Profile of Attorney Marc Lopez
Helping people—that describes my job as an attorney. I am blessed to enjoy this career, where I am able to positively impact the lives of others. As many people often say, find a job you love, and you won’t work a day in your life.
I started my career in civil litigation. I enjoyed the work but quickly learned that my talents were in the courtroom, not sitting behind a desk on the phone. After two years, I walked away from my well-paying job with a prestigious Indianapolis law firm and started at the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. I went from having a corner office with a view of downtown to sharing a cramped, windowless space with another Deputy Prosecutor in what I am still convinced was the old copier room. My wife, family and friends thought I was crazy to go work for the Prosecutor’s Office for a fraction of the pay and none of the perks I received at the law firm. None of that mattered to me, though, as I was in the courtroom every single weekday morning and afternoon. I was in love with my job.
I started at the absolute bottom of the Prosecutor’s Office and worked my way up to Marion County’s highly-trained “OVWI Unit.” Along the way, I handled thousands of criminal cases and countless trials. I learned the ins and outs of the courtroom process, and I was happy to feel like I was making a difference in the community. Over time, though, something changed. I began to feel like a bully.
With non-DUI / OVWI crimes, I was able to provide defendants with alternatives, some of which allowed for the case to be resolved without a life-altering conviction. When it came to DUI / OVWI charges, however, I had no discretion. At the time, the Prosecutor’s Office had a straightforward approach to DUI / OVWI: it is better to go to trial and lose than to offer the defendant a non-DUI / OVWI plea or resolution. I hated the thought of regular, hardworking people being saddled with a conviction because of a single mistake. This inflexible approach to DUI / OVWI charges started to make me feel like I was professionally obligated to kick people when they were down.
During my time as a Prosecutor, I learned that only a handful of attorneys in the Indianapolis area actually took OVWI / DUI cases to trial. When I realized that only one of them, the now-retired Attorney Jess Paul, actually understood the science behind blood and breath tests well enough to mount a credible defense, my misgivings crystallized into a plan of action. I left the Prosecutor’s Office and started my own law firm. I made it my goal to help the little guy fight back against the State of Indiana, and I made myself a promise: Not only would I be a fantastic trial attorney, but I would learn the science of DUI / OVWI in order to better serve my clients.
I am happy to say I have made good on my promise. In 2010, I completed a week-long Trial Practice course on DUI/ OVWI defense led by nationally-renowned DUI / OVWI Attorney Pat Arata and Attorney Mike McDaniel. In 2011, I spent a month at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College in the mountains of Wyoming. While the Trial Lawyer’s College was not DUI / OVWI-specific, I learned valuable trial practice skills and insight into how to meaningfully connect with juries. There was no internet. There was no cable television. Over the course of four weeks, a group of 50 attorneys shared two landlines. There was no cell phone reception unless you were willing to walk two miles up a mountain. Without distractions, it was much easier to focus on interpersonal relations, and it is impossible to overestimate the importance of good communication, especially for lawyers. Years later, I still get together with my local Trial Lawyer’s College group to work on cases.
While trial practice is important, I have also learned the science behind blood and alcohol testing. Through the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), I spent a week in Colorado learning the science behind blood alcohol testing. A separate week was spent in Texas with hands-on learning in the science of blood drug testing. Another three days were spent in Georgia learning about metrology, which is a fancy way of referring to the study of lab tests to determine the accuracy of their measurements. I also completed NCDD’s Mastering Scientific Evidence seminar held in Louisiana.
Armed with experience and advanced training, I am now able to use my knowledge of the physical laws of nature to better apply the normative laws of society. I have helped hundreds of people. I have won cases that were professionally assessed as “hopeless.” I have lost cases at trial that nevertheless produced a better outcome for my client than the most generous plea offer. In order to keep my promise to myself, I have basically been compelled to learn everything there is to know about an Indiana driver’s license, including how to legally get people back on the road. There is no DUI / OWVI situation where I cannot help. While I cannot promise to beat your case, I can promise to fight like all hell.
I take DUI / OVWI cases very seriously, because I know they have a serious effect on the lives of my clients. If you would like to talk to me about a DUI / OVWI case, please call me at 317-632-3642. Or feel free to email me.