Everyone who works at LLG is committed to social justice and using the law to effect positive changes to society. The ability to develop creative legal solutions to complex problems and to seek justice for our clients makes us excited to come to work each and every day.

Eric S. Somers

Eric S. Somers specializes in complex environmental and consumer public interest litigation on behalf of nonprofit organizations, aggrieved individuals and public entities. Mr. Somers has significant experience enforcing California’s landmark Right-to-Know law, Proposition 65, against Fortune 500 companies in the food, tobacco, pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetics, water quality, costume jewelry, fashion accessory and retail industries. These cases have led to reformulation of millions of products designed for children to eliminate toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and bisphenol A (BPA). Examples of consumer products that have been reformulated to remove these toxic chemicals include thermal paper used for retail receipts (BPA), children’s playsets (arsenic treated wood), water filters (lead and arsenic), children’s jewelry (lead and cadmium), fashion accessories such as handbags, belts and footwear (lead) and cookies and licorice made with molasses (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 recently led two class action lawsuits against major paint companies falsely claiming their paint products were free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). He was lead counsel in a greenwashing case against a company making false environmental claims about disposable plastic bags. He also represented a group of plaintiffs in a successful case against major inkjet printer manufacturers regarding false and misleading print speed representations. Mr. Somers was 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. In a class action case alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act against Chase Bank, Mr. Somers negotiated a significant class settlement. Mr. Somers founded the Lexington Law Group in 1996 and is a principal of the firm. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Prop. 65 Clearinghouse. Mr. Somers has been recognized as a California “Super Lawyer” every year since 2014. When not working, Mr. Somers enjoys spending time with his wife and children, playing golf and skiing down large mountains.

Eric can be reached at email.

Mark N. Todzo

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 focused much of his legal practice on eliminating and reducing the emission of toxic chemicals and individuals’ exposure to such chemicals. He has been a tireless advocate in cases seeking to remove lead from a host of children’s products and the environment and served as lead counsel in a case that resulted in the removal of over 500,000 pounds of lead per year from California roadways.

Mr. Todzo has served as class counsel in numerous class action lawsuits as well as liaison counsel in complex coordinated actions. He and has represented classes of individuals in a variety of different cases including a class of purchasers of fake organic products sold by Hain Celestial, a class of Comcast subscribers who were blocked from using peer-to-peer file sharing programs in breach of their contracts and classes of nursing home residents who were denied access to sufficient nursing staff.

Mr. Todzo is presently currently working on cases seeking to reduce emissions of hexavalent chromium in Paramount, California and styrene from factories throughout southern California. He is also playing a leadership role in the litigation against Southern California Gas Company relating to the 2015 methane gas blowout in Aliso Canyon.

Mr. Todzo joined the Lexington Law Group, LLP 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 an A.B. from Duke University in 1986. In addition to the practice of law, Mark enjoys running, biking and participating and coaching team sports.

Mark can be reached at email

Howard Hirsch

Howard Hirsch has devoted his career to representing plaintiffs in public interest litigation to protect consumers, conserve natural resources, and eliminate health threats from toxic chemicals. Mr. Hirsch’s practice includes significant experience enforcing California’s Proposition 65 and litigating class actions against, among others, technology companies, health care providers and insurers, and consumer product manufacturers. 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 graduated from Berkeley School of Law in 1996 and from Boston College in 1993. 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.

Mr. Hirsch is also a volunteer arbiter for the San Francisco Department of Human Services resolving disputes between homeless shelters and their residents. When not practicing law, Mr. Hirsch enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends.

Howie can be reached at email.

Joe Mann

Joe Mann joined the Lexington Law Group in September 2012 and is currently Senior Counsel at the firm. 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.

Joe can be reached at email.

Ryan Berghoff

Ryan Berghoff joined the Lexington Law Group as an associate in May 2017. Mr. Berghoff earned his JD from the University of California Los Angeles School of Law (UCLA) in 2015, where he obtained membership in the Order of the Coif by graduating in the top ten percent of his class. While at UCLA, Mr. Berghoff was executive editor of the Journal of Environmental Law and Policy (JELP) and participated in the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, California State Bar Environmental Negotiations Competition, and UCLA Environmental Law Clinic. Prior to joining Lexington Law Group, Mr. Berghoff worked as a Legal Fellow for the Center for Food Safety (CFS), a national nonprofit public interest and environmental advocacy organization specializing in the use of legal actions to curb harmful food production technologies. His practice areas included equitable water allocation in the State of California, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and enforcement of federal statutes including the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Mr. Berghoff is dedicated to protecting human health and the environment through advocacy and litigation. His current practice includes representing plaintiffs in public interest litigation involving consumer rights, including class actions predicated on California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) and enforcement of Proposition 65. When Mr. Berghoff is not practicing law, you can find him outdoors hiking, cycling, camping or reading science fiction novels.

Ryan can be reached at email.

Meredyth Merrow

Meredyth Merrow joined the Lexington Law Group as an associate in October 2019.  Ms. Merrow earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (Hastings) in 2019, with a concentration in Environmental Law, and received her B.A. from Gettysburg College in 2011.  While at Hastings, Ms. Merrow was an executive editor of the Hastings Environmental Law Journal, participated in the Hastings Environmental Law Clinic, and received awards for her work in Legal Research and Writing, International Human Rights Law, International Environmental Law, and Biodiversity Law.  Ms. Merrow published two law review articles on the topics of environmental justice and biodiversity offsetting, in May 2018 and November 2019, respectively.  Prior to joining Lexington Law Group, Ms. Merrow worked as a summer law clerk for the Hon. Teri Jackson, at a San Francisco land use firm, and as a spring fellow at San Francisco Baykeeper.  Ms. Merrow is passionate about, and dedicated to, the protection of the environment, with a focus on environmental justice.  When she is not practicing law, Ms. Merrow enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, and reading science fiction and fantasy. 

Salam Awwad

Salam Awwad joined the Lexington Law Group as an associate in March 2021. Ms. Awwad earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2020, with a focus in public interest and social justice law. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016. While at Hastings, Ms. Awwad was a member of the Pro Bono Society and received recognition for her outstanding Pro Bono work. She also participated in multiple Community Justice Clinics helping low-income clients with various employment issues, social security benefits, and expunging criminal records. Ms. Awwad also received awards for her work in Legal Writing and Research as well as International Human Rights Law. Prior to joining Lexington Law Group, Ms. Awwad worked as a fellow for The Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, the leading civil rights organization on the West Coast, where she provided direct legal services to low-income communities of color. She also worked as a legal intern for the U.S. Office of Special Counsel where she protected federal whistleblowers. Additionally, Ms. Awwad worked as an intern for The Center for Justice and Accountability where she helped prosecute international war criminals. When she is not practicing law, Ms. Awwad enjoys sitting on the beach, rollerblading, and going for walks.