Race and Color Class Action Settlement with
Morgan Stanley

 
November 2012 Update
Notices of Award and Class Member Releases were mailed out on June 1, 2012 to class members who timely submitted claim forms. Releases must be signed, notarized, and received (not postmarked) by the Claims Administrator by December 3, 2012.
May 2012 Update: Report and Recommendation Approved
The Report & Recommendation has been approved by the Court. The next step is that the Claims Administrator will send a notice of award and a release form to every class member via U.S. mail. The notices and release forms should be mailed out the week of May 28, 2012. These forms will need to be returned and following their return, checks will be issued within about 30 days. Please contact the Claims Administrator at (866) 854-6038 if you are a class member and have a change of address.
December 2011 Update: The Final Calculations Are Being Verified
The Claims Administrator is currently verifying the data that was used in the final calculation of awards for individual class members. As soon as that data is verified, the Report & Recommendation will be filed with the Court. Accordingly, the Claims Administrator has updated its projection for when Notices of Award will be sent to Claimants to Winter 2011/2012. The case website and the Claims Administrator's phone greeting will be updated when we have new information.
August 2011 Update: The Regression Analysis Component is Almost Completed
The parties are working together to ensure that the regression analysis component of the plan of allocation is accurate. There is a lot of data that goes into such a calculation, thus it can be a tedious process. It is in everyone's best interests that the calculation be performed correctly and with the correct data so that all Claimants get the award to which they are entitled. Please be patient during this process. For a detailed description of the claims process, please refer to the updates below or to the Settlement Agreement.
The Claims Administrator has updated its projection for the next stage of the claims process and currently estimates that Notices of Award will be sent to Claimants in Fall 2011. The case website and the Claims Administrator's phone greeting will be updated when we have new information.
February 2011 Update: The Claims Process is Underway
As indicated in the update below, Employment Verification Letters were sent on December 23, 2010 to Class Members who submitted timely Claim Forms. The deadline to challenge the employment dates and earnings passed on January 24, 2011. The Special Master is in the process of reviewing and resolving the timely challenges they received. Once that process is completed, the Special Master will proceed with performing the award calculations, and then prepare a Report and Recommendation regarding the proposed allocation and distribution of the Settlement Fund and file the Report with the Court.
The Claims Administrator will then follow the claims process outlined below for sending Notices of Award and Releases to Class Members. The Claims Administrator currently projects that the first round of settlement checks will be issued in Summer 2011, provided that Defendants provide the Claims Administrator with the data they need to complete the award calculations.
Again, if you would like to be among the first round of Class Members to receive your settlement check, you should sign and return the Release that will accompany your Notice of Award immediately upon receipt. If you have any questions about the claims process, please contact the Claims Administrator directly at (866) 854-6038.
July 2010 Update: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Dismisses Appeals Filed by Objectors
We are pleased to announce that on July 9, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the appeals filed by certain objectors in this case and vacated the hearing that had been scheduled for July 15, 2010. This means that the settlement process can now resume. Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement, Morgan Stanley has now funded the $16 million settlement account, plus interest that has been accruing at the negotiated rate of 5% per annum since the settlement was preliminarily approved.
The next step is for the Claims Administrator to continue the settlement administration process, as ordered by the Court. You will receive an Employment Verification Letter from the Claims Administrator asking you to review your dates of employment and income during the class period, based on Morgan Stanley's records. You will be able to challenge this information, if it is incorrect. The Special Master will then review and resolve challenges (if any), review all Claim Forms, perform the award calculations, prepare a Report and Recommendation regarding the proposed allocation and distribution of the Settlement Fund, and file the Report with the Court. If there is no objection or suggested modification by the Court within 30 days, the report will be deemed final and the Claims Administrator will proceed with calculating tax withholdings and obtain the employer's share of taxes from Morgan Stanley.
After these steps are all completed, you will receive a Notice of Award and a Release from the Claims Administrator, which you must sign and return in order to receive your award. The Claims Administrator will then issue checks in batches as they receive signed releases, and mail the checks to those Class Members who have returned their signed releases.
Because it will take time to complete each of the steps above, the Claims Administrator anticipates issuing the first round of checks in early 2011. If you would like to be among the first round of Class Members to receive your settlement check, you should sign and return the Release that will accompany your Notice of Award immediately upon receipt.
Please note that if you did not previously submit a timely Claim Form to the Claims Administrator, it is too late to do so. The deadline to submit Claim Forms was May 23, 2008.
Background on the Case
On October 22, 2008, U.S. District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson granted final approval to the settlement reached in our race discrimination case against Morgan Stanley, Curtis-Bauer v. Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated f/k/a Morgan Stanley DW Inc., Case No. C-06-3903 (TEH). The Court found the settlement to be fair, adequate and reasonable, and acknowledged the substantial injunctive relief that is required by the settlement agreement. To read a copy of the Court's order, click here.
Plaintiffs alleged that Morgan Stanley discriminated against African-American and Latino Financial Advisors and Registered Financial Advisor Trainees in the Global Wealth Management Group of Morgan Stanley in compensation and business opportunities. The Court has approved a five-year settlement agreement that provides for comprehensive injunctive relief and significant monetary relief for the following Settlement Classes:
  • An injunctive-relief class consisting of: All African-American and Latinos employed as Financial Advisors or Registered Financial Advisor Trainees in the Global Wealth Management Group of Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated or its predecessor, Morgan Stanley DW Inc. at any time between October 12, 2002 and December 3, 2007; and
      
  • A monetary-relief class consisting of: All African-American and Latinos employed as Financial Advisors or Registered Financial Advisor Trainees in the Global Wealth Management Group of Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated or its predecessor, Morgan Stanley DW Inc. at any time between October 12, 2002 and December 3, 2007, who do not timely opt out.
The settlement includes comprehensive injunctive relief regarding account distributions, partnership arrangements, branch manager promotions, hiring, retention, diversity training, and complaint processing, among other things. The settlement also provides that an independent Diversity Monitor and an independent Industrial Psychologist will be appointed to effectuate the terms of the Agreement. To read a copy of the Settlement Agreement, click here.
In addition, the settlement establishes a significant class monetary settlement fund of $16 million. We believe this is an excellent resolution of the case for Plaintiffs, taking into account the uncertainties, risks, and costs of litigating a case to trial.
Pursuant to the Court's February 7, 2008 Order, the Claims Administrator sent out a Class Notice and Claim Form to all potential class members on February 27, 2008, and the deadline to submit your Claim Form was May 23, 2008.
If you have any questions about the settlement, please feel free to contact Heather Wong at (415) 956-1000. If you have any questions about your particular Claim Form or the claims process, please contact the Claims Administrator directly at (866) 854-6038.
Attorney Contact Information
Plaintiffs’ Class Counsel:

Kelly M. Dermody
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
(415) 956-1000

Adam T. Klein
Outten & Golden, LLP
(212) 245-1000

James M. Finberg
Altshuler Berzon LLP
(415) 421-7151

Morgan Stanley:

James Wiggins
Morgan Stanley Corporate Communications
(914) 225-6161


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