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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Victorious Lawyer also an ordained Minister

Here is a link to an article in today's Houston Chronicle that profiles Mark Lanier. He was the lead attorney for Carol Ernst in the recent Vioxx trial. The article includes the following facts that may be surprising to some:

By the time he was in the ninth grade, Lanier said, "I knew I wanted to be a lawyer, a preacher or a politician." So far, he's done the first two.

At David Lipscomb College in Tennessee, he earned a degree in biblical languages, Hebrew and Greek, and was ordained a Church of Christ minister.

"I was voted most likely to succeed as a preacher," he said.

For 5 1/2 years, he worked in the Dallas office of Fulbright & Jaworski. He started the same year as Gerry Lowry, who headed up the Merck legal team in the Angleton trial. Lanier said he did well there as a defense lawyer but was shaken when he lost a case against an injured railroad worker.

"I felt really bad about losing the case," he said, "but then I realized that if I had won just because of my skill as a lawyer, that an injustice would have been done."

He decided to leave the big firm and represent plaintiffs.

Besides his courtroom successes, Lanier is probably best-known for his massive Christmas parties.

He, his family and 7,000 or 8,000 guests partake of all kinds of entertainment, games and food. "We have everything but liquor," he said. "This is a family thing."

Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Dixie Chicks, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire and Johnny Cash have all performed at the party.

One entertainer he said he's always wanted to get for his Christmas party is Bono. Lanier said if Bono would come, he'd donate $500,000 to an African relief fund backed by the singer.


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