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Ex-Partner at Nixon Peabody Claims He Was ‘Thrown Under the Bus’ in SEC Probe

Posted Oct 31, 2011 7:28 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A former Nixon Peabody partner claims in a lawsuit that the law firm abandoned him and he was “thrown under the bus” during an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The suit by David Tamman says the firm violated its partnership agreement when it refused to represent him in the probe of his work for NewPoint Securities, according to the Am Law Daily and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, which cites a story in the Los Angeles Daily Journal (sub. req.). "Far from supporting him," Tamman’s suit says, "his partners, with whom he had consulted and whose advice he had followed upon every step ... had abandoned him, as has Nixon."

The SEC contended in a January order initiating administrative proceedings that Tamman added language to the offering documents for NewPoint Securities to make it appear investors had been informed that the company would loan money to a corporate principal who used the funds to build a mansion. That investigation has been put on hold, according to Tamman’s lawyer, Stanley Stone.

The suit, filed last week in superior court in Los Angeles, claims the law firm sought to pin the entire blame on Tamman and to distance itself from the investigation, the stories say. Tamman claims several Nixon Peabody lawyers should have known about the documents at issue.

Nixon Peabody spokesman Brian Moynihan gave the Am Law Daily and the Law Blog a statement that says the firm fired Tamman as soon as it learned he was under SEC investigation "and he failed to explain his actions to us." The statement also says the firm "acted completely appropriately in cooperating with the SEC on this issue."

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