In January 2011, Mark Bennett joined Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher after having served eight years as Hawaii's (appointed) Attorney General. Prior to that, he was for twelve years a partner in a major Hawaii law firm specializing in complex litigation. He also spent nine years as an Assistant United States Attorney in Hawaii and Washington, D.C., trying major criminal and civil cases on behalf of the United States.
Mr. Bennett concentrates his practice in the areas of complex litigation, appellate litigation, antitrust, and government relations.
Mr. Bennett holds Martindale-Hubbell's highest possible professional rating (AV) given to him by other legal professionals based on their knowledge of his work, reputation and integrity. Mr. Bennett has been selected for inclusion by his peers in Best Lawyers in America for the practice areas of Antitrust Law, Antitrust Litigation, Appellate Practice, Bet-The-Company Litigation, Government Contracts, Environmental Litigation, Insurance Litigation and Commercial Litigation. Mr. Bennett has also been recognized by Best Lawyers in America as 2015 "Lawyer of the Year" in Honolulu, in the practice area of Appellate Practice, and 2016 "Lawyer of the Year" in Honolulu, in the practice area of Bet-The-Company Litigation and 2017 "Lawyer of the Year" in Honolulu, in the practice area of Insurance Litigation.
Mr. Bennett has been selected to the Top Listed, Top 25 Hawaii Super Lawyers list for Business Litigation each year since 2011, and recognized by Chambers and Partners USA Directory of Leading Lawyers for Business for the category, Litigation: General Commercial. Mr. Bennett is recognized as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation and Benchmark Appellate.
Mr. Bennett is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, has first-chaired many complex jury trials, and has personally negotiated settlements and complex arrangements involving up to and including $1 billion.
As an appellate attorney, Mr. Bennett has argued and briefed scores of cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Hawaii Supreme Court, and has twice successfully argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, 556 U.S. ___ (2009), and Lingle v. Chevron, 544 U.S. 528 (2005).
Mr. Bennett has litigated complex antitrust matters and provided detailed antitrust advice to clients.
While Hawaii's Attorney General, Mr. Bennett was Chair or Co-Chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Antitrust Committee and Executive Working Group for Antitrust. In 2009, Mr. Bennett received a United States Department of Justice National Leadership Award, in 2007 he received the Hawaii Law Enforcement Elwood J. McGuire Award for Contributions to Law Enforcement and was inducted in the Hawaii Joint Police Association Hall of Fame, and in 1986 he received a Special Achievement Award from the Attorney General of the United States.
Some other examples of Mr. Bennett's work include:
Securities. Negotiated with Citigroup, on behalf of the State of Hawaii, a complex agreement pursuant to which Citigroup agreed to buy back, over time, at par, the State's almost $900 million investment in auction rate securities.
Antitrust. Represented a large oil company sued for price-fixing and collusion.Insurance. Represented some of Hawaii's largest insurance companies in complex bad faith and other litigation.
Commercial Litigation. Successfully represented the owner of a large hotel suing a large hotel management company for fraud and malfeasance; successfully represented the owner of a large real estate venture both in suing a partner for fraud and in defending various lawsuits.
Health Care. Represented various health care suppliers and providers in Medicaid and Medicare fraud investigations and litigation.
Criminal Law. In addition to prosecuting scores of complex cases while a federal prosecutor, while in private practice, pro bono prosecuted two complex murder cases in Hawaii, when the prosecutors had conflicts of interest.
Construction. Represented various commercial interests in complex commercial construction litigation.
Torts. Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in complex tort litigation, including medical malpractice cases involving millions of dollars in claimed damages.
Environmental. Represented landowners in complex environmental litigation; as Attorney General, supervised complex environmental matters, both as the regulator and as the regulated; established an environmental crimes unit in the Attorney General's office.
Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, 556 U.S. 163 (2009) — Successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court.
Lingle v. Chevron, 544 U.S. 528 (2005) — Successfully argued before the Untied States Supreme Court.
Student Auction Rate Securities Negotiation — Negotiated with Citigroup, on behalf of the State of Hawaii, a complex agreement pursuant to which Citigroup agreed to buy back, over time, at par, the State's almost $900 million investment in auction rate securities.