Author Brian Cuban Talks About The Addicted Lawyer and the Addiction Crisis Among Lawyers
Brian Cuban, the younger brother of Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban, is a Dallas based attorney, author and addiction recovery advocate. He is graduate of Penn State University and The University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Brian has been in long term recovery from alcohol, cocaine and bulimia since April of 2007. He left the practice of law and now writes and speaks on recovery topics, for the legal profession and on recovery in general
His first book, “Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder,” chronicles his first-hand experiences living with and recovering from 27 years of eating disorders and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
Brian’s most recent, best-selling book, “The Addicted Lawyer, Tales of The Bar, Booze, Blow, & Redemption,” is an un-flinching look back at how addiction and other mental health issues destroyed his career as a once successful lawyer and how he and others in the profession redefined their lives in recovery and found redemption.
Brian speaks at colleges, universities, conferences, non-profit organizations and legal events across North America. He has appeared on talks shows and on media outlets around the country and writes extensively on these topics. He has been published and quoted on CNN.com, Foxnews.com, The Huffington Post, Above The Law, The New York Times, and in media outlets around the world.
Brian Cuban: Thank you for having me, Gina.
Gina Rubel: Let’s set the stage. There are some statistics that I wanted to share with our listeners and why this topic is so important. Among lawyers:
- 21 to 36% qualify as problem drinkers and struggle with alcohol abuse.
- 28% report mild or high depression symptoms.
- 23% report mild or high stress symptoms.
- 19% report mild or high anxiety symptoms.
- 9% of attorneys struggle with prescription drug abuse, and
- The legal occupation is number eight of 10 for incidents of suicide.
These are alarming statistics.
Brian Cuban: They are, and I think it’s important to put it on a spectrum in that the statistics for problem drinkers goes from about 21% to when you get up to lawyers with under 10 years of practice, those are the higher rates of problem drinking, “alcoholism”, alcohol use disorder, at 36%. There is a spectrum.
Why do you believe the legal industry is fraught with mental health and addiction issues?
We have a culture that’s developed over the history of lawyers drinking and it been this man’s culture or probably even going back into the 80s. Lawyers tend to be type A personalities. In the legal profession, we tend to eschew vulnerability. We are taught to take advantage of vulnerability, but not allow ourselves to be vulnerable, which is something that is generally necessary to find recovery when it comes to problem drinking issues. When lawyers move into problem drinking, they tend to not want to seek help for it because we view that as weakness, we view that as not being strong, and again, gender roles have changed in the last 20 years or so, but lawyers look at this manly, I just can’t be that way, I’m not a man.
On the flip side, if you look at the most recent study that came after the ABA Betty Ford Hazelden study that was done by Patrick Krill, the D.C. Bar and the California Lawyers Association, I believe the statistic, and this was just during the pandemic is 30 to 33% of female lawyers are dealing with problem drinking and have considered leaving the profession.
SIDENOTE: Key Findings Key findings from the study include:
- Roughly half of practicing attorneys are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, with approximately 30% of those falling in the mild range and nearly 20% falling in the moderate-severe range.
- Over half of the attorneys screened positive for risky drinking, and 30% screened for high-risk hazardous drinking (which is interpreted as alcohol abuse or possible dependence).
- Women are experiencing meaningfully worse mental health than men and are drinking more hazardously.
- Considering the higher rates of mental health distress experienced by female attorneys, an expected but nonetheless troubling result is that 1 in 4 women is contemplating leaving the legal profession due to mental health problems, burnout, or stress. 17% of male attorneys report the same thoughts.
Gina Rubel: That doesn’t surprise me, and what’s interesting is, as a third-generation lawyer in my family, I can still remember back to my dad telling me stories. He graduated from Temple Law in 1971, and there were only two women in his class. Even in the 70s, there were very few women going to law school. Starting in the 80s, and then in 90s, I graduated ’94, we had a good 50/50 split, so it makes sense that it’s not just men or women. It was men because that was the profession, but it’s equally men and women today.
