Personal-injury lawyers Mark and Alexis Breyer are at the top of their profession
By Sondra Barr
Photos by Chadwick Fowler
Styling by Shannon Campbell
Hair & Makeup by Lillian Fogel
Alexis’s clothing provided by Saks Fifth Avenue
Serious-injury and wrongful-death law are about justice and accountability, according to Mark and Alexis Breyer. As the husband-and-wife law team behind Breyer Law Offices, they’ve each distinguished themselves as among the best attorneys in these categories in the Valley.
Drawing upon their 40 combined years practicing law, they have a proven track record of success, as detailed by not only their 10 out of 10 score on reputable lawyer rating services like Avvo and their glowing client reviews but also by Mark’s designation as a certified specialist in injury and wrongful-death law.
The couple met while attending Syracuse University College of Law, and their meeting set the stage for their relationship. As Mark explains it, he was telling an interesting story to an enraptured audience when just before the punch line, Alexis interrupted by regaling the group with her own tale. Over 20 years and eight kids later, the couple’s repertoire still involves Alexis taking over the conversation.
Mark admits that when he first opened Breyer Law, he had no intention of sharing the spotlight––not even with his wife. But it turned out that Mark counts Alexis’s propensity for taking over a conversation as a complementary skill set to his litigation savvy.
“Alexis brings an unbelievable ability to negotiate, incredible organization, and intelligence to the table,” he says. “I always thought one day I would want to open up my own personal injury practice, but I didn’t want to share the glory. That was going to be my thing. I told Alexis over and over, ‘We will never work together.’” And as a testament to Alexis’s skillful art of negotiation, it wasn’t long before she had Mark begging her to work with him. “She had me convinced that I had completely changed my mind and we had to work together, and that was the start of our husband-and-wife law firm, so to speak,” Mark says.
Mark and Alexis each bring unique strengths to the partnership. Alexis is more of a behind-the-scenes person, attending to details such as paperwork and more of the prelitigation work. Mark, meanwhile, has always been passionate about standing in front of a jury and arguing a case, and he absolutely shines in the courtroom. “The lawyers who can set up the case, negotiate the case, pay attention to the details, assemble and put together the case in the best possible package—that’s the real key to what happens in court,” says Mark, although he stresses that he counts on Alexis and their dedicated staff to get the best possible outcome for their clients.
The negative perception that some people hold about injury attorneys being no more than ambulance chasers or tools for people to get huge amounts of money for exaggerated injuries—or in some cases, no injuries—is one that the Breyers face. “It is an absolute everyday fight, and anytime I talk to people or get in front of a jury, it is an issue that I have to confront,” Mark says. “But the vast majority of people who are willing to call a law firm like ours, hire us, go through the entire process that the legal system requires––go through depositions, trials, hearings, mediation that can take, in many cases, years–– almost none of those people do it unless they are motivated by the fact that they have a very real injury that is somebody else’s fault.”
The unfortunate reality behind many of the Breyers’ cases is that they involve serious injuries that leave victims unable to work or pay for shelter, food, or clothing for their family. Then there are the cases that without the aid of a lawyer, a victim would see no justice. These include the injury and wrongful-death cases the Breyers handle against drunk drivers. Without a lawsuit, the impaired driver would get off the hook after serving just a couple of days in the county jail.
Some of the cases are more horrific than others, like those that involve big-rig truck drivers who drive for 24 hours straight for three days and fall asleep at the wheel, maiming or killing someone in the process. One of the cases the Breyers are currently handling involves a truck driver who was both drunk and high while driving a tractor-trailer along the I-10 freeway.
“We’re not handing cases where someone spilled hot coffee on their lap. We’re handling the type of cases where most people would probably applaud the fact that there are lawyers out there trying to hold people accountable for their actions,” Mark says. “We’ve had many, many settlements of over a million, and I think the biggest judgment that we had, if I’m going by memory, was $4 million.” While Mark can’t divulge the resolutions of many of the firm’s largest and most complex cases because of the confidential terms of settlement, he says that two of his last three trials were awarded damages of over a million dollars.
It’s these types of cases that led to Mark earning a certified specialist designation in injury and wrongful death by the State Bar of Arizona roughly 10 years ago. Awarded to less than two percent of lawyers in the state, the honor is in the form of a certificate of expertise that a lawyer can earn only after trying a large number of substantial cases, a peer review, and a passing grade on a high-level exam on personal-injury law, along with other important criteria.
“At the time I became a certified specialist, I suspect that I was the youngest certified specialist in the state because most lawyers don’t have the opportunity to try as many cases as I was able to try by what was, at that time, a very young age for someone to become a certified specialist,” says Mark. He identifies the motivating factors of his success to not backing down from a fight, not liking to lose, and being willing to hold the other side accountable.
What distinguishes Breyer Law from the competition aren’t just the results. At Breyer Law, no client ever goes without a return phone call. Even the manner in which the phones are answered is carefully scrutinized in weekly team meetings. “The number-one complaint that people have with their lawyer is they can’t reach their lawyer,” Mark says. “I think there’s a very big difference between us and other firms, not just because of how serious we take the law and how much we care about the results, but because of how much we care about making sure that our clients are raving fans at every part of the process,” Mark says.
What makes the success of Mark and Alexis even more palpable comes in the person of their eight children, ages 18, 17, 15, 12, 11, 10, 7, and 4. When asked, Alexis says, “Yes, I had every single one of them with Mark. I always knew I wanted a lot of kids.”
In the early days of the firm, the couple had an extra office where they could tend to their first baby. The upside of owning your own law firm is the flexibility you have. “We thought people would think that wasn’t professional, but all the clients loved it,” Alexis says. “In spite of the fact that I do work very long hours, I have coached almost every one of my kids at youth sports, and when they have things at their school and there’s something in the middle of the school day, I always try to show up,” Mark adds.
With all the moving parts, the couple still finds time to give back. Breyer Law participates in a monthly teacher-appreciation program through which they surprise a deserving teacher with a class party, a plaque, and a check for $250. They’re also involved with the Arizona Motorcycle Safety & Awareness Foundation (AMSAF), where mark serves as vice chairman on the board. They also offer a free injury law guide and another on motorcyclist basics and the laws that affect people who ride. “We have a lot of clients who are injured very seriously in motorcycle accidents, so we try to do our part in terms of education,” Alexis says.
This dynamic couple agrees that their success wouldn’t be possible without a great team behind them. Says Mark, “Even though Alexis and I are the ones with pictures on the billboard and our name on it, the truth is, we are just one piece of a huge team that makes this place do what it does and allows us to continue to grow and get all the accolades and all the reviews.”
To nominate a teacher for Breyer Law’s teacher-appreciation program, visit breyerlaw.com/lawyersforteachers.
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