Elizabeth Topolosky

ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY

Biography

Our clients are the best. They’re the same people I knew growing up in western Pennsylvania. They’re hardworking, kind, decent, regular people who give 100% every day to make a good living and provide for their families. I want to make sure the companies that poisoned our clients by exposing them to asbestos are held accountable. Our clients deserve to be heard and I will do everything I can legally to see they receive justice.

Weitz & Luxenberg is pleased to announce the arrival of Elizabeth Topolosky to our experienced and determined Mesothelioma and Asbestos Practice Group. She is working out of our office in Los Angeles, California.

“I’m so excited to have been given this opportunity to work for Weitz & Luxenberg,” Ms. Topolosky says. “I loved my international criminal law work in The Hague, Netherlands, but I was looking for a position that would give me more direct contact with people.”

“This move seems ideal for me. I knew I wanted to travel and to make a real difference in people’s lives, to work one-on-one with clients and make a practical impact,” Ms. Topolosky explains.

Background Helps Her Understand Clients

“Prior to joining the asbestos litigation unit, I worked on behalf of people poisoned, tortured, killed, or otherwise violated by corrupt governmental policies or by large corporations,” Ms. Topolosky says.

“Our clients diagnosed with mesothelioma are also facing horrible situations, ones they never would have had to face if these companies had not exposed them to asbestos.”

Companies Knowingly Exposed People to Asbestos

“Our clients are victims of corporate wrongdoing, just like people harmed during international man-made mass trauma events. Some companies put our clients’ health at risk by exposing them to asbestos, a known carcinogen,” Ms. Topolosky explains.

“We’ve known for more than a century that asbestos was linked to horrendous lung problems. And for decades we’ve known mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure,” Ms. Topolosky continues.

“There is no excuse for knowingly endangering people’s lives.” Ms. Topolosky insists.

Corporations That Poison People Should Be Held Responsible

“First and foremost, our clients deserve justice. Monetary compensation is part of the win we’re aiming for. We want to help our clients pay for their medical treatments, compensate them for any loss of income, and also to help provide for their family’s future,” Ms. Topolosky details.

“But our clients also want to be acknowledged. They’re real people facing a horrific disease because some companies were focused on their bottom line and didn’t bother to safeguard people’s health.”

When these companies accept responsibility for their hurtful, atrocious actions, that admission validates our clients, acknowledges them as real people. This outcome is another part of the win we aim for,” Ms. Topolosky points out.

Legal Experience Before Joining W&L

Immediately before joining Weitz & Luxenberg, Ms. Topolosky worked as a project attorney for The Human Trafficking Institute in Washington, D.C., helping to compile the raw data on federal human trafficking cases for the Institute’s 2018 Federal Human Trafficking Report.

Shortly after earning her J.D. and passing the bar, Ms. Topolosky traveled to The Hague, Netherlands where she worked for two international criminal tribunals.

She served as an intern at the Office of Public Counsel for Defence at International Criminal Court. There, she worked with external defense teams to ensure compliance with court procedures and answered questions on substantive and procedural international criminal law.

Ms. Topolosky also served as a clerk for the Chambers of U.N. International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, where she assisted in researching, drafting, and redacting judicial decisions, orders, and records.

She also worked as a legal researcher for a law office. She translated German court judgments into English; drafted motions in complex federal litigation cases, and wrote and edited academic articles on European treaties and free speech statutes.

Pursuing Legal Interests

During college, Ms. Topolosky recognized and pursued her interests in criminal and international law. Accountability has been an overriding theme guiding her academic and career pursuits.

She worked as an intern and researcher, respectively, for the Center for Justice and Accountability and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the U.N. Special Rapporteur for Cultural Rights.

Outside the Office

Ms. Topolosky travels nationally and internationally to give presentations on topics involving man-made mass trauma events such as genocide and has published two articles and a documentary discussion guide on related topics.

In addition, she loves attending local open-mic nights and watching roller derby. One day she may even step on stage or into the arena herself.

She continues to enjoy studying and learning different languages, including Norwegian and Dutch, and is fluent in English and German.

Ms. Topolosky is licensed to practice law in California.

She earned her J.D. from the University of California—Davis Law School and her B.A. from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, graduating magna cum laude.

Publications

  • The Horror in Our Heads: Cultural Trauma Expert Testimony in U.S. Courts, Akron Law Review, 2018,
  • The Uncondemned: Legal Discussion Guide Peace Is Loud, 2017.
  • Wüstennebel: Das verschwundene Gedächtnis des Herero Völkermordes Gettysburg Cupola, 2014.

Speaking Engagements

  • Presentation at the 14th Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, July 2019, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  • Presentation in at the Younger Comparativist Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law’s Global Seventh Annual Conference April 2018, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • “Double Exposures: Perpetrators and the Uses of Photography” for the Perpetrator Studies Network, January 2018, Mechelen, Belgium.

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