Nationally recognized commercial litigator (American Lawyer Magazine Litigator of the Week, 10/15/15) moves to Tampa to be with his children, and finds a new home practicing family law .
Last October, after navigating the mid-morning traffic following a court hearing, and only slightly stinging from the indignity of the Toyota Prius in his (clearly marked, he contends) assigned parking space outside his Hermosa Beach, California office, attorney Eric Maier received some unexpected good news. “American Lawyer Magazine called,” his assistant Sandy mentioned. “You are ‘Litigator of the Week.’” She was serious; American Lawyer Magazine named Maier its Litigator of the Week in its October 15, 2015 issue, after the Ninth Circuit issued a decision in his client’s favor in a landmark copyright case. So what does an L.A. litigator do upon being honored as the best in his profession (at least for one week), and heading into the prime of his career? The answer: he decides to leave his growing L.A. law practice and move to Tampa, Florida. Huh?
Maier, who “commuted” between work in L.A. and home in Tampa during the last few years of his marriage, got divorced in 2014 and agreed to a “long distance parenting plan,” which provided that his daughters would spend summers and holidays with him in Los Angeles. But he soon discovered that summers and holidays were not enough—not for him and not for his daughters. Thus, arguably at the highest point of his career thus far, he was certain that no amount of professional success or referral infrastructure (or beautiful, humidity-free weather) was worth the distance from his daughters. He placed a call to his most-trusted friend in Tampa, Michael Lundy, for an assessment of the “legal landscape” in Tampa. A few conversations later, Lundy, the managing partner at family-law powerhouse Older, Lundy, Alvarez & Koch, had sold the skeptical Maier on the idea of coming to Older, Lundy, Alvarez & Koch to practice family law.
Now in his fifth month practicing family law at Older, Lundy, Alvarez & Koch, Maier continues to draw on his intellectual property and commercial background—many of Older, Lundy, Alvarez & Koch’s family-law matters involve business and intellectual property interests in dispute during divorce proceedings. But regardless of the legal issues presented in any particular case, Maier could not be happier working with family-law clients every day. “Professionally,” he explains, “there is no higher honor than to have clients put their trust and faith in you during what is often the most difficult period of their lives.”
As for tangible recognition, Maier points to a wall in his office—not the wall on which the plaque memorializing his American Lawyer Magazine honor hangs, but the wall displaying the “Hero Dad” drawing recently bestowed on him by his youngest daughter, Josephine.