Morelli Alters Ratner Law Firm

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1 A History of Frivolous Claims and Contentions at Morelli Alters Ratner Law Firm (www.morellialters.com) An Academic Research Paper Sources: Public Sources

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS I A History of Frivolous Claims and Contentions at The Morelli Alters Ratner Law Firm... 3 A The Frivolous Lawsuits... 4 i. Morelli Ratner and Associates Shakedown Bill O Reilly... 4 ii. Morelli Ratner, P.C. has purposefully filed suit possessing no objective basis or reason for recovery... 5 iii. Morelli Ratner Again Attempt to Recover from a Defendant While Ignoring Dispositive Evidence of Innocence and Themselves Offering No Evidence to Support Their Own Accusations 7 iv. Defendants Bring a Claim Against Morelli Alters Ratner for Fabrication of Evidence, and Frivolous Suit... 8 a. Morelli Alters Ratner Appears to Have Omitted Critical Evidence in an Attempt to Prove Causation, and Then Withdraws as Counsel When The Issue is Brought to Light... 9 b. Morelli Alters Ratner Continued to Assert That Its Clients Suffered Personal Injuries, Despite the Testimony of One of the Plaintiff s Own Doctor s that Absolutely No Injury Existed 10 c. Morelli Alters Ratner Now Must Explain The Omission of Evidence and Their Loose Definition of Personal Injury to a Federal Judge B Morelli Alters Ratner - The Prior Court Sanctions i. The Morelli firm is Directed to Pay $2400 for Failing to Comply with a Court Order to Release Documents Necessary for Settlement ii. The Superior Court of New York Sanctions Morelli s Suit Against Its Former Client as Spiteful and Wasteful C Morelli Alters Ratner - The Moral Hazard i. Morelli Alters Ratner Slips on Its Own Slime When Attempting to Wiggle Out of Over $100,000 in Contracts After Its Merger ii. Morelli Alters Ratner Continues to Refuse to Pay Its Debts as another Printing Equipment Company, Canon Financial Services, sued to Reclaim Their Property iii. Morelli Alters Ratner Was Sued over a THIRD! breach of a Leasing Agreement iv. Benedict Morelli Defaults On Rent for Two Floors of Prime Office Space!

3 v. After Being Sued for Sexual Harassment, Morelli Ratner, P.C. Ironically Argues That the Claims are Frivolous vi. Multiple Reports of Unethical Practices Have Been Directed at the Morelli Firm D. Citi National Bank Alleges Morelli Alters Ratner Defrauds Multiple Banks CONCLUSION I. A History of Frivolous Claims and Contentions at The Morelli Alters Ratner Law Firm U nder the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, it is an attorney s solemn responsibility to zealously represent clients while making only meritorious claims and contentions. There are those however bringing lawsuits whose façade of legitimacy is preserved only by the willful ignorance of the lawyers that file them. The merged law firm of Morelli Alters Ratner, P.C., formerly Morelli and Associates, and Morelli Ratner, P.C. ( the Morelli firm or the firm ) seems to be grossly lacking in moral foundation, presenting claims and contentions which the New York and Federal Courts have believed to be unfounded, lacking in substance, and even spiteful. The methods and victories of such attorneys are formed not upon determinations of justice, law, or fact, but upon the too often correct presumption that defendant s will settle rather than risk the unpredictable and enormously costly process of litigation. This reality allows for extortion of innocent defendants, even where accusations are wholly unfounded. The shakedown artists at Morelli Alters Ratner have attacked, and continue even now to prey upon innocent parties. Hurling grotesque and meritless deprecations, they intimidate victims with the inherent uncertainty of a jury 3

