The three name partners of Philadelphia litigation firm Williams Cuker Berezofsky have gone their separate ways, finding new homes for themselves and their associates and staff at new law firms.
Mark Cuker is now of counsel at Jacobs Law Group, the firm announced Wednesday, where he is bringing much of his small business representation and environmental litigation practice. He has also established Cuker Law Firm, which will continue to take on certain cases that Jacobs Law does not intend to handle.
According to the Williams Cuker website, the firm broke up as of Sept. 1. Gerald Williams has gone on to a new firm, Williams Cedar, along with five lawyers from his former firm. Esther Berezofsky has opened her own shop, the Berezofsky Law Group, bringing three lawyers from her former firm along with her.
Cuker said he will continue to work with his former partners on some cases, but “we reached a point where each of us wanted to take our practices in different directions.”
Williams and Berezofsky did not respond to requests for comment.
Cuker said he was interested in joining Jacobs Law because he had worked with firm founder Neal Jacobs on commercial litigation in the past. After he recently brought a lawsuit on behalf of 485 independent pharmacies over reimbursements, Cuker said he is looking forward to having the commercial arbitration support his new firm provides.
“There are a lot of legal issues these pharmacies are dealing with, and a lot of other ways they’re … really being treated unfairly and being squeezed by the more powerful entities,” Cuker said. “Neal and his firm have a lot of sophisticated experience with those kind of people.”
Jacobs said Cuker came to him seeking a new place for his practice, and he was eager to add him to the firm after their previous work together. They haven’t gone over Cuker’s entire roster of cases yet, he said, but he expects Jacobs Law to take on some of his environmental cases in addition to the pharmacy representations. Where Jacobs Law may not join Cuker, Jacobs said, is on some of his more consumer-focused matters.
One of Cuker’s most high-profile cases, which he tried with Berezofsky, was representing families of children who were developing cancer at an unusually high rate in Toms River, New Jersey, which they alleged was caused by contaminated drinking water. The story of those families was the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning book.
Cuker was also involved in a controversial case over a 2012 train derailment and chemical spill in Paulsboro, New Jersey, which resulted in a verdict of only $500 after Cuker was thrown out midtrial for coaching a witness. The incident hasn’t affected his reputation, he said, though he has had to explain when people ask about it.