Edelman Monetary Engines is urging a Kansas federal court docket to disclaim Mariner Wealth Advisors’ request to pause Edelman’s lawsuit towards it, arguing that doing so would permit Mariner to “proceed its illegal conduct with impunity.”
Within the authentic go well with filed Nov. 16, Edelman accused Mariner Wealth of attractive Edelman advisors to affix their ranks, stealing commerce secrets and techniques and breaching confidentiality agreements and non-solicitation clauses within the course of. Edelman argued Mariner was stealing “the fruits of Edelman’s multimillion greenback investments in advertising and consumer goodwill.”
Mariner fired again in December, accusing Edelman of a “almost three-year marketing campaign to unlawfully stifle honest competitors within the funding advisory providers business,” and requested for the court docket to put a keep on the case whereas arbitration proceedings towards a number of the advisors who left Edelman for Mariner proceed.
However the keep would “vastly prejudice Edelman” by permitting Mariner to proceed poaching purchasers and commerce secrets and techniques from Edelman whereas these arbitrations progressed, which Edelman believes may last more than the calendar 12 months, the corporate argued.
“As Mariner continues to solicit Edelman planners to disclose Edelman’s commerce secrets and techniques and breach their Edelman agreements, Edelman might be compelled to decide on between implementing these agreements towards breaching former workers, probably prolonging the keep Mariner seeks on this litigation, and successfully waiving its proper to implement these agreements towards breaching former workers so it may well pursue this litigation towards Mariner,” the Edelman order learn.
In response to Edelman, Mariner’s “calculated marketing campaign” to rent away Edelman planners and get them to reveal proprietary consumer info started in the summertime of 2021, when Mariner poached Edelman advisor Michael Horne; the transfer misplaced Edelman 84 purchasers and $83 million in belongings, the agency argued. Edelman claims the full harm was the lack of ten advisors, with 851 purchasers and $621 million over the previous a number of years.
The agency says they grew to become conscious of Mariner’s alleged plot to focus on Edelman advisors and purchasers in 2023, when that agency “considerably escalated its illegal conduct,” in line with the order. After pursuing arbitration towards a number of of the advisors, Edelman deduced Mariner was not going to cease its push and opted to sue the agency.
Amongst different issues, Mariner claimed that Horne and others offered a duplicate of his non-solicitation settlement for Mariner, and in addition allegedly recreated a consumer checklist for his new agency, in addition to contacting these purchasers and attractive them to comply with him to Mariner.
However Mariner and Horne filed a go well with towards Edelman in 2021 towards Mariner, arguing Edelman’s agreements with Horne had been unlawful underneath state legislation. Ultimately, the case labored its means into arbitration, the place it’s nonetheless pending.
Within the newest go well with, Mariner argued that Edelman was already arbitrating towards a number of of the previous Edelman workers, and mentioned most of the points within the new lawsuit had been additionally being thought-about within the arbitrations.
“Mariner is delicate to the undesirability, basically, of instances being dormant on the Courtroom’s docket whereas associated, beforehand filed litigation is being pursued,” Mariner’s movement learn. “Respectfully, nevertheless, that may be a scenario of Plaintiffs’ making. They didn’t should begin this case.”
However Edelman is arguing the arbitrations and federal lawsuit can and will proceed concurrently. Edelman famous that there are not any pending arbitrations towards 5 of the eight planners mentioned in Mariner’s criticism, and that this lawsuit is the one continuing the place Mariner is a celebration and being accused by Edelman.
“Whereas the arbitrating Departed Planners have raised points that can probably even be raised by Mariner right here —for instance, whether or not Edelman’s restrictive covenant agreements are legitimate underneath the related legislation governing every particular person settlement — the overwhelming majority of claims, points and details to be developed in discovery are merely not current within the pending arbitrations,” Edelman claimed in its movement.
Neither firm responded to a request for remark.