Southeast Texas Record

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Client disenchanted with Trial Lawyer of the Year

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By The Record | Mar 9, 2020

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“It is a true privilege to perform the important work of protecting individuals and businesses from corporate abuse,” Houston trial lawyer Mark Lanier proclaimed when the National Trial Lawyers professional association named him the 2018 Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Lanier has also been recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the Most Influential Attorneys of the Decade, named by Texas Lawyer as one of the 25 Greatest Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century, and given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Association of Justice. 

The Lanier Law Firm is included, once again, in the most recent edition of the annual Best Law Firms guide assembled by U.S. News and World Report and The Best Lawyers in America. The 2020 listing ranks Lanier’s practice among the top Houston-area firms representing plaintiffs in personal injury and product liability litigation. 

Despite those honors, it appears that Lanier and his firm don’t always “perform the important work of protecting individuals and businesses from corporate abuse.” Just ask former client Sheri Dorgan. 

Dorgan hired Lanier and former Lanier Law Firm attorney Charles Herd to represent her in a lawsuit against BP after she was exposed to hazardous chemicals following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She is currently suing both attorneys for more than $1 million in damages for allegedly bungling her case.

Dorgan claims the two attorneys failed to respond in a timely manner to a show of cause order from federal Judge Carl Barbier, who then dismissed her case with prejudice.

Last October, the trial court denied Lanier’s motion to compel arbitration. Lanier appealed, but his petition for a writ of mandamus was denied. Late in January, however, the trial court granted Lanier’s motion for an extension to file a brief.

For Dorgan, justice delayed may very well be justice denied. 

“My health still hangs in the balance,” she explains. “I truly do not expect to live long enough to see a verdict in my case. I am sure Mark Lanier knew that from the beginning.” 

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