Anne Marie enjoys pulling together the moving parts in multi-forum or multi-plaintiff high-stakes litigation. In her cases, she partners with her clients to approach the challenges of litigation in efficient and creative ways. Currently, she is using these skills to help a major facilitator of online travel reservations respond to cases across the country. She also played a central role advising HealthSouth Corporation as it defended and prosecuted claims relating to a massive accounting fraud perpetrated against it by corporate officers. That litigation resulted in a $2.8 billion verdict against the company’s former CEO and $100 million from a settlement with the company’s former investment bank. Anne Marie’s practice has taken her to trial in venues as diverse as Alabama state and federal courts, AAA arbitrations, and the Tribal Court of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Anne Marie is co-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Regional Meeting Committee, has served as the Section’s liaison to the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, and is a former co-chair of the Section of Litigation’s Woman Advocate Committee. She also chairs her firm’s Associate Committee where she oversees the professional development of the firm’s associates. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children.
- What do you remember most about your MOMENTUM experience?
As a professional woman actively managing work and home responsibilities, it is easy to become isolated. Momentum was a reminder that I was only one of many women in the community who were walking similar paths. I was immediately enriched by the experiences, advice, and life lessons of the talented women in my class. As our instructors walked us through world-class professional and personal development tools, we all also learned to stop and breathe together – something no one among us was accustomed to doing. That experience allowed us to connect and develop bonds that will carry forward for years to come.
- What will be the biggest challenge for the next generation of women in your opinion?
24/7 connectivity has its advantages in terms of flexible work schedules, but it also means there is no escape from work obligations. The current workplace still includes some people who remember when the work day ended when you left the office. In that world, what now is communicated by text or e-mail was communicated by letter. But, the next generation will have lived their entire lives in a world of constant and immediate communication. It will be a challenge for that generation to learn the value of reflection before taking action. And, sometimes there is no substitute for a face to face conversation.
- If you knew then what you know now, what would you tell your 18-year-old self?
Don’t worry as much about which career options will match family obligations. In other words, don’t take options off the table just because you know that you want to have a family. Over time, I’ve learned that there are many ways to enjoy professional responsibilities paired with family ones. Therefore, do something that you enjoy professionally and make good choices in your family decisions and you can make it work.
- How do you manage your energy around work and home?
This is a constant challenge. Time at home during the week is limited. Therefore, from the time I arrive home until the kids are asleep, I try to avoid looking at my messages. That has helped me feel more present in the moment. It is not a perfect solution because I always sit back down to work after the kids are in bed. But, it is a step towards focusing on one priority at a time.
- What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
A respect of the power of the team that she is leading. The goal of every leader should be the accomplishments of the team. A leader should work to engage the individual members of the team and use those strengths to achieve the team’s goals.
- What hobby, indulgence or activity helps you de-stress?
Swimming has helped me to breathe deeply and turn off the outside world for at least a brief time each day. I enjoy the quiet of being under water and the rhythm of swimming is similar to meditation.
- A motto or favorite quote for approaching life or work?
Women are generally far too apt to apologize. I remind myself, “Don’t start a sentence with ‘I’m sorry.’”