The Critic

When Anthony Lowenberg isn’t handling products liability claims, he’s reviewing restaurants

Published in 2011 Texas Rising Stars Magazine — April 2011

Photo by: Jeremy Enlow

One of Anthony Lowenberg’s favorite things about his job is learning about a client’s business. “I recently flew to Michigan and spent a day in a factory,” says the 36-year-old associate at Hermes Sargent Bates in Dallas. Lowenberg learned about the design and manufacture of the company’s complicated product, a robotic device used in manufacturing plants. At the end of the day, Lowenberg felt prepared to defend the business against a products liability claim. “It helped deeply when taking depositions or arguing the case,” he says. “Because I was more aware than my adversary, I ran circles around him.”

Lowenberg enjoys the work immensely. However, he’s the first to admit, law isn’t what he always imagined for himself. At Trinity College in Connecticut, he had served as editor of the student newspaper. “I thought media was my calling,” he says. His creative inspiration came from Owen and Luke Wilson. After all, the superstar brothers went to the same Dallas high school as Lowenberg. Though they were several years ahead, Lowenberg’s older brother was a friend of Owen’s. In fact, the Wilsons filmed part of their first movie, Bottle Rocket, in the Lowenberg family home.

Looking back, Lowenberg remembers, “I wanted to go be a writer out in LA.” There was only one problem: “I’m not much of a risk-taker when it comes to finances. I wanted a steady job. I didn’t have the nerve to live in my car for a year,” he says.

So he did what his mother, his father, his grandfather, even his great-great uncle did before him: He went to law school. But the legal profession was more than a fallback, he insists. “I wanted a job that was intellectually stimulating. I didn’t want to do anything rote.” He knew from experience, from discussions around the dinner table, that legal work could be exciting.

Ten years after graduating from New York Law School, Lowenberg sees parallels between his job and that of a Hollywood writer—he has the opportunity to be curious, creative and competitive. In his general practice, he’s spent his legal career—including the last seven years at Hermes Sargent Bates—defending individuals and companies in a variety of lawsuits, ranging from products liability to professional liability.  

“My general practice is so varied,” he says. “I get to learn about completely different things all the time—printing presses, how to construct a building, airline catering. Every case is like opening a new novel.”

Lowenberg still relishes the opportunity to write. In addition to client reports and briefings, Lowenberg authors a quarterly column for Texas Lawyer targeted at young attorneys.

What’s more, Lowenberg and childhood-buddy-turned-fellow Dallas attorney Michael Anderson co-author restaurant criticism for “The Law Reviewers: Judge, Jury and Executioner of Dallas Restaurants.” (Check out an online library of their quippy restaurant reviews, complete with “Burger Court” and comparisons of lawyers to hamburgers, at LawReviewers.com.)

Lowenberg’s restaurant exploits recently took on a more serious note and actually ended up saving his life. Late last year, at the insistence of a neighbor, Lowenberg dined at a local Tex-Mex restaurant, and the meal resulted in a bad case of food poisoning. The pain was so severe, his emergency room doctor sent Lowenberg in for a CT scan to rule out appendicitis. However, the test found something else: what turned out to be a cancerous tumor in his kidney. After a successful surgery, the doctor told Lowenberg the cancer was only a year or two away from spreading and because it was discovered early—due to this food poisoning incident—Lowenberg is recovering cancer-free without needing further treatment.

He returned home from the hospital just in time to ring in the New Year. “I was so excited to stand on my sidewalk in the warm sun, I shuffled with a cane up and down my block for too long and had to lie down for a while,” he told his colleagues at the firm. He adds, “My friends tease me for eating so much restaurant food—and it saved my life!”

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