Law Firms

Ex-associate files sexual harassment suit against Faruqi & Faruqi firm and prominent partner

Updated: A former associate has filed a federal lawsuit against a prominent plaintiffs class action lawyer and his New York-based law firm, contending that the partner sexually harassed her and the firm did nothing to stop his inappropriate behavior when she complained.

Plaintiff Alexandra Marchuk says in the suit that Juan Monteverde of Faruqi & Faruqi began sexually harassing her in 2010 when she worked for the law firm over the summer as an intern. After she accepted a $75,000-a-year job there the following year, she learned he had arranged for her to work only for him and his harassing behavior allegedly resumed, the New York Times DealBook blog reports.

Within two weeks, she says, he took her to a Delaware Chancery Court hearing, telling her to dress alluringly for presiding judge. Within four months, the complaint continues, he “quickly and forcefully had sex with her” at the law firm’s offices after a holiday party.

That alleged incident, according to the suit, followed a discussion at a nearby bar about Marchuk’s bonus, a Forbes article notes.

An earlier Above the Law story published Wednesday discusses Marchuk’s allegations in detail, comparing the case, if true, to the classic Thomas Hardy novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

“These claims are completely without merit, brought by a disgruntled former employee,” said managing partner Lubna M. Faruqi in a written statement provided to the New York Times. “We look forward to aggressively defending our reputation in court and have every confidence we will be vindicated.”

Marchuk, who now works in-house for an insurance company in Nebraska, is represented by Harry Lipman of Rottenberg Lipman Rich. Her suit, which was filed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan, seeks $2 million and punitive damages.

A Reuters article provides additional details.

Above the Law provides a copy of the complaint in the case.

Updated at 3:17 p.m. to link to subsequent Reuters article and at 4:33 p.m. to link to earlier Above the Law post.

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