A successful trial attorney, indeed a successful person in any field, needs four attributes: “passion, ability, preparation and humility,” says Marc L. Breit, Esq., owner and sole proprietor of Breit Law Office in Louisville. “Passion comes through to other people. If you’re passionate in your work and belief, people (or a jury) will see it. An attorney must have at least a certain level of ability or talent. Preparation at a high level is essential to achieve the desired outcome in a legal case or matter. One of my favorite quotes about that is, ‘The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare.’” Breit says. For those who view many of today’s legal dramas, the attribute of humility may seem an odd choice, but Breit sees it as an essential element. “This is a very humbling business. Litigation involves daily competition and fear of losing is a great motivational factor. There are universal traits in successful people in any profession. The most successful people, in my opinion, have these traits. Humility keeps you moving forward and trying to improve. It keeps you grounded and respected.” Results and Success Breit Law Office devotes its talents, skills, and energy to defense litigation related services and representation for insurance carriers in Kentucky and Indiana. Breit has handled numerous high damage civil litigation cases and successfully tried many Circuit Court civil jury trials. According to the Kentucky Trial Court Review (2003 – 2006), he was the 1st Most Prolific Trial Attorney among all civil circuit attorneys in Kentucky and 1st in total number of jury trials from 2005 to 2010. Between 2003 and 2006 only three law firms tried more cases than Breit individually and many of those firms that he tried more cases than were among the largest in Kentucky. He is also 1st in successful threshold verdicts for the defense in the last ten years in Kentucky, once being referenced by the Kentucky Trial Court Review (2006 Year in Review Edition) as the “Undisputed Threshold Heavyweight King.” Breit Law Office has handled and litigated cases for carriers and their insured members in the Court of Appeals, District, Federal, and Circuit Court jurisdictions throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Indiana. The vast majority of cases handled are personal injury related, but also include insurance law issues, declaration of coverage actions, PIP/no-fault, wrongful death, loss of consortium, UM/UIM, E&O defense of agents, bad faith/UCSPA, fraud, property damage, subrogation, and pre-litigation mediation handling. Breit Law Office has taken more than a thousand plaintiff, witness, and medical/expert depositions and successfully handled as many cases resulting in settlement or trial verdicts. Breit’s legal work has also included sports agent representation and contract negotiation on behalf of professional athletes in the NFL, MLB, NASCAR and professional golf. Two of his former clients earned Super Bowl rings in 1995 with the San Francisco 49ers during his representation. He became a Certified Contract Advisor (Agent) with the NFLPA in 1992 and MLBPA in 1991. He has worked with Kentucky Farm Bureau for more than 23 years. “They are not just a client, we are a team and they are family to me. The KFB people are amazing to work with and I’ve learned so much from them – there are so many people at KFB that have had an extraordinary impact on my professional career.” ANPAC, based out of Springfield Missouri, is another Breit Law Office client that has “great people to work with,” he says. Litigation/trial attorneys, face a daily grind. For Breit it may entail plaintiff depositions, cross examining medical doctors or experts, or conducting jury trial video depositions that are heard at the trial. “Every day it seems as though I have one or more of the following: plaintiff deposition, doctor deposition, or a mediation. Every case is different. Our litigation support staff keeps us prepared and accumulates the necessary discovery or medical records. We have the best support staff and we’ve worked together for a long time.” Team work is the mantra at Breit Law Office. Finding the Passion Breit recalls a strong work ethic installed by his high school football coaches who were mentors. St. Xavier High School prepared him for college and life and brought out the fierce competitor in him, he says. His father, Jack Breit, was a bricklayer. “I’m so proud of him. I lost him at a relatively young age but it was summers of work as a hod carrier with him that made everything in life, including school books, much lighter to deal with.” Briet says, “I worked with my dad four or five summers in a row and discovered just how hard that work is. Anytime I’m feeling sorry for myself and think, ‘Man, this is tough,’ I think about what he went through and then I stop feeling sorry for myself.” Breit earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Louisville School of Business in 1986 and his Juris Doctor from the St. Louis University School of Law in 1990. He is admitted