Alani Golanski

Director, Appellate Litigation Unit

  • Focus: Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Phone: 212-558-5500
  • Fax: 212-344-5461
  • 700 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Biography

Most people would be amazed by the amount of preparation that goes into asbestos exposure and environmental toxic tort litigations. Thinking painstakingly about the correct approach for each case, and developing the right theory, and all of the research this involves, are the keys to getting a great result. Research into the facts of each case, the legal principles and decisions, and the types of experts who should be retained, are just the beginning. I find it very rewarding to participate in this outstanding project as a member of the Weitz & Luxenberg litigation team.

Mr. Golanski joined Weitz & Luxenberg in 2008 as director of our appellate litigation unit, with particular emphasis on our Asbestos-Cancer and Toxic Environmental Tort litigation groups. An authority on federal contract disputes, he also is a foremost appellate litigation specialist. Among his many impressive victories, for example, is a 1992 decision handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Asbestos Litigation that affirmed a multi-million-dollar judgment against numerous manufacturers and suppliers of ultra-hazardous asbestos-containing materials (at stake were more than 60 consolidated asbestos-related verdicts favoring the plaintiffs).

Mr. Golanski’s appellate work has helped shaped the New York high court’s view of the statute of limitations in products liability litigations, and has impacted state and federal court review of the interplay of New York’s complex judgment molding rules and statutes. Mr. Golanski has recently won two appeals at the New York Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, on behalf of plaintiffs bringing actions against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for asbestos-related harms, and against building owners backed by the Defense Association of New York, establishing stricter standards for the protection of usable roof surfaces. Andrucki v. Aluminum Co. of America, 24 N.Y.3d 275 (2014); Powers v. 31 E 31 LLC, 24 N.Y.3d 84 (2014).

In addition to his juris doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1986, Mr. Golanski obtained a master of laws degree from the Columbia University School of Law in 2003, where his academic standing qualified him for recognition as that year’s James Kent Scholar, Columbia Law’s highest academic distinction. In 2004, he earned an M.A. in philosophy from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He originally received his B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and was inducted to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

Publications

Mr. Golanski is a regular speaker at professional and judicial conferences throughout the nation.  He has published numerous articles and essays, particularly in the areas of products liability, toxic torts, and legal theory.  These include:

  • Why Daimler Accommodates Personal Jurisdiction in Mass Tort Litigations” 80 Albany Law Review 101 (2017);
  • Nonmoral Theoretical Disagreement in Law,” 42 Mitchell Hamline Law Review 225-272 (2016) ;
  • Book Chapter:  “Legal Considerations of Forensic Applications of Epidemiology in the United States,” in FORENSIC EPIDEMIOLOGY:  PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE (Michael Freeman & Maurice Zeegers eds., Elsevier, 2016);
  • (with Kristal, J.), ”A Reply to James K. Toohey and Rebecca L. Matthews’ Commentary: ‘Liability for the Post-Sale Installation of Asbestos-Containing Replacement Parts or Installation.’” Mealey’s Litigation Report: Asbestos (2011);
  • Legal Theory From the Regulative Point of View,” 44 Cumberland Law Review 1-53 (2014), revised;
  • “A New Look at Duty in Tort Law: Rehabilitating Foreseeability, and Related Themes,” 75 Albany Law Review 227 (2011/2012) (cited in Wilson v. Moore Freightservice, Inc., No. 4:14-CV-00771, 2015 WL 1345261 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 25, 2015); Carney v. Galt, No. 2014-CA-001124-MR, 2017 WL 383451 (Ky. Ct. App., Jan. 27, 2017; Grubb v. Smith, 2017 WL 1102860 (Ky. Mar. 23, 2017));
  • ”Paradigm Shifts in Products Liability and Negligence,” 71 U. Pittsburgh Law Review 673 (2010);
  • ”General Causation at the Crossroads in Toxic Tort Cases,” 108 Penn State Law Review 479 (2003) (discussed in CARL F. CRANOR, TOXIC TORTS: SCIENCE, LAW, AND THE POSSIBILITY OF JUSTICE (Cambridge Univ. Press 2006), and cited, inter alia, in the Harvard Environmental Law Review, Issue 30 (2006));
  • ”Linguistics in Law,” 66 Albany Law Review 61 (2002) (discussed in CHRISTOPHER HUTTON, LANGUAGE, MEANING AND THE LAW (Edinburgh Univ. Press 2009));
  • ”When Sellers of ‘Safe’ Products Turn Ostrich in Relation to Dangerous Post-Sale Components,” 39 Southwestern University Law Review 69 (2009);
  • ”Why Legal Scholars Get Daubert Wrong–A Contextualist Explanation of Law’s Epistemology,” 22 Whittier Law Review 653-721 (2001) (relied upon in SAMIR COPRA & LAURENCE F. WHITE, A LEGAL THEORY FOR AUTONOMOUS ARTIFICIAL AGENTS (University of Michigan Press 2011);
  • ”Kahn’s Reign and Its Metaphors for Law–A Critique in the Philosophy of Legal Culture,” 27 Southwestern University Law Review 89 (2000).
  • Book Chapter, ”Why There is Widespread Nonmoral Theoretical Disagreement in Law,” in SELECTED ISSUES IN MODERN JURISPRUDENCE (David A. Frenkel ed., 2016).

Mr. Golanski has also authored numerous book reviews, including (with Comerford, T.) ”The Speculation Economy: How Finance Triumphed Over Industry” (Lawrence E. Mitchell), New York Law Journal (Feb. 17, 2009), ”The Common Law Tradition: A Collective Portrait of Five Legal Scholars” (George W. Liebmann), New York Law Journal (Oct. 26, 2006), ”David Hackett Souter: Traditional Republican on the Rehnquist Court” (Tinsley E. Yarbrough), New York Law Journal (November 17, 2005), ”Rights From Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights” (Alan Dershowitz), New York Law Journal (February 16, 2005), ”The Song Sparrow and the Child: Claims of Science and Humanity” (Joseph Vining), New York Law Journal (July 20, 2004), ”The Cloaking of Power: Montesquieu, Blackstone, and the Rise of Judicial Activism” (Paul O. Carrese), New York Law Journal (August 26, 2003), and ”Justice at Dachau: The Trials of an American Prosecutor” (Joshua M. Greene), New York Law Journal (July 25, 2003).

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