New York, NY (PRWEB) June 30, 2008
Because the clock is rapidly ticking toward a deadline for many former Bear SMDs to decide whether or not to sign severance agreement waivers and/or "CAP plan" accelerated vesting agreements (which include litigation releases), The Sherman Law Firm urges each Bear Stearns Senior Managing Director that has not already done so to immediately seek legal counsel for an evaluation of his or her unique situation.
Numerous reports from former Bear Stearns employees confirm that JP Morgan has recently offered Bear Stearns Senior Managing Directors (a) accelerated vesting of CAP Plan units (CAP plan - or Capital Accumulation Plan - units are essentially restricted shares of Bear Stearns stock that senior Bear executives accumulated through a special program), and (b) severance packages that include salary and bonus-based payments, as well as other benefits. To accept either of these offers from JP Morgan, an ex-Bear Stearns Senior Managing Director must sign an agreement that includes comprehensive litigation waivers and releases.
The waivers and releases that JP Morgan is forcing Bear SMD's to sign in exchange for benefits are designed to permanently bar virtually any type of litigation claim against Bear Stearns / JP Morgan, including claims for stock losses. Senior Managing Directors who elect to refuse the offer to sign JP Morgan's litigation releases WILL retain the right to sue, but they will also give up JP Morgan severance pay and other benefits, such as accelerated vesting of CAP Plan units (at JP Morgan's price of $10 per share/unit rather than the $100 or more that each share might be worth in a securities fraud lawsuit).
A qualified lawyer should be able to quickly help Bear Stearns Senior Managing Directors analyze the relative pros and cons of accepting benefits from JP Morgan vs. preserving the right to sue for BSC stock or CAP plan losses (and/or other claims). For most Bear Stearns Senior Managing Directors, the analysis ultimately is not very difficult. The primary question is whether the potential financial upside of suing JP Morgan for BSC stock losses is enough to justify a decision to forgo severance pay and other benefits in favor of pursuing what could be a far greater payout in litigation.
ILLUSTRATIONS: ***The damages estimates that follow are good faith estimates based on current research and a rapidly developing landscape of underlying facts. Because of the constantly mutating nature of the Bear Stearns situation, all damages figures must be construed as examples for purposes of illustration only and in NO WAY can be interpreted as a prediction by The Sherman Law Firm, or a guarantee of damages awards, verdicts, settlements or other results:
It now appears to The Sherman Law Firm that Bear Stearns Senior Managing Directors with (a) 3,750 CAP Plan units may have viable claims for legal damages of up to $500,000 or more, (b) 5000 CAP Plan units may have viable claims for legal damages of up to $700,000 or more, (c) 12,000 CAP Plan units may have viable claims for legal damages of up to $1.6 million or more, (d) 17,000 CAP Plan units may have viable claims for legal damages of up to $2.3 million or more, and (e) 20,000 CAP Plan units may have viable claims for legal damages of nearly $3 million.
Because most former Bear Stearns Senior Managing Directors must decide whether to accept severance benefits and other JP Morgan offers in the near future, SMDs should consider contacting a lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity.
Managing Attorney Brett D. Sherman and The Sherman Law Firm - which is based in the New York City Metropolitan Area - represent former Bear Stearns employees, including Senior Managing Directors, from all over the country who have decided to "opt-out" of Bear Stearns class actions. Clients of The Sherman Law Firm (a) know that the average settlement in securities fraud class actions is less than 3% of total losses, and (b) believe that the chances of a higher recovery - though not guaranteed - are far better in an individual opt out lawsuit or arbitration against JP Morgan / Bear Stearns. Much more information on these topics is available at The Bear Stearns Law Blog.
To find out more about opt-out lawsuits against Bear Stearns / JP Morgan, please contract Brett D. Sherman at (201) 723-9470, Brett.Sherman@shermanlawyers.net.