Has the NY Times Defamed Merkin Advisor Victor Teicher?

This was forwarded to us, ostensibly originating from attorneys for Victor Teicher and accusing the Times of libel:
"We are counsel to Victor Teicher, who is referenced in a misleading and false way in a February 14, 2009 article about Ezra Merkin's lawsuit with NYU. We write to demand an immediate retraction of statements in that article which suggest directly or indirectly that Mr. Teicher acted in violation of a bar by the Securities and Exchange Commission when he provided services to certain of Mr. Merkin's funds in certain periods in the 1990's into the beginning of 2000.

Those statements are false because Mr. Teicher was permitted, pursuant to an express agreement with the SEC, to be associated with unregistered investment advisors such as Mr. Merkin, until a final, unappealable order was issued by the Courts that the SEC had jurisdiction over unregistered investment advisors. After that final ruling was issued in the beginning of 2000, Mr. Teicher observed his agreement with the SEC to the letter and promptly stopped working for Mr. Merkin's funds. Your statement that he continued to be associated with those funds until 2001 is also false.

Having falsely suggested that Mr. Teicher's association with Mr. Merkin's funds was illegal, your article goes on to suggest that Mr. Teicher's 2007 and 2008 applications to modify his industry bar falsely claimed that he had complied with the securities laws and did not disclose his supposed illegal association with Mr. Merkin's funds. All of those false statements are libelous per se, and must be immediately and prominently retracted.

We note that had your reporters followed proper journalistic practices and attempted to contact Mr. Teicher or his representative prior to publication of this article, they would have learned the true facts. The failure to seek comment or clarification from Mr. Teicher is inexcusable and Mr. Teicher will pursue all available remedies.”

Stillman, Friedman & Shechtman, P.C.
The Times' article apparently needs to be clarified. Indeed, a lot of other things about this affair need to be clarified.

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