Mark A. Behrens

Partner and Co-Chair, Public Policy Group, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP

Topics: Litigation

Mark Behrens co-chairs Shook's Washington, D.C.-based Public Policy Practice Group. Mark has been involved in civil justice issues, liability law and defense litigation for more than 25 years. A substantial part of his practice is working to improve the civil litigation environment through state and federal legislation; in the courts through amicus curiae briefs on behalf of business, civil justice and defense lawyer organizations; through legal scholarship and judicial education; and in the court of public opinion. 

Mark has been listed as one of Washington, D.C.’s “top lawyers” by Washingtonian magazine and as a leading product liability defense attorney by Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers. He is a Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated attorney and holds the highest Avvo Rating. 

In October 2015, Mark received the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s Individual Achievement Award. In July 2016, he received the International Association of Defense Counsel’s (IADC) Joan Fullam Irick Award for exceptional leadership as Civil Justice Response Committee chair.

Mark has authored or co-authored over 150 amicus briefs on behalf of national and state business and civil justice organizations in cases before the United States Supreme Court, federal appellate courts, and state appellate courts. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and numerous state legislatures. In addition, he has served as an expert witness in trials and arbitrations.

Mark has published more than 50 scholarly articles in leading national journals and law reviews, including the Harvard Journal on Legislation and Texas Review of Law & Politics. In 2016, one of his articles was recognized for being one of the top five most-cited articles in the 25-year history of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy. He received a Burton Award for Legal Achievement and an award from several national organizations for major research contributing to civil justice issues. He has been quoted in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the National Law Journal, and has appeared on radio and television, including CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg and CNN.

Mark is a member of The American Law Institute (ALI) and serves as an Adviser to the ALI’s Restatement Third, Torts: Intentional Torts to Persons project. In 2010, Mark taught Advanced Torts as a Distinguished Visiting Practitioner in Residence at Pepperdine University School of Law. Earlier, he served on the adjunct faculty of The American University’s Washington College of Law.

Mark is counsel to the Coalition for Litigation Justice, Inc., chair of the IADC’s Civil Justice Response Committee, Private Sector Chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Civil Justice Task Force, and a member of the Executive Committee of The Federalist Society’s Litigation Practice Group. He is also a member of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center’s State Litigation Advisory Committee, Washington Legal Foundation’s Legal Policy Advisory Board, and the NFIB Small Business Legal Center’s Advisory Board. In addition, Mark is a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc. (PLAC), Lawyers for Civil Justice, and the Lawyers Committee of the National Center for State Courts.

Mark received his J.D. in 1990 from Vanderbilt University Law School, where he was a member of the Vanderbilt Law Review and received an American Jurisprudence Award for achievement in tort law. He received his B.A. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987.


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