Deborah A. Elman
Executive Committee Memberdelman@garwingerstein.com
When asked why she became a trial attorney, Deborah Elman says, “I think the law is one of the most powerful tools to combat injustice. . . I think the courts, and access to justice, are the most powerful tools for everyone, especially the little guy.”
Deborah is a director at Grant & Eisenhofer, a Public Justice Guardian Member, where she concentrates her practice in antitrust and securities litigation, with a focus on the pharmaceutical and financial services industries. Prior to joining Grant & Eisenhofer, she was an associate at a leading New York law firm where she worked on securities and criminal matters, and led the trial team that helped a Somalian asylum-seeker prevail on a challenged application. One of the most personally significant cases Deborah worked on was a death penalty case, in which her firm was able to vacate its client’s sentence to death after serving 30 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit: “Getting that case heard and contributing to the reversal of the death penalty decision is something I’m definitely proud of,” she says.
Currently she is passionate about her litigation work on pharmaceuticals and healthcare — a timely topic, as profit-driven corporations continue to restrict patients’ access to lifesaving drugs and devices. Deborah has a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University, and is pleased to bring her backgrounds in public health and law together in these and other efforts.
Grant & Eisenhofer has been a member of Public Justice since 2009. To Deborah, Grant & Eisenhofer’s mission is clearly aligned with Public Justice’s: among other things, the firm is a pioneer in corporate governance work, has a large whistleblowing practice, recently established a civil rights practice, and has a burgeoning environmental practice. Grant & Eisenhofer also is committed to responsible investment, as displayed through the Grant & Eisenhofer Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Institute. Deborah has been Co-Director of the Institute since its formation in 2016. She says, “We are really trying to look at how the law can be used to encourage the implementation of ESG ideals,” which promote responsible investment strategies.
Deborah is thrilled that her firm is involved in Public Justice because, she says, Public Justice has an impressive level of commitment and skill as well as “an ability to galvanize like-minded people to work together.” She is proud to contribute to our common goals in any way she can, including participating in Public Justice Committees.
When asked what she hopes to say she’s accomplished at the end of her career, Deborah says, “I’d like to be able to say that I fought the good fight . . . To have helped fulfill this country’s promise of equal justice for those who need it most.” When she’s not accomplishing her career goals, Deborah enjoys reading, watching movies, and being with her family and dogs.