The nationally recognized rating service Super Lawyers has released its list of 2021 N.Y. Metro Rising Stars. Eleven of those attorneys work for Weitz &…Read More
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At heart, I am an advocate who really would be happy to change the world. Changing it for one person at a time is a great way to start! Clients come to us when they are at their most vulnerable. They are going through a very difficult time and need a genuine connection. My goal is to make that connection, to assure them that I will fight on their behalf and to let them know that they are in good and capable hands.
Weitz & Luxenberg’s Mesothelioma and Asbestos Litigation Unit welcomes Brian Teets to our team. His self-proclaimed “idealism” is a refreshing addition to our hardworking unit.
Mr. Teets contributes his knowledge of and commitment to human rights law to our team’s mission of providing legal representation for clients suffering from asbestos related diseases.
Legal cases are built on research. Focusing on the importance of good research, Mr. Teets says, “Working as a research assistant was absolutely interesting. It opens up your world and allows you to explore a world you previously knew nothing about.”
Mr. Teets worked for the Federal Public Defender for the District of Columbia, where he assisted attorneys with legal research, reviewed and drafted motions, prepared attorneys for hearings, accompanied attorneys to hearings, and determined sentencing ranges according to new guidelines for appropriate drug cases.
He also enjoyed working as a judicial intern for the Hon. Laura Cordero, in D.C. Superior Court in Washington, D.C. While there, he researched and drafted judicial opinions, bench memoranda, and court orders for a variety of civil cases, and assisted the judge on daily motions.
“That work parallels what I am doing today against big corporations. We are sticking up for the little guy. I really like that!” exclaims Mr. Teets.
Asbestos related diseases include mesothelioma, a virulent form of cancer that affects the tissues lining organs. Even with available treatments, this form of cancer is fatal.
Asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma and corporations know it. “Worse yet, it takes years after the initial exposure to asbestos for symptoms to appear. New cases of mesothelioma or other cancers are being diagnosed every day,” describes Mr. Teets.
“Companies know about the asbestos they use and the harm it causes. They know that they are jeopardizing the health and well-being of workers and customers. Yet, they are choosing to act irresponsibly. When corporations are negligent, they should pay for the harm they do,” he insists.
Weitz & Luxenberg helps by taking on the burden of litigation. “We make our clients feel at ease by being relatable. We show them that someone identifies with them. We understand and we have the skills to help them fight their legal battle,” explains Mr. Teets.
He goes on, “I feel proud that I can use my skills, experience, and knowledge to help someone through their most difficult time. Everyone here at Weitz & Luxenberg is incredible, dedicated and hardworking. Weitz & Luxenberg brings to fruition all of the effort I have made to build my career.”
Mr. Teets has long maintained an interest in civil rights issues, especially as pertains to gay rights advocacy. His belief that “long shot goals can be accomplished” was validated when the U. S. Supreme Court approved gay marriage. The impact of the court’s decision sharpened his desire to focus on trial law.
He began preparing for his career goal of trial law by honing his courtroom skills through participation in mock trial competitions. These included the John L. Costello National Criminal Law Trial Advocacy Competition at George Mason University, the Student Trial Advocacy Competition with the American Association for Justice in Washington, D.C., the National Civil Trial Competition at Loyola Marymount University, and the National Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition at University of California Hastings.
Additionally, Mr. Teets advocated as a student attorney in the American University Washington College of Law’s civil advocacy clinic.
Mr. Teets found that after participating in these activities, he wanted to “do something that was both focused and provided a wide variety of experience.” Once gay marriage had been approved, he committed himself to advocacy for those who could not advocate for themselves, people who are most vulnerable. “Asbestos disease related litigation is a perfect fit,” he says.
Asbestos disease related cases require thorough research, which is one of Mr. Teets’ strengths. His experience has honed his skills as a researcher, especially research of the law as applied to specific situations and causes. For him, chief among causes is that of human rights.
Among the experiences and accomplishments Mr. Teets is most proud of is his work for the Human Rights Campaign. In this capacity, he drafted memoranda for legislative counsel on constitutional, contract, criminal, education, employment, disability, family, benefits, tax, health care, immigration, intellectual property, media, military, and real estate law.
Another aspect of this work included the Human Rights Campaign’s publication of a book which helps state lawmakers understand the U. S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision on gay rights, and acts as a guide for states in administering the law.
Another cause which Mr. Teets has taken up has been the protections afforded under the First Amendment, more specifically as applied to whistleblowers.
As a faculty research assistant at the Washington College of Law, he investigated topics involving the intersection of religion and whistleblowers. His work was primarily focused on whistleblowers who cited religion as a primary factor in their decision to blow the whistle.
“We wanted to protect them from being targeted or fired under their First Amendment rights. The use of their religion could serve as protection for some whistleblowers,” Mr. Teets explains.
Mr. Teets attended American University Washington College of Law. He is licensed to practice law in the state of California and is a member of the California Bar.
He received his undergraduate degree in history from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Brian Keith Teets, Jr. will be happy to review your case.