Meet the Presenters
Professor John Villasenor
John Villasenor is on the faculty at UCLA, where he is a professor of law, electrical engineering, public policy, and management as well as the founder and faculty co-director of the UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Villasenor’s work considers the broader impacts of key technology trends, including the growth of artificial intelligence, advances in digital communications, and the increasing complexity of today’s networks and systems. He writes frequently on these topics and on their implications with respect to cybersecurity, privacy, law, and business. He has published in the Atlantic, Billboard, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Fast Company, Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Scientific American, Slate, the Washington Post, and in many academic journals. He has also provided congressional testimony on multiple occasions on topics including drones, privacy, and intellectual property law. Before joining the faculty at UCLA, Villasenor was with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he developed methods of imaging the earth from space. He holds a BS degree from the University of Virginia, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner
Rabbi Torczyner has been Rosh Beit Midrash of Beit Midrash Zichron Dov in Toronto since its founding in August 2009. Rabbi Torczyner received his B.A. (Comp Sci) from Yeshiva University in 1993, and studied toward a Masters (Comp Sci) at New York University while learning for the rabbinate in Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Rabbi Torczyner has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America, and he has headed and served on various committees of the RCA. More than 2000 recordings of Rabbi Torczyner’s shiurim delivered in Toronto are featured on yutorah.org, and Rabbi Torczyner is a regular contributor to the Center for the Jewish Future’s “To Go” holiday publications.
Mr. Ezra Wholgelernter, Esq.
For over four decades, co-founding partner Ezra Wohlgelernter has maintained a diverse practice portfolio, including a successful history of motor vehicle and truck litigation, premises liability claims, medical negligence litigation, and significant personal injury claims. Ezra has represented victims of unsafe working environments, drunk driving and trucking accidents, operating room neglect, and civil rights violations. Wohlgelernter has successfully litigated cases against major amusement parks in Pennsylvania and New Jersey arising from significant skiing and amusement ride injuries. Decades before it was on the public radar, Ezra successfully litigated cases holding municipal police departments and their officers accountable for violations of police practices and civil rights. Ezra has pursued claims brought by innocent victims injured and killed while in the path of vehicular police pursuits involving high-speed chases in densely populated communities. Ezra has pursued claims in federal courts for citizens injured and killed from injuries arising from the use by police of excessive force and represented incarcerated victims of deliberate indifference to their medical needs. Ezra was the firm’s lead counsel in a landmark Pennsylvania decision, Lipsky v. State Farm, where the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that State Farm Insurance Company must compensate victims of negligent infliction of emotional distress in claims for underinsured motorist benefits and could not treat these claims under a “per accident” liability limit. The victory brought closure to many more victims throughout Pennsylvania whose claims for these damages had been denied, pending the court’s resolution in Lipsky. Ezra has handled many significant medical negligence cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Working with members of the firm, he is the consummate team player, working on cases involving botched spinal surgery, anesthesia mishaps resulting in catastrophic and traumatic brain injuries. Ezra has been selected for inclusion since 2013 in the Best Lawyers in America list by U.S. News & World Report. Thomson Reuters has recognized him as a Top 100 Super Lawyer in Philadelphia every year since 2011. Ezra is a past president of The Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and has served on its board of directors since 2001. As a member of the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, he continues to be active in advocating the cause for all Pennsylvanians to have open and unfettered access to our courts. For over a decade, he has served on the board of directors and as former vice chair of the SeniorLAW Center, providing pro bono legal services for the state’s underserved and growing indigent elderly residents. Ezra is passionately involved in the Jewish community of Philadelphia. He has served as a trustee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, President of Politz Hebrew Academy, President of the Philadelphia Community Kollel, and now President of the Northeast Community Kollel. He has been an active community member, leading his synagogue for over 40 years. Ezra’s scholarship in Jewish law has made him a most sought-after speaker on comparative law topics. He has authored articles, including “Talmudic Sources for Contemporary Tort Law Principles.” His passion is studying the law; helping people has always been his mission. Ezra, a Temple University Beasley School of Law graduate, is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.