Brian Cuban: Yes, it is. You also have what I call a kick the can down the road culture. The drinking culture, back in the day, at least in my day, I graduated from Pitt Law in ’86, it was just as ingrained in law school, so you have lawyers of my generation, the Baby Boomer generation, drinking heavily in law school and just moving right into the practice of law where the culture is a continuation of the drinking. That has changed somewhat. Things are certainly different in law schools in terms of what they encourage and what they talk about in terms of drinking than when I went, and we also have a difference in terms of law firms not enabling and the profession not enabling drinking as much, but we still obviously have a problem.
Gina Rubel: It’s so interesting you say that because I look back, as I read through your book, it just all these things that I think I just hated in my life, I just put them aside. We lived at TGI Fridays across the street from Widener Law, we were there every night drinking. Many nights it was after we had studied and read all four chapters and thought we knew what we were doing. It was the release from the stress of law school, and that’s no excuse. My husband doesn’t drink at all, I may have an occasional drink, and it’s because of all the alcoholism I’ve witnessed in the profession and with people I love. For me, I abused alcohol all through law school. We all did. That’s what we did. That was our social time. We went to the bar; we talked about con law and did shots. It’s not something I’m proud of, it’s just part of the culture. I hope that’s not the culture today. One of the things I want listeners to know is The Addicted Lawyer talks about and advocates for law students, and you provide a lot of resources and information and ways to address potential addiction and behavioral health issues. This isn’t just for lawyers. This is meant for anyone in the legal profession.
Brian Cuban: It’s a continuum because law students… not everyone who drinks heavily in law school is going to become a problem drinker or an alcoholic. It’s going to be the minority, but so much of it also depends on who we are, what our genetics are, what the trauma is in our lives, how we viewed drinking before we even entered law school, and how we coped with our trauma, with our pain, with our shame before we entered law school. There are so many different factors to take into consideration.
What are some of the stigmas about lawyers seeking help? Why don’t they seek help?
Lawyers have a double layer of stigma. Let’s say a male or female lawyer is drinking, is a problem drinker or is starting to tip over into that, you have the societal stigma of problem drinking, “alcoholism”, and I put alcoholism in air quotes because it’s a label, it’s not a diagnosis. The diagnosis is alcohol use disorder, which runs on a spectrum from low to severe.
We have the societal stigma of how people look, how we look at people suffering from addiction. It’s shame, it’s weakness, people are going to judge us, it’s a moral failing, just stop. That’s society in general, how society has developed and looks at it. Then, on top of that, we have the layer of the legal profession stigma that is “I can lose my job, I won’t make partner, my colleagues will look at me differently,” all these different things, and it’s a double whammy that could cause someone to say, “I’m just not going to tell anyone.” What happens is they wait, and they wait, and they wait until, all of a sudden, there’s an issue or they’ve committed malpractice, someone notices something in a court room, there’s misconduct. You want to encourage people and you want to at least lay the pathway for people to seek help at the highest possible level before it gets to those issues.
Gina Rubel: You say that when you talk about encouraging people to seek help. I’m not going tell anybody else’s stories. I’ll just say that there was somebody I loved dearly in my life who dealt with addiction issues, was in denial about those addiction issues, and even when I tried to organize an intervention, law partners, spouse, and other people who loved that individual would not participate. Those fear-based decisions were heartbreaking.
Brian Cuban: I’ve worked with lawyers and law students where interventions have been talked about and necessary and you can’t get anyone to do it.
Do interventions work?
Sure, but you can’t generalize. Can they work? Absolutely. Does it take a team effort? Do I think an interventionist can just walk in and sprinkle fairy dust and here I am? No. It takes a team effort. It takes a team effort of somebody knowledgeable in actual intervention and knowledgeable in the wide swath of the addiction field. It takes family willing to lay themselves out there. Right?
That’s hard for family… and get involved. It takes a non-judgmental atmosphere. It takes an empathetic atmosphere, and to bring all these things together in an intervention at the same time is difficult, is very difficult, but they can work. I’ve seen them work, and I’ve seen them fail. I’ve seen them fail miserably, and I’ve seen great success.
