Deaths Prompt Longtime Defense Lawyer and Solo to Join Pa. Plaintiffs Firm as Senior Partners

One of the best known auto insurance defense lawyers in Pennsylvania is making a major career change.

James C. Haggerty, along with sole practitioner Terry Goldberg, has joined WSK Lawyers, a plaintiffs firm based in Philadelphia, reports the Legal Intelligencer. The name of the firm will be changed at some point to Haggerty Goldberg Schleifer & Kupersmith.

Tragedies pointed both of the senior partners in a new career direction:

The death of Haggerty’s brother in 2007, after a long battle with brain cancer, pointed him toward considering spending the last decade or so of his career on the plaintiffs side, he told the legal publication.

Goldberg suffered his own devastating loss in February 2009, when Eric Birnbaum, his law partner and best friend, was murdered in the Terry D. Goldberg & Associates law firm parking lot. The killing has never been solved.

Later in 2009, Goldberg told the Legal Intelligencer that he was having trouble eating and sleeping as he fixated on trying to figure out who might have committed the crime. His practice remained strong, Goldberg said earlier this month, but he didn’t enjoy it the way he used to and found it hard to escape memories of Birnbaum.

“Everywhere I went, everyone wanted to talk about Eric,” he said, explaining that he is looking forward to spending time working at his new firm’s other offices. “It’s tough pulling into that parking lot every day,” he said of his own Bucks County location.

Related coverage: “Pa. Attorney Fatally Shot in Office Parking Lot” “Pa. Lawyer’s Unsolved Murder was ‘Bizarre,’ His Sister Says”

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