950 Third Avenue, 11th Floor, New York, NY | Directions 1002240.760219 -73.968096
Neighborhoods: Midtown East (Turtle Bay), Midtown East, Midtown
not much legal training here – There is a horrible work ethic here. Associates are sent to court unprepared because senior counsel are lazy and can't be bothered to maintain case file and explain case. Associates are told to protect firm at any cost and cover up and lie to judges and clients whenever deemed necessary, resulting in some findings of contempt and fines. Founding partner Ben Morelli openly plays favorites among his staff in order to create resentment and stroke his fragile ego. Managing partner David Ratner intentionally creates conflict among attorneys at the daily meeting in order to create animosities and disunity among attorneys, lower morale, and sickly enjoy that which he unleashes. Underpaid staff begrudingly work, their goal being do as little as possible for all except the partners. Senior counsel who will never be promoted to partner status discourage junior attorneys from working beyond 5:30pm or returning to office to work after depositions because it makes them look bad. Daily arrival and departure times of all attorneys and staff are recorded by the receptionist, including bathroom, smoke, and lunch breaks, this data is reviewed on weekly basis by Morelli's wife, who "administers" the firm.
Financial status of firm is precarious. Ever since it invested millions of dollars in failed Vioxx class actions, it has existed on brink of bankruptcy. Paychecks overdraw the firm's checking account, first-year attorneys get $40,000/year for several years, and employees are told they're being fired because they "earn too much" = for example, over $50,000/year for paralegals. Fired staff are forced to sign an illegal contract promising not to sue firm for sexual harassment/employment discrimination in exchange for severance pay. Firm cannot pay for CLE, attorney registration and bar and court admission fees. No sick days are given, after all you are expected to show up sick and infect everyone else unless you are hospitalized, but then you must produce proof of hospitalization. In violation of health privacy laws, absent staff upon return are interrogated as to nature of their illness and "whether it will recur." Staff who discuss precarious financial status of firm are fired for discussing this. There are no bonuses for anyone, and raises are given every 3-4 years though promised each year. Raises are dangled when one attorney finds out another received a raise and threatens to leave, or when one attorney announces he is leaving because of better pay elsewhere.
There is lots of sex and sexual harassment at this firm! Several partners openly flirt or sexually harass female attorneys, paralegals, and secretaries. At events and parties where alcohol served, partners sexually assault, and where consensual, have sex and use drugs, with lawyers and staff. This has led to absence of the spouses of offending partners from attending official law firm events and to some staff resignations which of course are covered up. Some staff, witnessing the partners' behavior, repeatedly proposition staff for sex. This is done under the nose of Ben Morelli, founding partner, who uses videocameras, secretaries, his sons' friends who "work" as interns at the firm, and the children of his children's nanny to spy on his employees, rarely unearthing the incriminating stuff or perhaps turning a blind eye due to sheer entertainment value!
There is a horrible moral ethic. Staff hire more expensive products and services because of the kickbacks system. Staff arrange for secret billing accounts to steal money from the firm for supposed services not rendered. Money accounts that should not be mixed are mixed due to financial problems. Confidential financial and health information of employees is routinely exposed due to lack of care. There are Osha violations on site.
Though the law firm claims the review is defamatory, to be defamatory, statements must be untrue. Wouldn't they wish these statements untrue.
Firm's response to anonymous reviewer – Over the past couple of months, a single anonymous reviewer has repeatedly written defamatory posts about Morelli Ratner PC. After Citysearch removed these posts in July, the same individual re-posted the same and new content again. Last week, Citysearch again removed the posts for violations of the site's Terms of Service. Since this individual is so intent on maligning the partners, staff, and work environment of Morelli Ratner, we decided that it would be appropriate to share the testimonies of some of our long-time staff members on their experiences working at the firm.
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