Eric S. Somers specializes in complex environmental and consumer public interest litigation on behalf of aggrieved individuals, nonprofit organizations and public entities. Mr. Somers has significant experience enforcing California’s landmark Right-to-Know law, Proposition 65, against Fortune 500 companies in the tobacco, pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetics, water quality, costume jewelry and retail industries. These cases have led to reformulation of thousands of products to eliminate toxic chemicals such as lead, arsenic, toluene, di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP). Examples of consumer products that have been reformulated to remove these toxic chemicals include children’s playsets (arsenic treated wood), water filters (lead and arsenic) and children’s jewelry (lead). Many of these private enforcement actions have been co-litigated with the California Attorney General and other public enforcement agencies.
Mr. Somers also has substantial experience in false advertising and unfair competition matters. Mr. Somers represented a group of plaintiffs in a case against major inkjet printer manufacturers regarding false and misleading print speed representations. Mr. Somers was also Liaison Counsel in a complex coordinated proceeding alleging violations of the Truth In Lending Act by California automobile dealers that resulted in industry wide changes in advertising practices and has experience working on a class action alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act against Chase Bank.
Mr. Somers founded the Lexington Law Group in 1996 and is a principal of the firm. Mr. Somers received his law degree from Hastings College of the Law and received a B.A. from Tulane University. When not working, Mr. Somers enjoys spending time with his wife and children, skiing down large mountains and playing golf.
Since 1993, Mark N. Todzo has devoted his practice of law to the representation of plaintiffs in consumer and environmental protection litigation. In that time, he has represented aggrieved individuals, nonprofit organizations and public entities in litigation that has curbed abusive and illegal corporate practices. Mr. Todzo’s varied work has, among other things, helped to remove toxic chemicals from the environment, increased staffing in nursing homes, reformed deceptive advertising practices and recovered millions of dollars for the benefit of consumers. Mr. Todzo has argued cases in state and federal trial courts as well as courts of appeal and the California Supreme Court.
Mr. Todzo has served as class counsel in numerous class action lawsuits as well as liaison counsel in complex coordinated actions. He was lead counsel in a case that resulted in the removal of over 500,000 pounds of lead per year from California roadways and is currently representing classes of individuals in a variety of different cases including a class of Blue Shield subscribers seeking to recover increased healthcare payments required in breach of the health plan and a class of Comcast subscribers who were blocked from using peer-to-peer file sharing programs in breach of their contracts.
Mr. Todzo joined the Lexington Law Group in 1998 and is a principal of the firm. Mr. Todzo received his law degree from Hastings College of the Law in 1993 and received a A.B. from Duke University in 1986. In addition to the practice of law, Mark enjoys spending time with his wife and coaching his sons’ basketball and baseball teams, as well as running, biking and participating in team sports.
Howard Hirsch has devoted his career to representing plaintiffs in public interest litigation to enforce consumer protections, conserve natural resources, and protect human health from toxic chemicals. After obtaining two years of training and experience at complex litigation with a large commercial law firm, Mr. Hirsch spent five years as a staff attorney at a national, non-profit environmental group representing individuals and other non-profits in citizen suits against polluters under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and other federal statutes.
Mr. Hirsch joined the Lexington Law Group in 2003 and is a principal of the firm. Since joining LLG, Mr. Hirsch’s practice has included significant experience enforcing California’s Proposition 65 and litigating class actions against, among others, technology companies, airlines, and health care providers and insurers. These cases have resulted in significant reductions in human exposures to toxic chemicals, changes in deceptive business practices, and the recovery of millions of dollars for the benefit of consumers. Mr. Hirsch has also volunteered his legal services to the homeless community of San Francisco and currently serves as a volunteer arbiter for the San Francisco Department of Human Services resolving disputes between homeless shelters and their residents.
Mr. Hirsch graduated from the University of California Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law in 1996 and from Boston College in 1993. When not practicing law, Mr. Hirsch enjoys listening to music and spending time outdoors with his family.
