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Not only does Weitz & Luxenberg provide excellent legal services, and obtain settlements and verdict values probably significantly greater than most law firms, but the lawyers here really care about the clients that we represent — blue-collar workers, the men and women who built this country, who went to work everyday just trying to earn a living for their families, and many decades later had the misfortune of being diagnosed with a horrible disease. We’re here to represent them and try to right the wrongs that have been done to them.
Jerry Kristal is the managing attorney of our New Jersey office, located in the city of Cherry Hill. In that capacity, he oversees the activities of a team of six attorneys and approximately 20 support personnel as they together strive to obtain justice for clients across the Garden State, as well as in neighboring Pennsylvania and elsewhere around the Mid-Atlantic region.
He also is responsible for evaluating prospective cases: drawing upon his more than three decades of experience in the practice of law, Mr. Kristal can readily spot those claims likely to be won at trial or to yield a substantial settlement. Additionally, Mr. Kristal serves as senior trial-counsel.
A highly respected litigator, he is known for his devastating eviscerations of the arguments raised by the opposing side and for his facile ability to undermine the credibility of even seemingly unassailable defense witnesses. Yet, despite his deserved reputation for toughness, Mr. Kristal comes across to jurors as a man of great personal warmth, compassion and genuineness.
Most of the cases in which he plays an active role are those involving either asbestos exposures (mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis) or injuries caused by dangerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices — with regard to the former, some of the verdicts he has obtained are among the highest ever brought in against U.S. asbestos defendants.
Mr. Kristal is admitted to practice law in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia; he is authorized to represent clients in U.S. District Court (the federal tribunal’s Eastern Pennsylvania and Eastern and Southern New York districts), at the U.S. Court of Appeals (Third Circuit), and before the U.S. Supreme Court. The prestigious Martindale attorney peer-review rating service gives Mr. Kristal a perfect score of 5.0 out of 5.0 (qualifying him for the designation “AV Preeminent”) and, for five consecutive years, a separate organization named him a “New York Super Lawyer” (2007-14).
Owing to his sweep of knowledge, Mr. Kristal is often tapped to speak on the topics of asbestos, epidemiology and offensive discovery at regional and national seminars conducted for the benefit of plaintiffs’ attorneys. He joined Weitz & Luxenberg in 1997, after a 10-year stint with the Philadelphia law firm Greitzer & Locks where he represented families injured by asbestos.
At the dawn of his career in law, Mr. Kristal was a criminal defense attorney; he re-calibrated his practice a few years later to make civil litigations on behalf of working people his focus. Georgetown University — where he studied law and was fellowship-trained in trial advocacy — conferred upon him in 1977 a juris doctor degree; from that same institution four years later he obtained a master of laws degree.
Before entering Georgetown, Mr. Kristal was a teacher with the New York City schools system, having earned in 1972 from Queens College of the City University of New York a master’s degree in education. While working as an instructor, he became increasingly alarmed at the employment and housing problems of his students’ families — it was this concern that spurred him to enroll at Georgetown. A devoted family man whose household includes two beloved dogs, Mr. Kristal’s hobbies include gardening and music appreciation.
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