W. Mark Lanier

Attorney, author, teacher, pastor and expert storyteller, 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, Oklahoma City, New York and Los Angeles supporting his work for clients across the country.

Mark’s courtroom experience is significant and diverse, including:

  • In July of 2018, Mark and his trial team secured a record setting $4.69 billion verdict for 22 women and their families who alleged that decades of daily use of Johnson & Johnson’s asbestos-laden talcum powder products caused their ovarian cancer.
  • 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 which exceeded over $9 billion.
  • 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 $483 million verdict for a small oil company in a business fraud case against one of the nation’s largest oil providers.
  • His winning of a $258 million 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 $118 million 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:

  • Honored by the National Trial Lawyers Association as their 2018 Trial Lawyer of the Year, as well as one of the 50 Most Influential Lawyers in the U.S.
  • He was selected as the 2018 President of the National Trial Lawyers Association.
  • The American Association of Justice appointed him to the Committee on the Judiciary in 2018.
  • Unanimously voted into the Inner Circle of Advocates.
  • Named to The National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyer Top 50 Verdicts in 2018 for his work on Alicea v. DePuy Orthopedics Inc.
  • Awarded Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Southern California Trial Lawyers in 2018.
  • Named 2016 and 2017 Trial Lawyer of the Year by The National Trial Lawyers as well as by Trial Lawyer magazine.
  • The Trial Lawyer magazine also named him to America’s 100 Most Influential Trial Lawyers.
  • Inducted into the National Trial Lawyers’ Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, which recognizes exceptional litigators.
  • Received the 2017 Compassionate Gladiator Award from the Florida Justice Association.
  • 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.
  • He has been repeatedly named to the Lawdragon Top 500.
  • 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.
  • Further he received Top Tier Ranking, nationally, in Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Litigation by Legal 500 U.S., 2016 – 2019.
  • 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, and to their Elite Trial Lawyers List in 2016 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 and as the 2015 Litigation Trailblazer.
  • He was also recognized by The National Law Journal’s Top 50 Verdicts of the Year in 2016.
  • Mark also is the recipient of the coveted Clarence Darrow Award.
  • He is regularly named in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in 2015 – 2019, where he also received special recognition as a national leader in product liability and mass tort cases.
  • Mark has been listed in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers in America list from 2006 – 2020, including previously being named the 2013 Top Class Action Attorney in America.
  • The same publication also recognized him as Houston’s 2020, 018, 2016 and 2012 Lawyer of the Year for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions.
  • Mark was named Houston’s Lawyer of the Year in 2017 for Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs, by Best Lawyers.
  • The Lanier Law Firm also has been repeatedly named on the annual list of Best Law Firms published by S. News & World Report, 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’s additional professional honors include his recognition as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation 2013 – 2017 as well as their Top 100 Trial Lawyers list in 2017.
  • He is also AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

In addition to national recognition, Mark has earned multiple accolades from his legal peers in Texas. In a state-wide 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 in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Texas Lawyer newspaper has selected Mark as one of the state’s Top 5 “Go To” Personal Injury Plaintiff Attorneys three different times, 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. Texas Best Lawyers magazine also has named him on their annual listing for more than a decade. Mark received further recognition in the Verdict Search/Texas Lawyer Top 50 Verdicts of 2012. 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.


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. He is further Board Certified in Complex Litigation by the National Board of Trial Advocates and is a Founding Board Member certified in Complex Litigation.  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. In 2018, Mark was honored to be named to the Board of Advisers for the Center on Civil Justice, at NYU Law School.

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 was also 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).   Psalms for Living was awarded the 2018 Illumination Book Award in the Devotional category.  He followed Psalms for Living up with Torah for Living (Baylor University Press 2018).  Mark has further published Lanier’s Texas Personal Injury Forms (Texas Lawyer – An ALM Publication).

Mark is the father of five wonderful children and lives in Houston with his wife, Becky.