District Court Affirms $7.74 Million Award Against Merrill Lynch

The award in Millar v Merrill Lynch was noteworthy, and not only for its size. The panel decided Merrill Lynch breached a contract to provide suitable investment advice to the Millars. Merrill Lynch appealed the award. The District Court in affirming the award recently made clear that brokerage firms cannot sell themselves as offering world class investment advice, even to customers like the Millars with non-discretionary accounts, and then claim to be only order takers when they deliver negligent or incompetent advice.