Mark Trachtenberg's ability to craft a "big picture" legal strategy from the inception of litigation through the final appeal has led to his involvement in some of the most complex and high-stakes litigation in the state, including two successful challenges to the Texas school finance system, the disposition on summary judgment of a False Claims Act case in which the plaintiffs had sought $256 billion in damages against a major oil company, and the successful defense of an appeal of a $3.6 billion bankruptcy plan of reorganization in the Fifth Circuit.
Mark, a partner in the firm’s Appellate section, is board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He was recognized by The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., for Appellate and Commercial Litigation, 2016; named a Texas Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, in appellate law, 2013-2015; a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, 2013-2014; and was profiled in the cover article of the 2010 Texas Super Lawyers magazine - Rising Stars Edition, Thomson Reuters. He is proud to have been selected as a member of the American Law Institute, and to serve by appointment on the Executive Committee of the Yale Law School Association.
Mark currently serves as lead counsel for a coalition of 88 school districts in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s current school finance system. This lawsuit, which was tried over the course of 16 weeks, culminated in a 382-page decision from State District Judge John Dietz in August 2014, holding Texas’s school finance system unconstitutional on all of the grounds asserted by Haynes and Boone’s clients.
Mark has helped his clients achieve a successful resolution of their cases in a wide range of appellate matters, including in the areas of bankruptcy, oil and gas, products liability, consumer class actions, arbitration-related appeals, and other business litigation.
Mark heads the Houston office of the firm as its Administrative Partner. He also is extensively involved in bar work. For the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section, he serves as the Chair of Appellate Subcommittee of the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee. For the Houston Bar Association, he serves as an officer of the Appellate Practice Section. In addition to his bar service, Mark writes and speaks on a wide variety of topics, with a recent focus on arbitration issues and oil and gas law.
Outside the office, Mark devotes much of his volunteer time to the Anti-Defamation League (Southwest Region), where he serves as a Vice-Chair of the organization and as the chair of its Civil Rights Committee.
Selected Publications and Speeches