lawsuit against Lincoln Financial, reassigned to Judge Lewis J. Liman, still relatively new in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, came up for a status conference. 

  Lesnick's lawyer Seamus P. Barrett of the Derek Smith Law Group PLLC said he too might file a motion for summary judgment. Judge Liman said, if you want to spend your client's money that way.

   Barrett replied, We work on a pure contingency fee basis, so we only file a motion if we think we will prevail.

  Judge Liman replied that whether counsel before him are paid by the hour or on contingency, he presumes they have a basis for the motions they file, under Rule 11, until he's shown differently.

  Barrett brought up the possibility of Judge Liman referring the case to a Magistrate Judge for settlement talks. Judge Liman, with Inner City Press openly in the otherwise empty gallery, asked the parties if they agreed to have the court reporter stop transcribing. They did. 

 Lincoln Financial's lawyer said her client is willing to negotiate but that Plaintiff is asking for too much. Then she named the figure, which for now we omit in this format. More on Patreon here.  

 On June 22, 2020 Judge Liman held another proceeding, which Inner City Press also covered. Judge Liman explained that an August trial in this civil trial was not going to happen.

 On August 5, 2021, Judge Liman held a proceeding on motions in limine. He ruled that there is not a right to a jury trial in this case. Soon came the joke that FINRA will not have to be explained to lay jurors. Talk turned to others who were terminated.

On August 10, the bench trial before Judge Liman ran all the way to 6 pm. There was talk of dissatisfied customers, drinking, with the liaison to FINRA on tap for August 11. Judge Liman said he thought it would be finished on Thursday; now it open to Friday 12:30 pm or even into the next week.

Then on August 11, this: "The Court has been informed that the parties have reached a settlement... The action is dismissed." And that's it. Or is it?

The case is Leznik v. Lincoln Financial, 18-cv-3656 (Liman). 


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