Center for Public Health Litigation Team
Andrew Rainer serves as PHAI’s Litigation Director, and Director of PHAI’s new litigation project, The Center for Public Health Litigation. Mr. Rainer brings to PHAI over 30 years of experience as a lawyer and litigator, having worked previously both as a prosecutor and as a civil trial lawyer. Immediately prior to joining PHAI in 2014, Mr. Rainer served as Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Massachusetts Environmental Strike Force, where he oversaw the investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes as well as a number of important public health cases. Mr. Rainer has also served as an Assistant District Attorney, a partner in two Boston law firms, and as Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. An AV-rated lawyer and a Massachusetts Superlawyer, he has tried dozens of cases to verdict and negotiated numerous public impact settlements. Mr. Rainer is also a frequent presenter at environmental, public health, and trial advocacy programs.
Meredith K. Lever is a 2014 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law. During law school Meredith focused on litigation and on developing approaches to apply findings from cognitive psychology and behavioral economics to law and public policy. She plays a key role in the Center’s litigation efforts and, recently, was part of the Center’s trial team in the U.S. Virgin Islands that secured verdicts of $113 million for our clients in trials against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
Mark Gottlieb joined the staff of the Public Health Advocacy Institute in 1993 after graduating from Northeastern University School of Law. His efforts have focused on researching tobacco litigation as a public health strategy as director of the Tobacco Products Liability Project, reducing the harm caused by secondhand tobacco smoke through a variety of legal and policy approaches, fostering scholarship using tobacco industry documents, and, more recently, examining legal and policy approaches to address obesity. Mark is an adjunct professor at Northeastern University School of Law where he teaches and operates the Public Health Legal Clinic. He is the Executive Director of the Institute and lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife and three children. Some of his publications can be viewed here.
Lissy Friedman holds a J.D. cum laude from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, MA and a BA in Political Science magna cum laude from Boston University in Boston, MA. She is currently studying the tobacco industry’s use of corporate social responsibility rhetoric and tactics to improve its image. Ms. Friedman has published numerous peer-reviewed and law review articles and is a frequent presenter at national tobacco control and public health conferences. Ms. Friedman is a frequent presenter at national tobacco control and public health conferences. She also recently filed an amicus brief with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court advocating for the approval of a ballot question that would outlaw casino gambling in the state, and submitted a legal memo to the MA Attorney General arguing that daily fantasy sports are illegal under current MA law.
Edward L. Sweda, Jr., is Senior Attorney for the Tobacco Products Liability Project (TPLP), a project of PHAI. Having been active in tobacco control since 1979 with a particular focus on the legislative and litigation aspects of public policy, Mr. Sweda has worked to promote tobacco litigation and thereby force tobacco companies to bear legal and financial responsibility for the harm caused by the intended use of their products. Articles authored or co-authored by Mr. Sweda have appeared in Trial Magazine, the European Journal of Public Health, Indoor Pollution Law Report, the British Medical Bulletin, Tobacco Control and the New York State Journal of Medicine. Some of his publications can be viewed here:
- Oxford University Press
- National Toxicology Program at National Institutes of Health
- Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Sudeshna Trivedi, J.D.
Attorney Trivedi serves as a litigation associate for the Center. She graduated from Boston University School of Law where she served as the projects editor of the American Journal of Law and Medicine. She completed her undergraduate degree in Public Health Studies at Johns Hopkins University where she was a recipient of that school’s Center for Social Concern Urban Education Award. Ms. Trivedi is a registered patent agent.
Michael D. Weisman, J.D.
Michael D. Weissman has been a successful trial lawyer for over 30 years. He argued the seminal case, McDuffy v. Secretary of the Executive Office of Education (1993), on behalf of children from less affluent communities in Massachusetts. His lawsuit alleged that the state was failing to fulfill its Constitutional duty to provide all children with an adequate education. The Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling laid the foundation for education reform in Massachusetts.
Mr. Weisman was the lead counsel in the Evans v. Lorillard case that resulted in a payment from the cigarette company of over $70 million to the family of lung cancer victim Marie Evans. The case changed the legal landscape for tobacco cases in Massachusetts after the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 2013 that Lorillard’s cigarettes were legally defective because they were addictive and caused disease. More recently, he served as lead counsel in a double trial in the U.S. Virgin Islands against R.J. Reynolds that resulted in verdicts totaling more than $113 million. Attorney Weisman works with the Center on some of its tobacco ligation.