Richard W. Mark - Gibson Dunn LLP
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Richard W. Mark

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013
Phone: 212-351-3818

Richard W. Mark is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a member of Gibson Dunn’s Product Liability, Litigation, Intellectual Property, Appellate and Constitutional Law, Environmental Litigation and Mass Tort, FDA and Health Care, Life Sciences, and White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Groups.  

Mr. Mark has represented businesses and individuals in tort, patent law, employment law, constitutional and commercial disputes, and in government civil and criminal investigations.  Mr. Mark has tried more than a dozen jury and non-jury cases, and has argued more than 30 appeals in state and federal courts, including the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second, Third, Fifth and Federal Circuits; the Illinois Appellate Court; the New York State Court of Appeals; the New York State Appellate Division; the Oregon Court of Appeals; the Pennsylvania Superior Court; and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  

Mr. Mark is ranked nationally as a leading lawyer for Mass Tort Litigation and Class Actions in Best Lawyers in America©.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has appointed Mr. Mark to its pro bono panel of appellate advocates. 

Since 2005, Mr. Mark has served as the Election Supervisor for the nationwide, multi-stage process of electing the officers of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.  The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York appointed Mr. Mark to that position under a Consent Decree entered to root out corruption in the union.  

Mr. Mark was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1984 through 1994, holding the position of Chief of the Civil Division for his final three years in the office.  During the following three years, he was First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI).  The DOI investigates and refers for prosecution elected officials, City employees, and City contractors engaged in corrupt or fraudulent activities, or unethical conduct.   

Mr. Mark received his Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School in 1980, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1977.  He clerked for the Honorable Thomas P. Griesa of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  He is a member of the Federal Bar Council and The Association of the Bar of the City of New York.   

Immediately before joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Mark was a partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, where he was the firm’s Litigation Practice Group leader. 

Mr. Mark is admitted to practice in New York.  

Additional Information

Selected Representative Matters
  • American Cyanamid Company:  Serving as national counsel for American Cyanamid in its lead-pigment-in-paint litigation.  The cases include personal injury and property damage actions brought on behalf of states, local governments, private classes and individuals.  The plaintiffs’ legal theories include public nuisance as well as product liability.  Mr. Mark has won summary judgments in favor of Cyanamid in lead pigment cases in New York, Maryland and Wisconsin.  He has successfully resolved other cases in California, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.  Mr. Mark also represented Cyanamid in State of Rhode Island v. Lead Industries Association, in which the manufacturers convinced the Rhode Island Supreme Court to reject the State’s novel attempt to hold product manufacturers liable for public nuisance.  Mr. Mark argued for Cyanamid in the Wisconsin Supreme Court inGodoy v. E.I. DuPont DeNemours & Co., 2009 WI 78 (2009).
  • Chevron Corporation:  Member of the team that successfully represented Chevron in the action that won a judgment of civil RICO liability against defendants for using corrupt means to obtain a multi-billion dollar judgment against Chevron in an environmental case brought in the courts of Ecuador. 

Part 2
  • Wyeth:  Acting as national counsel for Wyeth in hundreds of product liability cases involving claims that Wyeth’s childhood vaccines containing thimerosal caused autism in some vaccinated children.  He argued preemption motions in vaccine cases in federal and state trial and appellate courts in Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon and Pennsylvania.  Mr. Mark argued, and won, the first federal appellate court ruling that the federal Vaccine Act pre-empts design defect claims for vaccine-related injuries. Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, Inc., 561 F.3d 233 (3d Cir. 2009),aff’d 562 U.S. ___ (2011).*
  • Lawson Software, Inc.:  Represents Lawson Software, defendant in an action seeking an order of contempt of an injunction entered after a judgment of patent infringement.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP:  Represents PricewaterhouseCoopers in wage-and-hour class action litigation.  In Commission v. PricewaterhouseCoopers,LLP, 2012 WL 3070217 (S.D.N.Y. July 27, 2012), a proposed class action under New York Labor Law and the Fair Labor Standards Act on behalf of 3,800 putative class members, Mr. Mark secured dismissal of the state law claim for failure to satisfy the Class Action Fairness Act jurisdictional requirements, and denial of plaintiff’s motion to create federal jurisdiction by amending the complaint to add an FLSA claim. 

