A man with red-brown hair smiles at the camera.

Gerson H. Smoger

Advisory Board Member


Gerson H. Smoger, JD, PhD, is an Advisory Board Member with the Human Rights Center. For over three decades, Smoger has worked both within the U.S. and internationally on behalf of people suffering from systemic, neurological, and cognitive injuries as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals, including various pesticides, herbicides, dioxin, lead, and tobacco. His work has varied from serving as lead counsel for Vietnam veterans exposed to the defoliant Agent Orange, fighting against health fraud misrepresentations made by tobacco companies, and predatory banking practices,   Dr. Smoger served as lead counsel for the evacuated residents of the dioxin-laden town of Times Beach, and for the lead-contaminated children of Herculaneum, the location of North America’s largest lead smelter.  In 2012, he was named by the Public Justice Foundation as national Trial Lawyer of the Year. Dr. Smoger has long been involved in human rights and access to justice issues.

In addition to serving on the Berkeley Human Rights Center Advisory Board, he currently serves as Secretary of Physicians for Human Rights, Secretary of the Pound Civil Justice Institute, and on the boards of the Public Justice Foundation (as a Past-President), the Civil Justice Research Initiative, and Public Citizen.  For many years he served as Chair of Legal Affairs for the American Association for Justice, Vice-Chair of the ABA’s  Toxic Torts, Hazardous Substances and Environmental Law committee, and on the advisory board of the Ethics and Professional Policy Committee of the American College of Medical Quality.  He has long co-sponsored  a national law school competition, the “Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Contest” under the auspices of Public Citizen. Dr. Smoger has been a frequent lecturer at national and international legal, scientific and medical conferences.. Always on a pro bono basis, he has frequently represented scientists, health professionals, and public interest organizations before the U.S. Supreme Court, including, among many others, the American Medical Association (AMA) regarding tobacco, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) regarding the accountability of pharmaceutical manufacturers, and many of the world’s leading marine biologists regarding the Exxon Valdez oil spill.