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Gerson Smoger

Public Citizen Foundation

Gerson Smoger has represented a wide range of clients in consumer and personal injury litigation. His special emphasis in personal injury has been in birth and early childhood injuries, injuries related to the brain and neurological system, and injuries caused by errant pharmaceuticals or environmental exposure, including their carcinogenic and adverse immunological properties.

In 2012, Dr. Smoger was named Public Justice’s national “Trial Lawyer of the Year” after his success in trying the case of Alexander v. Fluor for more than three months against a lead smelter that had poisoned young children. He was previously named a finalist for Public Justice’s “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award for his role in the trial of Price v. Philip Morris, involving the fraud of “light” cigarettes. He has served as lead counsel in a number of other significant cases, such as the representation of the people of Times Beach in Missouri, groundwater contamination by Teledyne, Fairchild, and IBM in Silicon Valley, chlorine gas exposure in Alberton, Montana, childhood lead contamination in Herculaneum, Missouri, and numerous consumer class actions. He successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court the right of Vietnam veterans to bring suit for Agent Orange exposure. Always on a pro bonobasis, he has represented many amici before the U.S. Supreme Court, including the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, the American Medical Association, the Center for Auto Safety, the American Legion, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and Public Citizen.

Dr. Smoger currently serves on the board of Public Justice (as a past president), as Chair of the Board of Physicians for Human Rights, as President of the Pound Civil Justice Institute, on the board of the Civil Justice Research Initiative, on the board of the Human Rights Center at U.C. Berkeley, and as a Commissioner on the IAS-Lancet Commission on Health and Human Rights. Previously, he served on the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice (AAJ)  and as a vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Toxic Torts, Hazardous Substances and Environmental Law committee. He is a co-sponsor of a national law school competition under the auspices of Public Citizen (the “Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Contest”). He has also been named Missouri’s Environmentalist of the Year and he has been acknowledged every year as a “SuperLawyer” since that program began in 2003. He has also co-written the musical play, “Some People Hear Thunder.”

Dr. Smoger earned his bachelor’s degree from Lycoming College (Summa Cum Laude) before he undertook graduate studies at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania, where he passed his orals with distinction at the age of 21 and subsequently was awarded his Ph.D. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the bars of California, Texas and the U.S. Supreme Court.