Securities Regulation Keyed to Coffee
Stephenson v. Paine Webber Jackson & Curtis, Inc.
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A tax attorney, Stephenson, had a trading account with Paine, Webber, Jackson & Curtis, Inc (Paine), and utilized the account to trade in options. Stephenson was informed that owed $4000 for an unauthorized trade made in his name by a Paine broker, Welch. He challenged Welch without challenging Paine then proceeded to ignore monthly statements and failed to ensure mistakes in his account were rectified. Almost a year later, Stephenson finally wrote a letter to Paine referencing 59 purportedlyillegal transactions in his account. Although such transactions were accounted for in monthly statements and confirmation slips, Stephenson had ignored them. Stephenson filed suit under, inter alia, Rule 10b-5. The district court dismissed, stating that Stephenson did not carry his onus of proving Rule 10b-5 violations and also found that his allegations were banned by the equitable defense for laches, waiver and ratification. The court of appeals granted review.
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