Jury Awards Substantial Damages to Online Banking Pioneer Represented by Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP announced that a Virginia jury awarded substantial damages to its client Matthew Lawlor, the former CEO of Virginia-based Online Resources Corp. Lawlor sued the company in 2010 after he was forced out of his position as CEO in December 2009.

Mr. Lawlor was the founder of online banking pioneer Online Resources, which he led for 20 years. Upon forcing him into retirement, the company’s directors said his termination was based on performance, despite the fact that Online Resources’ year-to-date core earnings-per-share were up 50 percent in 2009 in the midst of a national recession.

After a three-week trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court, a jury found in Mr. Lawlor’s favor on four of the five claims he made against the company. The jury awarded Mr. Lawlor $5.3 million in damages, finding that the company had breached contracts with Mr. Lawlor and that the company was unjustly enriched by not having paid the full value for his services. Mr. Lawlor is entitled to receive pre-judgment interest and attorneys fees as well.

Zuckerman Spaeder chairman Graeme W. Bush, who was lead trial counsel, commented, “We are very pleased with the jury’s decision. We are grateful that, with Mr. Lawlor’s tremendous credibility and the evidence of his success in two decades of leading the company, a jury decided that Mr. Lawlor’s claims were meritorious.” Zuckerman Spaeder partner Ellen D. Marcus and associates Jason M. Knott and Steven N. Herman tried the case with Mr. Bush.

Following the verdict, Mr. Lawlor commented, “This was all about getting the record straight, for my career and for other people at the company who worked hard over the years to build it. The company’s contention was that the action against me was based on performance, but, as the jury clearly determined, that simply wasn’t the case.”

Online Resources, based in Chantilly, VA, was founded in 1989 and was the first internet banking services provider. The company has grown into a leading online payments processor with over more than 15 million end-users.

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Katie Munroe
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