Biography

Mark Petersen has a broad-based litigation and mediation practice emphasizing energy and construction issues, consumer fraud claims, entertainment law, and general business litigation.

Mark 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. He has represented a large biotech company related to nucleic acid testing of blood, and has defended officers and directors of biotech, financial and software companies in securities and shareholder lawsuits. He has also worked on many cases in the entertainment industry. Among others, he 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. 

Mark has worked extensively on energy issues and construction matters, representing engineers and other design professionals, construction managers, private owners and contractors in numerous complex matters. He recently completed the successful defense of an international nuclear equipment designer/manufacturer for claims regarding steam generator defects at a nuclear power plant. The damages alleged were $7.6 billion, and his client was cleared of any liability. He has also represented an international contractor related to the construction of a $100 million computer chip manufacturing facility, and was able to resolve the case through mediation before any litigation had begun. Currently he represents an international design firm in some of the many lawsuits that have been filed concerning San Francisco’s luxury Millennium Tower, which has been sinking and tilting since its construction. 

His work as a neutral has focused on construction and engineering issues. Mark serves 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 ten years, he has settled nearly 500 cases as a mediator. Among others, he has completed the American Arbitration Association's Mediator and Arbitrator Trainings, the American Bar Association Advanced Mediation Training, and the U.S. District Court (N.D. Cal.) Advanced Mediation Training Program. He serves as chair of BASF’s Mediation Committee, and has served on the California State Bar’s Standing Committee on ADR. 

Mark 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.

Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers in America, Arbitration (2019-2020)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2008-2019)
  • Recommended for Construction in Legal 500 USA (2016, 2019)
  • Bar Association of San Francisco’s Award of Merit, 2014
  • After receiving his BS at the US Naval Academy, Mr. Petersen served as a nuclear propulsion engineer on submarines with the U.S. Navy until 1980.  

Memberships and Affiliations

  • President, Board of Directors, Meals on Wheels San Francisco (2019-2020)
  • Board of Directors, Meals on Wheels San Francisco (2015-present)
  • Board of Directors, University of California Hastings College of the Law Foundation Board of Trustees (2017-present)
  • Member, State Bar of California, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
  • Chair, Bar Association of San Francisco, Mediation Committee 
  • Member, Association for Conflict Resolution
  • Member, The Mediation Society of Northern California

Firm Highlights

Publication

Is your company covered by California's new privacy law?

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Event

WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium

Tyler Gerking will be speaking at the WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium session, "The Role of Cyber-Insurance." Details: How much should you buy, what does it cover and how does it fit with an overall...

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Publication

End of a Decade - Checklist for California Nonprofits

As 2019 comes to a close, we thought about our customary note to nonprofit officers and directors to take a few moments to confirm that important year-end responsibilities have not been overlooked. But since this...

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News

Ashley Breakfield Appointed to CREW Network Diversity & Inclusion Task Force

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Publication

Are Losses Resulting from Phishing Incidents Covered by Crime Policies Insuring Against Computer Fraud?

It is an all-too-common dilemma. As phishing schemes have become more prevalent and more sophisticated, businesses of all sizes have fallen victim to these attacks where a fraudster will use a spoofed email or other...

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Publication

New California Housing Laws: AB 68 Accessory Dwelling Units

On January 1, 2020, several housing-related bills recently signed into law by the Governor take effect. We will explain the upcoming changes in housing law through a series of updates. Our first update...

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Event

Litigating Civil and Criminal Trade Secret Cases: Trends, Best Practices, and Lessons Learned

Trade secret litigation is on the rise, both civil litigation and follow-on criminal prosecution for trade secret theft. Companies are grappling with how to protect their valuable information and minimize risk in their technological...

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Event

PFAS Litigation Conference

Sarah Bell will be speaking at Law Seminars International's PFAS Litigation Conference program, "Lines of Defense" on December 10. Details: Assessing and choosing among the legal options for defending toxic tort, mass tort, and...

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News

Dan Cohn Named to Jewish Community Federation Board of Directors

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News

Hemp Legal Limbo Challenges Sonoma County's Delta Separations, Other Equipment Makers

Ryan Lowther provided commentary in a North Bay Business Journal article discussing banking and regulatory challenges facing the hemp industry. Read the full article, here .

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