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Christopher M. Placitella is a shareholder in the law firm and an accomplished trial lawyer with a nationwide reputation as one of the country’s leading legal authorities on mass tort, class actions and asbestos related diseases. He represents individuals injured by defective products and drugs, toxic substances, and environmental damage.
Mr. Placitella is dedicated to working on behalf of victims of corporate misconduct, and this dedication has helped shape the direction of the firm and its values. A problem-solver by nature, he has devoted his career to helping change people’s lives and obtaining justice for his clients.
Throughout his career, Mr. Placitella has advised numerous labor unions and consumer organizations across the country on occupational safety and health related issues, as well as educated the public on injuries caused by asbestos, defective drugs, and other toxic substances.
Mr. Placitella has developed an award-winning reputation for his commitment to those who have been harmed due to the wrongful conduct of others. His professional integrity and personal commitment to his clients and his community have provided him with local, regional, and national recognition for his work and service. He is continuously recognized by his peers for his contribution to mass tort litigation.
As a member of the plaintiffs’ bar, Mr. Placitella is known for helping to establish a national asbestos litigation group dedicated to successfully and effectively representing individuals suffering from asbestos-related diseases and their families.
• Member of Steering Committee, Multi-District Asbestos Litigation; • Special Counsel to all State Court Litigants, National Diet Drug Litigation; • Class Counsel, Johns Manville Class Action Litigation; • Class Counsel, New Jersey Diet Drug Litigation; • Member of Steering Committee, National 23 Multi-District TMJ litigation; • Member of Steering Committee, National Rezulin Litigation; • Lead Counsel, New Jersey Propulsid Litigation;
• Served as key member of the legal team representing the State of New Jersey against the tobacco industry and helped achieve the largest settlement in the history of New Jersey, totaling $7.6 billion;
• Mr. Placitella assisted in negotiating what is believed to be the largest settlement in the nation involving a single company in a product liability case involving the diet drugs Pondimin® and Redux® – a $3.75 billion settlement;
• Trial counsel in the largest consolidated asbestos trial in New York City history, and also obtained the largest punitive damage verdict against an asbestos company in New Jersey’s history;
Served as one of the lead trial counsel in the largest environmental tort settlement on behalf of individuals in New Jersey history, totaling $38.5 million;
As part of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, helped organize national pro bono effort to provide free legal assistance for families who lost loved ones in the 9/11 tragedy.
HONORS AND AWARDS:
Named as a member of ‘The Roundtable: America’s 100 Most Influential Trial Lawyers,’ 2011; From 2005 to 2011, included in the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, based on peer review ratings;
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review AV®-rated lawyer, and included in The Bar Register of Preeminent LawyersTM in the United States for 2011, published by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell®; 2001-2011, included in the list of The Best Lawyers in America® in the field(s) of Personal Mass Tort Litigation / Class Ac- tions – Plaintiffs, and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs (Mass Tort, Occupational Disease, Toxic Tort), based on peer review ratings. (Copyright 2011 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.);
Included in the list of The National Law Journal’s 2005 ‘Top New Jersey Mass Tort Lawyers’; Awarded with the ‘Gold Medal for Distinguished Service’ Award in 1997; the highest award that can be bestowed on a New Jersey trial attorney by his peers, for his dedication in fighting for the rights of victims of environmental pollution by The New Jersey Association for Justice;
Received the “Pioneer Award” by Consumers for Civil Justice (New Jersey’s largest consumer advocacy organization) for fighting for the rights of New Jersey consumers and tort victims;
Presented the “Meritorious Service Award” by the New Jersey White Lung Association for his fight for the rights of asbestos victims;
Nominated as National ‘Trial Lawyer of the Year’ for his work in representing lead-poisoned children.
The Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice, Member; • Leaders Forum American Association for Justice, Member; • Consumers for Civil Justice, Counsel; • New Jersey Trial Lawyers (now NJAJ), Former President (2001–2002); • NJAJ PAC, Former Chair.
ARTICLES AND PUBLICATIONS:
Christopher M. Placitella is the author of a bi-weekly newsletter, ‘The Mass Tort Update,” and has published numerous articles on trial practice, mass tort class action, mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. Mr. Placitella’s career has been commemorated a number of times in written works, including: Poison Pills, The Untold Story of the Vioxx Drug Scandal, Tom Nesi; Dispensing with the Truth: The Victims, the Drug Companies, and the Dramatic Story Behind the Battle over Fen-Phen, Alicia Mundy; Civil Warriors, the Story of the Tobacco Litigation, Dan Zeigart; No Contest, Corporate Lawyers & the Perversion of Justice in America, Ralph Nader;
Christopher M. Placitella and Justin Placitella, A Closer Look at Asbestos Cases, TRIAL MAGAZINE, Nov. 2011 at 27;
Christopher M. Placitella, Why Are Mesothelioma Cases in New Jersey Still on the Rise, NEW JERSEY LAWYER, Aug. 2011, at 16;
Placitella & Klein, The Civil Justice System Bridges the Great Divide in Consumer Protection, 43 Duq. L. Rev. 219 (2005);
Placitella & Darnell, Beshada v. Johns Manville Products Corp.: Evolution or Revolution in Strict Products Liability, 51 Fordham L. Rev. 801 (1983);
Christopher M. Placitella, 9-11 The Agony and the Aftermath, THE JOURNAL, Sept. 2011.
