This month’s spotlighted VADA member is Steven J. Lane of Williams, Negler, Verser & Lane in Henrico. Steve is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and Whittier College School of Law in Los Angeles. He has been a frequent member of Team VADA in the VADA/VTLA Civility Golf Tournament. He also has been a speaker at numerous VADA seminars and events.
1. What is your hometown?
2. Tell us a little about yourself. Spouse? Children? Pets?
My wife, Valerie, and I just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We have three grown children -- Kristina (Gooch), Travis, and Tyler. We are also blessed with two grandchildren, Emilia (3) and Graham (1), with another due in September.
3. What type of law do you practice?
Insurance Defense – I am with Progressive Insurance Company’s House Counsel office in Richmond.
4. How long have you been a member of VADA?
I don’t specifically recall. I believe it’s been 10-15 years.
5. What do you like most about practicing law?
trying to figure out the true nature of a dispute and then trying to uncover
the information necessary to resolve the dispute. I also love to persuade a
jury to my way of thinking … since I’m rarely successful at persuading anyone
when I’m at home.
6. What have you enjoyed most about your time in VADA?
I thoroughly enjoy meeting, getting to know and building relationships with other members of the VADA.
7. What was your undergraduate major?
8. What was your first job?
Technically, it would have been as a caddie when I was a young teenager. Post undergrad, I was an insurance adjuster for an insurance company in Milwaukee.
9. What was the year, make, and model of your first car?
A Fiat X1/9 – a mid-engine two-seater sports car.
10. If you could have dinner with anyone famous, living or dead, who would it be and why?
This is a tough question … maybe Thomas Jefferson, to get input on the meaning of the language of the Constitution directly from a founding father … and also to discuss slavery and tell him what’s developed since the 1700’s.
11. What is your favorite movie or TV show?
There are a number of old movies I wind up watching when I see them as I’m flipping through the channels – Top Gun (the original), The Godfather Trilogy, Wedding Crashers, Old School, Wanted, Moneyball, Draft Day, The Social Network … there are many others.
12. What is at the top of your bucket list?
A golf trip to Pebble Beach … might as well play Spyglass and Cypress Point as well.
13. If you were to walk into my office, one of the first things you would notice would be …
Well, I’m working from home about 80% of the time. My workspace is at the far half of our upstairs loft. The front half is a playroom for our grandkids (my wife watches them every day). Long story short, first things you’ll see when you go upstairs to my workspace are kids’ books, dolls, blocks, games, etc.
14. When I am not at the office, I like to …
mess with the grandkids, socialize with friends, golf, and relax.
15. If I wasn’t practicing law, I would be …
I contemplated going into computer programming before I decided on law school. Had I gone that route, I may have invented Facebook before Zuckerberg. More realistically, I’d probably be the guy answering the phone when you call the Help Desk.
16. What is your favorite food and drink?
Food – steaks, Mexican and Italian. Drink – beer (Modelo Especial), gin and tonic – can’t do dark liquors.
17. In what section of a bookstore is someone most likely to find you?
Haha … probably the parking lot outside the store waiting for my wife. If I want to get a book, I’ll buy it online.
18. Who is your real-life superhero?
I have to say my wife, Valerie. I went to law school part-time, at night, while working full time. Our daughter was almost three when I started, By the time I graduated, we had all three kids and Valerie, essentially, raised them on her own in those beginning years. She’s continued to be the glue that holds the family together.
19. What is your favorite travel spot?
Other than to see family in Florida and Wisconsin, we haven’t done much traveling. We’re trying to correct that, but we did thoroughly enjoy a couple of trips involving music concerts (featuring Zac Brown Band) a few years ago in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
20. What advice would you give to someone who just passed the bar?
Integrity is ESSENTIAL. Other members of the bar, including judges, must be able to trust and rely on what you have to say. Also, build relationships with other attorneys – on both the plaintiff and defense side. This job is much easier and enjoyable when your opposing counsel and you get along and understand/respect each other’s position.