Mark D. Petersen, who joined the firm in 1983, has a broad-based litigation practice emphasizing complex securities issues, consumer fraud claims, construction issues, entertainment law, and general business litigation. Mr. Petersen has served as Vice-Chair of the firm, Chair of the Litigation Department, and as a member of the Management Team. He was instrumental in the formation of the Professional Development Committee, and he is currently Chair of the Partnership Admissions Committee.
Mr. Petersen brings substantial trial experience to his work. He has successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants in employment matters (including a professional football team) ranging from non-competition and unfair trade practices to sexual harassment. In addition, he recently represented a large biotech company related to nucleic acid testing of blood, and he has defended officers and directors of biotech, financial and software companies in securities and shareholder lawsuits. Mr. Petersen recently settled a case for a record producer suing a major recording personality for unpaid royalties, and he defended a well-known recording artist in a lawsuit that received national media attention.
Mr. Petersen has also worked extensively on construction matters, successfully defending construction managers, designers, private owners and contractors in numerous matters. He recently represented an international contractor related to the construction of a $100 million computer chip manufacturing facility, and was able to favorably resolve the case through mediation before any litigation had begun.
In his varied practice, Mr. Petersen represented the family of an Alzheimer’s patient who was essentially “kidnapped” by other family members to Michigan to avoid a perceived threat of assisted suicide. Mr. Petersen filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of the California family members, and then negotiated a complex settlement that allowed the terminally ill man to return to his family in the San Francisco area.
Mr. Petersen’s mediation practice includes serving as a mediator for the Bar Association of San Francisco’s (BASF) Early Settlement Program, the Contra Costa County EASE Program, the Northern District of California’s Panel of Mediators, the American Arbitration Association's Panel of Mediators (and its panel of Commercial Arbitrators), and as a Judge Pro Tem in San Francisco for mediation of cases going to trial. In the past five years, he has settled nearly 200 cases as a mediator. He has completed the American Arbitration Association's Mediator Training and Arbitrator Training, BASF’s Advanced Mediator Training, the American Bar Association Advanced Mediation and Advocacy Skills Training, and the U.S. District Court (N.D. Cal.) Advanced Mediation Training Program. He teaches trial skills with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.