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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It is a privilege to be part of Weitz & Luxenberg’s efforts to provide the best representation possible to our clients who have survived some of the most heinous criminal acts imaginable. I am here to do whatever I can legally to hold these perpetrators accountable and bring about some measure of justice for those who put their trust in us.
Weitz & Luxenberg is pleased to welcome Jared Lacertosa to our team of dedicated personal injury and negligence litigators. Mr. Lacertosa has extensive legal experience litigating on behalf of people who were taken advantage of by those with power.
Currently, Mr. Lacertosa works on a variety of cases for our team, with many cases on behalf of survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Mr. Lacertosa works to hold accountable people and institutions that failed to protect, and ensure the safety and well-being of, the young people in their care.
“While working for the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, I worked on behalf of people and came to realize I wanted to pursue civil litigation,” Mr. Lacertosa says. “Specifically, I knew I wanted to help people who have experienced trauma and to hold those who inflict harm and abuse accountable for their actions.”
“It is a supreme privilege to join Weitz & Luxenberg’s efforts to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse,” Mr. Lacertosa continues. “The crimes perpetrated upon children are particularly heinous because the very people entrusted with their care abused and violated that trust, in the most horrific ways possible.”
“Weitz & Luxenberg takes a leading role in investigating these crimes, which in some cases occurred decades ago,” Mr. Lacertosa adds. “And I am excited to be part of this litigation effort and to serve survivors to the best of my ability.”
Besides advocating on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse, Mr. Lacertosa litigates on behalf of victims of corporate and personal negligence, ranging from wrongful death causes of action to motor vehicle accidents.
“Child sexual abuse is incredibly repugnant and traumatic on many different levels,” Mr. Lacertosa explains. “Physically, absolutely, but also emotionally and spiritually. Our clients are adults now, but the abuse took place when they were young children, typically between 6 and 12 years of age. And often on a continuous basis over weeks, months, or years.
Our clients carry this burden their entire lives, and the trauma is often seen later with their ability to form relationships and to trust people, and difficulty reaching their potential. Oftentimes, their faith in people is strained forever. We regularly see survivors struggle to succeed as a direct result of their abuse. It is critical for us to show a jury and judge how trauma can manifest over time.”
“Listening with care and being aware of how painful and difficult it is to recount this type of abuse is critical in helping our clients. They need to trust us and feel comfortable sharing personal details of the abuse that occurred years or decades earlier. It is not easy to share how the trauma has endured and affected many different aspects of their lives.”
“Thanks to New York’s Child Victims Act, the statute of limitations for adult survivors of child sexual abuse has expanded. This is exceptionally good news in our clients’ ability to pursue justice,” Mr. Lacertosa says.
“Years ago, young adult survivors may have been reluctant to press charges against their abusers, particularly if those abusers were being protected by larger institutions, such as a church, school, or community organization. The idea of facing scrutiny and recounting such criminally intimate acts may have seemed too daunting for a young person,” Mr. Lacertosa adds.
“Now, even though decades may have passed, we can investigate not only the original abuser who committed crimes against our clients, but also the institutions that turned a blind eye to such atrocious acts. If that person or institution breached their duty to safeguard and protect children in their care, they should be held responsible,” Mr. Lacertosa emphasizes.
“I think daily of two quotes. The first, from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ The second was repeated often by one of my law school professors, ‘Justice delayed is justice denied.’ For many of our clients, justice has been delayed, in some cases for decades. But as a part of Weitz & Luxenberg’s efforts I can help to make things right,” Mr. Lacertosa concludes.
Immediately before joining Weitz & Luxenberg, Mr. Lacertosa worked for another law firm in New York City. While there, he represented a variety of companies, small businesses, and landlords in personal injury and commercial litigation. In this capacity he honed his civil litigation experience and learned the intricacies of holding companies accountable. Mr. Lacertosa’s responsibilities included conducting and defending depositions, analyzing business records, determining the negligence liability of companies and corporations, investigating accidents, working with medical and engineering expert witnesses, and negotiating settlement agreements.
Mr. Lacertosa also served as an assistant district attorney in the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office. There he was responsible for prosecuting hundreds of felony and misdemeanor criminal cases from start to finish. During his years in the DA’s Office, Mr. Lacertosa amassed hundreds of hours of courtroom experience in arraignment, felony, and misdemeanor courts where he litigated vital criminal cases.
As a prosecutor, he presented dozens of cases to grand juries and secured indictments for felony armed robbery, assault, burglary, drunk driving, firearm possession, gang assault, and other crimes by presenting testimonial, documentary, and electronic evidence. He also enhanced prosecutions by obtaining and executing search warrants, subpoenaing business records, interviewing witnesses, ordering DNA analysis, collaborating with NYPD detectives, and inspecting crime scenes.
For two years prior to that, Mr. Lacertosa served the public as an attorney for the New York State Liquor Authority, Office of Counsel, after being appointed to the position by the Governor’s Office. His responsibilities included prosecuting bars, restaurants, and alcohol retailers for violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and illicit trade practices, oftentimes for failing to protect their patrons from violent acts or committing fraud.
Mr. Lacertosa is licensed to practice law in New York. He earned his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in Brooklyn, New York, and his B.A. from American University in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Lacertosa has long dedicated his time to helping better his community. As a college student, he tutored children of limited means in Washington, D.C., an experience which showed him how children can succeed when provided help.
As an assistant district attorney, Mr. Lacertosa coached one of the Bronx District Attorney’s High School Moot Court teams, providing high school students with a crash course in legal principles and advocacy.
In addition, Mr. Lacertosa continues to advocate for and work toward expanding voting rights. Initially drawn to politics as a college student, Mr. Lacertosa worked and interned for several New York elected officials.
Eventually, in law school, Mr. Lacertosa found himself working to protect voter rights, fight against voter suppression and disenfranchisement, and loosen restrictive voting laws. Both in and after law school, Mr. Lacertosa authored policy papers on expanding the right to vote and worked to educate the public by presenting and organizing continuing legal education programs dedicated to voter protection and voter rights.
Outside the office, Mr. Lacertosa enjoys spending time with his family, exploring New York City, trying new restaurants, and playing golf. He also likes reading, spending time outdoors, hiking in the Hudson Valley, and traveling abroad.
Jared Lacertosa will be happy to review your case.