4 trial, and squeeze their settlements from the overwhelming cost of the civil litigation process. It is no secret that in New York, legal services command a premium. As such, it is the solemn legal and moral responsibility of attorneys to only invoke the immense power of our courts where the litigation rests upon some factual basis. A. The Frivolous Lawsuits Morelli Alters Ratner appears to have fully embraced the shameful tactics of the shakedown artist, squeezing a series of past and present defendants with meritless and capricious suits which continue to this day. Now the evaluation of their methods and past must be addressed, and the picture isn t pretty. i. Morelli Ratner and Associates Shakedown Bill O Reilly Until recently, the most prominent of Morelli Ratner s squeeze attempts involved accusations of verbal sexual harassment against Bill O Reilly, of Fox News The O Reilly Factor. 1 O Reilly returned suit against the Morelli Firm for blackmail and extortion. 2 O Reilly s complaint notes that when representatives of Fox had their initial meetings with the Morelli firm, they would not identify the person against whom they intended to bring suit, stating only that it would be extremely damaging to both Fox s reputation and the reputation of the individual involved. The complaint for extortion filed by O Reilly also makes clear that this threat was directly complimented by the demand for $60 million in hush money to keep the allegations quiet. 1 Andrea MACKRIS, Plaintiff, v. Bill O'REILLY, News Corporation, Fox News Channel, Fox News Network, L.L.C., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., and Westwood One, Inc., Defendants., 2004 WL (N.Y.Sup.). 2 (10/13/2004); (10/29/ 2004). 4

5 The Washington Post reported that Morelli was claiming to have concrete evidence of O Reilly s allegedly inappropriate conversations, but never produced the evidence. Why would an attorney who has concrete evidence of wrongdoing not present it to gain its maximum effect in settlement? The only logical answer is that the evidence probably doesn t exist or at most was not nearly as concrete as the Morelli firm claimed it was. Did he lie? There is no way to know, and that is the point. Most importantly, the amount demanded by Morelli to keep this case out of the lime-light was roughly $56.3 million more than a different settlement where an employee was actually forced to engage in sexual relations with her employer. The disparity in the amount demanded clearly points to the coercive motives and practices of the firm and Morelli himself. Despite the transparent motives of the Morelli firm, the case settled for $2 million dollars. O Reilly has stated clearly that there was "no wrongdoing in the case whatsoever by anyone." The Washington Post notes that the settlement provided O Reilly with a small victory in that plaintiffs did not demand that he make a public apology. So why would an attorney who believes in good faith that his claim is worth $60 million, and has concrete evidence of wrongdoing settle for roughly 3.3% of the original claim? Giving up 96.7% of your case would seem to imply that there was never any case to begin with. It appears whatever money Morelli was able to scrounge was sufficient to vindicate the firm s slippery and apparently quite flappable modus operandi. ii. Morelli Ratner, P.C. has purposefully filed suit possessing no objective basis or reason for recovery 5

6 In the case of Shu Chi Lam v. Wang Dong, the Supreme Court Appellate Division for the First Department of New York affirmed the dismissal of a complaint brought by Morelli Ratner, P.C. for lack of sufficient evidence to state a cause of action. 3 Specifically the Appellate Division held that Morelli Ratner, P.C. provided no objective basis or reason from which the court could conclude that the plaintiff s injuries arose from the accident at issue in this case. Additionally, the Appellate Division held that dismissal was also appropriate since plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to causation or submit medical proof in support of the claim. Translated out of legalese, this means that the appellate court found that Morelli Ratner, P.C., filed suit against the defendant without any evidence that the injuries the plaintiff was suffering from related to the accident at issue in any way. Alarmingly, the appellate court also found that the Morelli firm failed to submit proof of any injury in support of their claim. Thus it is clear that Morelli Ratner, P.C. was perfectly willing to whole heartedly pursue a case which was utterly lacking in any factual legitimacy or basis for recovery. This is the very definition of a frivolous lawsuit, and yet another instance of the firm placing their own greed above their solemn obligation to make only meritorious claims and contentions. 3 Shu Chi Lam v. Wang Dong, 84 A.D.3d 515, 922 N.Y.S.2d 381, 382 (2011); 6

