This isn’t The American Lawyer’s first crack at chronicling Dow Jones’s struggles with MMAR. In June 1997 the magazine ran a lengthy story by Susan Beck that detailed how Dow Jones’s lawyers, editors, and reporter Laura Jereski had succeeded in alienating a seven-person jury to the point where the Texans were only too happy to slap the financial publishing giant with a record verdict.
As Beck’s story noted, Jereski’s October 1993 Wall Street Journal article, “Regulators Study Texas Securities Firm and Its Louisiana Pension Fund Trades,” purported to catalogue how MMAR and its high-flying founders had made tens of millions of dollars trading securities known as collateral mortgage obligations, or “CMOs.” Jereski’s story focused on MMAR’s relationship with the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System (“LASERS”). The reporter claimed that LASERS had incurred losses of up to $50 million through trading with MMAR, which had prompted the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) to file a complaint against the brokerage. Neither assertion proved accurate. LASERS would later settle its claims against MMAR for just under $3 million, and the NASD had not filed its complaint against MMAR at the time Jereski’s story ran. (The complaint was subsequently dismissed.)
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