A former employee of Integral Systems Inc. has filed suit against Venable, claiming legal malpractice led to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigating and taking action against him.
Gary Prince, a former employee of Integral Systems Inc., filed a legal malpractice suit against the law firm on Jan. 21 in District of Columbia Superior Court. Prince claimed Venable attorneys failed to adequately advise him and the company on how to handle SEC filings and Prince’s role within the company, leading to an SEC investigation and enforcement action. A spokeswoman for Venable could not be reached for comment. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/NLJ Prince started working for Integral Systems in 1982, according to court documents. He resigned in early 1995 and several months later pleaded guilty in federal district court in California to conspiracy and making a false statement to the SEC in connection with his work for another company. The SEC permanently banned him from practicing before the commission as an accountant. In 1998, Integral Systems hired Venable to advise the company on its securities filings, according to Prince’s lawsuit. The company also brought Prince back that year as a full-time employee, creating a role for him that was intended to comply with the SEC’s accounting ban and also absolve the company from having to disclose his position–and, consequently, his conviction–in SEC filings. Integral Systems terminated Prince’s employment in March 2007 while he was under investigation by the SEC. Two years later, the SEC filed a complaint accusing Prince of violating disclosure requirements under securities laws and of violating the accounting ban. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in May 2013 tossed the claims against Prince related to the disclosure issue but did find that he violated the accounting ban. Prince accused Venable attorneys of failing to communicate concerns they had about the work Prince was doing and the decision not to disclose his role in SEC filings. Had they done so, Prince alleged, he and Integral Systems would have handled the SEC filings differently and would have taken steps to make sure Prince didn’t run afoul of the SEC’s accounting ban. Prince, represented by Christopher Hoge of Crowley, Hoge and Fein, is seeking $3 million from the firm. The case is assigned to Judge Ronna Beck. A scheduling hearing is set for April 24. Originally posted by Zoe Tillman on nationallawjournal.com. Legal Malpractice – Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorneys – Los Angeles