Browne Greene Title:

Partner

Company:

Greene, Broillet, Taylor, Wheeler & Panish

Born:

Washington, D.C., 1936

Education:

Bachelor of Science, George Washington University; Law degree, George Washington University

Career Turning Point:

Appointed to work as a congressional page as a high school student.

Hobbies:

Reading Shakespeare, theater, art, softball, basketball

Most Admired People:

His father, Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Nader (until the last election), Bill

Clinton (as a politician), Shakespeare

Personal:

Married to Leana, father of a 32-year-old son, Aaron, and a 2-year-old daughter, Violet.

From Firestone to the tobacco industry, Attorney Browne Greene has become well known for taking on high-stakes, high-profile cases on behalf of victims

Attorney Browne Greene has earned a reputation for winning big-money court cases. He was one of the lead attorneys in the $25 billion settlement won by local governments in California from the tobacco industry. Attorneys who represented the state eventually were paid more than $630 million. Greene and members of his firm, Greene, Broillet, Taylor, Wheeler & Panish, also are representing clients in the Firestone tire scandal, the Singapore Airlines crash in Taiwan last October and the Alaska Airlines crash off the Southern California coast in January 2000.

Greene is one of the Inner Circle of Advocates, a 100-member plaintiff lawyers' group whose members must each have at least one million-dollar verdict for compensatory damages (excluding punitive damages) and have had jury verdicts in at least 50 civil trials.

Question:

Much of your work involves taking on large corporations. Do you think the corporate world, by it's very nature, is exploitative?

Answer: The answer is yes. And inherently greedy, too. I've seen corporations too often take a short cut on safety because of money and I've seen that in their own handwriting too many times. I think when you get up to the top of the corporate ladder, there's a press for wealth and increasing wealth.

One of the first things, traditionally, that has been cut is safety doing away with airbags when airbags in the early '70s could have saved tens of thousands of lives, for example. Why? Because it would cost a few more dollars to put airbags in.

Q: Is fighting for the "little guy" what motivates you?

A: Yes, I think so. I come from the streets of Washington. My dad was a noble but humble man and my mother was a government worker. I've always had a common bond with, shall I say, the blue collar worker, and I identify with them. I may now associate with white-collar people and judges and lawyers and such, but I definitely remember where I came from. I relish being an advocate for people from backgrounds like mine.

Prev

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.