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 a current challenge to the Texas school finance system and an appeal of a $3.6 billion bankruptcy plan of reorganization in the Fifth Circuit. Because of his role as the architect of the successful 2005 challenge to the state's school finance system, he was profiled in the cover article of the 2010 Texas Super Lawyers magazine - Rising Stars Edition.
Mr. Trachtenberg, a Yale Law School graduate, excels at collaborating with trial counsel to win during the trial phase through dispositive motions, challenges to the opposing party's expert testimony, jury charges, trial briefs, and post-trial motions. In the appellate courts, Mr. Trachtenberg identifies, develops, and presents his clients’ most persuasive arguments.
Mr. Trachtenberg, who is board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, has helped his clients achieve a successful resolution of their disputes in a wide range of matters.
Mr. Trachtenberg has written and spoken on a wide variety of topics, with a recent focus on arbitration issues.
Mr. Trachtenberg heads the Houston office of the firm as its Administrative Partner.
Joined the Law Firm in: 2001
Areas of Practice
- Litigation/Trial Practice
- Sports Law
Litigation Percentage 100%
Persuaded the Texas Supreme Court to strike down the Texas public school finance system on constitutional grounds. This decision was the culmination of a four and one-half year effort, including a previous successful appeal to the Supreme Court and a successful five-week bench trial upon remand. Neeley v. West Orange-Cove C.I.S.D., 176 S.W.3d 746 (Tex. 2005).
Obtained reversal from the Texas Supreme Court of a $14 million products liability judgment arising out of a fire because the plaintiffs' expert's causation testimony was scientifically unreliable. Whirlpool v. Camacho, 298 S.W.3d 361 (Tex. 2009).
Persuaded the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss, on equitable mootness grounds, the appeal of a $3.6 billion bankruptcy plan of reorganization. In the Matter of Asarco L.L.C., Cause No. 09-41259 (5th Cir. 2010).
Persuaded the San Antonio Court of Appeals (1) to affirm an approximately $50 million judgment in favor of our client, and (2) in a cross-appeal, to reinstate the jury's $7.5 million punitive damages award that the trial court had declined to incorporate into the judgment. HMC Hotel Properties II, LP v. Keystone-Texas Property Holding Corp., 2011 WL 5869608, -- S.W.3d -- (Tex. App.-San Antonio Nov. 23, 2011).
Persuaded a federal district court to vacate a more than $9 million arbitration award entered against our client, a video game developer, under the Federal Arbitration Act because the award violated the essence of the publishing agreement that was the subject of the parties' dispute.
Persuaded Texas Supreme Court to reverse class certification in a suit where appellees were authorized to represent a class of hundreds of thousands of Texas-based music club members who sought recovery of the late fees they had paid on their compact disc purchases.
In a real estate partnership dispute, assisted plaintiff's trial counsel with post-trial briefing and formation of judgment issues in connection with the entry of $54.6 million judgment in favor of our client.
Persuaded a federal district court to vacate an arbitrator's award of punitive damages against our client.
Persuaded the trial court, through a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV), to set aside the jury's multi-million dollar verdict and enter a take nothing judgment in a real estate dispute involving claims for breach of contract, fraud and breach of partnership duties.
Texas; 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
- J.D., Yale Law School, 1998, Editor, Yale Law Journal; Colby Townshend Prize for best paper by a second-year student
- B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1994 summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa