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Philosophy studies, working as a newspaper copy editor and law school sharpened Ike Messmore’s eye for detail. (File photo: Bill Klotz)
Philosophy studies, working as a newspaper copy editor and law school sharpened Ike Messmore’s eye for detail. (File photo: Bill Klotz)

Breaking the Ice: Attention to detail pays off in liability practice

Name: Ike Messmore

Title: Associate, Bowman and Brooke

Education: B.A., University of Vermont, philosophy, political science; J.D., University of Minnesota Law School

Ike Messmore, an associate at Bowman and Brooke, has always been detail-oriented.

Philosophy studies, working as a newspaper copy editor and law school further sharpened his eye for detail, all of which has produced results in his product liability litigation practice.

Messmore, who joined Bowman and Brooke in 2012 after a summer internship with the firm, prepared and argued a summary judgment that secured a dismissal of claims in a $7 million commercial arbitration case. He also wrote a brief that capped damages at $1 million an $11 million commercial dispute.

Both results, Messmore said, involved nuanced readings of long, complicated commercial agreements.

“Both really hinged on a single phrase in each of those contracts,” Messmore said. “The ability to identify those five words out of tens of thousands as a potential place to make an argument that my clients weren’t contractually liable … led to those results.”

 

Q. What’s the best way to start a conversation with you?

A. I like meeting new people, so it’s pretty easy. But if you talk to me about dogs or motorcycles or cars, books, music, movies or restaurants, you probably will not get me to stop talking.

Q. What prompted you to study law and pursue it professionally?

A. My love of philosophy, my study of philosophy in undergraduate and my love of political philosophy. I enjoyed analyzing arguments and thinking about weaknesses in them and how to attack them effectively. That translates really well into the practice of law. I’ve also always enjoyed writing since I was young and there’s a lot of writing as a lawyer.

Q. What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?

A. “The Painted Veil” by W. Somerset Maugham. It’s a book my sister gave to me, and she has great recommendations when it comes to fiction. She and I share  a love of fiction.

Q. What is a pet peeve of yours?

A. Bad grammar.

Q. What are your favorite aspects of being an attorney?

A. The new products and the new laws I get to learn about for each case. It’s like I’m taking a new class every time I get a new case. I love the travel and interesting people that I get to meet.

Q. Least favorite?

A. I wish more cases went to trial. I love being in the courtroom.

Q. What’s a favorite activity outside your job?

A. My favorite is probably motorcycling. It’s a hobby I share with my dad. We spent about nine days riding in Alaska last summer for his 70th birthday. This summer I’ve been riding on the racetrack a lot, which is very thrilling and challenging. The one I go to a lot is a short track so it only gets up to about 110 [miles an hour]. I’ve had my bike up to 165 in the past on a racetrack. I have a Honda CBR 600 that I like a lot and Yamaha FC1. Those also happen to be good clients of the firm.

Q. If someone visits you in your hometown, what would you take them to see or do?

A. It’s been so long since I’ve lived in Baltimore. I probably wouldn’t be the best tour guide now. I love the Inner Harbor. I love the National Aquarium. I also would take them to the pastoral hunt country north of Baltimore where they do steeplechase races. It’s beautiful hilly farmland.

Q. Is there an attorney or judge, past or present, whom you admire most?

A. A good friend and mentor is George Soule, a founding partner of Bowman and Brooke. I admire his legal skills and the time and energy he puts into mentoring young lawyers. [Bowman and Brooke’s] Alana Bassin, Rick Morgan, Nathan Marcusen. They have been great mentors and set great examples for technical legal skills, for business development, for mentoring, for firm management. I feel that way about most of the attorneys at my firm. Those are just three that I’ve had the good fortune to work with closely.

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