ADDICTION RESOURCES FOR LAWYERS AND LAW STUDENTS
If you know or are a lawyer or law student dealing with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, stress, substance abuse and addiction, thoughts of suicide or any other behavioral health challenges, you can seek support through any of these resources.
- American Bar Association (ABA) Mental Health Resources
- ABA Directory of Lawyer Assistance Programs by state
- Harvard Law School Center on The Legal Profession Mental Health and Well-Being Resources
- Institute for Well-Being in Law
- com Mental Health Resources for Legal Professionals
- Lawyers with Depression
- The LGBT Bar Mental Health Resources
Gina Rubel: In Pennsylvania, we have Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. They are an organization that will maintain confidentiality, that will do what they can to support someone with an addiction or other behavioral health challenge, and the resources are there.
Brian Cuban: I’ll say one more thing about intervention. The thing about interventions or any kind of mutual aid, whether it’s 12 Step, you’re trying to force some… you’re trying to encourage someone to try this path or that path. We have the stages of change, if that person has not reached the level of change where they’re ready to step forward down whatever road that is, the intervention is not going to work. They have to be ready.
Gina Rubel: I don’t know how you identify that other than they’re ready.
Brian Cuban: It’s difficult, but as family and as friends and as colleagues, you try to keep a toe in the water.
Gina Rubel: One of the things I’ve loved about getting to know you virtually through your book and through your YouTube channel and your social media posts is how loving your wife, Amanda, has been through this process and how much it seems that she was a big catalyst in your life to change and she’s been a pillar of strength and a support person. You support one another in life, but I’ve enjoyed seeing that story. It’s quite romantic, actually, seeing that unfold in your life.
Brian Cuban: Thanks. She’s been very supportive as have my brothers and my father until he passed and my mom and my closest friends, so it takes support, and it takes a village. Recovery takes a village and she stood by me and… I had to do the work, obviously, because I broke some serious trust, so I had to recover for me, not for her, not for my brothers, not for my two cats, because marriages sometimes don’t last, spouses pass away, siblings pass away, we have trauma, we have tragedy, we cry, and recovery, those can be relapse triggers. Recovery needs to withstand that to have a solid recovery.
Gina Rubel: It does have to be for you, and I agree with that. I also, in my own experiences in life, I know that there have been times that there’s that one person who believes that I can succeed. For me, it was my dad. When I left the practice of law traditionally, and opened a PR agency, it was my father who said, “You can do it.” I had imposter syndrome and every insecurity under the sun but knowing there was that one person cheering me on, my cheerleader, saying, “You can do this if you set your mind to it,” helped.
Brian Cuban: When we’re just getting started, the motivators are endless. That’s different from what sustains. It can be fear, it can be love, I didn’t want to lose my family, I didn’t want to lose my now wife, that’s fear. Fear can motivate, but for me, my recovery couldn’t be sustained out of fear. It needed to be sustained out of growth.
I watched your YouTube video from the opening of your keynote at the Unite Youth and Recovery Conference at Drexel University, which is my alma mater. I’d love for you to share with our listeners your “insanity of addiction” story.
One of my favorite stories. It was back in 2006, the Dallas Mavericks were going to the NBA Championship for the very first time. Mark had bought the team in January of 2000, and we had had some success going to the playoffs, but this was our first trip to the big show. As you might imagine, Gina, I was going to get some good tickets for those games. Right?
My brother… I called him up and he said, “Bri, sure, come on over.” I got the two tickets. Think I gave them to my friends? I had tickets for me and tickets for my friends. I didn’t give them to my friends, I didn’t sell them on eBay for some astronomical amount. Makes sense, thinking like a lawyer. I traded them to my cocaine dealer for a thousand dollars in cocaine, celebrating my 20th year as a practicing lawyer in 2006.
