You must have a disciplined mindset and perseverance in order to achieve your goals

A Conversation With Marlene Allen Murray On Lessons Learned & Life In The Law

Attorney Marlene Allen Murray is a director in the firm’s Business Litigation practice group who works out of our new San Bernardino office. Marlene has extensive trial experience and has argued several cases before the Court of Appeal. 

As we continue our “tour” of our new Southern California offices, this week we’re happy to turn the spotlight on Marlene Allen Murray who works out of our San Bernardino office! How are things going during the transition? And what’s your vision for the future as we continue to grow in the Inland Empire?

The Fennemore folks have been fantastic during the transition. There is always someone to help – with a smile on their face! 

My vision for the future is to be able to service my clients better with the support of a progressive law firm that cares about its clients and employees.

Without naming your clients, are there any intriguing current matters that you’re working on in the business litigation, business & finance and employment & labor sectors?

Many of the lawsuits I handle involve situations where someone entered into a transaction without doing due diligence, trusting the wrong person, or not having a written agreement. The fraud cases I handle are the most intriguing.

For example, why would a successful doctor sign deeds transferring all 15 of his properties to a sham company he had never heard of? And, why would a successful businessman DocuSign escrow papers from his phone without reading them, resulting in the loss of all the equity in his multi-million dollar home. We all make mistakes – but some of them are doozies!

What would you tell your younger self – or a 1L at Loyola Law School now contemplating a career in the legal profession?

While in law school, students should intern and get hands-on experience. Working at a law firm and at the Court of Appeal enabled me to explore various fields of law, which helped me focus my studies on the areas I was most interested in learning. 

Who is your hero – or the person who has had the greatest impact on your life and career?

I have had the benefit of great mentors in my legal career, but my all-time hero is my mother. She had strong Christian values, wasn’t afraid of hard work, and always took care of business when the going got tough. Through it all, she always maintained a positive attitude and great sense of humor!    

Talk about your biggest failure. What did you learn? And how did you pick up the pieces and move forward?

I avoided my biggest failure. In my first year of law school, a doctor told me I needed to quit. I was going to law school, working part-time, raising a baby and caring for elderly parents. 

What I learned is that you must have a disciplined mindset and perseverance in order to achieve your goals and not be deterred by circumstances. 

What’s the best – and worst – piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I received was to never compromise my ethics, and that having integrity is more important than winning a case. My mentor told me that if I do the best possible job that I can for a client, that is all anyone can expect – because I didn’t create the facts or enact the laws that apply to the situation.

The worst piece of advice I ever heard was that it is okay to tell a client that their case is a “slam dunk.” I heard that same attorney tell two of his clients that, and he lost both of those cases.   

What are you currently listening to (podcast or music); reading; and watching/streaming?

While I would like to answer this question by citing a great book by a famous author – the truth is that I am usually so tired of reading documents and emails all day long, that I usually relax by vegging out in front the TV – typically watching a miniseries on Netflix or Prime.   

The last book I read was by Max Lucado. 

Okay, last but not least, with Mother’s Day approaching this weekend, what did you learn from your mom? And what do you learn from your children?

As Mother’s Day approaches, I appreciate that I had a wonderful mother (who lived to age 89) and have been blessed with wonderful children and step-children. My mom taught me integrity, honesty, loyalty and how to work hard. My children reminded me to stop and smell the roses and enjoy life along the way. 

Many thanks to Marlene for her astute insights – and we’re so happy to welcome all of the new attorneys in our new San Bernardino and San Diego offices!

For more information about how our Business Litigation team with extensive trial experience and a commitment to superior advocacy can support your organization, please visit: .