Part 3
  • Mycogen Plant Science, Inc.:  Represented Mycogen in cases involving patents on making genes that confer insect-resistance, methods of making such genes, and methods of transforming plants with such genes.  These cases, which focused on transgenic corn crops, were at the leading edge of applied molecular biology.  He argued and briefed appeals before the Federal Circuit, includingMycogen Plant Science, Inc. v. Monsanto Co., 252 F.3d 1306 (Fed. Cir. 2001) and Mycogen Plant Science, Inc. v.Monsanto Co., 243 F.3d 1316 (Fed. Cir. 2001).*
  • American Cyanamid Company:  Represented American Cyanamid in a dispute relating to the invention of a particular formulation for a prenatal multivitamin / mineral supplement with iron.  The University of Colorado Foundation, Inc. v. American Cyanamid Company, 342 F.3d 1298 (Fed. Cir. 2003).* 
  • School Specialty, Inc.:  Won enforcement of an arbitration agreement to resolve a post-closing purchase price adjustment dispute.  McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. v.School Specialty, Inc., 42 A.D.3d 360, 840 N.Y.S.2d 47 (1st Dep’t 2007).*
  • The Dow Chemical Company:  Represented Dow Chemical in connection with a nationwide class action alleging personal injury and property damage caused by exposure to pesticide containing Dursban®.  Mr. Mark won dismissal of the civil RICO and other federal claims asserted in the case.  Williams v. The Dow Chemical Co., 255 F. Supp. 2d 219 (S.D.N.Y. 2003).*
Part 4
  • Pro bono:  As pro bono counsel appointed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Mr. Mark represented an individual petitioning for review of a final order of removal.  Mr. Mark argued that the petitioner had derived U.S. citizenship through the petitioner’s naturalized father.  The Second Circuit granted the petition and remanded the matter to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) for further action.  Watson v.Holder, 643 F.3d 367 (2d Cir. 2011).  On remand, the BIA recognized the individual’s entitlement to U.S. citizenship. 
  • Investigations:  Represented businesses and individuals in investigations conducted by the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the New York City Department of Investigation and the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board.  He has also conducted internal investigations for professional services firms and for a labor union.
  • Government representations:  As an Assistant United States Attorney,* Mr. Mark’s noteworthy representations of the government included In re Chateaugay (United States v. LTV Corp.), 944 F.2d 997 (2d Cir. 1991) (dischargeability of contingent environmental liabilities);Abrams v. Brady, 77 N.Y.2d 741, 570 N.Y.S.2d 468 (1991) (upholding constitutionality of federal statute controlling disposition of unclaimed tax refunds); and United Statesv. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 931 F.2d 177 (2d Cir. 1991) (consent decree binds non-party affiliates of signatory international union).
Dartmouth CollegeAB 1977Columbia University Law SchoolJ.D. 1980

Case History

Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, Inc., 561 F.3d 233 (3d Cir. 2009), aff’d 562 U.S. ___ (2011) — First federal appellate court decision holding that the Vaccine Act pre-empts all state law design defect claims for vaccine-related
injuries.  The ruling effectively ended litigation in courts nationwide involving huindreds of claims.
Godoy v. E.I. DuPont DeNemours & Co., 2009 WI 78 (2009) — Wisconsin Supreme Court holding that design defect claims could not be stated against white lead pigment.  One of many cases, nationwide, involving representation of a former manufacturer of white lead pigment.
Watson v. Holder, 643 F.3d 367 (2d Cir. 2011) — Ruling vacating an order of removal and remanding for further proceedings on a claim of derivative citizenship; on remand , the BIA for the Petitioner and recognized his citizenship claim.
Election Supervisor, International Brotherhood of Teamsters — Appointed by the United States District Court, SDNY, in 2005 and 2010 as the independent supervisor of the election of officers of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. 
The nation-wide election is conducted pursuant to a consent decree entered in United States v. IBT, 88 Civ. 4486 (SDNY), and involves conducting candidate nominations, oversight
campaign finances, investigation and determination of election rule violations (more than 700 decisions), and an accurate count of voted ballots.

Office Location

200 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10166-0193
United States

Practice Areas

Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants