BY: Joseph H. Bourgon | IN: Firm News
We are delighted to announce Michigan Lawyers Weekly has included Sommers Schwartz senior shareholder Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller among its 2021 “Women in the Law.” This year’s class was honored at a luncheon at the Detroit Marriott on September 9.
Lisa joined the firm in 2006, and since then, has earned a reputation for being a tenacious and fierce advocate in personal injury litigation, sexual assault cases, birth trauma matters, and medical malpractice lawsuits.
One of Lisa’s proudest accomplishments is representing the survivors of Larry Nassar – the doctor affiliated with Michigan State University (MSU), USA Gymnastics (USAG), and the U.S. Olympic Committee – who sexually assaulted gymnasts and other young women over several decades. Lisa actively participated in reaching the $500 million settlement with MSU on behalf of the survivors. She has also actively pursued claims against USAG and the U.S. Olympic Committee for their roles in allowing Nassar’s abuse of hundreds of female gymnasts.
Lisa currently represents dozens of survivors of University of Michigan doctor Robert Anderson. Earlier this year, she obtained justice for several young women sexually harassed and assaulted by a Metro Detroit teacher for over a decade.
In addition, Lisa represents more than a dozen Michigan municipalities in the opioid lawsuits against Purdue, McKesson, Amerisource Bergen, Johnson and Johnson, and other pharmaceutical companies. She is also fighting for U.S. Veterans in a lawsuit against 3M over defective Combat Arms Earplugs.
Lisa’s accomplishments aren’t limited to the courtroom. She is a leader within Sommers Schwartz and mentors new female attorneys. A member of the State Bar of Michigan, Lisa has represented District 1 on the SBM’s Character & Fitness Committee for many years. She is active in the Michigan Association for Justice, where she sits on its Executive Board and Sexual Assault Litigation Committee. She is also involved in the American Bar Association, serving as both a chief judge (2013-2014) and associate judge (2009-2010) for the Young Lawyers Division’s Awards & Subgrants program. Lisa is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association, serving on the Executive Board of its Medical Legal Committee.
For the past several years, Lisa and her husband have sponsored 30 children through World Vision, a global Christian humanitarian organization that partners with children, families, and communities to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice. She has also participated in Detroit’s revitalization through various organizations, including the Greening of Detroit and Habitat for Humanity. In addition, she volunteers with Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Forgotten Harvest, and Gleaners Food Bank.
Each year, Michigan Lawyers Weekly recognizes female attorneys “who are committed to excellence in the practice of law, are inspiring and accomplished leaders in the profession, seek improvements to the legal community and their communities at large, show leadership in improving the justice system in Michigan, and contribute significant time and effort to volunteerism or pro bono activities.
View all posts byJoseph H. Bourgon
Joe Bourgon serves as the firm’s Chief Executive Officer, overseeing the firm’s operations and stewarding its continued growth and profitability.