January 12, 2015

Opening Statements In Marchuk v. Faruqi & Faruqi

A jury of five men and three women heard opening arguments in the case against Faruqi & Faruqi, partner Juan Monteverde and the firm’s co-founders, siblings Nadeem and Lubna Faruqi. Plaintiff Alexandra Marchuk claims that Monteverde “quickly and forcefully” had sex with her following a December 2011 party, and that the firm tolerated Monteverde’s behavior because he was a top revenue producer. Marchuk also claims the firm retaliated against her by filing bogus counterclaims describing the suit as an attempt to extort money. Marchuk is seeking $22 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

“The Faruqis did nothing wrong. The firm did nothing wrong,” defense attorney Scott Bursor of Bursor & Fisher P.A. said in Manhattan federal court. “No one was harassed. There was no sexual assault at all.”

Bursor said the encounter between Monteverde and Marchuk was consensual and could not support a hostile work environment claim because it occurred at 3 a.m., well outside of normal working hours. Bursor also said Marchuk had resigned without giving Faruqi’s leaders an opportunity to address the supposed incident, or even describing what had happened.

“She never gave them any chance to do anything about it,” Bursor said. “She talked to a lawyer and she was out the door.”