W. Mark Lanier
Attorney, author, teacher, pastor and expert story teller, Mark Lanier is no stranger to the public platform. Since he founded The Lanier Law Firm in 1990, Mark has earned international recognition as one of the top trial attorneys in the United States, with firm offices in Houston, New York and Los Angeles supporting his work for clients across the country.
Mark’s courtroom experience is significant and diverse, including:
- In November 2017, Mark helped secure a $247 million verdict against DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., a subsidiary of health care giant Johnson & Johnson, over Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants. The verdict was won on behalf of six New York residents who claim they were injured by the faulty medical devices. This verdict comes on the heels of two others won in March and December of 2016, both against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson. The March verdict was recognized by the National Law Journal as the Outstanding Medical Device Award for 2016, and as one of the Top 50 Verdicts of the Year. In the December verdict, Mark won over $1 billion, which ranked as the fourth largest verdict in the nation for that year. Together, the two consecutive verdicts were ranked as the first and second largest products liability verdicts of 2016.
- Mark scored another headline-grabbing verdict in April 2014 against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Eli Lilly & Co. over the diabetes drug Actos.
- From the very beginning of his career, Mark has proved again and again that he is not one to slow down or rest on the laurels of his recent victories. Early in 1993, he made a huge impact in the world of courtroom litigation by winning a then-record verdict for a small oil company in a business fraud case against one of the nation’s largest oil providers.
- His winning verdict in the nation’s first trial over the painkiller Vioxx, Ernst v. Merck, set the tone for similar cases nationally.
- Mark followed up the record Vioxx verdict with two wins totaling more than $50 million over the same drug.
- He obtained a precedent-setting settlement for a national sugar association trade group and several of the largest U.S. sugar manufacturers regarding a false promotion lawsuit against one of the world’s leading distributors of artificial sweeteners.
- He also was responsible for reaching a sizeable settlement for syringe manufacturer Retractable Technologies in an antitrust case against Becton Dickinson & Company, which served as the basis for the movie Puncture, starring Chris Evans.
- His verdict on behalf of 21 asbestos victims is considered one of the largest asbestos liability awards in U.S. history.
- Mark also secured a settlement for 130 Ingersoll Rand Plc employees in a lawsuit over unpaid bonuses related to the sale of an Ingersoll Rand subsidiary.
Mark’s peers and the media consistently recognize him among the country’s leading legal minds:
- In May of 2017, Mark Lanier was inducted into the National Trial Lawyers’ Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, which recognizes exceptional litigators.
- Twice named Trial Lawyer of the Year by The National Trial Lawyers in 2016 and 2017, as well as by The Trial Lawyer magazine.
- Won the largest verdict in Texas in 2016, according to VerdictSearch and Texas Lawyer, as well as the third largest verdict with $1 billion and $502 million respectively.
- The Lanier Law Firm is ranked among the Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers, 2013-2017, with a National Tier 1 rating in Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs and local rankings in Houston and New York in Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs and Commercial Litigation.
- Mark has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America from 2006-2018, including previously being named the 2013 Top Class Action Attorney in America.
- Mark was named Houston’s Lawyer of the Year in 2018, 2016 and 2012 for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions, by Best Lawyers.
- Repeatedly named to the LawDragon Top 500 Leading Lawyers in America.
- Mark was named to The Legal 500 “Elite Leading Lawyers” list in 2016. He is also a member of The Legal 500 Hall of Fame.
- In 2015, he earned the American Association of Justice’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
- The New York Times described him as “one of the top civil trial lawyers in America.”
- The National Law Journal has twice named him one of the nation’s Top 10 Trial Attorneys, as well as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America. The same publication also named Mark and The Lanier Law Firm to the annual Plaintiff’s Hot List.
- Mark also is the recipient of the coveted Clarence Darrow Award.
- He is named in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in 2015-2017, where he also received special recognition as a national leader in product liability and mass tort cases.