My dealer shows up. I was high class, he delivered. I give him the tickets; he hands me this baggy of cocaine. I go running up to my home office, I dump it all out on my desk, creating this little mountain, like I’m Scarface. I wanted to go… rub my little nose in it. Of course, I had to do some. That’s why I bought it. I’m addicted to cocaine.
I pull out this dollar bill, roll it up. Gina, you know what’s funny? Cocaine users, we’re such an ironic bunch. We’ll wash our hands, pandemic times you put on the hand sanitizer, but we’ll roll up and shove a dollar bill up our nose that’s been used by God knows who, and then God knows where, shove it right up there. Makes sense. Line up the cocaine, and do it, but cocaine had long stopped giving me the feeling of love and acceptance and confidence that I achieved when I did it in a bathroom for the first time in the summer of 1987 here in Dallas and became instantly psychologically addicted and then physically dependent. Now, it was just pain and shame and paranoia. Do I hear the cops outside? Look out the window, pull back the cardboard. We’re all paranoid when we’re addicted to cocaine. There are no cops out there, but I’m all paranoid now.
I hide the cocaine. I drive to a home improvement store, and I buy electrical faceplate outlets, a drill, and a saw. I drive back to my house, I go upstairs to the closet, to the drywall, white drywall, I take the saw, I create these fake rectangular electrical outlets, I put the cocaine in smaller Ziploc baggies, I put it behind each of these fake electrical outlets, close them up, thinking I’m the smartest lawyer ever, like DEA, the cops, and the drug dogs have never thought of that scam before. I do some more and again, just pain and shame. Maybe an hour later, I’m all paranoid again. I go back to those same electrical outlets with the drill, this time unscrewing it, take the cocaine, put it back in the giant Ziploc baggie, go to my master bathroom and flush it down the toilet. Now, it’s about $900 worth of cocaine because I did some.
The next morning comes and as so often happens when a perceived negative incident gets in the rear view mirror surrounding addiction, I wake up and realized I flushed all my cocaine down the toilet last night. There’s another game tonight. I’m such an idiot. Who does that? Another call to my brother, two more tickets, another call to my drug dealer, he shows up at my house, he said, “Dude, you did all that last night?” I didn’t want to tell him I had flushed it down my toilet like a moron. I said, “Yes, I did it all. Give me more.” “Okay, here you go.”
Back upstairs, rinse, wash, repeat. Dump it out on the desk… one more time. Line it out. Snort some more. Again, just the same pain and the shame and the paranoia. Hide it behind the electrical outlets again. An hour later, take it back out. Go to that same bathroom, drop to my knees like I’d done so many times before, praying or hoping for someone or something to take away this ball of pain and shame in my stomach that had invaded me for most of my life, and flushed it down the toilet again. They say when Dallas flushes, it ends up in Houston, runs downhill, so I think some people in Houston might have had a little hop in their step that night.
That’s “the insanity of addiction”, doing the same thing over and over, the same way, and expecting a different result, but addiction is not insane. It’s a biological, brain-based process. It affects so many of us, lawyers, our loved ones, ourselves, our siblings, our children, our friends, and if we look at the statistics, it’s brutal. In 2020, if we want to talk about only opioids, there were over 90,000 fatal opioid overdoses in 2020. The vast majority of them being related to Fentanyl contaminated opioids. 90,000, Gina. That’s just opioids. We have a problem,
I know lawyers who are struggling with opioids, I know a lot of lawyers who are struggling with heroine. We talk about just alcohol, but there are other things going on.
Gina Rubel: The individual that I mentioned, in my unprofessional opinion, was an opioid addict and it had to do with in the 80s when the doctors were just prescribing opioids for pain and giving them out like candy.
I had gone to a workers’ compensation seminar for the ABA years ago, and they brought in a pain doctor who talked about opioids. This is going back maybe 15 years ago. I thought it was fascinating because they were talking about the regulation of opioids at the time for pain and why it was such a problem and, at the time, was a problem in our industry. Opioids aren’t being prescribed the same way they use to be. It’s still an issue, but it was just fascinating to me because we were just starting to talk about it.