to practice law in Kentucky and Indiana. He says his goal in college was a career in business. “I didn’t go to law school with the intention to become a trial attorney or anything like that. At the time, I simply wanted to advance and become a professional and to be able to distinguish myself in the employment market beyond someone with just a college degree because a college degree was like a high school degree – most people had one.” An early turning point in his professional life came while working with KFB District Claim Managers Dave Spanyer and Dale Bartlett. “Early on those guys just threw me into the fire of trying cases. I had some success, so I enjoyed it and wanted more. I’ll never forget those guys and I don’t know where I’d be without them. I tried a lot of cases early in my career and I was very fortunate.” Developing Experience One area that Breit excels in, and is particularly fascinated by, is the medical aspect of cases he and his team handle. “We have to know the answer to every question before we ask during a cross-examination of a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon. We deal with everything in bodily injury cases that may include, but not be limited to, death, traumatic brain injury, spine injuries, internal derangements of the body, and even peculiar things such as anosmia – loss of sense of smell.” The sports world has brought Breit additional experience and even recognition far from his practice area. His defense of a NASCAR driver during a two-week Federal Court trial in Charlotte, NC is an example. The plaintiff was Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a double-digit, billion dollar a year corporation that sued the sponsors and the racing team, which included his client – the driver. The case was a big one and was covered extensively by the Charlotte news media. The plaintiff estimated the damages in the case at approximately $55 million dollars. ”I’ll never forget the case because I drove in from spring break with my family. They drove on home and I stayed for two weeks in a hotel.” The plaintiff was awarded a judgment and damages against all the defendants except Breit’s client. “We got zero for him” and in this case zero was the desired outcome. Locally, Breit enjoys working with the Louisville area plaintiff attorneys and finds most of them to be great advocates for their clients. “A lot of talent, sure some can be difficult, but most are very talented, intelligent and professional,” he says. Every Trial is a “Championship Game” In the public view defense attorneys rarely get to be the hero for their client. Breit admires the plaintiff attorney’s role as hero for their client in what could be a huge or life changing matter. “Unfortunately, defense attorneys like me do not always have that position, however, we can relieve people who are sued from anxiety and financial fears occurring from litigation. There is also the liberating feeling of justice when leaving the court building after a victory.” Not all so-called or self-proclaimed litigation attorneys truly have in it their gut to be a trial attorney because it is such a grind and the pressure is so intense with so much on the line – money, your client’s interest, and your reputation, he says. “That’s why it takes a certain high level of passion, ability, preparation, and humility. Every jury trial is a championship game, not just a regular season game. I thrive on the competition and everything it takes to finish with a victory. There is a lot on the line.” A Passion for Family and Beyond Breit finds balance to the daily grind of being a defense attorney in his family. He lists his priorities as God, wife, family, and then work. He and his wife, Lisa, have three children: Rachel, Austin Jack, and Ava. “Lisa has been my life partner, the love of my life, my best friend, and really makes everything in life for me and our family great and happy.” During the insecure process of going out on his own to start his own law firm, her encouragement and confidence is what propelled him to do something that turned out to be a great decision. “I am confident that Lisa’s prayers are the reason so many good things, more than I probably deserved, have happened to me – God has truly blessed us.” Breit is also passionate about coaching football. “Beyond the game itself, that I love, it has been the impact on young people and lasting relationships with players, and coaches, that has kept me in it for so long.” Finding and maintaining that balance has worked well for Breit and Breit Law Office. An opposing plaintiff attorney posted the following: “Marc has always been a very intelligent and tough adversary, who does a wonderful job representing his clients while maintaining nothing but the highest levels of professional courtesy with opposing counsel.” And, as one judge said in describing him, “Wonderful, friendly, low key personality – absolutely no hesitation to go to trial – nice, disarming and wins, wins, wins.”
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