• Biography

    Mark Trachtenberg has been recognized as one of the top 100 lawyers in Texas and as one of the top appellate lawyers in the state by Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters. Ranked in Chambers USA, Chambers and Partners (2019-2021) for appellate law in Texas, sources for the prestigious directory note his “excellent ability to see the broad picture and evaluate appellate issues before they even arise at the trial stage” and for being “very responsive, a superlative writer and a good ideas person.”

    Mark’s list of major accomplishments for clients include:

    • Obtaining reversal in the Texas Supreme Court of a $22 million tortious interference and trade secret misappropriation judgment.
    • 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.
    • Prevailing on a special appearance that shielded the firm’s Singaporean client from a potential $500 million judgment.
    • Obtaining dismissal of a declaratory judgment action in the Southern District of Texas in an insurance coverage dispute with tens of millions of dollars at stake.

    Mark is a partner in the firm’s appellate section and is board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He headed the firm’s Houston office as its administrative partner from 2012-2018.

    A highlight of Mark’s career has been his work on behalf of Texas public schools, an opportunity that arose because of a law review article he authored on the history of Texas’s school finance litigation while at Yale Law School. Mark played a lead role in a lawsuit that resulted in an infusion of more than $2 billion for public schools in Texas. He later served as lead counsel at trial and on appeal for a coalition of 88 school districts in a second lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system.

    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, 2016-2021; named a Texas Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, in appellate law, 2013-2020; and a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, 2013-2020.

    Mark also is a leader in the bar and in his community. He recently served as the chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the Houston Bar Association, and as chair of the Appellate Subcommittee of the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society. Outside the office, Mark serves as the 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 writes and speaks prolifically on a wide variety of topics, with a recent focus on arbitration issues, brief-writing, oil and gas law, and Fifth Circuit and Texas Supreme Court trends.

  • 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