Mark is a partner and chair of Lindquist & Vennum’s Antitrust & Trade Regulation Practice Group. He has provided advice and tried cases for plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of areas, including:
- Contract disputes and related claims
- Antitrust litigation and counseling
- Arbitrations, mediations and summary jury trials
- Temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions
- Class action litigation
- Trademark, copyright, and patent infringement actions
- Health industry litigation and regulation
- Trade secrets disputes
- Enforcement of non-compete agreements
- Franchise, dealer and sales representative litigation and counseling
- Insurance recovery disputes
- Shareholder disputes
- Product liability litigation
- Securities/regulated industries
Mark has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America
and in Minnesota Super Lawyers
and was named by Minnesota Law & Politics
as a Top 40 Business Litigation Super Lawyer and a Top 40 Alternative Dispute Resolution Super Lawyer. He is the former chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Antitrust Law Section and a current member of the Association’s General Assembly, General Policy Committee, and Antitrust Law Section Council. He also works with Judges, Magistrate Judges and lawyers as a current member of the Federal Practice Committee responsible for local federal court rules in Minnesota. He has litigated complex matters on behalf of clients including Chase Manhattan Bank, American Home Products, Experian Information Solutions, Boehringer Ingelheim, Essentia Health, Fuddruckers, Upsher-Smith, the National Football League Players Association, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Because Minnesota state and federal courts routinely hear oral argument on all motions, Mark has extensive experience persuading courts on behalf of his clients.
Mark particularly enjoys tackling complex legal issues that are intertwined with business issues. He is often retained as local counsel to guide litigants through Minnesota courts. Mark’s view of litigation objectives is simple: for defendants, minimize total cost (including judgment or settlement, attorney and expert fees and costs, and client’s time and effort in litigation) to achieve the client’s business objectives; for plaintiffs, maximize total benefit (judgment or settlement minus attorney and expert fees and costs and client’s time and effort in litigation) to achieve the client’s business objectives. Mark is experienced in mediation, arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution techniques and is a qualified and experienced mediator. He maintains an active and varied pro bono practice.
Before joining Lindquist & Vennum in 1991, Mark practiced at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. and was a law clerk for the Honorable Robert Coyle, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of client Experian Information Solutions dismissing claims of antitrust conspiracy, monopolization, and false advertising in the credit scoring industry. Fair Isaac Corp. v. Experian Information Solutions Inc., 645 F. Supp.2d 734 (D. Minn. Jul 24, 2009). This was followed by a four-week jury trial resulting in jury and bench trial verdicts in favor of client Experian rejecting plaintiffs’ claims of trademark infringement (including a keyword advertising claim), passing off, unjust enrichment, and violation of Minnesota Deceptive Trade Practices Act, rejecting plaintiffs’ claim for over $300 million in damages, and granting Experian’s counterclaim for fraud on U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Fair Isaac Corp. v. Experian Information Solutions Inc., 711 F. Supp.2d 991 (D. Minn. 2010). The United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit affirmed the victory in all respects. Fair Isaac Corp. v. Experian Information Solutions Inc., 2011 WL 3586429 (8th Cir. Aug. 17, 2011).
- For nineteen years, acted as co-class counsel representing all National Football League players and the NFL Players Association in Sherman Act Section 1 antitrust conspiracy case White v. National Football League. Under a 1993 settlement favorable to the players, the class action court supervised successive collective bargaining agreements between the NFL and the players and acted as final adjudicator of player-team disputes involving discipline, entitlement to bonuses, etc. See, e.g., White v. Nat’l Football League, 585 F.3d 1129 (8th Cir. 2009) [Michael Vick bonus dispute].
- On behalf of purchasers of assets of investment firm, obtained temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that effectively prevented arbitration of dozens of separate investor claims. Federal district court found clients likely to prevail in defeating arguments that arbitration was compelled by National Association of Securities Dealers rules and that purchasers were subject to successor liability. Marshall, Miller & Schroeder, Inc. v. Behnke, No. 01-CV-2264-J-CGA (S.D. Cal. Dec. 26, 2001).
- On a motion to dismiss, obtained dismissal of Minnesota Franchise Act claims against franchisor and its executives, establishing conclusively that the Act’s requirements can be waived through a choice of law term in the franchise agreement. Also obtained dismissal of breach of contract claims against franchisor and all claims of “control person” liability against individual corporate executive officers. Hockey Enterprises, Inc. v. Total Hockey Products & Services, LLC, 762 F. Supp.2d 1138 (D. Minn. 2011). Obtained voluntary dismissal of arbitration petition.
- Represented American Home Products and American Cyanamid and acted as defense liaison counsel for 26 pharmaceutical manufacturer defendants defending against separate class action antitrust complaints under state law by direct purchasers (pharmacies) and indirect purchasers (consumers) in In Re Minnesota Drug Pricing Litigation and Kerr/Fontaine v. Abbott Laboratories. Defeated class certification in one case and successfully settled both cases.
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