7 Such a gross deviation from the ordinary standard of care attorneys are required to adhere to could not possibly be a mistake. The only logical conclusion which can be drawn is that this firm is either greedy, and ruthless, or woefully reckless. The latter seems a far less plausible alternative. In either case the wanton disregard of the legal process, as is evidenced in this case, sullies the character of the entire legal community. Unfortunately, it was merely a stepping stone along the path of the Morelli firm s continuing abuses. iii. Morelli Ratner Again Attempt to Recover from a Defendant While Ignoring Dispositive Evidence of Innocence and Themselves Offering No Evidence to Support Their Own Accusations Even in Federal Court, the Morelli firm has attempted to proceed with frivolous cases, where the facts do not support the cause of action. In the case of Dooley v. Roache, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the Federal District Court for the District of New Jersey s dismissal of a Title VII discrimination claim. 4 In that case Morelli Ratner represented a plaintiff, alleging that she was passed over for a promotion because she was discriminated against as a 57 year old African American woman. The firm also made a meritless retaliation claim, which the Third Circuit strongly rebuked, because it provided absolutely no evidence of discrimination. First, Morelli Ratner failed to present evidence showing that the defendant s basis for promotion decisions were discriminatory. Second, the firm totally failed to provide even the most basic evidence that the defendant caused the alleged retaliation. 4 Dooley v. Roche Lab Inc., 275 F. App'x 162, 163 (3d Cir. 2008) (affirming Dooley v. Roche Labs., Inc., CIV (GEB), 2007 WL (D.N.J. Feb. 15, 2007); https://casetext.com/case/dooley-vroche#.u-jkxedq_-l (4/28/2008). 7

8 In affirming the dismissal, the Third Circuit thus found that, beyond accusations, Morelli Ratner was wholly unable to support their claim with any evidence whatsoever. It should not be surprising, given the prior examples, that as soon as the burden of proof shifted to the plaintiff in this case, the Morelli firm was totally incapable of supporting their own case. Here, the district court held that in the face of defendant s articulate legitimate non-retaliatory reasons for its decisions not to promote the plaintiff, the plaintiff utterly fails to offer any evidence to support an assertion that Defendants articulated reasons were a pretext for discrimination. 5 Even assuming for a moment that Morelli Ratner made a mistake, or lacked all of the requisite facts in this case, they continued to fight on appeal in the face of clear evidence that a defendant made an honest business decision without any discriminatory purpose. The Third Circuit however was not to be fooled or bullied by such petite tyrants. It forcefully affirmed the federal district court s dismissal of the case. Nonetheless, it is clear that attacking innocent defendants with unsupportable accusations is not a problem for Morelli Ratner. iv. Defendants Bring a Claim Against Morelli Alters Ratner for Fabrication of Evidence, and Frivolous Suit Like a Wagnerian opera the theme again recurs, but this time the probable moral and ethical infractions by Morelli Alters Ratner are even more serious. Filing suit in the 5 Dooley v. Roche Labs., Inc., CIV (GEB), 2007 WL (D.N.J. Feb. 15, 2007). 8

9 Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the Morelli firm set out to accuse Lapolla Industries, Inc. ( Lapolla ) of selling toxic polyurethane foam insulation. Incredibly, nearly two years into the litigation, Morelli Alters Ratner voluntarily terminated their own representation two weeks before new counsel sought a discontinuance of the case with prejudice. Lapolla has filed a motion for sanctions alleging fabrication of evidence and that no injury had ever been suffered by the plaintiff 6 a. Morelli Alters Ratner Appears to Have Omitted Critical Evidence in an Attempt to Prove Causation, and Then Withdraws as Counsel When The Issue is Brought to Light Disturbingly, strong evidence suggests that Morelli Alters Ratner omitted critical evidence of an environmental report in an attempt to establish a causal link between Lapolla s foam products and the plaintiff s alleged harm. 7 The apparently withheld report was discovered by Lapolla s counsel via a production of documents by Insight Environmental, the company who produced the report, on October 7, After the discovery of the omitted evidence, and two days prior to scheduled depositions with the plaintiff s regarding the firm s failure to produce the report, Benedict P. Morelli and David S. Ratner terminated themselves as counsel, stating that they were filing a motion for a stay of discovery until the motion was adjudicated Niel and Kristine Markey v. Lapolla Industries, Civil Action No. 2:12-cv-04622(JS)(AKT) (E.D.N.Y 2014), document 89, pgs (7/08/2014); nyedce %20(1).pdf 9

