• Biography

    Mark Trachtenberg, recognized since 2016 as one of the top 100 lawyers in Houston by Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, has been involved in many high profile cases in Texas, recently serving as lead counsel at trial and on appeal for a coalition of 88 school districts in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system. His list of major accomplishments for clients include:

    • Obtaining a summary judgment in a False Claims Act case in which the plaintiffs had sought billions in damages against a major oil company and successfully defending the appeal of the take-nothing judgment in the Fifth Circuit
    • Successfully defending a Fifth Circuit appeal of a $3.6 billion bankruptcy plan of reorganization
    • Obtaining a reversal in the Texas Supreme Court of a $14 million products liability judgment
    • Successfully resolving a prior school finance lawsuit that resulted in an infusion of more than $2 billion for public schools in Texas

    Mark heads the firm’s Houston office as its administrative partner. He is also a partner in the firm’s appellate section and is board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

    Mark recently served by appointment on the Executive Committee of the Yale Law School Association and was selected as a member of the American Law Institute. He has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., for Appellate and Commercial Litigation, 2016-2019; named a Texas Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, in appellate law, 2013-2018; a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, 2013-2018; and was profiled in the cover article of the 2010 Texas Super Lawyers magazine - Rising Stars Edition, Thomson Reuters.

    Mark also is a leader in the bar and in his community. He is the chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the Houston Bar Association, and recently served as chair of the Appellate Subcommittee of the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section. He is a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society. Outside the office, Mark serves as a vice-chair of the Southwest Region of the Anti-Defamation League and on its National Civil Rights Committee, and is a member of the Education Policy Committee of the United Way of Greater Houston.

    Mark also writes and speaks prolifically on a wide variety of topics, with a recent focus on arbitration issues, oil and gas law, and Texas Supreme Court trends. Recently, he has spoken before the State Bar’s Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, the State Bar’s Advanced Civil Trial Course and Advanced Trial Strategies Course, the State Bar's Practice before the Texas Supreme Court course, and the Bench/Bar Conference for the Northern District of Texas.

  • Education and Clerkships

    • J.D., Yale Law School, 1998, Editor, Yale Law Journal
    • B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1994, summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa
      • Law Clerk, the Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas (1998-99)
  • Admissions

    • Texas
  • Court Admissions

    • United States Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas