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LOS ANGELES — Products liability plaintiff’s lawyer W. Mark Lanier will open a new Los Angeles office for his Houston-based firm, The Lanier Law Firm. The Los Angeles office, in Century City, will focus on litigation, primarily in the areas of asbestos exposure, intellectual property, pharmaceutical liability and maritime law. Lanier plans to manage the Los Angeles office from Houston, where he lives. Lanier, who obtained one of the largest asbestos verdicts in U.S. history in 1998, has accrued $1 billion in verdicts and settlements during his career. Recently, Lanier scored several verdicts against Merck & Co. involving Vioxx, most notably a $253 million verdict on behalf of the family of a marathon runner who died after taking the prescription painkiller. That verdict was reduced under Texas law to $26 million plus interest. The Lanier Law Firm, founded in 1990, opened an office in New York in 2005. In the Los Angeles office, Shepard Hoffman joins The Lanier Law Firm of counsel from the Law Offices of Shepard A. Hoffman in Dallas. Julie Drenner, an associate at The Lanier Law Firm in Houston, also is joining the Los Angeles office.

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