Williams joined with David Cedar and Ari Goldberger to form Williams Cedar, a nine-lawyer firm with offices in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Five lawyers from Williams Cuker joined Williams at his new firm, and Cedar brought with him an associate who was previously a paralegal at the Cedar Law Firm.
Williams Cuker broke up as of Sept. 1. Mark Cuker joined Jacobs Law Group as of counsel, and Esther Berezofsky opened her own shop, the Berezofsky Law Group, bringing three lawyers from Williams Cuker along with her.
Williams said he had worked with Cedar as co-counsel on a number of cases. The combination allows him to maintain some involvement in complex litigation while taking more of a retail-focused approach to plaintiffs’ work, Williams said. He said he will continue to work with his former partners on some cases as well.
“We each simultaneously reached a point where we wanted to do some different things that would make it difficult for us to stay together as a firm,” Williams said. “It was mainly for positive reasons that we separated. We each had different goals.”
Williams said his new firm will continue to do environmental toxic tort litigation, and he intends to spend more time on individual plaintiffs’ cases, he said, including civil rights matters. All of Williams Cuker’s civil rights work has moved to Williams Cedar, he said.
Cedar’s practice focuses on catastrophic personal injury claims, complex torts and class actions. Like Williams, his practice includes toxic torts and environmental law. Before founding the Cedar Law Firm, he was a founding member of Merovitz & Cedar and Merovitz Cedar and Gruber.
Goldberger handles domain name transactions and disputes. In 1994 he created a website for his own law firm, registering ESQwire.com, and ended up entangled in a domain name fight with Hearst Corp., which publishes Esquire magazine.
The new firm will continue to operate out of Williams Cuker’s former Philadelphia office, as well as Cedar Law’s New Jersey location. Williams said the transition has been smooth so far, as the staff has also worked together in previous cases where the previous firms were co-counsel.
“With three different histories, three different personalities, you have to spend a lot of time on melding them, but we haven’t really encountered any real obstacles of that nature,” Williams said. “We have pretty much the same goals and the same approach to things.”