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)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV and ALM "Top Rated Litigator" (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

Trademark Office Deadlines and Coronavirus-Related Delays

With all of the business interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many worldwide trademark offices have taken steps to recognize the issues caused by the crisis. The offices in which applicants from the U.S...

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News

Daily Journal Names Farella Lawyers Among Top IP Lawyers in California

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that partners Jeffrey M. Fisher and James L. Day were named to the 2020 list of “Top Intellectual Property Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal...

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News

Farella COVID-19 Update: A Message From the Managing Partner

To our clients, alumni and friends, During these unsettling times, Farella Braun + Martel is focused on protecting the health and safety of our firm members, clients, and communities and doing our part to...

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News

Insurers Brace for Coronavirus Hit to ‘Event Driven’ D&O Line

Mary McCutcheon was quote in the Claims Journal article,"Insurers Brace for Coronavirus Hit to ‘Event Driven’ D&O Line." Link to read the full article .

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News

Farella Advises on Sale of Diamond Creek Winery to Maison Louis Roederer

SAN FRANCISCO/ST. HELENA, March 16, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel represented the family of the late Boots Brounstein on the sale of their Diamond Creek Winery in Calistoga, Calf. to French Champagne producer Maison...

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Publication

CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Summary (Updated)

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) was signed into law (the full 880-page text of the CARES Act passed by the Senate is available here...

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Publication

San Francisco Bay Area Counties Issue Stricter Limits on Commercial Activities in Updated COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place Orders

To combat the growing number of coronavirus cases in the Bay Area, six local counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara) have issued updated Shelter-In-Place orders that extend the...

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Publication

Public Ends From Private Means: Privacy Rights and Benevolent Use of Personal Data

With the explosion of COVID-19 cases worldwide, companies and governments have expanded their interest in the use of the vast stores of consumer data. Even where such collection and use of personal data is ostensibly...

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Event

7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop

Brian Donnelly is presenting the case study session, "Managing Partner Performance" at Fairfax Associates' 7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop. Click here for more information.

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Event

Berkeley Boosts Shorts: Financial Crises and Insurance

In light of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on work and financial markets, Berkeley Law will be hosting short, live daily video interviews with leading voices from law and business. Farella's Tyler Gerking...

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