10 The timing here would cause even the most naïve of spectators to cast a deservedly crooked glance at Morelli Alters Ratner. Apart from the rules regarding a permissive withdrawal of representation, this firm is scurrying from the litigation like a rat about to have its tail caught in a trap. On April 30 th the court granted the Morelli firm s motion to withdraw as attorneys in the case. Two weeks later Lapolla received a letter from the plaintiff s new counsel indicating that he had been retained for the purpose of seeking a discontinuance of the case, with prejudice. 8 b. Morelli Alters Ratner Continued to Assert That Its Clients Suffered Personal Injuries, Despite the Testimony of One of the Plaintiff s Own Doctor s that Absolutely No Injury Existed Morelli Alters Ratner continually asserted that the plaintiffs had suffered personal injury in their complaint. This assertion appears to be wholly frivolous as one of the plaintiff s own doctors testified that when he told the plaintiff that she was not injured by exposure to Lapolla s foam product. 9 As if the doctor s testimony were not sufficient, even an independent neurologist confirmed that there was no injury to the plaintiff as the result of the defendant s product. Moreover, the plaintiff s doctor indicated that upon being told that she suffered no injuries, the plaintiff was very upset. A month before the final deadline to submit a scientific report on causation, the plaintiff s at the Morelli firm finally complied. 8 Niel and Kristine Markey v. Lapolla Industries, Civil Action No. 2:12-cv-04622(JS)(AKT) (E.D.N.Y 2014), document 89, pg. 15 (7/08/2014). 9 Niel and Kristine Markey v. Lapolla Industries, Civil Action No. 2:12-cv-04622(JS)(AKT) (E.D.N.Y 2014), document 89, pg. 18 (7/08/2014). 10

11 The Motion for Sanctions notes however that the report was created by a physician whose opinions had been excluded in practically all of the cases in which they were submitted. 10 In fact the physician s opinions regarding chemical sensitivities were previously deemed by the Delaware Superior Court to be unreliable and based on nothing other than speculation 11 Even the physician s own report, which the Morelli firm submitted, failed to address the specific chemicals at issue in the case. 12 Undeterred, Morelli Alters Ratner continues to squeeze, abusing our processes of justice, and the trust of all good citizens in the civil litigation process. They caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs before withdrawing as counsel. Now with the damage done, they are looking over their shoulder at the voluntary withdrawal of their own case by new counsel. c. Morelli Alters Ratner Now Must Explain The Omission of Evidence and Their Loose Definition of Personal Injury to a Federal Judge As the Motion for Sanctions notes, bad faith can be inferred from such conduct 13 and they are not escaping their past so quickly. Now Morelli Alters Ratner appears to be stumbling to muster their own defense, having filed two motions for an extension of time to reply to Lapolla s motion for sanctions. 14 Ultimately the Motion for Sanctions will be determined by Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York. 10 Niel and Kristine Markey v. Lapolla Industries, Civil Action No. 2:12-cv-04622(JS)(AKT) (E.D.N.Y 2014), document 89, pg. 20 (7/08/2014). 11 Minner v. American Mortg. & Guar. Co., 791 A.2d 826, 849 (Del. Super. 2000). 12 Niel and Kristine Markey v. Lapolla Industries, Civil Action No. 2:12-cv-04622(JS)(AKT) (E.D.N.Y 2014), document 89, pg. 22 (7/08/2014). 13 Niel and Kristine Markey v. Lapolla Industries, Civil Action No. 2:12-cv-04622(JS)(AKT) (E.D.N.Y 2014), document 89, pg. 28 (7/08/2014). 14 Niel and Kristine Markey v. Lapolla Industries, Civil Action No. 2:12-cv-04622(JS)(AKT) (E.D.N.Y 2014) (7/08/2014). 11