Brian Cuban: They’ve locked it down so it’s very difficult to get a prescription and even more difficult to get a refill, and you know for every action, there’s a reaction. What has happened now is chronic pain patients who truly need them, can’t get them. We have this other problem going on as a result of this crackdown.
What was the final draw that moved you to drug and alcohol abstinence and recovery?
I call it my recovery tipping point. A lot of people like rock bottom, but I hate that term. I think it should go away and be put in the trash can because the worst shouldn’t have to happen for someone to recover. It should be we should be trying to help people recover at the highest possible point before these things happen.
It was Easter weekend 2007. My wife, Amanda, had gone away for the weekend, and I went out. The next thing I knew, it was two days later, and I had had a drug and alcohol induced blackout. She knew nothing of my issues. You say, “How can that be?” It’s easy, believe me. I hear stories all the time of people where the spouses and the families are completely taken by surprise, but she’s looking down at me and I’m in bed. It’s Sunday, and I’d gone out Friday. There’s cocaine everywhere. I’d also become dependent on black market Xanax. It was scattered around because I was cocaining my way through the day and Xanaxing… or cocaining my way through the night and Xanaxing myself through the day.
I’m coming to, and she’s looking down at me probably wondering, “Did I walk in the right house?” I’m trying to think of what lie I can tell to explain this law and order orgy of evidence in the bedroom, that I might not be the person I told her I was. She had just moved in with me. It was a week or two before, so this was quite the shock to her. She drove… all I could think of Gina was kind of the running home to Mama. I said, “Take me back to Green Oaks Psychiatric Hospital.” This would be my second trip there, and she’s like, “You’ve been to Green Oaks?” “Yeah, there are some things you don’t know about me. Right? We’ll talk about that later.” I just need more time to think of a better lie to explain all this.
She’s a lawyer, too. She’s not buying any of it. We get down to Green Oaks and we’re standing in the parking lot and she’s crying and I’m thinking she’s going to leave me, but she didn’t. A couple other things occurred to me. Another one that I would be dead, there wouldn’t be a third trip back, and the last thing that occurred to me was thinking about my father. My dad who was a greatest generation, a veteran of the Pacific theater. The Battle of Okinawa, he was in the Navy. A Seabee, fought in Korea. He and his older brother, they had an auto trim shop in Pittsburgh from the end of the Korean War until his older brother passed in ’99, where they just put in car seats and they put on convertible tops, very middle-class working man.
I thought about something he’s said to Mark, Jeff, and I, I have a younger brother, Jeff, growing up. My father was the middle of three boys, like me. He said, “Guys, wherever you go in life, whatever you do, wherever your journey takes you, you pick up that phone and you call your brother. You tell your brother you love him. You make sure your brother is okay.” This was the gift of family that my father’s father… that my father’s father had passed down to him, to his three sons. This was the gift that he gave us. I thought about that, and Gina, I wasn’t ready to lose my family. I wasn’t losing their love, but families distance. They get frustrated, they don’t know what to do. I was distancing from them. I wasn’t seeing my nieces and nephew, I wasn’t seeing my father, who lived across the street from me.
I realized that I just wasn’t ready for that to happen. I didn’t want that to happen, and I wanted to live. That was the mindset. Why that happened then, and not in 2005, the summer of 2005, when my brothers came into my bedroom and I had 45-automatic on my nightstand ready to end my life by suicide, why not then? I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you, but that was the time, that was the moment.
The next day, I walked into my psychiatrists office, who I’d been seeing a couple years, getting antidepressants while I’m also doing blow and drinking. That doesn’t work out well, and lying to him, lying to him. Well, why would you lie to him? Shame knows no hourly rate. Right, Gina? I was ashamed. I was ashamed, and I finally got honest with him. He said, “Brian, would you consider residential treatment?” I still was kind of proud and ego, and I’m not going go to residential treatment. I’m much too busy a lawyer to go to residential treatment. I had no clients left. My law practice had disintegrated, but I was a busy lawyer.