- Mark was named Houston’s Lawyer of the Year in 2017 for Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs, by Best Lawyers
- Top Tier Ranking nationally in Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Litigation by Legal 500 U.S., 2016-2017
- Top 10 Texas Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
- AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Litigation Star in Texas, 2013-2017, by Benchmark Litigation
- Elite Trial Lawyers, 2016, by NLJ
- Top 50 Verdicts of the Year, 2016, by NLJ
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America by Benchmark Litigation, 2017
- Texas Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2003-2017
- Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Association for Justice, 2015
- Named a Litigation Trailblazer by NLJ, 2015
- Litigation Star, United States, 2013, Plaintiff Personal Injury, Benchmark Litigation
- Recognized as one of the Most Influential Attorneys of the Decade by The National Law Journal
- Named among the nation’s Top 10 Trial Attorneys, by The National Law Journal/ALM
- Recognized among the 25 Greatest Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century, Texas Lawyer newspaper
- Mark’s additional professional honors include his recognition from Texas Lawyer newspaper as one of the state’s Top 5 “Go To” Personal Injury Plaintiff Attorneys three different times in 2002, 2007 and 2012, in addition to naming him the Top “Go To” Personal Injury Attorney in Texas. In 2015, he earned the Texas Bar Foundation’s Ronald D. Secrest Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award. Mark received further recognition in the Verdict Search/Texas Lawyer Top 50 Verdicts of 2012 and 2016. Texas Lawyer also named him as one of the Top 25 Attorneys of the Past Quarter Century, while recognizing The Lanier Law Firm as the 2015 Litigation Department of the Year.
- The same publication also recognized him as Houston’s 2016 Lawyer of the Year for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions.
- Mark’s additional professional honors include his recognition as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation and The Trial Lawyer magazine’s America’s 100 Most Influential Trial Lawyers.
In addition to national recognition, Mark has earned multiple accolades from his legal peers in Texas. In a statewide attorney survey published in Texas Monthly magazine, he has earned selection to the annual Texas Super Lawyers list since it debuted in 2003, including being named one of the Top 10 Attorneys in Texas.
What the news clips can’t measure or define is Mark’s commitment and his passion for his clients. Often motivated by injustice and a sense of fair play, he has sought to even the score, whether representing individuals or large corporations. The Lanier Law Firm represents clients from all over the world in courtrooms across the United States.
Mark’s courtroom work has resulted in feature articles in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg News and the Houston Chronicle, among many others. He also is a frequent guest on news shows such as CNBC’s Squawk Box and Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto. Mark also is a regular co-host and contributor to Fox Business News’ highly rated Varney and Company with Stuart Varney.
Mark is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is licensed to practice in all Texas state and federal courts, New York state courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. Mark frequently instructs other attorneys in seminars held across the nation about his trial techniques and how to better try cases. He regularly serves as a featured lecturer at many of the nation’s top law schools, including Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, Pepperdine University School of Law, University of Chicago Law School and Texas Tech University School of Law. Mark was elected to the American Bar Association’s Fellows of the American Bar Association and was named a Life Fellow of the same organization in 2012.
A strong supporter of his alma mater, Mark earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1984. He remains active at Texas Tech by serving on the law school’s Foundation Board. He was selected as the Texas Tech University School of Law Distinguished Alumnus for 2015 and also was awarded the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016.
Mark is enthusiastically involved in government and community activities outside the practice of law. Chairmen, company presidents and senior executives from major American corporations and universities often call on him for his respected business views on national and international issues. In 2011, Mark was also bestowed the distinguished Ambassador of Peace award by the Guatemalan government.
Mark also is the founder of the Lanier Theological Library (www.LanierTheologicalLibrary.org), one of the nation’s largest private theological collections. He teaches a weekly, 700-plus-member Sunday school class focusing on Biblical Literacy at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston. Mark is the founder of the Christian Trial Lawyers Association, a non-profit organization whose goal is to create a network of principled attorneys to minister to others through civic-minded endeavors. He serves on the boards of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) and the Albright Institute. An accomplished author, Mark recently published the book, Christianity on Trial (IVP 2014) and a daily devotional book entitled, Psalms for Living: Daily Prayers, Wisdom, and Guidance (Baylor University Press 2016). The book won the 2018 Illumination Book Award in the Devotional category.
Mark is the father of five wonderful children and lives in Houston with his wife, Becky.