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Attorney Highlight – Dana Horton

Hi, my name is Dana Horton. I have been with the firm for almost five years. I’m originally from Winter Park, Florida, which is a little town that’s right near Orlando, so about 45 minutes from Disney World, and I lived there through college.

What Is Your Background?

I was born and grew up in Florida. I am a massive fan of the beach. I spent my formative years in school in Winter Park, but then I attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee for Law School. I then moved to the west coast and continued law school there. I was licensed to practice in three states, Washington state, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I have been in the Pittsburgh area for more than 20 years now.

What Areas of Practice Do You Focus On?

I have a significant amount of experience handling medical malpractice defense, including defending chiropractors, physicians, nurse practitioners, optometrists, etc. in medical malpractice litigation. Since coming to our firm, I don’t do as much medical malpractice defense. I still do some, but I do civil litigation, generally premises liability, and auto and trucking accidents. I find it really interesting because no case is ever the same, or at least that’s how it seems to me.

What Is Your Favorite or Most Memorable Case?

I had a case recently that, as far as monetary issues, was not a high-value case. But it involved a truck versus a motor vehicle accident. Thankfully, the damages weren’t really serious for the two people that were in the car that was involved in the accident. But the truck driver was also charged with a number of serious traffic offenses that would have resulted if he had been convicted of probably losing his CDL or certainly having it suspended. By being creative with that, doing research, and then making significant headway in discrediting the police officer at the criminal preliminary hearing, we were able to work things out and settle the civil matter for a very reasonable amount of money. And then we were able to maintain the truck driver’s CDL license. I’m proud of that result.

What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?

In the case that I just discussed, I think I did a really good job. I don’t think I’m particularly good at talking about my accomplishments or anything like that, but I’m proud of what we accomplished. The truck driver went from being angry at the situation and frankly angry at me to wanting to hug me when we were finished. And he was able to maintain his license. And the insurance company was really happy with the result, as was the trucking company. 

What Do You Like About Being an Attorney?

I particularly like this practice; this is my favorite job. As I sort of near the end or am later on in my career, working for MSZL&M is my favorite position that I’ve ever had, and I really like working with my colleagues in the Pittsburgh office. As far as specifically being an attorney, I like the thinking aspects of it. I like that my day is often not the same. There’s a lot of variety in the work I do. I like thinking and strategizing, and I like working with the people I work with. We have some great clients, and I like the variety.

What Do You Like About Living in Pittsburgh?

I’m an adopted Pittsburgher, and I consider it home now. I think I like that it has all of the big city amenities—professional sports teams, shows, ballet, great restaurants, and things like that—but it also has a small feel. We live in the suburbs, so we were attracted to where we live, specifically by the really good school system. I really like the small town aspect, but the big city amenities.

What Is A Fun Fact About You? 

I enjoy cooking and dining out, despite the fact that we don’t do so frequently. I love to try different cuisines and things like that. Another fun fact is that my husband and I met swimming masters at the YMCA.

What Are Your Charitable Endeavors?

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of volunteer work in my kids’ schools. When I practiced in a prior state, I did volunteer legal work. I was the chair of one of the clinics, and then I sat on the board that oversaw that. They were called neighborhood legal clinics. I hope to get back to that.