Joel Bruckenstein has issued a 34-page answer to his erstwhile T3 conference partner, Bill Winterberg, via RIA advocate and attorney Brian Hamburger, a response that not only rebuts Winterberg’s charges but accuses him of ineptitude and inappropriate self-promotion.
The T3 conference founder’s fusillade is a strategic coup in that Bruckenstein has secured the services of Brian Hamburger, principal of Hamburger Law Firm in Englewood, N.J., as his lawyer.
Hamburger is the founder of MarketCounsel Inc,, which coaches and represents broker-dealer teams before, during and after their breakaways from wirehouses and IBDs See: Bringing a familiar ferocity, Brian Hamburger binges on Ivy League grads and wirehouse and securities-firm veterans in MarketCounsel restaffing.
As an integral part of the RIA community’s fabric, Hamburger concedes that he was initially reluctant to pick sides in this rare intra-industry legal squabble. Making the situation trickier is that the spat is centered on conversations between Winterberg and Bruckenstein that were never memorialized in a written contract. But as he got closer to the case, Hamburger decided it did call for action on Bruckenstein’s part and that he was willing to show his partiality to his side of the argument.
“I tell my kids not to fight but if someone punches them in the mouth, they need to punch back,” he says.
In light of these actions, Hamburger says he chose to take a side in a case where his first instinct was to steer clear.
“We thought very carefully about whether we would defend,” he says. “But given the case and knowing Joel, I thought I’d be a doing a net disservice by not participating here integrally.”