12 Perhaps Morelli Alters Ratner will provide a consistent and logical explanation for their past claims and contentions, or perhaps their apparent abuses will mark the latest in a series of sanctions the firm has been subject to as the result of its highly suspect methods of practice. B. Morelli Alters Ratner - The Prior Court Sanctions As if filing frivolous claims in and of themselves were not enough, Morelli Alters Ratner had been sanctioned by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and by the Supreme Court of New York, which has characterized its practices as spiteful and wasteful 15 i. The Morelli firm is Directed to Pay $2400 for Failing to Comply with a Court Order to Release Documents Necessary for Settlement On November 6 th, 2007, Benedict P. Morelli Associates, P.C., and its successor, Morelli Ratner, P.C. were ordered to pay $2400 in costs and as sanction for non-compliance with a court order requiring the firm to physically hand over plaintiff files to their former business partner Sybil Shainwald, Esq. 16 The files contained lists of plaintiff-clients who elected Sybil as the attorney to should represent them in their DES cases, instead of the Morelli firm. Ratner, who was tasked to turn over the files, failed to deliver the settlement folder and electronic files of Diane Vitale. Among the missing files were critical documents relating to DES exposure, without which Shainwald could not successfully negotiate a claim on Vitale s behalf https://casetext.com/case/vitale-v-abbott-laboratories#.u9fnx1extzg; 12

13 As a result, Sybil had to expend significant efforts and time to acquire the files from Ratner, ultimately having to seek judicial intervention to obtain the file. The Federal District Court ordered that Sybil Shainwald was entitled to recover $2,400 for her efforts in obtaining compliance with this Court's order. Additionally, as a sanction for non-compliance the law firm of Morelli Ratner, P.C. was directed to pay the court $100 for failing to abide by its order. 17 ii. The Superior Court of New York Sanctions Morelli s Suit Against Its Former Client as Spiteful and Wasteful On January, 8th 2010, the New York Supreme Court Judge Emily Goodman sanctioned the Morelli firm with a $6,000 penalty after it brought what was described as a spiteful and wasteful lawsuit. 18 The suit brought by the Morelli firm was to recover $6000 in expenses, claiming that the costs were now owed to it by its former client Victoria Kremen. Victoria Kremen had been allegedly misdiagnosed with breast cancer and suffered an unnecessary double mastectomy as a result of the claimed misdiagnosis. Instead of bringing her case, the attorneys at the Morelli firm blew the two and a half year statute of limitations for medical malpractice, thus eviscerating Kremen s ability to seek recovery for her injuries. After an unsuccessful malpractice suit against the firm, Morelli Ratner brought a counterclaim to recover its costs in 17 https://casetext.com/case/vitale-v-abbott-laboratories#.u9fnx1extzg;

14 handling the case. It was then that Judge Emily Goodman slapped Morelli Ratner with that same amount in sanctions. She chastised the firm for engaging in frivolous motion practice by bringing a case which she is reported to have called both spiteful and wasteful. 19 Although the Appellate Division overturned the sanctions because the Morelli firm did not intentionally conceal its expenses agreement with the client, it stated clearly that the behavior of the Morelli firm in bringing their claim and failing to originally provide the agreement was certainly not commendable. 20 While not commendable, failing to produce documents appears, in light of the cases here assessed, to be something of a tradition for Morelli Ratner, and the sanctions imposed on the firm in both Federal and New York State Court speak to the firm s apparently continuous moral instability. C. Morelli Alters Ratner - The Moral Hazard Set apart from the former examples of frivolity, apparently purposeful omission of critical evidence, is the stunning indifference this firm possesses to the harm caused by their unfounded claims. It appears as though the firm will say anything to get ahead. Such attitudes ought not to be tolerated in the legal field. It is only fortunate that, in a world filled with belligerent say-anything firms like Morelli Alters Ratner, there are judges who hold the line

