BOLI: BFS Group partners Steve Goldberg and Arnie Winick had violated non-compete agreement

Law360, New York (January 6, 2016, 4:19 PM ET) — All efforts to reverse the preliminary injunction have been rejected by a Pennsylvania state judge, by which a bank owned life insurance seller with its employees cannot solicit any kind of business from clients in Meyer-Chatfield Corp (rival). It said that a non-compete agreement was violated by a specific employee, who is known to have jumped ship.

As per Dec 29 order, Court of Common Pleas Judge Bernard A. Moore has affirmed this special October decision, which imposed a preliminary injunction against BOLI expert Stephen Goldberg along with his colleague Arnie Winick of Bank Financial Services Group. As per this order, an injunction has been put which prevents BOLI salesman and the current company of BOLI expert from any kind of competing business. As per this injunction, BFS Group and Stephen Goldberg should honor restrictive covenants, which are in the contract and have been signed by the previous employer.

Judge Moore, referring to an appeal which was filed within the court said that Meyer-Chatfield had actually met its own burden which revealed that the primary injunction was not in order, as there was evidence which revealed that when BOLI expert Stephen Goldberg had left the company for BFS, he had “began competing, directly and indirectly, against his former employer”. This was in true violation of the specific contract which the BOLI expert had earlier entered.

As per the opinion “In the absence of this court’s imposition of a preliminary injunction, Meyer-Chatfield would have been entirely deprived of the benefit of the restrictive covenant that Goldberg signed and Meyer-Chatfield paid for”. It also said “Stephen Goldberg is now subject to all of the restrictions contained in the contract that he signed with Meyer-Chatfield, which restrictions he flouted prior to this court’s entry of a preliminary injunction”.

As per this specific evidence, the judge revealed that Meyer-Chatfield would probably succeed as per the merits of the case. David Braverman from Braverman Kaskey PC, who is the Meyer-Chatfield attorney said, the specific injunction was difficult to obtain but would offer his client relief to which they are entitled. Attorney said “Mr. Stephen Goldberg refused to abide by the contract and Judge Moore has now ordered him to do so”.

Timothy D. Katsiff of Lewis & Bockius LLP, who is the defense attorney, had earlier revealed that he is confident about the chances on appeal. He along with co-counsel had desired a stay on injunction order stating it was overly restrictive.

A suit has been filed against BFS Group and many of its ex-sales representatives which included BOLI expert Goldberg, in October 2013. It was claimed that BOLI expert Goldberg and Arnie Winick had joined Meyer-Chatfield and in later time earned around $2 million as annual compensation, which lead the group in jumping ship in order to join Bank Financial Services Group.

It was revealed that after leaving, the BOLI salesman Steve Goldberg with Arnie Winick solicited many clients by showing high percentage of Meyer Chatfield’s business, which moved their accounts to BFS.

As per filings, Meyer-Chatfield is known to have lost as many as 20 clients due to Arnie Winick and BOLI expert Steve Goldberg which is a large size of its business. The company feared, it would be soon out of business, if its employees continued this trend of moving.

As per the December opinion, Steve Goldberg had admitted that he never stopped selling or soliciting bank owned life insurance to the clients.

This specific injunction is the second one issued by the judge, which stops the defendants from soliciting business from specific customers. The earlier injunction was overturned in October 2014 when the panel found that lower court did not complete all necessary hearings.

BOLI expert Goldberg filed a related case, against the Meyer-Chatfield’s legal team which accused them of breaching a specific fiduciary duty, as they used confidential information. This was however dismissed in November.

Matthew J. Siembieda and Timothy D. Katsiff of Morgan Lewis &Bockius LLP were the defendants along with Eric B. Smith and James B. Shrimp of High Swartz LLP and Alan Frank of Alan L. Frank Law Associates PC. Benjamin Garber and David Braverman represented Meyer-Chatfield.

The cases are Bank Financial Services Group et al. v. Meyer-Chatfield Corp., and Meyer-Chatfield Corp. v. Bank Financial Services Group, case number 1092 EDA 2014, before the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

— Additional reporting by Matt Fair. Editing by Patricia K. Cole.

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