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Lawsuit describes fraternity-like atmosphere at L.A. law firm

Holiday season at most law firms means year-end bonuses and perhaps a nice dinner at which partners pick up the check.

But things were a little different at Century City law firm Glancy Binkow & Goldberg, a former employee alleges in a recent sexual harassment and wrongful-termination lawsuit.

At the conclusion of the law firm’s 2009 holiday party, founding partner Lionel Z. Glancy took employees to a Los Angeles bikini bar named Fantasy Island, paid for their admissions and bought a lap dance for at least one employee, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that female employees at the firm were subjected to a hostile work environment that included “partners’ obsession with discussing sex in the workplace and derogatory comments about women.” One lawyer posted photographs of naked women on the wall of his office, and partners once gave a male employee binoculars to “leer at the hot women through the office windows,” the lawsuit says.

Ashlee Ilewicz worked as an investigator at the firm for 14 months before she was fired in December 2009. Her lawsuit, filed this month in Los Angeles County Superior Court, said she was fired for complaining about the performance of an attorney and subjected to a hostile work environment while employed at the firm.

Glancy declined to comment, and the firm’s lawyer, Stuart D. Tochner, could not be reached for comment. Tochner told the legal newspaper the Daily Journal that the allegations were false and the firm intended to defend the lawsuit.

The Glancy firm, founded 16 years ago, represents investors in securities class-action lawsuits and also has offices in New York and San Francisco. According to the firm’s website, it represents investors in dozens of pending class-action securities lawsuits, including cases against American Express Co., E-Trade Financial Corp., Harley-Davidson Inc. and Crocs Inc.

-- Stuart Pfeifer

 
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