Mark’s trial work focuses on litigation of product, professional, oil & gas and transportation liability matters. Mark is a partner and serves on the firm’s executive committee.
Mark has served in leadership positions for state and national defense organizations for many years. Mark served as the President of the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (2011); as Chair of the DRI Trial Tactics Committee (2006-2008); as Co-Chair of the MDLA Nursing Home & Assisted Living Committee (2006) and as Chair of the USLAW Network (2008); Member, DRI Law Institute Committee – Drug & Medical Device, Trial Tactics, Retail and Professional Liability (2011-2014); Co-Chair of USLAW’s Product Liability Committee (2016-2018). In addition, Mark served on the Board of Directors for the Regions Hospital Foundation (2012-2014).
Mark and his wife, Christine, keep busy with their three adult daughters. As a family, they enjoy spending time at their cabin in northern Minnesota, where Mark was born and raised. An avid outdoorsman, Mark loves to hunt, fish and hike.
Hamline University School of Law, J.D., cum laude (1990)
Silver Gavel National Honor Society
Hamline University, B.A., cum laude (1988)
Pi Gamma Mu National Honor Society
Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association
North Dakota Defense Lawyers Association
Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Three Affiliated Tribes. U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. District Court: Minnesota, Illinois (Central District), North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Admitted pro hac vice in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.
Honors & Awards
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (2017 to present); Top 100 Civil Defense & High Stakes Litigators (2018-present); “Attorneys of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer (2016); listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Product Liability and Personal Injury Defense (recognized annually since 2009); rated “AV Preeminent” by his peers in Martindale-Hubbell, the highest lawyer rating for both skills and ethics; Minnesota “Super Lawyers” by Minnesota Law & Politics, representing the top 5% of Minnesota lawyers (annually since 2000); “Top 100: Minnesota Super Lawyers” (2008, 2016-2020); “Rising Star” by Minnesota Law & Politics (1996-1999); Hamline University Athletic Hall of Fame, Football Team.
Exemplar Trial List
Niemela v. WMC. Brain injury with $14M life care plan. Verdict: $62,000.
Morgan v. BHI. Wrongful death. Defense Verdict.
Wagner v. BHOO. Land Dispute. Defense verdict.
Strong v. NSP. Wrongful death. Resolved after jury selection.
Hester v. Janning. Professional Liability. Defense Verdict.
Morgan v. BHI. Wrongful Death. Directed Verdict.
Lien v. V&C. Brain injury/Loss of vision. Plaintiff’s verdict.
Weinkauff v. Nelson. Professional liability. Wrongful death. Defense Verdict.
Canadian Pacific v. Werner. $9M Train Derailment. Defense Verdict. Cert. denied by United States Supreme Court.
McRunnel v. Batco. Products liability. Defense Verdict.
Minke v. Freedom Solutions. $8M Financial Fraud. Defense Verdict.
Yang v. C.T. Products Liability. Quadriplegic. Defense Verdict.
Gniffke v. Sysco. Brain Injury. Plaintiff’s Verdict.
Kaliveh v. T.C. Professional Liability. Directed Verdict.
Meinershagen v. Konasiewicz. Brain Surgery. Defense Verdict.
Aristy v. Holinka. Brain injury. 50-50 allocation.
Walter v. Andrews. Emergency response. Defense Verdict.
McDonald v. Pietrafitta. Professional Liability. Punitive Damages. Defense Verdict.
Simonson v. Comfort Gardens. Ventilator Dependent Plaintiff. Defense Verdict.
Reitzner v. American Family Arson. Defense Verdict.
Kaupa v. Rison. Professional liability. Defense Verdict.
Christians v. Xcel. Electrical contact. Defense Verdict.
Larson v. Wasemiller. Professional liability. Defense Verdict.
Browning v. G.A. Favorable defense of CRPS/RSD arbitration claim.
Jones vs. Highland Chateau. Professional liability. Offer accepted after commencement of trial.
Roehl Transport v. Liberty Mutual. Bad Faith Policyholder Claim. Verdict in Favor of Client.
Davis v. St. Ann’s Assisted Living. Professional Liability Claim.
