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Court order kept broker, loyal clients separated

THE BALTIMORE SUN

A good stockbroker is worth keeping. So imagine being separated from your favorite by a court order. It actually happened, says Mutual Fund Market News, a Boston newsletter.

When a California broker left Merrill Lynch to join another firm, some of his top clients -- many of them friends and relatives -- decided to take their business with him.

Not so fast, said Merrill Lynch.

When Merrill hired the broker, he signed an agreement stating that, should he switch firms, he would not contact his Merrill Lynch clients for at least a year after his departure.

Although the clients wanted to follow their broker, Merrill persuaded a judge to issue an injunction preventing contact. But the story ended happily for the clients: After out-of-court talks, the broker/client ties were allowed to resume.

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