Then, he mentioned 12 Step, and those were the two options I was given. For those who don’t know, alcohol focused 12 Step, the most well-known is AA, but there are others. He mentioned 12 Step, and he’s, “Would you consider going to 12 Step?” The building was right next door. I said, “I can’t go to 12 Step. I see them smoking out there. Secondhand smoke will kill you, Doctor.” Right? There’s always a reason not to recover, but I did choose 12 Step. That day I walked in, April 8, 2007, I walked into 12 Step, I sat down, and I didn’t know if I was “alcoholic”, but here’s what I knew sitting down for the first day.
If sitting in that room would allow me for the first time in my life to wake up in the morning, walk to the mirror in my bathroom birthday suit naked, look myself in the eye, and love myself for the first time in my entire life without the aid of cocaine or alcohol, I would sit in that room, and I did. It wasn’t just 12 Step.
I had severe… I had severe, underlying childhood trauma issues. I was bullied over my weight. I was a heavy kid, I was physically assaulted, so there were underlying… my mom and I always didn’t have the greatest relationship. There was a lot of fat shaming, though I don’t blame my mother for anything. Parents do not cause eating disorders; parents do not cause addiction. There is a difference between cause and correlation, so these things will happen to some people, but not others, that’s why it’s correlation, but things that happen in the home can correlate with mental health issues.
For a while, my mom and I did have a difficult relationship, but we have a great relationship today. I had to deal with all these underlying trauma issues as well, otherwise, I would be susceptible to relapse at any time. Any time the anger came up, the pain, I could deal with it by drinking or another line of blow, so I’m still in therapy today. I see a psychiatrist every week.
Gina Rubel: I love the way you share your stories because you’re so… you’re brutally honest, not apologetic, and I don’t think you should be. This is who you are, this is what your life is, but you have come to, in my opinion, a position of atonement with the people you love.
Brian Cuban: Sure. People ask me all the time; do you regret the path? No, the path is what got me… I don’t believe in revisionist recovery. The path is what got me here talking to you and trying to help people on a daily basis, but what I do regret is the collateral damage, and I do my best to through living amends and through the things I do, to hopefully make amends for the people I’ve hurt, to the people I’ve hurt.
You also say there’s no universal next right thing. Where does one start if they realize that they need help?
If they’ve come to that realization, if you’re a lawyer, I always say the first place to start is your lawyer’s assistance program. That is the first line. Now, there is a stigma sometimes with lawyers’ assistance programs. In Pennsylvania, it’s Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, in Texas it’s TLAP, Texas Lawyers Assistance Programs. I know lawyers, especially more old timers, people my age, Baby Boomers, who believe that these lawyers’ assistance programs are arms of the state bar and there’s nothing that confidential. That’s stigma, right?
That’s stigma. I’ll tell you a funny story. This was one of the first talks I ever gave, and I just rolled off the TLAP committee, so I was on the TLAP Advisory Committee for three years, and I was speaking to a Dallas Bar group, and I was talking about TLAP being completely confidential, they don’t share misconduct, they don’t share anything with the state bar. It’s protected by statute.
This lawyer comes to me afterwards, a seasoned trial lawyer, Gina, seasoned trial lawyer. He says, “Brian, I know what you’re talking about, but you’re wrong. You’re just wrong. If I go to TLAP, the Lawyer Assistance Program, it’s going to get to the state bar, people are going to find out. Before you know it, the state bar will be knocking on your door, and you’ll be up before the bar.” I said, “How do you know that?” “Well, another lawyer told me.” “How did he know that?” Then he said, “Well, I think he knew a guy that that happened to.” You are a seasoned trial lawyer and you’re coming to me with a guy told a guy who told a guy.
Gina Rubel: We’ve got triple hearsay going on there.
