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February 15, 2005

"A Well-Oiled Machine"

As part of American Lawyer's Litigation 2004 supplement, entitled "Plaintiff Power", reporter Alison Frankel profiles Weitz & Luxenberg, the firm that brought mass torts to New York City (a town whose injury bar is still better known for one-at-a-time cases). W&L now boasts annual revenue "well in excess of $75 million", having branched out from asbestos into breast and hip implants, pharmaceuticals, toxic torts and water contamination. (The asbestos revenues fund continual expansion into other areas). Some highlights:

* Perry Weitz got his start at the tort law firm of his father-in-law, the famed Morris Eisen, but left well before the indictments which led to the conviction of numerous persons at the firm for fabricating evidence and bribing witnesses. Co-partner Arthur Luxenberg is likewise an Eisen refugee. The third partner -- there are only three, although the firm employs many attorneys as well as a support staff of about 300 -- is Robert Gordon, formerly of Philadelphia's Greitzer & Locks.

* The New York state legislature pretty much made Weitz & Luxenberg's fortunes when it reopened and liberalized the statute of limitations to allow the filing of old asbestos cases, a large share of which W&L scooped up; one sign of the firm's close ties with Albany is its hiring of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as of-counsel, promising him a share of fees from cases he brings in.

* "It costs something like $25 million, Weitz says, to start up a new mass tort onslaught. "

Posted by Walter Olson at 12:03 AM | TrackBack (0)

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