Mark Trachtenberg


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)

Bar Admissions


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. 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


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 has been named a “Texas Super Lawyer” in appellate law, Thomson Reuters, 2013-2014; 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.


Super Lawyers

Repeat Recognition as 2014 Texas Super Lawyers

Texas Super Lawyers has once again recognized Haynes and Boone in its annual award listing, with seven firm lawyers featured in the Tops of Texas honors.

Published by Thomson Reuters in September 2014

News and Publications

Energy Law Report


Oral Agreement to Delay Oil and Gas Lease Closing Did Not Violate Statute of Frauds

This article explains a recent Texarkana Court of Appeals decision that provides important guidance on how contractual changes should be analyzed in light of the statute of frauds and changed conditions after an initial agreement is reached.

Professional and Community Activities

  • Chair, Appellate Subcommittee of the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association's Section of Business Law
  • Officer of the Appellate Practice Section of the Houston Bar Association
  • Board member, The Houston Lawyer editorial board (2005-2011)
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Young Leader, United Way of Greater Houston
  • Frequent speaker at State Bar and Houston Bar Association Continuing Legal Education programs, on a variety of topics, including arbitration-related litigation, the Texas Supreme Court, school finance litigation, and oil and gas law
  • Vice Chair, Anti-Defamation League, Southwest Region
  • Special Assistant Disciplinary Counsel, Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline 

Professional Recognition

  • Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Member, American Law Institute (ALI)
  • Named as a Texas Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters (2013-2014)
  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Edition, Thomson Reuters (2004-2013)
  • Named a Future Star in Benchmark Litigation, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC (2013-2014)
  • Profiled in cover article of 2010 Texas Super Lawyers magazine - Rising Stars Edition, Thomson Reuters (2010)
  • Named as a Top Lawyer in Houston by H Texas magazine, H Texas Partners (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • Named a "Top Professional on the Fast Track" (2005) and a "Lawyer on the Fast Track" (2004) by H Texas magazine, H Texas Partners

Email Disclaimer