From my first day at Weitz & Luxenberg’s New Jersey office handling mesothelioma and asbestos litigation, I sensed a good fit. Everyone here wants to do meaningful work that makes a difference in people’s lives. I’m excited to be a part of that effort, and I feel privileged to have this opportunity.
James J. Wenzel is a recent addition to Weitz & Luxenberg’s dedicated and experienced Mesothelioma and Asbestos Practice Group litigation unit in the firm’s New Jersey office. Mr. Wenzel is excited to “join such an exceptional team of attorneys who work directly on behalf of clients every day,” he says.
Weitz & Luxenberg feels equally privileged that Mr. Wenzel joined our asbestos team. He brings over 15 years of solid litigation experience to the firm, including a strong background in investigative legal research, and client and witness preparation.
“I believe my experience in taking depositions and preparing witnesses will come in handy as I move forward with my asbestos and mesothelioma litigation at Weitz & Luxenberg,” Mr. Wenzel points out. “One-on-one contact with our clients is really the foundation for the legal process.
“Particularly in cases involving asbestos exposure, our clients are asked to recall events and details from 30 or 40 years ago.”
Helping Clients Remember Asbestos Exposure Details
“When we’re meeting with a client, patience and support are important,” Mr. Wenzel explains. “Our clients with mesothelioma are already facing physical challenges, and we are mindful that the litigation process can be exhausting.
“Sometimes our clients don’t feel optimistic. They might think their asbestos exposure took place so long ago their case isn’t worth pursuing.
“But it is. And part of our job is to encourage and assure them we are on their side. We believe they should be compensated for their injuries.
“The key is taking the time to get to know our clients so they may tell their story as fully as possible. Being thorough is critical. Every detail matters.”
Weitz & Luxenberg’s Asbestos Litigation Reputation Precedes Us
“I’ve known about Weitz & Luxenberg for years,” Mr. Wenzel says. “Their reputation precedes them.
“At this point in my career, I’m looking forward to the challenges of helping clients directly. I want to work with people who have a vested interest in the outcome. Most importantly, I want to assist them in receiving the compensation and resolution they deserve.”
Mesothelioma Develops Slowly Over Time
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that sneaks up on a person slowly. People may be exposed to asbestos today and not develop mesothelioma for decades.
Our clients who have developed mesothelioma are typically older. They may have been exposed to asbestos decades ago.
That is the insidious nature of the disease — it takes time to develop.
Sometimes a person is exposed to asbestos briefly. In other cases, someone may have worked with and around asbestos products for decades.
Sadly, by the time someone has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the disease is often in an advanced stage. As attorneys, the sooner we speak with our clients after they are diagnosed with mesothelioma, the sooner we can settle with the corporations responsible for the exposure.
Wenzel Brings Broad Range of Litigation Experience to W&L
For over 15 years, Mr. Wenzel has built upon and honed his skills as an attorney. He believes his knowledge and experience working with clients, taking depositions, and investigating legal matters are among the assets he brings to Weitz & Luxenberg’s mesothelioma and asbestos team of attorneys.
He also brings a wealth of experience in negotiating settlements and writing legal documents.
Immediately prior to joining Weitz & Luxenberg, Mr. Wenzel worked in the Office of the Westchester County Attorney in White Plains, New York. From September 2002 to January 2016, he was an assistant county attorney in the litigation bureau.
As part of his numerous responsibilities, he defended lawsuits under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other antidiscrimination laws.
He also litigated discrimination charges before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and the New York State Public Employment Relations Board.
In addition, Mr. Wenzel responded to complaints concerning working conditions before the New York State Department of Labor, Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau.
Varied Background Emphasizing Research Skills
From April 2001 through July 2002, he served as an associate attorney at a commercial litigation firm in New York City. His responsibilities included representing a Fortune 100 corporation in cases involving breach of commercial contracts, negotiating settlements, drafting legal documents, and conducting legal research.
Shortly after graduating from law school, Mr. Wenzel worked at a bankruptcy firm, also in Manhattan. He served as a bankruptcy group contract attorney from October 2000 to April 2001.
He assisted in the representation of committees, trustees, and creditors in chapter 11 proceedings; drafting legal documents; and conducting legal research.
In addition, Mr. Wenzel is noted for coauthoring Until Debts Do Us Part – Dischargeability under §523 (a)(5), §523(a)(15) and §523(a)(18), which was published in the 2001 edition of the Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law.
Outside of work, Mr. Wenzel enjoys spending time with his family, including his new young son. In addition, he loves the outdoors and is an avid runner and cyclist.
Mr. Wenzel is licensed to practice law in New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, and the New York State Court of Appeals.
He earned his J.D. from New York Law School in New York, New York, and his B.A. from the State University of New York, College at Oswego, in Oswego, New York.
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