NationsBank Corp. and its brokerage affiliate NationsSecurities threw their first legal counterpunches recently to highly publicized accusations of wrongdoing in three pending suits.

The suits contend that the Charlotte, N.C.-based banking company and NationsSecurities deliberately ran investment sales operations that misled customers about the difference between investments and insured deposits.

One suit, on behalf of NationsSecurities customers Leilani Jasinski Demint, Josephine Cramer, and Max L. Wells, seeks class-action status. It was filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Ha.

The others are on behalf of three brokers who say they were improperly forced out of their jobs at NationsSecurities, a joint venture of NationsBank and Dean Witter, Discover & Co.

One broker, David Gray, sued in U.S. District Court in Tampa. The other broker suit was filed for arbitration with the National Association of Securities Dealers on behalf of Mr. Cray, Robert C. Lewis, and Catherine B. Hovis.

In their responses, Nationssecurities and NationsBank asked that the lawsuits be dismissed, on grounds that they are not properly substanliatcd. They also argued that their investment sales practices are proper.

NationsSecurities also has filetl a counterclaim for delamation against the breakers and their attorney.

The brokerage argued that its reputation was harmed by their publicizing of inaccurate allegations that NationsSecurities used improper sales practices.

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