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 DUI / OVWI 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. In 2017 the National College of DUI Defense commended me for completing the NCDD Advanced Curriculum in Forensic Science and Trial Advocacy.
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.