Brown v. Horseshoe Billiards. General Liability Defense Verdict.
First State v. 3M Coverage claim. Confidential result.
Turek v. Stostrand Personal injury. Verdict at offer of settlement.
Community Housing Corp. v. Alternative Building Group. Contract Dispute over ownership of 501 (c) (3) property in Texas. Defense Verdict.
I-Systems v. Software’s, Inc. Copyright Infringement.
Seurer v. Wheaton. Personal injury. Defense Verdict.
Rootness v. Willey. Wrongful death. Defense Verdict.
Buckhanan v. Mendota. Insurance Company Personal injury. Defense Verdict.
Staeheli v. Moser. Defamation. Directed Verdict.
Right Management, Inc. v. Backer Employment matter. Favorable court trial.
Gerhardson v. Milton. Personal injury. Defense Verdict.
Gohman v. Schneider. National Subrogation. Defense Verdict.
Carpenter v. Wozney. Land dispute. Defense Verdict.
Escher v. Land O’Lakes. Brain injury. Defense Verdict.
Sheppard v. Duffy’s. Dram shop. Defense Verdict.
Morse v. Gerst. Professional liability. Defense Verdict.
Rafai v. Gustafson. Personal injury. Defense Verdict.
Perkins v. Ebert. Personal injury. Settled before verdict.
Garding v. Porterhouse. Wrongful death. Defense Verdict.
Waldhalm v. Sturgeon. Lake O.L. Commercial dispute. Defense Verdict.
Market Square v. West. Bend Declaratory judgment. Defense Verdict.
Conaway v. Bucko’s. Dram shop. Verdict at offer.
Korby v. McNaught. Brain injury. Defense Verdict.
Gabrielson v. Moe. Brain injury. Verdict at offer.
Guy v. West Point. General Liability. Defense Verdict.
Howard, et al. v. Mackenhausen. Burn and wrongful death. Defense Verdict.
Foss v. Shady Oak. General Liability. Defense Verdict.
Tinglov v. Hartle. Personal injury. Verdict returned at offer.
Morrisey v. McKinney. Medical negligence – wrongful death. Verdict below offer.
Freeman v. Stapp. Personal injury. Plaintiff’s Verdict pursuant to high/low agreement.
Piper v. Pommerining. Personal injury. Defense Verdict.
Brown v. Johnson. Wrongful death. Defense Verdict.
Zimmerman v. Soderquist. Personal injury. Defense Verdict.
Heron v. New Market. Brain injury. Defense Verdict.
Publications & Seminars
Mark is a frequent presenter at legal seminars and conferences, including: Presenter, Turning the Table: Offensive Use of the Reptile Technique and Anchoring, North Dakota Defense Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Bismarck, ND (2020); Presenter, Moving Litigation Forward: Remote Inspections During COVID-19, USLAW (May 2020); Presenter, Mediation in the COVID Era, American Legal Connections (May 2020); Presenter, Effective Use of Anchoring and Counter-Anchoring in Settlement Negotiations, USLAW Complex Torts, New York Athletic Club (2019); Presenter, Nuclear Verdicts in Products Liability Cases: What You Need to Know, USLAW Client Conference, Washington, D.C. (2019); Presenter, Turning the Table: Offensive Use of the Reptile Technique, Defeating Anchoring Damages and Dealing with Difficult Witnesses, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Duluth, MN (2019); Presenter, Nuclear Verdict Remix: The Impact of Nuclear Verdicts on the Run of the Mill Case, USLAW Transportation and Logistics Seminar, Las Vegas, NV (2019); Presenter, The Impact of Millennial Jurors on Product Liability Litigation, USLAW panel, Montreal, Quebec (2018); Presenter, Best Practices to Minimize Claim Risk and Exposure: Hot Jurisdictions and Nuclear Verdicts, US Claims Seminar (2018); Evaluating and Defending the Worst of the Worst, Chigaco & New York (2017); Strategies for Mitigating Damages Through the Corporate Apology, North Dakota Defense Lawyers Association Annual Meeting (2017); Strategies for Mitigating Anger: Pros & Cons of Conceding Liability/Countering Sympathy in Catastrophic Injury Cases (2017); Building the Defense of a Product: Moderator, Avoiding the Second Burn: Strategies for Successful Fire Scene