W&L attorney Ellen Relkin has been invited to join the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, a distinguished global society of legal professionals committed to supporting legal and social science research. Membership in the Fellows is limited to one percent of lawyers in each jurisdiction, and Ms. Relkin was chosen because of her dedication to her community and the legal profession. The American Bar Foundation (ABF) was created more than 60 years ago by the American Bar Association.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by my peers who selected me to join them as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation,” said Ms. Relkin. “ABF plays an important role in helping to understand the law’s impact on our society, and I’m excited to contribute to the organization’s valuable work.”
American Bar Foundation Fellows include attorneys, judges, legal scholars, and law faculty who support ABF research.
Ms. Relkin has also served over the past year as the President of the Pound Civil Justice Institute, a legal think tank created by trial attorneys in 1956 to honor the life and work of Roscoe Pound, one of America’s great legal scholars and educators. The Pound’s programs provide opportunities for open dialogue among judges, law professors, policy makers, and attorneys on issues important to the civil justice system. Research from the Institute is published and distributed widely to the legal community and the public.
Ms. Relkin serves as Co-Chair of Weitz & Luxenberg’s Drug and Medical Device Litigation practice group, where she has helped thousands of patients suffering from injuries due to dangerous medical pharmaceuticals and devices. She has led many high-profile litigations and secured major victories for patients.
She has been instrumental in helping to negotiate major settlements for clients, including $2.5 billion for those injured by defective hip implants made by DePuy and more than $1 billion for patients with Stryker’s recalled Rejuvenate modular hip stem. She also was a member of the legal team that won a $13.5 million verdict for a patient harmed by the pain medication Vioxx and succeeded in upholding the compensatory verdict on appeal. Most recently, she was appointed to serve on the Executive Committee of the national case against opioid drug manufacturers and distributors.
“On behalf of the firm, I’d like to congratulate Ellen on this achievement,” said Perry Weitz, co-founder of Weitz and Luxenberg. “Her background in legal research speaks for itself, and I know she will contribute enormously to the American Bar Foundation’s important research efforts in her role as a Fellow.”
Ms. Relkin has a distinguished history of serving her legal community. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and the Summit Council and an active member of the American Association for Justice, the American Bar Association, and the New Jersey and New York Bar Associations. She also serves on the Board of Governors for the New Jersey Association for Justice.
Ms. Relkin’s background in legal research and academics is significant. She is a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of California at Irvine. She frequently lectures around the country at continuing legal education programs and has published law review articles in the Cardozo Law Review and the Dickinson Journal of Environmental Law and Policy.
She authored the chapter “Failure to Warn in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Mass Tort Litigation” in the New Jersey Mass Torts and Class Action 2015 treatise, which was published by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education and is included in numerous other legal publications. In addition, Ms. Relkin serves on the board of advisors for the BNA Product Safety and Liability Reporter, The Toxics Law Reporter, and the MDEX Daubert Reporter.