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Arnstein & Lehr Sued by Former Legal Secretary
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Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Summary: The law firm of Arnstein & Lehr has been sued by a former legal secretary for violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  

A former legal secretary from Arnstein & Lehr is, which is headquartered in Chicago, according to a report from The Daily Business Review.

  
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The secretary alleges sexual harassment by the former managing partner of the Fort Lauderdale office, Alan Kipnis.

To read more about Arnstein & Lehr, click here.

The lawsuit was filed on December 27 and it was assigned to U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas. It alleges violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Florida Whistleblower Act.

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A notice of right to sue was issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which led to the lawsuit.

Jeff Shapiro, the chairman of the firm in Miami, denied the claims and said the firm will fight the lawsuit.



“We did an investigation way back when—this goes back some time ago—and we found there was no basis for any liability,” he said.

Kipnis now works for the firm as a partner in the Miami office and is the co-chair of the firm’s bank group. He did not comment on the lawsuit.

Dasschinka Storani filed the lawsuit. Storani joined the firm in 2008 to work as Kipnis’ legal secretary. She also worked as the acting office administrator. She was fired from the firm in August of 2013 after she was accused of stealing some $27,000 in time from the firm. She reportedly stole time in 2012 and 2013.

To read more about the Civil Rights Act, click here.

Storani was required to be available to answer emails in the middle of the night, according to the complaint. Kipnis reportedly demanded that she come to work at 7 a.m. when she needed to take her daughter to school at 8:30 a.m.

The complaint alleges that Kipnis spoke to Storani about his sex life, saying things like, “Your husband is a lucky guy. I bet you still give him blow jobs. My wife won’t give me blow jobs anymore. I’ll know when I’ve lost enough weight when I can see my penis. If I was 30 years younger, what I would do to you.”

Storani also had to inject Kipnis with vitamin B-12 in the buttocks because his wife would not do it.

According to the complaint: “The firm was aware of Mr. Kipnis’ abusive behavior and did nothing to control it or eliminate it, upon information or belief, because of Mr. Kipnis’ significant book of business comprised of banking and finance industry clients.”

To read more law firm news stories, click here.

Outside counsel and investigators were hired to investigate Kipnis after another secretary complained about Kipnis in March of 2013.

Storani claims the firm retaliated against her for filing the complaint against Kipnis by claiming she stole time from the company.

She is asking for back pay, compensatory damages, attorney fees and costs, punitive damages and front pay instead of reinstatement.

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Image credit: Arnstein & Lehr

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