Will Merrill Lynch's proposed $40 million settlement be enough to quash the ongoing litigation surrounding deferred compensation claims that have haunted the firm since its acquisition by Bank of America? Some legal experts say no.

The terms of the proposed settlement includes 1,476 advisors with $500,000 or less in production, who voluntarily left the firm and participated in certain compensation award programs. All of the advisors have to have been employed with the firm as of Sept. 15, 2008, when the deal with Bank of America was struck. But, the settlement excludes a large number of the estimated 3,300 to 3,500 advisors who left Merrill and participated in the awards programs. It also leaves out those who signed with Merrill's Advisor Transition Program.

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