Marcia E. GerstonCounsel

My focus: Business and bankruptcy litigation, including commercial litigation, creditor’s rights, creditor’s work in bankruptcy, and real property.

Education: J.D., Western New England University School of Law, cum laude, 1984; B.A., Clark University, cum laude, 1980.

Representative Matters:

  • Mission West Properties v. Exar Corporation (represented Defendant Exar Corp. in commercial lease dispute)
  • In re Swift Instruments (represented largest unsecured creditor, defended adversary proceeding to subordinate claim)

Favorite part of working at Greenfield: I’ve thought about this question more than you might expect. I took a sabbatical some time ago and realized that, if I want to practice law, I want to do it with these lawyers at this firm. I can’t think of a finer team of attorneys to work with.

Guiding principle: I have two. First, if you’re going to do something, do it right. Second, leave the world a better place than it was when you got here. As lawyers, we can do the latter by helping the legal system work properly (as well as in a slew of other ways).

Volunteer work I do (or have done) outside of Greenfield: Currently I am the Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Silicon Valley, which does a lot of engagement in public policy work as well as interfaith activities. I’m also actively involved with People Acting in Community Together (PACT), a grass-roots advocacy organization, which helps address issues of social justice in Santa Clara County, such as affordable housing, education, senior isolation and transportation equity. One of the things I like best about PACT is that it teaches people who might otherwise feel powerless to speak up and take action for themselves in the public arena.

Toughest adversary: For me it’s not other lawyers, but certain judges (and there are really only a few) – judges who don’t get it, who haven’t bothered to read the papers you give them, or who already have their minds made up before the trial begins.

What makes a good trial attorney: Preparation and a good sense of what’s happening in the courtroom. To quote Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor: “Leveraging emotional intelligence in the courtroom, as in life, depends on being attentive . . . If you are palpably present in the moment, continuously mindful of and responsive to your listeners, [the jury] will follow where you lead.” I work hard to stay in the moment for the judge or jury and, of course, for my clients.

What makes me a good trial attorney: I worry about everything, which means I’m extremely well-prepared during a trial. The other part is that I don’t like to give up (ask anyone who’s ever argued with me).

Favorite quote about the law: “When I have a particular case in hand, I have that motive and feel an interest in the case, feel an interest in ferreting out the questions to the bottom, love to dig up the question by the roots and hold it up and dry it before the fires of the mind.” – attributed to Abraham Lincoln.