Weitz & Luxenberg is excited to announce Robin Greenwald is being inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame this spring. Ms. Greenwald is a partner in the firm and co-chair of our Environmental Toxic Torts and Consumer Protection Litigation group.
She is being honored during the Mass Torts Made Perfect conference being held at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. The ceremony is happening during a luncheon featuring this event on April 12, 2023.
Joining a Select Group of Attorneys
Each year, the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame recognizes and honors a select group of attorneys who “have exceeded the expectations of the public and their peers by clearly establishing themselves, through their practice, as true champions and crusaders for American justice.” These attorneys “have left an indelible mark on the American legal tradition through a lifetime of service to the American public, the Constitution, and the American trial bar.” (1) That description fits Ms. Greenwald’s achievements to a tee.
In fact, Ms. Greenwald joins a long line of notable attorneys who received such acclaim, including: (2)
- Perry Weitz, W&L’s own co-founder.
- John Adams, second president of the United States.
- Clarence Darrow, defense attorney for the “Scopes Monkey Trial.”
- Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Marshall Thurgood, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
Guiding Principles and Beliefs
“It is an honor to receive this recognition,” Ms. Greenwald says. “Even more importantly, I feel privileged to represent so many deserving individuals and communities over the years. They are equally deserving of this award. And the sad reality is that despite the work of so many of my colleagues work across the country, people continue to be harmed by the negligent, and oftentimes culpable, actions of corporate executives. We can never stop fighting these offenders who routinely deprive the rights of citizens to be warned about dangerous products, to be free from toxic water contaminated by corporations who use our environment as their dumping ground, to breathe clean air, to know that the planet will survive generations to come, to feel safe when they send their children to school, and so much more.”
Ms. Greenwald continues, “Often, people who were harmed don’t know where to turn for help. They are victims of systems and decisions beyond their control. I am humbled by being given the opportunity to play a role in helping them obtain the justice they deserve. And I also want to make special mention of my incredible colleagues, both within my unit and throughout the firm, for their mentorship, guidance, collaboration, teamwork, and friendship. Without them I would not have achieved the recognition that accompanies this award.”
Ms. Greenwald explains, “Much of my work has been driven by the belief that we all have an obligation, regardless of our chosen profession, to protect certain rights. I believe in protecting public health for all segments of the population and preserving our natural resources. Through my work, I try to ensure that future generations maintain their rights to challenge wrongdoing and have a planet that will sustain life as we know it today. I hope that we never forget the importance of protecting the public from industries that place profits over the public good and government action that panders to the powerful over the rights of citizen.”
Leader in Environmental Protection
Since joining W&L in 2005, Ms. Greenwald has since led her team to several significant triumphs. As part of that success, she has served in key leadership positions to help bring about justice on a massive scale.
Physical harm from environmental damage is extensive and typically linked to some of the most egregious corporate offenders out there. Generally, you can find Ms. Greenwald heading efforts to hold these companies accountable.
- Multibillion dollar settlement with Monsanto over exposure to the weed killer Roundup, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Our clients were diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma after routinely using this dangerous herbicide. Ms. Greenwald serves as co-lead counsel in the Roundup Products Liability multidistrict litigation (MDL) and still litigates these cases around the country.
- $1.8 billion settlement for the Porter Ranch community in Los Angeles County. Ms. Greenwald served on the executive committee of the Judicial Council Coordination Proceedings. A methane gas well blowup led to widespread environmental damage, harming hundreds of local residents and businesses.
- $18.7 billion settlement with BP Oil for the catastrophic 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Ms. Greenwald served on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Eastern District of Louisiana. She also acted as co-lead class counsel on the Medical Benefits Class Settlement and participated as one of four committee members who tried the Phase 2 trial focusing on post-explosion liability for the oil spill.
- $423 million settlement against the oil industry for contaminating our nation’s groundwater with methyl tertiary butyl ether, a gasoline additive. Ms. Greenwald served as co-lead counsel on this MDL, litigating for nearly eight years. She secured a settlement on behalf of more than 100 water providers across the country.
Ms. Greenwald has held numerous other leadership roles in both environmental and consumer protection consolidated cases, including:
- PFOA/PFAS water contamination in numerous communities across the country.
- Volkswagen Defeat Device MDL.
- GM Ignition Switch MDL.
Lifetime of Environmental Protection Roles
Throughout her 40-year career, Ms. Greenwald has committed herself to defending people harmed through local, regional, and national environmental contamination.
She began her career working with the Department of Justice. For 16 years, she served first as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and then as Assistant Chief of the Environmental Crimes Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division. She also served as General Counsel for the Department of the Interior, Office of Inspector General.
While working for the Department of Justice, Ms. Greenwald received her first award: the United States Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service. Other notable awards include:
- The Northeast Region Conservation Award, May 1991.
- Environmental and Natural Resources Division Certificate of Commendation, 1995.
- Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Outstanding Service Award, March 1997.
After 18 years of public service, Ms. Greenwald became the Executive Director of Waterkeeper Alliance, a not-for-profit water protection organization with hundreds of member programs around the world.
She also served as Clinical Professor of Law at Rutgers College of Law, Newark in New Jersey. She mentored students in the field of environmental litigation and also taught Environmental Law and Evidence.