Q&A With Sutherland's Lewis Wiener

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Law360, New York (November 24, 2010) -- Lewis S. Wiener is a partner in the Washington office of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP and chairman of the firm's financial services litigation team. Wiener served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice in the Clinton administration. His practice focuses on class action defense and complex litigation involving consumer finance and publicly traded companies. He also handles a wide variety of commercial and civil matters. Wiener is a past president of the Court of Federal Claims Bar Association, was awarded the Court of Federal Claims Golden Eagle Award, received the State University of New York at Albany Distinguished Alumni Award and was named Montgomery County Baseball Association Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2010.

Q: What is the most challenging case you've worked on, and why?

A: I was asked to represent, pro bono, a group of individuals who are deaf in a suit against a Maryland hospital for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act based on the hospital’s failure to provide sign language interpreters. The case took me outside my comfort zone personally and professionally. I had to learn a substantive practice area with which I had little previous experience. I also had to learn a new way of communicating thoughts, ideas and emotions. Working with clients who are deaf reinforced the best advice I ever received: learn to speak your client’s language; don’t expect them to speak yours.

Q: What accomplishment as an attorney are you most proud of?

A: Successfully representing a client and a few months later being hired by the opposing side. The cases I've handled have taken me all over the country and the world. I travel on average about 150,000 miles each year on business and have visited every state in the union at least three times, but I’ve never been out of town on one of my children's (ages 12, 10 and 8) or my wife’s birthdays. Working with the same legal assistant for 10 years, and she’s not yet killed me.

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