Attorney Marc Lamber formed the Plaintiff Personal Injury Practice at Fennemore, and it remains the only PI group within a major US national law firm. He has spent the last 30 years developing and honing it, representing a multitude of accident victims and their families resulting in hundreds of successful outcomes. Marc has built his practice by being an early adopter of emerging technologies including iPads, Google Glass, 3D Printers and a host of wearables. A father of two boys, Lamber is also committed to and involved in pro-bono legal reform aimed at protecting the rights of children and innocent victims. A graduate of the NYU Law School, Lamber is also an experienced legal commentator, devoting significant time educating the public on complicated legal issues that are important to our system, for national outlets like CNN, The Wall Street Journal, ABC’s Good Morning America, Today, CBS News, Fox News and NBC News.
We recently had the pleasure of talking with Marc about the current state of his practice, and life in the law.
During the pandemic, as people are driving less, accidents decreased, but a lot of them were serious as people are driving faster with more open roads. As Memorial Day weekend quickly approaches and people head back out to the highways for vacation, what advice would you give to help keep people safe?
Think of it like riding a bike – you have the muscle memory – but you really should reacquaint yourself with driving a car, especially if you have not faced commuting for the past 14 months. As pandemic restrictions are being lifted all over the country, I think the roads will be very crowded this summer. People are looking to live again, and the traditional summer travel season is going to be back in full-effect.
Remember, human error is the cause for most accidents, so things like texting and driving or being impaired on drugs or alcohol can be dangerous – and deadly – for yourself, and your family and others on the roads.
The period between Memorial Day and Labor day is often referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days of Driving,” especially for teen drivers. Again, have your teens ease back in to driving and have the conversation: driving while texting should never be allowed in your family, and you need to set the example.
You were way ahead of the curve on many of your initiatives like “Stop Distracted Driving” and the effects of Marijuana on driving if you’re impaired. What’s next on the horizon for you and your team?
Self-driving cars and autonomous features on vehicles is a trend that continues to grow, and it will ultimately revolutionize the way we experience driving. I’ve always said, “I’ll be happy if this technology puts me out of business,” and self-driving car technology has the potential to improve road safety for everyone.
Post-pandemic, I also think we’ll continue to see liability issues for business owners related to COVID-19, and Appellate Courts will take on related cases. Our legal system has rarely grappled with these type of issues in such large measure, and new precedents may be set during 2021 and beyond.
Like most attorneys, seemingly overnight, you became a remote-working lawyer after 30 years in the legal profession. What are thoughts on the future of law firms where hybrid models of in-person and remote working to service clients appears to be here to stay.
I still remember my first day of working remotely: Friday, March 13, 2020. I had a limited amount of equipment at my home, and I thought the crises might ease in a couple of months. After 30 years in a law office environment, it was at first painfully difficult, and things like meeting clients over Zoom were very challenging.
Then, like many attorneys, I invested in electronics to replicate my traditional office, and soon, I realized that I could be very productive and effective. Moving forward, I think we need to keep in mind that one size does not fit all. If you own a restaurant, you probably need to be there to welcome back your customers. But I think law firms will continue to be adaptive with many hybrid options. For some matters, like court appearances or depositions, in-person work is still key for solving complex problems and forging relationships. For other matters, remote-friendly options and cloud-based technology means that a lot of legal work can be performed anywhere in the world with the cost savings passed on to clients.
What advice would you give your younger self – or a new attorney entering the profession?
It goes fast – like a blur – so stop and take a breath once in a while. I wish that I would have spent more time with my boys, so remember, if you miss significant milestones in the lives of you and your family there is no “rewind” button. Work hard and make boundaries and put a plan in place to take vacations away from screen time, emails and your electronics.
I still think that being an attorney is a very noble profession. It’s an opportunity to do good and help people, and it can be a very rewarding profession if practiced in the right way.
Who is your hero – or the mentor who has had the most impact on your life and career?
My dad is my hero. He was a very tough attorney and did right by his clients and the judicial system. He was also committed to me and my sister, and involved in things like coaching our little-league teams and being home in time to have dinner with our family.
I now recognize this tremendous devotion that he had to us, and the ability to balance it all – husband, dad, attorney – and I know how challenging that dynamic really is. Harmony is illusive, but he made it look easy. He accomplished what I today aspire to.
Who’s your favorite recording artist?
My wife, Sarah, introduced me to the Dave Matthews Band some 21 years ago, and I still love listening to them because they remind me of her.
Also, anything from the ‘70’s disco era like the Bee Gees and Earth Wind & Fire.
What are you currently reading or streaming during this “post-pandemic” phase of our existence?
One of my sons loves to read. Over the last year, he has recommended several books for us to both read, and then discuss. A few of the recent ones include:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The Dresden Files
The Name of the Wind
Okay, you and your beautiful wife and two boys are throwing a lavish dinner party. Name the three guests, from any time in human history that you’d invite.
Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, and Confucius.
We proudly salute Marc Lamber for his amazing dedication to the legal profession – and for inspiring the next generation of attorneys and legal professionals who also will shape this noble profession.
Have a safe, happy and healthy Memorial Day weekend – and please be safe out on the roads. To find out more about Marc and the work of his team, please click here.