There's a flattering profile of asbestos-lawyer-turned-Vioxx-specialist Mark Lanier at Law.com: "Lanier Tactic Shows There's 'Desperate' -- and There's Successful."
It's entertaining reading, but trial lawyers won't be able to draw too many lessons from it, especially those who follow the common advice to "be yourself" at trial. After all, Mark Lanier has one of those unique, one-of-a-kind personalities that's impossible to imitate. Even if you could, there's more to Lanier's success than just his personality. It's something that's not emphasized very much in the article--all the behind-the-scenes preparation that goes into producing the typical Mark-Lanier-style trial presentation.
Of course, being successful at anything requires hard work. But I get the sense that Lanier works extra hard, that he's the plaintiff-side equivalent of, say, Dan Webb.
Indeed, when asked about the keys to his success, Lanier's first answer was "hard work." His second was "creativity."
Even lawyers trying to be themselves can take those two qualities to heart.