As she takes on a leadership role in litigation over water contamination in Flint, Michigan, Esther Berezofsky is also starting her own law firm in New Jersey and Philadelphia.
Berezofsky’s firm, Berezofsky Law Group, was born out of her split with Gerald Williams and Mark Cuker in September. She is the last of the three partners to announce a brand new firm arising from the breakup. Berezofsky is bringing with her a law clerk and two associates from Williams Cuker, and she plans to make additional hires in the near future.
Her new firm is taking over Williams Cuker’s New Jersey office and has established a new location in Philadelphia. Like her former partners, Berezofsky said her former firm split up because the principals wanted to move their practices in different directions.
“I’ve always had a more national practice even within the firm. That was really the direction I wanted to move in,” she said.
But they will continue to collaborate on certain cases. For instance, Berezofsky said, she and Williams are continuing to work together in representing residents in Hoosick Falls, New York, whose communities have suffered from water contamination. In addition to Hoosick Falls, she is also representing alleged victims of water contamination in Flint, Fresno, California, and Petersburgh, New York.
Environmental cases like that make up a large part of her practice. Late last month, Berezofsky was appointed to serve on the plaintiffs’ executive committee for the proposed class in litigation over Flint’s water crisis. That case is currently taking up a lot of her time, she said, as it involves complex issues and allegations against governmental agencies.
Berezofsky said she was first exposed to environmental class actions through her work as a psychologist, before she went to law school. She became a lawyer in order to represent residents affected by those situations, she said.
Her work also includes pharmaceutical and medical device litigation. In all of her plaintiffs’ work, Berezofsky said she intends to work within her new firm a bit differently than others might.
“The approach that I’m taking with my team now is really a team approach,” she said. “They’re large cases, they’re complex cases and I think they’re best handled with a team approach where the lawyers and support staff work together.”