Investigation, USLAW (2016); Taking a Technical Approach to Defending Products Claims, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Annual Seminar (2016); Advanced Investigation Techniques and Strategies, Fighting Fire with Fire Seminar, Union League Club of Chicago (2016); The Assertion of Privilege, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Annual Meeting (2015); Preparing the Corporate Representative for the 30(6)(6) Deposition, USLAW (2015); Faculty, An Interactive Case Study of a Modern Product Liability Claim, USLAW (2014); Faculty, Product Liability Class Actions, USLAW Vancouver (2013); Handling and Defending Your Worst Exposure Case, Crittenden Medical Insurance Conference (Apr. 2013); Cutting-Edge Settlement and Defense Strategies for Complex Litigation, USLAW Network Spring Conference (Apr. 2012); Civil Voir Dire & Jury Instructions, Annual Conference of Judges (Dec. 2011); Chair, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Trial Tactics Seminar – Duluth (2011), The Difficult Expert Witness, DRI Damages – Las Vegas (Mar. 2011); Strategies for Defending Insurance Class Actions, IADC Regional Meeting – New York (Dec. 2010); Dealing with Difficult Witnesses, North Dakota Defense Lawyers Association (Sept. 2010); Assertion of Privilege, Corporate Counsel Summit on Litigation and Trial Strategy (Oct. 2009); Faculty, Expanding Liability in Dram Shop Litigation, USLAW Conference (2009); Chair, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Mid-Winter Conference (2009); Faculty, Strategies for Effective Negotiations in Mediation and Court Moderated Settlement Conferences, DRI Seminar (2009); Steering Committee Member, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Trial Academy (2009); Defense Perspectives on the Handling of Wrongful Death Actions, Minnesota Association for Justice (Mar. 2008); Faculty, Effective Management of Nursing Home Wrongful Death Litigation, Care Providers of Minnesota Convention (2007); Faculty, Preeminent Lawyers – Superstars of Trial, DRI Seminar (2007); Faculty, Ethical Considerations for the Assertion of Privilege, DRI Seminar, (2007); Faculty, Defending the Brand, USLAW Network (2007); Faculty, Care Providers of Minnesota on Nursing Home Litigation Crisis: How to Avoid/Minimize Risk and Adverse Publicity ( Nov. 2006); Faculty, IADC Trial Academy at Stanford University Law School (2006); Faculty, DRI Trial Techniques Seminar on Complex Medicine (2005); Faculty, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Brown Bag Seminar Series on Deposition Technique (2004); Faculty, DRI Products Liability Conference (2004); Vice Chair, USLAW Network Client Conference, Backdraft: Avoiding the Flashfires of Litigation (2003); Chair, DRI Trial Techniques Seminar on Complex Medical Issues (2003); Vice Chair and faculty member, DRI Trial Techniques Violent Crime Seminar (2001); Faculty, Trial Techniques Seminar, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (1999); Chair, DRI Trial Techniques Y.L. Seminar (1997); Faculty, DRI Trial Techniques Seminar (1997); Y.L. Co-Chair, DRI Annual Convention (1996); Faculty, DRI Trial Techniques Y.L. Seminar (1995); Faculty at the DRI Trial Techniques Y.L. Seminar (1994).
Mark is author of “A Call For A Purposive Approach To The Application Of The Reallocation Provisions of Minnesota’s Joint and Several Liability Statute” for Minnesota Defense Lawyers Magazine (Winter 2009), author of “The Attorney-Client Privilege Primer” for DRI’s Trial Tactics Defense Litigation Manual (2006), co-author of “Understanding Toxicology: Defense of Alcohol Related Negligence Claims, “For The Defense (1996), co-author of “Psychological & Damages From Toxic Substances: Problems & Solution, “Defense Counsel Journal (1993) and author of “The Application of the McDonnell-Douglas Analysis to Mixed-Motive Employment Discrimination” (1989).