Mark was honored to be featured on “The Heart of Law” podcast. The episode overview and links to listen to or watch on YouTube are below.
EPISODE #2.7: The Heart of Law with Mark Lanier
Watch the full episode on YouTube here.
[00:03:32:12 – 00:07:00:02] – A Mother’s Influence (Carolyn Lanier’s faith)
[00:23:15:23 – 00:43:54:04] – A Theological Exchange
[00:56:20:22 – 00:59:58:00] – Mark’s Take on Science & Faith
[01:00:06:01 – 01:04:50:22] – How Mark’s Faith Fuels His Career
[01:09:58:18 – 01:15:11:13] – The J&J Trial and the Monumental $4.69 Billion Verdict
[01:15:49:23 – 01:24:00:19] – Marks Thoughts on the Business of Law and Future of Mass Torts
[01:41:00:12 – 01:43:57:07] – The Legacy Mark Hopes to Leave
Touted by the New York Times as “One of the top civil trial lawyers in America,” Mark Lanier graces The Heart of Law in one of the most thought-provoking episodes to date. Famed to have won about $20 Billion in verdicts, the esteemed litigator—also a theologian and preacher—lends invaluable insight into family, faith, science, law, and life.
Sharp as a tack and a transcendent seeker herself, Mirena asks penetrating questions about Mark’s Christian walk. Mark describes the awakening of his faith, the security of his salvation, and the divine friendship God has extended his way. He shares the devout life of his mother, Carolyn Lanier, who dedicated Mark to God after her prayers for the healthy birth of a son became a reality. Much like Hannah of the Old Testament, who gave up Samuel to serve Yahweh, Carolyn continuously reminded Mark throughout his youth that his life was not his own—it belonged to God. Holding on to an unborrowed faith, Mark describes affinity with God and how daily spending time in the divine Presence enriches a hallowed relationship, guiding him throughout his life.
Mirena and Mark do a deep dive, comparing notes on the confusion around the warring world religions (Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism) that each claim the way to the “real path.” They talk about people and institutions holding ownership of Christianity but practicing cruelty, dishonesty, and acrimony. Answering all of Mirena’s gripping questions, Mark gives an interesting take on the Bible. He expounds on spirituality versus religiosity and how science is intertwined with faith. Along those lines, Mark remarks on how “elements of truth” surround us in diverse ways. But overall, he simply says: “I want the fullest picture of truth that there can be.” The perfect truth, which Mark likened to Cinderella, who alone can perfectly fit into the glass slipper. An apologist at heart, we hear of The Lanier Theological Library and Learning Center in Oxford and the historical Yarnton Manor restoration project in Oxfordshire village to serve those who seek to enrich their theological studies.
Shifting gears to the legal business, they discuss the Johnson and Johnson Trial and Mark’s monumental $4.69 Billion verdict against the talc conglomerate. Giving his unique take on the recent bankruptcy ruling, Mark describes the tort landscape, detailing how the legal profession has radically evolved in the past decade. With Venture Capitalists coming into the picture (and sometimes even “own[ing] lots of ethical overlays in the business), there lies an ongoing need for maturity in the business of law—especially while infusing capital into tort cases. Likewise, he observes “two basic kinds of lawyers in the mass tort arena … the chicken catchers and chicken pluckers,” steadfastly agreeing with Mirena about the need to represent plaintiffs with compassionate care.
After some baklava, pita, donut, and recipe banter, the show comes to a warm close. Mark fondly talks about his wife and children—who all practice law! As his daughter Rachel affectionately notes, they are “like the Von Trapp family lawyers,” upholding justice in their unique Lanier way. And the legacy he wants to leave behind? Like Paul (the apostle), Mark hopes to have “fought the good fight” of faith and hopes we remember him as a man who “loved his friends, and loved his family, and his faith, and his God above all things.”