Meet the Barrister – Brian Faughnan
A periodic Q & A session with a Lewis Thomason (LT) lawyer
Lewis Thomason: When did you decide to become a lawyer?
Brian Faughnan: I convinced myself in high school that it was likely, but it wasn’t until my junior year at Rhodes that I made the final decision to go to law school for certain.
Lewis Thomason: What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer?
Brian Faughnan: You never stop learning. No matter how much your practice might be laser-focused on an area of the law, you still have to be willing and able to learn about things you know nothing about in order to tell your client’s story in a persuasive fashion to other people who likely even understand those things less than you did when you first got involved.
Lewis Thomason: You’re stranded on a desert island – what music are you listening to?
Brian Faughnan: The Decemberists, Wilco, Arcade Fire, Ben Folds, The Shins, Iron & Wine, The National, Ryan Adams, and Radiohead. If all of that were somehow available, I might be okay with just relaxing and staying a while.
Lewis Thomason: What famous person do you admire and why?
Brian Faughnan: I think you are allowed (and should be encouraged even) to admire people who ultimately might do things you wish they hadn’t. While the fact that he took his own life because of his mental health demons is incredibly sad, I very much admire David Foster Wallace for how he lived his life and for the incredible writings he created before he lost the battle.
Lewis Thomason: What was your first job and what did you learn from that experience?
Brian Faughnan: I was a courtesy clerk (bagger) at Kroger. I learned how to really, properly bag groceries. I still do it myself rather than let the employees do it for me (and likely wrong). Admittedly that answer probably reveals more of my flaws than any on their part.
Lewis Thomason: What book is on your bedside table (or on your e-reader)?
Brian Faughnan: I just finished Broken River by J. Robert Lennon last week. So, right now I have a handful of books on my Kindle in various stages of completion: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisen, Theft by Finding by David Sedaris, White Tears by Hari Kunzru, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson, and Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons.
Lewis Thomason: Where is the best place you have ever visited?
Brian Faughnan: My wife and I traveled to London and then Ireland with some friends right after I completed the bar exam and we stayed for a week in a cottage in Dungarvan, Ireland and made day trips to see sights all over the country. I think those parts of Ireland would be the answer.
Lewis Thomason: What’s the best advice you ever received?
Brian Faughnan: To remember that everyone you ever come in contact with happens to be the main character/protagonist in the story of their life.
Lewis Thomason: What type of kid were you?
Brian Faughnan: I was pretty well-behaved. I was very much an introverted, nerdish kind of kid growing up.
Lewis Thomason: Describe your most memorable moment in a deposition or trial
Brian Faughnan: I can’t because that information is still extremely confidential and the client would never want the story told out loud. (I’m actually only half-kidding about that. It’s nothing without the context; if I tried to tell it by stripping it down to its generic storyline, it wouldn’t seem memorable to all).
Brian S. Faughnan practices in the firm’s Memphis office. In addition to the area of lawyer ethics and professional responsibility, Mr. Faughnan’s practice is focused on commercial litigation, appellate litigation, and media law. Mr. Faughnan is a frequent author and speaker on ethics and professional responsibility issues. He writes a recurring column entitled “Faughnan on Ethics” for Memphis Lawyer magazine and is a co-author of the book “Professional Responsibility in Litigation” published by the ABA.