Mr. Placitella volunteers his time to numerous consumer advocacy groups to fight for the rights of people who suffered because of corporate misconduct, including serving as Counsel for Consumers for Civil Justice. Mr. Placitella is also a founder of the Veterans Transition Initiative, and a trustee of the Holidays for the Homeless and Underprivileged, Inc. organization.
Mr. Broderick practices in the areas of corporate and securities law, including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital and strategic investments, public and private securities offerings and joint ventures. He is particularly skilled in venture capital and private equity investment transactions.
Mr. Broderick is a co-head of the firm’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) practice. His involvement with the SBIC program dates back to 1993 when he successfully represented a client in obtaining one of the first participating securities licenses issued by the Small Business Administration. As a result of that experience, he has since represented numerous SBIC licensees in connection with their fund formation, SBIC licensing, fund raising, regulatory compliance and investment transactions.
Mr. Broderick regularly represents the firm’s SBIC and other venture capital clients in investment transactions ranging from simple minority venture capital investments to representing the lead investor in leveraged management buyouts or follow on investments made in connection with the acquisition of other companies or divisions, including the disposition of investments.
Mr. Broderick currently serves as the Chairman of the First Occupational Center of New Jersey, an organization providing training and education for the disabled, and as a director of the New Jersey Appleseed Public Interest Law Center. He is an adjunct professor at Seton Hall Law School, teaching Business Planning, has lectured widely on venture capital and related topics and has served as a judge at the New Jersey Venture Fair.
Mr. Broderick has been recognized as a Chambers USA “Leaders in their Field” lawyer for 2007-2014, a New Jersey Super Lawyer for 2006 and is also listed in the 2007-2013 issues of Best Lawyers in America.
Rayman L. Solomon became Provost and Dean Emeritus on July 1, 2014. During his 16 years as Dean of the School of Law the School hired over one-third of the current faculty, significantly expanded the clinical and pro bono programs, and extensively redesigned the curriculum. Among the innovations was creating many classes that combined clinical and writing experiences and doctrinal and trial advocacy or transactional skills. The deanship also saw the strengthening of the student experience, as two additional journals were established. The increased emphasis on alumni activity led to the successful completion of two capital campaigns and the involvement of more alumni in the life of the School. Perhaps most importantly, a beautiful 50,000 square foot addition to the existing Law School building and a major renovation of the original building has been completed. The increased high-quality space including a new student lounge, The Clark Commons, and Faculty Lounge, has finally given the students, staff, faculty, and alumni a layout that matches their quality.
Prior to coming to Rutgers-Camden as Dean and Professor of Law on July 1, 1998, Dean Solomon was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Curriculum at Northwestern University School of Law (1989-1998). Before that he was Associate Director and a Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation (1980-1989). While there he was also the editor of the American Bar Foundation Research Journal (now Law & Social Inquiry). Dean Solomon graduated with a B.A. from Wesleyan University (1968) and has a J.D. (1976) and a Ph.D. (1986) in American Legal History from the University of Chicago. He served as Director of the Seventh Circuit History Project (1976-1978) and published A History of the United States Court of Appeals, 1891 – 1941 (Government Printing Office, 1981). Dean Solomon served as a law clerk to the Honorable George Edwards, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (1978-1979). He also was a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago where he taught legal research and writing (1979-1980).Dean Solomon’s areas of research are the history of the American legal profession, the history of judicial ethics, and federal court history. He is co-editor of two books: In the Interest of Children: Advocacy, Law Reform and Public Policy and Lawyers’ Ideals and Lawyers’ Practices: Professionalism and The Transformation of the American Legal Profession. In the former he contributed ‘Goss v. Lopez: The Principle of the Thing,’, and in the latter ‘Five Crises or One: The Concept of Legal Professionalism, 1925-1960,’ He has also published ‘The Politics of Appointment and the Federal Court’s Role in Regulating America: U.S. Courts of Appeals Judgeships from T.R. to F.D.R.’ in the American Bar Foundation Research Journal, and ‘The Seventh Circuit’s Role in Enforcement of Prohibition: Regulating the Regulators,’ in Law, Alcohol, and Order: Perspectives on National Prohibition. Dean Solomon teaches American Legal History and Trusts and Estates.
Professor Holmes earned an A.B. in government from Cornell in 1967 and a J.D. from Harvard in 1971. He joined the law school in 1997. Professor Holmes was executive director of the Newark Housing Development and Rehabilitation Corporation from 1971-1974, then served as assistant commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and later as acting commissioner. From 1979 to 1987, he was chief executive of the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corp., where he supervised the management and planning of the 35,000-acre Newark Pequannock Watershed. In 1987, Professor Holmes became a partner with Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer, PC, where he practiced corporate transactions, real estate and development, sports and entertainment law, and municipal law. In 1995, he became counsel to Medvin & Elberg in Newark.
A former member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Disciplinary Review Board and former president of the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute, Professor Holmes is a board member of the Public Interest Law Center of New Jersey, board member and secretary of Legal Services of New Jersey, a board member of Minority Athletes Networking, and a member of the board of trustees of the Victoria Foundation.
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