15 i. Morelli Alters Ratner Slips on Its Own Slime When Attempting to Wiggle Out of Over $100,000 in Contracts After Its Merger On September 20th, 2013, the Supreme Court of New York County denied Morelli Alters Ratner, P.C. a gravely unprofessional and morally grotesque maneuver, when it denied their motion to dismiss contract claims brought by CIT Tech. Fin Servs., Inc. ( CIT ). 21 In this case, the firm Morelli Ratner, P.C. had recently expanded its practice to include the Florida Plaintiff s firm run by, Jeremy Alters. The newly merged company, Morelli Alters Ratner Law Firm tried to convince the court that it was not liable for $134, of contracts breached by its predecessor in interest Morelli Ratner, P.C. The firm purposefully concluded that, because it acquired Alters Florida practice as an asset purchase, and not a formal merger, that it could operate as a newly formed corporate entity with no contractual responsibility whatsoever for the previous companies liabilities. Specifically the Morelli firm argued that Morelli Ratner, P.C. is a separate and distinct entity that was still operational. The plaintiff, CIT offered evidence that the receptionist at Morelli Alters Ratner notified them that Morelli Ratner no longer existed and that the firm was now known as Morelli Alters Ratner... [and] that aside from the change in the name of the law firm, the location and the employees had not changed 22 Moreover the plaintiff supplied relevant excerpts from copies of the South Florida Business Journal and New York 21 u.pdf?ts= u.pdf?ts= (pg. 2). 15

16 Magazine, both announcing that the firms were merging into Morelli Alters Ratner. 23 The link to the story from the South Florida Business journal was claimed to have been taken directly from the Morelli Alters Ratner Law Firm website. The glaring continuity of ownership was without doubt. The cessation of Morelli Ratner P.C. s meaningful business activities was clear, and the abundantly obvious continuity of management, personnel, physical location and general business operation were dispositive of the de-facto merger. 24 The Supreme Court of New York County decisively denied the motion to dismiss because of the overwhelming obviousness that the Morelli Ratner, P.C. was for all intensive legal purposes now merged with Alter s practice. 25 This is yet another example of Morelli Alters Ratner, P.C. s intimate familiarity with flagrantly meritless claims and conclusions. Attempting to avoid a contractual liability by playing hopscotch with corporate entities is not only a severe miscalculation of applicable law, but demonstrates an advanced and grotesque state of moral decomposition at the Morelli firm. ii. Morelli Alters Ratner Continues to Refuse to Pay Its Debts as another Printing Equipment Company, Canon Financial Services, sued to Reclaim Their Property. In yet another shameless blunder, the law firm of Morelli Alters Ratner has been sued for $298, for failing to pay their lease agreement with Canon financial Services, Inc, ( Canon ), who provides leasing arrangements for Canon 23 Id. 24 u.pdf?ts= (pg. 3). 25 Id. 16

17 printers and products. 26 Canon demanded that the Morelli firm return the printers in question which they are alleged to be wrongfully retaining. 27 This fact pattern is eerily similar to the Morelli firm s interaction with CIT Tech. Fin Servs., Inc. (supra). It appears that there is some inherent difficulty with the Morelli firm s ability to pay its printer bills. Between these two cases alone, the Morelli firm has allegedly breached contracts for the amount of $432, This does not even include potential damages which Canon could request for the current misappropriation of the physical printers loaned to the Morelli firm. This would be embarrassing enough if these were the only claims for failing to pay printing fees, but the firm recently disposed of yet another claim for the same thing. iii. Morelli Alters Ratner Was Sued over a THIRD! breach of a Leasing Agreement Morelli Alters Ratner appears to have recently agreed to settle the third case in which it was alleged that they have breached their equipment leasing agreement. This time the unknowing victim was Leaf Capital Funding ( Leaf Capital ). 28 Like the case in Canon, Leaf Capital also demanded the return of its leased equipment, which it alleged the Morelli firm wrongly retained. This time the amount of the claimed breach was $93, Thus in total Morelli Alters Ratner 26 https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcivil/fcassearch (Case Index No /2012) 27 Id. 28 https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcivil/fcassearch (Case Index No /2012) 17

