Weitz & Luxenberg co-founder Perry Weitz donated $2 million to create the Perry Weitz Mass Tort Institute at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. Hofstra Law launched the Institute in November 2022. There was a special event held, as well as a conversation featuring four members of our W&L team: (1)
Perry Weitz is a 1983 Hofstra Law graduate. He has been a “long-standing supporter of Hofstra Law” and its efforts to educate up-and-coming attorneys. He was inducted into their Inaugural Hall of Fame last spring. In 2020, Mr. Weitz served as an honorary co-chair for the Law School’s Vision 2020 Campaign. In addition, Mr. Weitz is part of a Hofstra Law legacy family. His son, Justin, graduated from Hofstra Law in 2009. (2)
The Institute itself is a natural outgrowth of Mr. Weitz’s philanthropy in general, as well as of our firm’s leadership position in both the practice and pedagogy of mass tort law. Weitz & Luxenberg team members have made it part of our mission to volunteer our time, participating in mass tort seminars and conferences so we can teach and learn from each other.
The more we all know about the latest developments in mass tort litigation, the better we can represent our clients. Ultimately, achieving the best outcome for them is what drives us.
The Institute “draws on the strengths of the Hofstra Law faculty in the fields of torts and trial advocacy.” These talented and dedicated men and women can come together “to identify and analyze the problems that most deserve further exploration.” (3)
Hofstra Law features Weitz & Luxenberg’s Trial Courtroom, often referred to as the “Courtroom of the Future.” The trial courtroom makes use of the latest digital technology. This includes software used in trials, digital presentation and preservation of evidence, and video conferencing for offsite witnesses and experts. (4)
One of the goals of the Institute is to connect people with similar goals and interests to each other. This includes students, scholars, practicing lawyers, and judges. The Institute makes it possible for all interested participants “to explore the role that complex litigation plays in our legal system through annual conferences, training and trial advocacy programs, innovative courses and scholarship and research.” (5)
Overall, the Perry Weitz Mass Tort Institute “is dedicated to the study of the complex legal and policy issues raised by mass tort adjudication in the United States. The Institute seeks to prepare, challenge, and inspire Hofstra Law students to promote social change, pursue redress for individual victims and zealously advocate on behalf of institutional clients.” (6)
Since the founding of Weitz & Luxenberg in the mid 1980s, Mr. Weitz and co-founding partner Mr. Luxenberg have made it their mission to represent clients harmed by the actions of multiple large companies. This includes the seemingly untouchable conglomerates and multinational corporations.
At first, they focused their attention on workers who had developed mesothelioma on the job, typically in industrial workplaces. Employers had refused to take reasonable measures to safeguard the health of their employees by putting profit first and people’s lives way down on the list.
As our firm grew, our specialty litigation areas expanded. Our firm now handles everything from asbestos, personal injury, and negligence, to environmental pollution, consumer safety, medical malpractice, and defective drugs and devices.
“It’s exciting to see how far our firm has come,” says Mr. Weitz. “In our firm’s early years, we set out to provide representation where it was most desperately needed — helping victims of asbestos exposure. All these years later, I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve and the tens of thousands of people we’ve been able to help. The future looks even more promising, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the ever-evolving practice area of mass tort litigation.”
Hofstra Law’s centers of excellence are intended to foster research, education, and action on critical issues facing today’s society. In addition to this newly established Perry Weitz Mass Tort Institute, Hofstra Law’s other current centers include: (7)