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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gundlach and TCW Prep Their First Words For the Jury

News summary by MFWire's editors

Jeff Gundlach and TCW now have a jury to hear their complaints, and they'll start addressing those jurors in less than three hours. Jury selection finished yesterday, and TCW's attorneys from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan are scheduled to make their opening arguments at 8:30am for up to two hours in Los Angeles County Superior Court, followed by Gundlach's attorneys' from Munger Tolles & Olson opening arguments (again, for up to two hours). After that, TCW will follow its witnesses.

To read the rest of the story of the fight between Gundlach and TCW, click here.

In the Los Angeles Times' "Money & Company" blog, Tom Petruno reports on the trial's status. Meanwhile Bloomberg's Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam and Edvard Pettersson ponder the potential negative impact the trial will have on TCW and on DoubleLine, the firm Gundlach co-founded after leaving TCW.

In December 2009 TCW fired Gundlach, a fixed income guru who had risen nearly to the top of the Societe Generale subsidiary, and Gundlach launched DoubleLine ten days later with a number of ex-TCW employees. TCW first sued Gundlach and several of his colleagues in January 2010 for allegedly swiping trade secrets, and the Los Angeles-based mutual fund firm tossed in attacks about drugs, pornography and sex toys TCW claims it found in Gundlach's desk. Gundlach counter-sued (in California, it's called filing a cross-claim), arguing that TCW fired him to avoid paying him and his team up to $1.25 billion in fees (he's revised his damages estimate to $500 million). The trial that started this week will cover both TCW's claim (minus the sex and drugs stuff, which the judge tossed earlier this month) and DoubleLine's cross-claim.

Fundster consultant Geoff Bobroff weighed in for the Bloomberg piece, warning that the trial could tarnish Gundlach's reputation and expose TCW's inner workings. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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