18 has been sued for failing pay its debts of over half a million dollars. ($525,969.35). 29 iv. Benedict Morelli Defaults On Rent for Two Floors of Prime Office Space! It has now been alleged that Benedict Morelli has failed to pay rent at 950 Third Avenue, New York, NY. ( Third Avenue ) One would begin to think, that after dealing with continuous litigation relating to the breach of lease agreements and wrongful retention of property, the parade of horribles marching boisterously alongside Morelli and his commercial activities would cease, another claim for breach of contract has arisen. 30 On July 28, 2014, 950 Third Avenue LLC, the company who owns the property, filed a summons and complaint against Benedict Morelli, alleging that Morelli failed to pay rent and fees due under his lease agreement for commercial office space at 950 Third Avenue, in the amount of $77, The complaint in this case further alleges that this space was composed of the entire rentable area of both the 10 th and 11 th floors. 32 According to 950 Third Avenue LLC, Morelli was asked to pay for the amounts due to rent those floors on July 16, 2014, and failed to reimburse the landlord for other expenses for which he was responsible. 33 On September 17, 2014, the 950 Third Avenue LLC made a motion asking the court to decide the case in their favor. 29 See, New York Supreme Court Cases Leaf Capital Funding v. Morelli Alters Ratner, P.C. / Canon financial Services, Inc. v. Morelli Alters Ratner, P.C. and CIT Technology Financing v. Morelli Alters Ratner, P.C., N.Y> Supreme Court Index Numbers /2012, /2012, and /2013, respectively https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/fbem/documentdisplayservlet?documentid=s9jqyiwnie8novntw_plus_rlwg== &system=prod 32 Id. 33 https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/fbem/documentdisplayservlet?documentid=vmllfuv8qzou3mez09cj2w==&syst em=prod 18

19 They outline in incredible detail the amounts due and the legal basis for the court to decide in their favor. What is more disturbing is that 950 Third Avenue was, according to a well-known publication, the place of business for the Morelli firm. 34 Even assuming Morelli, or his firm, to be blameless in the host of various breach of contract claims they have been involved in, they cast serious doubt on the integrity of Morelli and his firm. v. After Being Sued for Sexual Harassment, Morelli Ratner, P.C. Ironically Argues That the Claims are Frivolous Having had their frivolous Title VII claim for discrimination summarily dismissed in Dooley v. Roche 35, it is woefully ironic that in 2010, Morelli Ratner, P.C. had to itself defend against allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment. The case was Celia Clark v. Morelli Ratner, P.C., et al. In facts similar to those in Dooley v. Roche, Celia Clark, a former employee of Morelli Ratner, P.C., alleged that she was the victim of a racially motivated firing. 36 Clark also alleged that she was fired in retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment at work by one of the firm s former clients. In connection with this claim, she lastly argued that the firm did not appropriately act to prevent the ongoing harassment, which created a hostile work environment See, n.4; Dooley v. Roche Lab Inc., 275 F. App'x 162, 163 (3d Cir. 2008) (affirming Dooley v. Roche Labs., Inc., CIV (GEB), 2007 WL (D.N.J. Feb. 15, 2007) supra, at N Clark v. Morelli Ratner PC, 73 A.D.3d 591, 905 N.Y.S.2d 561, 562 (2010); 37 Id. 19

20 Each of these allegations was claimed to be in contravention of New York City Administrative Code, or New York State Executive Law. Morelli Ratner spared no time in answering the complaint and castigating the plaintiff for filing this meritless action. 38 The irony here in light of many of the examples assessed in this article is of course quite rich, however, their defense to the claims was a valid one. Morelli Ratner, P.C. logically argued the facts, that they terminated Ms. Clark s employment because of her continued insubordination... her attitude toward coworkers and supervisors as well as her frequent display of moodiness and volatility in the office... her negative attitude, and her unwillingness to take direction from her superiors in the office. 39 Consequently the Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled that Clarke s claim of discrimination was properly dismissed primarily because defendants' evidence regarding plaintiff's insubordination and unprofessional conduct was sufficient to establish a legitimate, nondiscriminatory explanation for her termination, and because Clarke was unable to rebut this evidence. 40 Similarly, Clarkes claim that she was the victim of a retaliatory firing as the result of her sexual harassment complaints was properly dismissed because, she failed to 38 Clark v. Morelli Ratner PC, 2009 WL , Index No (Morelli Ratner, P.C. s Answer to Complaint, pg. 2.) (5/13/2008). 39 Id. at Clark v. Morelli Ratner PC, 73 A.D.3d 591, 905 N.Y.S.2d 561, 562 (2010); 20

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