Even a short conversation with University of Colorado School of Law School alumnus Marc Brosseau ('76) reveals that he is one of those people who clearly has a knack for trial work. His natural talent, combined with plenty of hard work and dedication, has made Brosseau a respected leader in his field with over 40 years of litigation experience.
During his career, Brosseau has handled civil cases in every state except Vermont. As a founding member of Brosseau Bartlett Lieberman, LLC, he has managed national litigation for clients in a diverse range of industries, from automobiles to pharmaceuticals.
"I think that the litigation process is fabulous," Brosseau said, conveying his true enjoyment for his work. "I trust the jury system. I trust the court systems. I’m heavily invested in those systems. I better believe in them or at least make efforts to change them, but I respect them tremendously. Being part of a process that I highly respect feels good."
Though his path led him to Colorado, Brosseau began his legal studies at the University of California Hastings College of Law in 1973. He loved his native California but followed his first wife to the University of Colorado where she was pursuing her studies. Because Brosseau needed to transfer fairly late in the admissions process, he at first had difficulty getting to Colorado Law—not because of his qualifications (he was second in his class at Hastings), but because there was simply no room left.
"I spent months trying to get to CU because my wife was going to go there and I preferred CU to DU," Brosseau said. "About an hour before my deadline to accept DU’s offer, the Dean of Admissions at Colorado Law called and told me I was in!"
From the moment he arrived in Boulder, Brosseau’s dedication to excelling in law school and his work on the University of Colorado Law Review were invaluable contributions to the school. During his third year, Brosseau served as editor-in-chief of the law review and enjoyed the challenge and teamwork that the journal required.
"I got to be very good friends with several folks including the managing editor, a guy who’s been a friend of mine for 40 years now," Brosseau said.
Despite his heavy involvement with academic writing, Brosseau continued to focus his work experience and classes on litigation.
"I knew from the moment I first walked into law school in California that I wanted to do civil trial work," Brosseau said.
Following his 2L year, Brosseau took a job with Weller Friedrich, LLC, a firm he chose for three reasons: its reputation of professionalism, reputation for litigation skills, and the opportunity to get into trial work early on. Brosseau said the firm fulfilled those promises, and he continued to work there after graduation.
Brosseau became the managing partner at Weller Friedrich, but unfortunately the firm eventually dissolved. Brosseau and a few of his colleagues saw this as an opportunity to branch out on their own.
"I had been the managing partner for six of the last seven years of the old firm’s existence, so managing a firm wasn’t new to me, but the uncertainty of starting a new venture was," Brosseau said.
Using their prior experience, the founders of Brosseau Bartlett Lieberman soon reached their goals. Brosseau said there was nothing he would have done differently.
"I had opportunities and offers to go to work for big firms on the coasts for substantially more money than I was making in Denver," Brosseau said. “I’m very happy I never pursued that."
Brosseau’s positive mentality could very well be a contributing factor to his success.
"I wouldn’t say I’ve had any regrets," Brosseau said. “In a way I kind of have the attitude that regret means negative energy. There’s no reason for it."
Still working for his clients daily at the firm he founded, Brosseau is not slowing down yet after a career’s worth of litigation.
"I think I’m pretty darn good at what I do and part of it is my attitude or the way I approach it. I think the reason a lot of trial lawyers burn out is the amount of stress and hostility that comes from the process…that kind of stuff can bother people,” Brosseau said. “It doesn’t bother me at all. I tend to get along very well with my adversaries. I do not find it particularly stressful."
Brosseau summed up his professional strategy in just a few sentences.
"I am challenged personally and professionally to get better and be as good as I can as a detective, script writer, producer, actor, author, editor, and strategist," Brosseau said. "I am taught by some of the most expert people in the world in their respective fields. I get to apply all of this in a competitive environment I enjoy. I am working for clients that have asked me to help them. I recognize the clients made that decision and I feel an obligation to do my work well."
Outside of work, another thing that Brosseau strives to do well is being a father to his son, who will graduate from CU in May.
"For me, being a dad is the greatest joy in my life and that’s something that I continue to want to do for as long as I can do it," he said.
Family is incredibly important to Brosseau. When he decides to slow down in his career, he will still have the ongoing job and joy of being there for his wife of more than 25 years, Stacey, and his son. Together, they enjoy traveling, hiking, and simply spending time together.
Brosseau said he enjoys anything that involves just “doing” things, and is an expert backgammon player, an avid reader and writer, and “darn good” cook. He is also active in his community and has started a group called Neighbors Helping Neighbors, where community members assist their neighbors with their needs.
To the benefit of all Colorado Law students, Brosseau continues to be involved at the school. He previously spent two years teaching as an adjunct professor and has assisted with the Summer Employment Transition program. He also assists the Office of Admissions with interviewing law school applicants when requested.
What is your fondest memory of being a student at Colorado Law?
I enjoyed most of the experience—of being a student, of working on the law review as a writer and then as its editor, and the friendships made with fellow students, faculty, and administration.
What do you know now that you wish you had known in law school?
I wish I had spent more time in the community, meaning both on the campus outside of the law school and in the town.
What advice would you give to current students as they’re preparing to graduate?
Never forget our client’s interests are what we are here to serve. They are the reason we are in this profession.
Who was the biggest influence on your career?
William H. “Bill” Hazlitt, a partner in the firm at which I first worked, one of my four principal mentors there, and a person who was very much of a father to me. He was a genuinely decent human being and by example taught how one can be a good, skilled, honest lawyer without losing his sense of humor or any ounce of humanity. He once said to me that “every new lawsuit is a chance to make a new friend,” in reference to counsel representing other parties, including the adverse parties.
Of what accomplishment are you most proud?
Being a good dad.