Brian Cuban: That’s the stigma. Right? I had another lawyer out of Houston. It was a complete revelation to him that you could call the lawyers’ assistance program anonymously, and you didn’t have to give them your name. A complete revelation. Information sometimes has a difficult way of filtering down to different areas of the bar, and I’ve talked to big law lawyers, yes, and believe it or not, I’ve talked to big law lawyers who had no idea what TLAP does. None.
Gina Rubel: I have, too, at every level of legal. Especially I’m a big advocate of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers here in Pennsylvania. It’s a non-profit.
Brian Cuban: Laurie Besden, the Executive Director, is wonderful.
Gina Rubel: They’re wonderful. One of the first things I usually ell lawyers is they are a non-profit. They are not associated with the Pennsylvania Bar Association or the Philadelphia Bar Association. They are a non-profit. They are there to support attorneys, law students, judges and other members of the legal profession.
What are some of the things you’ve done for growth?
I write, I love to write. I do a lot of writing.
I rappelled for Shatter Proof, wonderful organization to raise awareness related to addiction, I rappelled of Reunion Tower. I forget how many feet high, 450 or 500 feet or something like that. That was scary, but there’s a good analogy there, recovery analogy, that I use in my new novel. You know what the scariest part was, Gina? It was that split second of weightlessness, not knowing whether the rope would break. Right?
That split second, but not trusting the process. The split second of not trusting the process. In recovery, that split second occurs for everyone because you are stepping into a crevice. You don’t understand recovery, you don’t know what it feels like, you’re afraid, you’re scared. It is you are stepping into a canyon, and you have to trust or you’re pushing yourself off an airplane with a parachute, having to trust that the parachute will open.
Yeah, but it has to, and recovery and addiction’s the same. There comes a point where you have to step forward into the unknown. You have to step forward into what’s fearful, you have to step forward into what’s uncomfortable, and trust there will be someone there to catch you.
Can you give us a sneak peek into The Ambulance Chaser, which I believe is a legal thriller?
It is a legal thriller. It is about a Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer accused of the murder of a high school classmate 30 years before. He has to go on the run to find the one person who can both save his life and save the life of his only son. The release is December 2021.
What are your cats names?
Meme and Butter. Useless is my cat who passed away.
What’s your favorite childhood movie?
Rocky. I cried at Rocky.
What celebrity that you have met has most intrigued you?
Gerald Ford, former President.
If you could have dinner with any living person, who would it be?
Anyone in my family. My wife, my two brothers, my uncle. I can’t think of anyone that I’d rather have dinner with.
What are you currently reading?
I’m researching my third novel, so I read a lot of books about Russian organized crime. I’m reading John Grisham’s book about the basketball player too.
In our pre-interview, I told you that we just dropped our son off at college, and he is in rugby camp. You mentioned that you were a rugby player, so what is your favorite rugby team?
Oh, Penn State.
Gina Rubel: Uh-oh, so you’re going to have to meet me when Penn State plays Mount St. Mary’s. I know a lot of the players for Penn State this year. A couple of them come from my hometown, Doylestown. Shout out to Mike Weir, and we just saw them out in Utah at NAI7s, but I will be rooting for the Mount.
Brian Cuban: The one and only time my nose was dislocated was the very first rugby game I ever played at Penn State.
Gina Rubel: Well, Brian, it has been an absolute pleasure to interview you. I encourage everyone to read The Addicted Lawyer, and we’ll be waiting with bated breath for The Ambulance Chaser.
Do you have any parting thoughts?
First, I want to share that if you’re struggling, the first step is the hardest, it’s reaching out. If you notice someone struggling, reach out, too. You don’t have to reach out in judgment. Just say, “How are you?” Right? Not “are you okay,” there are problems with that. Say, “How are you.” Ask them again, and say, “Do you know…” we call it the two ask rule, “Do you know that if you want to talk, I am here for you?” The two ask rule. Do that because you can change a life, even if it doesn’t occur at that moment.
My email is Brian@BrianCuban.com. My website is www.BrianCuban.com. If you don’t have anyone, reach out to me. I’ll help you figure out a path if you want to take it.
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