Brandon Mark is the co-chair of the firm’s litigation department and has litigated in state and federal courts throughout the country in cases involving complex commercial disputes, mass torts, government contracts, the False Claims Act and other whistleblower protections. 

Capabilities

Biography

Brandon Mark is co-chair of the litigation department and works on the firm’s litigation, healthcare and real estate practice teams. Mr. Mark has represented clients in state and federal trial courts around the country, including the Utah Supreme Court and the Utah Court of Appeals, the Nevada Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and Federal Circuits.

In recent years, Mr. Mark has focused his practice on the many legal issues involving government contracts, including representing whistleblowers who have information about fraud committed on government programs.

Mr. Mark has represented numerous whistleblowers under the False Claims Act and represented parties in actions under the Act in almost every covered industry—health care, defense contracting and higher education. For example, in spring 2014, the Department of Justice announced that the government had intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by Mr. Mark’s clients against several for-profit colleges in Idaho, Utah, California, Colorado, Arizona and Wyoming under the federal False Claims Act. The government typically intervenes in only about 20 percent of suits brought under the False Claims Act.

Mr. Mark and his colleagues have also represented clients in protests of government procurement and contracting decisions before numerous Utah agencies, including the Utah Department of Health, the Utah State Board of Education and the Utah Communications Authority, among others. In 2020, Mr. Mark and his team successfully protested an erroneous procurement outcome on behalf of the Utah Foster Care Foundation which succeeded in overturning the decision to award the state’s five-year contract to an out-of-state entity. Utah Foster Care was later selected to receive the contract under a fair selection process that complied with the procurement law.

Mr. Mark is also an experienced first chair trial attorney. In 2019, Mr. Mark and his team persuaded a jury in Colorado to only award the former employer of his pro bono client a single dollar after a five-year lawsuit filed in retaliation for Mr. Mark’s client blowing the whistle on her former employer to the Colorado Attorney General. In 2020, her former employer was hit with a judgment of more than $3 million in penalties in a suit filed by the Colorado Attorney General.

In 2015, Mr. Mark and his colleagues obtained a jury verdict for their clients against Salt Lake County and its contractor—and later a substantial award of attorneys’ fees—after the defendants’ shoddy stream restoration work permanently damaged their clients’ natural mountain property. When the defendants refused to engage in good-faith settlement negotiations, Mr. Mark and his team proceeded to a trial by jury and obtained a recovery more than ten times greater than any prior offer from defendants.

In fall 2013, Mr. Mark assisted in a five-week trial in a small Utah town involving allegations from several dairies that a local power plant was emitting “stray current” into the environment, to which cows are supposedly susceptible. Although the court declared a mistrial over juror misconduct at the very end of the trial, through post-trial motions, Mr. Mark and his colleagues successfully dismissed three of the four remaining claims against their client as well as punitive damages, which resulted in the dairies settling.

Mr. Mark attended the University of California-Berkeley School of Law and was admitted to the Order of the Coif upon graduation. Mr. Mark was a member of the California Law Review and the co-director of the school's Homeless Outreach Project in 2001-2002, a student-run legal clinic. He earned honors for academic achievement in several courses, including contracts, evidence, civil procedure and ethics.

After graduating from law school, Mr. Mark served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Daniel Friedman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Experience

Center for Excellence in Higher Education v. Debbi Potts

Successfully defended against a retaliatory lawsuit against a whistleblower by her former employer, resulting in a jury verdict to her employer for only $1 after 6-plus years of litigation.

As Lead Counsel, Netted Verdict in Jury Trial Against County for Fifth Amendment Taking, Tresspass and Negligence

Brandon Mark and his co-lead counsel successfully persuaded a jury in federal court to award their clients nearly all of the damages they sought against a Utah county and its contractor for the damage they caused to the client’s mountain property. The jury returned a verdict in Mr. Mark’s client’s favor on all three claims—trespass, negligence and 5th Amendment Taking—and awarded punitive damages against the contractor. Mr. Mark and Parsons Behle & Latimer also convinced the court to award their clients' attorneys’ fees for the county’s unconstitutional taking.

Successful Settlement of False Claims Act Suit

Mr. Mark and his co-counsel at Parsons Behle & Latimer settled a multi-million dollar False Claims Act suit against a local government contractor on favorable terms. Mr. Mark and Parsons Behle & Latimer worked doggedly to understand the complex facts and present a persuasive case to foster settlement

Accomplishments

Academic

University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law (J.D., 2003)

Honors:

Order of the Coif (Top ten percent)

Weber State University (B.S., 2000)

Honors:

Outstanding Graduate, Economics Department (Graduated First in Class)

Goddard Scholar (Top ten GPA in the Business School)

Outstanding Student Scholar (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences)

Professional

Up and Coming Legal Elite, Utah Business magazine, 2012

Rising Star, Mountain States Super Lawyers, 2010 - 2018

Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rating

Associations

Professional

LGBT and Allied Lawyers of Utah (LALU)
President
(2016 – Present)

Utah Federal Bar Association Executive Committee
(2020 – Present)

Utah Bar Litigation Section Executive Committee
(2019 – Present)

American Inns of Court
Member
(2004 - Present)

American Bar Association
Member
(2003 - Present)

American Association of Justice
Member
(2013 – Present)

Community

Volunteer Soccer Coach (Impact United Recreational League)
(2017 – Present)

Planned Parenthood Association of Utah /
Planned Parenthood Action Council
Board Member
Past Treasurer
(2010 – 2018)

Political

Utah Democratic Lawyers Council
First Vice-Chair and State Party Liaison
(2011 – 2013)

Utah State Democratic Party Rules Committee
Member
(2011 – 2015)

Insights

Credentials

Licensed

Utah
Oregon

Education

University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law