Internship Env Law

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Internship Env Law

  1. 1. MY ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNSHIP Summer 2007
  2. 2. Williams, Cuker, & Berezofsky <ul><li>offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cherry Hill, New Jersey </li></ul><ul><li>employs ten lawyers, as well as other professional staff </li></ul><ul><li>extensive experience handling complex litigation - products liability, environmental, pharmaceutical and toxic tort litigation, employment discrimination, civil rights and consumer protection </li></ul>
  3. 3. Success Stories <ul><li>Agent Orange — Stephenson v. Dow </li></ul><ul><li>Contaminated Drinking Water — Fishel v. Westinghouse </li></ul><ul><li>Builder — Strawn v. Canuso et al </li></ul>
  4. 4. Welcome to the Firm
  5. 5. Jerry Williams <ul><li>“ We are not afraid to take a stand against corporations or the government when they ignore the rights of individuals. In fact, we often find new and cutting-edge ways to craft the law in favor of victims’ rights because we believe that where there has been a wrong, there has to be a remedy.” — Gerald J Williams </li></ul>
  6. 6. Jerry Williams aka The Boss <ul><li>concentrates on toxic tort and complex personal injury cases in addition to handling consumer protection, civil rights, employment law, police litigation and class actions </li></ul><ul><li>received bachelor’s degree in sociology from St. Joseph's College, and a Masters in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh </li></ul><ul><li>received his law degree from Temple University School of Law Evening Division </li></ul><ul><li>held positions in the fields of mental health and social work, serving as director of research and evaluation at the Benjamin Rush Center in Philadelphia, and as an evaluation analyst at St. Luke's Medical Center </li></ul><ul><li>was an associate at the law firm of Wapner, Newman & Associates before starting his own firm in 1984 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Mark Cuker <ul><li>concentrates on environmental, product liability, and consumer cases including unfair business practices </li></ul><ul><li>graduated from Temple University </li></ul><ul><li>received a law degree from Villanova University </li></ul><ul><li>Became partners with Jerry in 1985 </li></ul>
  8. 8. Ester Berezofsky <ul><li>concentrates on pharmaceutical and medical litigation and chemical exposure and environmental cases </li></ul><ul><li>became the third partner at Williams, Cuker & Berezofsky in 1996 </li></ul><ul><li>earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wayne State University and a master's degree in clinical psychology from Wayne State's Merrill Palmer Institute </li></ul><ul><li>received a law degree from Rutgers University Law School </li></ul><ul><li>was a clinical psychologist who focused on post traumatic stress, especially for victims of chemical exposure such as those involved in the Three Mile Island </li></ul>
  9. 9. Other Important Individuals <ul><li>Jen </li></ul><ul><li>- Helps with firm projects </li></ul><ul><li>Her mom is one of the partners and works in the NJ office </li></ul><ul><li>No college education </li></ul><ul><li>Ashley </li></ul><ul><li>Secretary for 4 attorneys </li></ul><ul><li>No college education </li></ul><ul><li>Model on the weekends </li></ul><ul><li>Adrian </li></ul><ul><li>- The other intern </li></ul><ul><li>International Business and Management and Environmental Science major at Dickinson </li></ul><ul><li>Aspirations to go to law school </li></ul><ul><li>Took over for her, but responsibilities differed </li></ul>
  10. 10. My Internship <ul><li>Worked for Jerry Williams </li></ul><ul><li>Assigned three cases that dealt specifically with environmental issues </li></ul><ul><li>Reading and summarizing for hours in cubicle </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoyment of new topics </li></ul>
  11. 11. CASE #1 - Hopewell Precision Area Contamination <ul><li>Dutchess, NY </li></ul><ul><li>Hopewell Precision facility produces fabricated, painted sheet metal and wastes that include paint thinners and degreasing solvents </li></ul><ul><li>Groundwater and soil vapor in the area of Hopewell Precision is contaminated with volatile organic compounds </li></ul><ul><li>To reduce exposures to VOCs, US EPA and NY State Department of Environmental Conservation provided water treatment systems for private wells contaminated with chemicals and installed sub-slab treatment systems in buildings impacted or potentially impacted by soil vapor intrusion </li></ul><ul><li>Saw the benefit of having an Environmental studies background </li></ul><ul><li>Responsibilities: get familiar with the case – public complaint </li></ul>
  12. 12. CASE #2 <ul><li>Known in the office as the “pigeon poop case” </li></ul><ul><li>On or around November of 2004, pigeon droppings had accumulated over the years in a turret over the Northwest corner of the Lackawanna County Courthouse in Pennsylvania and collapsed into a private bathroom off of the chambers of a judge. </li></ul><ul><li>Alicon provides waste management transportation and disposal </li></ul><ul><li>Alicon workers removed an estimated ten </li></ul><ul><li>(10) tons of droppings and other bio- </li></ul><ul><li>hazardous wastes </li></ul><ul><li>During the same time frame of the clean up, </li></ul><ul><li>Courthouse workers, including the plaintiffs, </li></ul><ul><li>continued to work at their respective positions </li></ul><ul><li>throughout the Courthouse </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>At no time during the performance of its work at the Courthouse did Alicon or any of its agents, servants or employees advise or warn Courthouse employees, about what Alicon’s activities, the dangerous conditions because of the cleanup, and to avoid contact with contaminated areas </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to significant amounts of the foregoing toxins, and suffered from various respiratory illnesses </li></ul><ul><li>negligence of the defendant, Alicon </li></ul><ul><li>Responsibilities included: summarizing transcripts from Workers’ Compensation trial to be used in our trial against Alicon Environmental </li></ul><ul><li>Wouldn’t have been done otherwise </li></ul>
  14. 14. CASE #3 – Chemical Exposure <ul><li>Employees in a company experienced chemical exposure for a few hours </li></ul><ul><li>Two women were pregnant and lost their babies shortly after the exposure </li></ul>
  15. 15. Chemical Exposure <ul><li>Began with research on the chemical and tried to find connections between chemical exposure and reproductive harm </li></ul><ul><li>Researched in medical and scientific journals </li></ul>
  16. 16. Chemical Exposure <ul><li>Went on document review </li></ul><ul><li>Copies of the material were sent over and I was given responsibility for organizing medical files, emails, articles, and other information </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CIl8ASLWCE </li></ul>
  17. 17. Chemical Exposure <ul><li>Summarized all the documents </li></ul><ul><li>Researched, like movie clip, what some of the medical testing means </li></ul><ul><li>Showed me how hard it is to prove your case – logically makes sense </li></ul><ul><li>No research to back cause </li></ul>
  18. 18. Observations <ul><li>Jerry takes on any case – really believes he can make a difference </li></ul><ul><li>Long hours </li></ul><ul><li>Told multiple times not to be a lawyer – too much to focus on at once and long hours </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Small firm </li></ul><ul><li>Many cases at once </li></ul><ul><li>Some fun stuff too </li></ul>

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