Joe Mann joined the Lexington Law Group as an associate in September 2012. His practice includes representing plaintiffs in public interest litigation involving consumer rights, corporate accountability, and removing toxic chemicals from consumer products. Prior to joining the Lexington Law Group, Mr. Mann worked as a litigation attorney for the National Environmental Law Center (“NELC”), a non-profit organization specializing in the enforcement of federal environmental laws against the nation’s most egregious polluters. His practice focused on citizen enforcement suits under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act. He also brought several successful challenges against the federal government itself, striking down insufficiently protective rules promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Before joining NELC, Mr. Mann spent a year as the Law Clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Irma E. Gonzalez in the Southern District of California. Mr. Mann earned his J.D. degree from New York University School of Law in 1999, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the NYU Environmental Law Journal. He received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in 1991. When not practicing law, Joe enjoys hosting dinner parties, playing guitar, and being outdoors.
Lisa Burger joined the Lexington Law Group as an associate in the Spring of 2008. Since earning her law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law in 2005, Ms. Burger has devoted her practice of law to exclusively representing plaintiffs in environmental, consumer protection, and civil rights litigation. Her current practice includes enforcing California’s Proposition 65 to remove toxic chemicals from a wide range of consumer products as well as representing consumers in complex class action matters alleging unfair and deceptive advertising practices.
Before joining the Lexington Law Group, Ms. Burger was a litigation fellow with Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), a non-profit law center in Berkeley, California, that specializes in class action litigation on behalf of people with disabilities. As the David Boies / LD Access Fellow, Ms. Burger’s practice focused on increasing access to standardized testing for people with learning disabilities and ADHD and involved nearly every aspect of civil litigation in both federal and state court. In 2001, Ms. Burger volunteered with the United States Peace Corps in the Kyrgyz Republic, Central Asia. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys gardening, cooking, traveling and spending time with her friends.
Victoria Hartanto joined the Lexington Law Group as an associate in June 2011. Her practice includes representing plaintiffs in public interest litigation involving consumer rights, corporate accountability, and removing toxic chemicals from consumer products. Specifically, Ms. Hartanto works to enforce California’s Proposition 65 and represents consumers in complex class action matters alleging unfair competition and false advertising.
Prior to joining the Lexington Law Group, Ms. Hartanto obtained intensive training and experience in all phases of civil litigation in both state and federal courts at a large commercial law firm. Ms. Hartanto also worked as a volunteer attorney on international human rights litigation at the Center for Justice & Accountability. In law school, Ms. Hartanto clerked for various public interest organizations, including the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center and The Utility Reform Network (TURN). She also served as a coordinator for the California Asylum Representation Clinic and participated in the Boalt Hall International Human Rights Law Clinic. In 2004, Ms. Hartanto volunteered at the East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring & Analysis (La’o Hamutuk) in Dili, East Timor, researching and evaluating the war crimes tribunal.
Ms. Hartanto received her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 2008 and a B.A. from Tufts University in 2003. In her spare time, Vicky enjoys traveling, sailing, and spending time with friends and family.
Lucas Williams joined the Lexington Law Group as an associate in January of 2012. Since earning his JD from Golden Gate University School of Law in 2008, Mr. Williams has devoted his practice of law to enforcing environmental laws on behalf of nonprofit organizations and community groups. His current practice includes enforcing California’s Proposition 65 to remove toxic chemicals from consumer products and representing consumers aggrieved by deceptive marketing.
Prior to joining the Lexington Law Group, Mr. Williams was an attorney at the Environmental Law & Justice Clinic, where his practice focused on enforcing air quality and clean energy laws on behalf of low-income communities of color, and included significant experience securing public interest attorneys’ fee awards. In law school, Mr. Williams was the President of the Environmental Law Society, an associate editor of the Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal, and co-chair of the California Water Law Symposium. Mr. Williams also served as a law clerk at public interest environmental firms, including the Center for Food Safety and Lawyers for Clean Water. In his free time, Lucas loves cycling, following Bay Area sports, reading the New Yorker and cooking/eating good food.