Founder / Partner
Founder and Partner of Morelli Ratner PC (formerly Benedict P. Morelli & Associates, P.C.) & former President of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association
Mr. Morelli has a degree from City College, NY 1971 and studied law at New York Law School. In 1973 he began his career as a law clerk in a personal injury law firm, becoming eligible for the bar exam in 1977. After being admitted to the New York State Bar he became a partner and then senior partner of that firm. He is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts, Southern, Eastern Western and Northern districts of New York.
In June, 1998, after a partnership of over 21 years, Mr. Morelli dissolved his firm and started a new firm – Benedict P. Morelli & Associates, P.C. In June 2005, the name of that firm was changed to Morelli Ratner PC.
Mr. Morelli has represented and does represent clients in Employment Discrimination cases (including racial discrimination, age discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and gender bias), false arrests, civil rights, complex product liability (including drug product liability – DES, Vioxx, Bextra, Ortho-Evra and Avandia), auto accidents, premises, labor law, and many other types of cases. In each of these areas, Mr. Morelli has gotten multi-million dollar results. He represents individual plaintiffs against many major corporations including many large investment banks.
For over thirty-five years of trying cases, Mr. Morelli has received numerous multi-million dollar verdicts. In 1995, his $40 million dollar verdict was featured in the National Law Journal as one of the “Top Ten Verdicts” in the United States.
He has tried every kind of civil case – from a person who tripped and fell over a raised door saddle and broke his hip ($2.6 million – the largest verdict in the country for that injury) to complex medical malpractice cases (the largest verdict in the country for blindness in one eye). He has attained the largest verdict for a loss of three fingers (medical malpractice) and the largest verdict for a crush injury to the arm.
In 2010, Mr. Morelli was lead counsel in a polio vaccine case which had been filed thirty years earlier and received a $22,500,000 verdict (the largest verdict in Supreme Court in Staten Island, NY history.) It was also the largest vaccine verdict in U.S. history.
Last year, Mr. Morelli was lead counsel in a sexual harassment trial in federal court in the Southern District of Illinois and received a $95,000,000 verdict (the largest single-plaintiff sexual harassment verdict in history.)
Approximately half the cases the firm handles are for other lawyers or law firms who choose him and his staff as their trial counsel because they think he is the best. Over the years he has always been considered a lawyer’s lawyer. He not only has numerous law firms referring clients to him, but also has judges recommending clients to him. From the time he was admitted to the Bar through the present, Mr. Morelli has been first and foremost a trial lawyer.
In addition to trying cases, Mr. Morelli is a past President of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and sustaining member and governor of the American Association for Justice, emeritus on the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, advocate rank in the American Board of Trial Advocates, member of the New York State Bar Association, American Bar Association, New York County Lawyer’s Association, National Employment Lawyers Association, and past president of the Brooklyn-Manhattan Trial Lawyers Association.
Mr. Morelli has been listed in Best Lawyers in America continuously from 1997 through the present edition. He has also been selected by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association as one of New York’s “Superstars.”
For two seasons, Mr. Morelli was a regular on the nationally syndicated television show “Power of Attorney”. He has also appeared as a guest on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Aaron Brown,” “Anderson Cooper 360,” “Dateline NBC,” “The View,” “The Ananda Lewis Show,” and “Court TV.” A five page feature article written about him entitled “Benedict Morelli Feels Your Pain” appeared in New York Magazine.
He has taught and lectured for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Association of Trial Lawyers of the City of New York, New York State Bar Association (“Proving Damages in a Civil Trial”), and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (“New York Superstars,” “Trial Advocacy Workshop,” “Summations,” and “Cross-Examination”). Mr. Morelli was called upon to represent the plaintiff’s bar to counsel insurance executives on how to resolve cases.
In the Avandia drug litigation, which is venued in the Eastern District Federal Court of Philadelphia, he was selected as a member of the plaintiff’s steering committee of the MDL as well as lead trial counsel on one of the first two cases to be tried in that court.
Mr. Morelli and his firm are currently representing claimants in mass tort litigations including Chantix, Raptiva, Levaquin, Propecia, Yaz/Yasmin, Transvaginal Mesh, Fosamax femur fracture and DePuy hip replacement cases. The firm also represents hundreds of plaintiffs in the ongoing BP Oil Spill litigation.