Mark Thompson is a member of the three-person Executive Committee, which is the governing body of our 500 lawyer firm and serves to advance and implement its strategic goals and objectives. Since 2008, Mark has also served on the firm's Board of Directors. In addition to his role in the leadership of the firm, Mark has distinct responsibility for the oversight of our 19 regional offices located across Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Delaware and Florida.
Mark's legal practice is focused in the areas of corporate, premises and products liability defense with particular emphasis in the theme park and brewing industries. During his career, Mark has defended a variety of clients in high-profile and complex cases. For almost 20 years, throughout Florida and other jurisdictions, he has had the privilege of representing the former Anheuser-Busch Companies, now operating independently as Anheuser-Busch InBev and SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.
Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell, recognized in 2006, 2007, 2013 and 2014 as a Florida Super Lawyer and in 2012 as one of Florida's Legal Elite by Florida Trend Magazine, Mark is admitted to practice before the Florida Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. He has tried cases in county, circuit and federal courts and argued before the District Courts of Appeal. In 2010, he represented a client testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
A graduate of the University of Florida, Mark worked as an insurance adjuster for two years before starting law school. As a law student, he made the Dean's List and was elected to membership of The American Journal of Trial Advocacy, where he authored "Protective Orders: Sword and Shield in the War of Discovery," 12:3 The American Journal of Trial Advocacy (Summer 1989). Mark was also active in moot court and mock trial competitions before graduating from the Cumberland School of Law in 1989.
After graduation, Mark joined the defense litigation firm of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell where he was a partner and practiced for 12 years. In 2001, Mark joined Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, assuming management of the firm's Orlando office. His responsibilities were increased in 2004 when he was appointed head of the state's casualty practice group and again in 2006 when he was appointed regional managing attorney for the four Florida offices. In 2008, Mark was elected by his fellow shareholders to serve on the firm's nine-member board of directors.
Significant Representative Matters
Defended a corporation and obtained summary judgments in multiple federal lawsuits alleging sponsorship, production, distribution and sale of videos depicting plaintiffs' underage participation in various spring break contests.
Defended a manufacturer and obtained satisfactory confidential resolution of claims brought by 51 factory employees alleging toxic exposure.
Defended a state agency and obtained defense verdict in wrongful death trial alleging inadequate traffic control.
Defended a major insurer and obtained defense verdict in trial brought by owner of an oddities museum whose collection and building was completely destroyed by fire.
Defended a tourist destination and obtained summary judgment in a negligence action brought by a contracted performer rendered quadriplegic as a result of an accident during a gymnastic slam dunk exhibition.
Defended a company and obtained defense verdict on appeal in lawsuit alleging bottle "exploded" while being handled by plaintiff.
Defended a tourist destination and obtained defense verdict in trial alleging inadequate slip resistance of drainage grates.
Defended and settled numerous lawsuits involving tractor trailer rollovers allegedly caused by improper loading of cargo.
For nearly 20 years, defended theme parks and tourist destinations throughout Florida in hundreds of cases involving amusement rides, wild animals, negligent security, E-coli outbreaks, slip and falls, defamation, food poisoning, false imprisonment and matters of intellectual property.
Areas of Practice
Anheuser-Busch, Inc. v. Lenz, 669 So. 2d 271 (Fla. 5th DCA 1996)
Becton v. Metal Container Corp., 856 So.2d 982 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003)
Jordan v. Sea World of Florida, Inc., 938 So.2d 991 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006)
Badillo v. Anheuser-Busch, 19 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. D 641 (M.D. Fla. 2006)
The Best Offense is a Good Defense: Managing Liability Claims in Today's Litigious Environment, Business Insurance Webinar, August 12, 2015
The Claim Management Link: Interplay Between Risk Tolerance, Operational Structure, Litigation and Claim Outcomes, CLM Annual Conference, March 2015
Florida Premises Liability - Investigation and Defense
Florida Liquor Liability
Spoliation of Evidence
"Experience is the Best Teacher for Lateral Moves," The Legal Intelligencer, Top Laterals Supplement, February 24, 2015
"Protective Orders: Sword and Shield in the War of Discovery," 12:3 The American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Summer 1989
Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama (J.D., 1989)
Honors: Dean's List, Cumberland School of Law
Honors: The American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Member
Law Review: American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Member, 1987 - 1989
University of Florida (B.A., 1984)
Honors: Presidential Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to the University
Areas of Practice
- Cumberland School of Law of Samford University (J.D., 1989)
- University of Florida (B.A., 1984)
- Florida, 1989
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1990
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1998
- Pennsylvania, 2012
Associations & Memberships
- Defense Research Institute
- International Amusement & Leisure Defense Association
- International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA)
- Orange County Bar Association
Honors & Awards
- AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Florida Super Lawyer, 2006-2007, 2013-2014
- Florida Trend Magazine's Florida Legal Elite, 2012
- Claims & Litigation Management Alliance