Texas Tech University

Commencement Speaker

Spring 2016


Mark Lanier

Mark Lanier

Attorney, Author, Teacher, Pastor and Expert Story Teller, W. Mark Lanier is no stranger to the public rostrum. He founded The Lanier Law Firm in 1990. Since then, Mark Lanier has earned international recognition as one of the top trial attorneys in the United States. Firm offices in Houston, New York City, and Los Angeles, California support his work for clients across the country.

Mark's courtroom experience is significant as well as diverse. In 1993, Mark secured a $473 million verdict for a small oil company in a business fraud case against one of the nation's largest oil providers. His stunning verdict in the nation's first Vioxx trial, Ernst v. Merck, led to a client verdict of $253 million that officially set the tone for the other cases, nationally. He followed up this record verdict with two more plaintiff verdicts against the pharmaceutical giant totalling over $50 million. Mark Lanier further obtained a nine-figure settlement for syringe manufacturer, Retractable Technologies, in an antitrust case against Becton Dickinson & Company. This case served as the basis for the movie Puncture, starring Chris Evans. His $118.3 million verdict on behalf of 21 asbestos victims in February 1998 is considered one of the largest asbestos verdicts in U.S. history. As recently as April of 2014, Mark again proved that he was not slowing down when he secured a staggering Actos verdict for $9 billion dollars against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Eli Lilly & Co.

Mark's peers and the media consistently recognize him among the country's leading legal minds. The National Law Journal has twice named him one of the nation's Top 10 Trial Attorneys, as well as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America of the Decade. Most recently they named Mark and The Lanier Law Firm to their Plaintiff's Hot List in February 2015. The New York Times described him as "one of the top civil trial lawyers in America..." Texas Lawyer magazine named him one of the Top 25 Lawyers in the Last 25 Years. In October of 2012, he was awarded the coveted Clarence Darrow Award. U.S. News and World Report's Best Lawyers has named Mark Lanier to its Best Lawyers in America list for ten consecutive years and most recently as the 2013 Top Class Action Attorney in America. He was most recently named the 2015 Trial Lawyer of the Year by The National Trial Lawyers and The Trial Lawyer magazine. Mark is also the Recipient of the Texas Bar Foundation's 2015 Ronald D. Secrest Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award. 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 others. He also is a frequent guest on news shows such as CNBC's "Squawk Box" and Fox News' "Your World with Neil Cavuto". Additionally, he is a regular Co-Host and contributor to Fox Business News' highly rated "Varney and Company" with Stuart Varney.

A strong supporter of his alma mater, Mark Lanier 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 2005. Additionally, Mark Lanier was named Distinguished Alumni of the year for 2015. Mark Lanier 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.

Mark Lanier is enthusiastically involved in government and community activities outside the practice of law. Chairmen, 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, the Guatemalan government bestowed upon Mark the distinguished Ambassador of Peace award. He teaches weekly at his church and authored the recently published book, Christianity on Trial (IVP 2014).

 

Previous Commencement Speakers


Marsha Sharp

Marsha Sharp
Fall, 2015

Mark Griffin

Mark Griffin
Summer, 2015

Arcilia Acosta

Arcilia Acosta
Spring, 2015

Dr. Mica R. Endsley-Jones

Dr. Mica R. Endsley-Jones
Fall, 2014

Douglas E. Barnhart

Douglas E. Barnhart
Summer, 2014

Kent Hance

Kent R. Hance
Spring, 2014

Dr. O. Wayne Isom

Dr. O. Wayne Isom
Fall, 2013

Paul L. Foster

Paul L. Foster
Fall, 2013

Duane Nellis

Duane Nellis
Summer, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz
Spring, 2013

Congressman Randy Neugebauer

Congressman Randy Neugebauer
Spring, 2013

Ray Maybus

Ray Maybus
Fall, 2012

W. Mark Lanier

W. Mark Lanier
Spring, 2012

Jerry S Rawls

Jerry S. Rawls
Spring, 2012

Bernard T. Mittemeyer, M.D.

Edward E. Whitacre, Jr.
Fall, 2011

Bernard T. Mittemeyer, M.D.

Bernard T. Mittemeyer, M.D.
Summer, 2011

Ginger Kerrick

Ginger Kerrick
Fall, 2010

Judge Royal Furgeson

Judge Royal Furgeson
Spring, 2010

Chancellor Kent Hance

Chancellor Kent Hance
Fall 2009

Donald E. Powell

Donald E. Powell
August, 2009
Undergraduate Commencement

Karen P. Hughes

Ambassador Karen P. Hughes
May, 2009
Graduate School Commencement

Scott Pelley

Scott Pelley
May, 2009
Undergraduate School Commencement

Clay Sell

Clay Sell
August, 2008

Dr. Dale E. Klein

Dr. Dale E. Klein
Spring, 2008
Graduate School Commencement

James A. Barker, III

James A. Baker, III
Spring, 2008
Undergraduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Katharine Hayhoe
Fall, 2007
Graduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Paul L. Foster
Fall, 2007
Undergraduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst
Fall, 2007
Undergraduate Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Geoff Wayne
August, 2007

Commencement Speakers

Dr. John W. Ryan
Spring, 2007
Graduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

The Honorable Roger Williams, Secretary of State
Fall, 2006
Undergraduate School Commencement

Grandmaster Susan Polger

Grandmaster Susan Polger
Spring, 2007
Undergraduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Dr. William M. Marcy
August, 2006

Commencement Speakers

Ambassador Gregory W. Engle
Fall, 2006
Graduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Margaret Spellings
Spring, 2006
Undergraduate Morning Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Dr. Shelby D. Hunt
Spring, 2006
Graduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Senator John Cornyn
Spring, 2006
Law School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Dr. Donald R. Haragan
Spring, 2006
Undergraduate Afternoon Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Wyman Meinzer
Summer, 1999

Commencement Speakers

Dr. Kishor C. Mehta
May, 2005

Commencement Speakers

Carole Keeton Rylander
Fall, 1999

Commencement Speakers

George Bush
Spring, 1999

Commencement Speakers

George W. Bush
Spring, 1997

Commencement Speakers

Queen Noor of Jordan
Fall, 1996

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