J. Mark Lawless Partner

Mark is managing partner of the Austin office. His practice concentrates on matters relating to insurance law, litigation and appeals.

He provides counsel to corporate policyholders in all types of first- and third-party coverage disputes, including general and products liability, directors & officers, employment practices, construction, contractual indemnity, advertising injury, property, business interruption, and environmental, asbestos, and other "long-tail" claims.

Mark served as director of the Natural Resources Division of the Texas Energy and Natural Resources Advisor Council from 1980-1983. He practiced environmental law until the late 1980s, after which he devoted his practice to insurance recovery for his corporate clients.

A frequent lecturer and author on insurance law, he helped form and is a past-chair of the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. He also is a founding Fellow and a member of the Board of Regents of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC).

Experience

Representation of food producer seeking coverage from multiple liability insurers for numerous nuisance claims. Coverage suits pending in Missouri.

Representation of energy company seeking coverage from its liability insurers for environmental contamination. Coverage suits pending in Clark County, Washington and Bexar County, Texas. 

Representation of oil company seeking coverage from its liability insurers for numerous MTBE-related product liability claims. Coverage suit pending in Harris County, Texas.

Representation of post-bankruptcy trust seeking coverage from its liability insurers for asbestos-and silica-related liabilities. Settled after obtaining favorable rulings on trigger of coverage, fortuity and exhaustion.

Representation of office warehouses seeking coverage from their property insurer for losses resulting from a hurricane. Settled before trial.

Representation of dry cleaning company seeking coverage from its liability insurers for PERC-related contamination at multiple locations. Settled after Houston Court of Appeals rejected "manifestation" trigger of coverage.

  • Baylor Law School, JD, 1980
  • Baylor University, BA, 1976

Founding Fellow and Regent, American College of Coverage and Extrancontractual Counsel, 2014-2017

Chair, Insurance Law Section, State Bar of Texas, 2002-2003

Co-Chair, Environmental Coverage Subcommittee, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Litigation Section, American Bar Association, 1999-2000

Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation, 1992-2017

Founding Fellow, Austin Bar Foundation, 2004-2017

Member, Leadership Austin, 1991-2017

  • Speaker, "Duties During Litigation," 20th Annual Insurance Law Institute, University of Texas School of Law, Dallas, Texas, November 12, 2015
  • Speaker, "Malpractice Claims Against Coverage Attorneys," 18th Annual Insurance Law Institute, University of Texas School of Law, Houston, Texas, November 8, 2013
  • Speaker, "Risk Management and Insurance Issues for Corporate Counsel," Corporate Counsel Section, North Carolina Bar Association, Raleigh, North Carolina, May 16, 2013
  • Speaker, "They Did What? Malpractice Claims Against Coverage Lawyers," American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel, American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel, Chicago, Illinois, May 7, 2013
  • Speaker, "Managing Risk for Life Sciences Companies – The Role of Insurance," 4th Annual Medical Device and Life Sciences Conference , McGuireWoods Seminar, November 8, 2012
  • Speaker, "Duty to Cooperate: Playing Well With Insurance Companies," 17th Annual University of Texas School of Law Insurance Law Institute, October 18, 2012
  • Speaker, "Duty to Reimburse Defense Costs," 9th Annual State Bar of Texas Advanced Insurance Law Course, April 12, 2012
  • Speaker, "Triggering Excess Coverage by Exhaustion," 16th Annual University of Texas School of Law Insurance Law Institute, November 4, 2011
  • Speaker, "Allocation and Exhaustion," 15th Annual University of Texas School of Law Insurance Law Institute, October 14, 2010
  • Moderator, "The Claim Process and Litigation," 7th Annual State Bar of Texas Advance Insurance Law Course, April 9, 2010
  • Co-speaker, "Pollution: Coverage and Exclusions," 14th Annual University of Texas School of Law Insurance Law Institute, October 16, 2009
  • Speaker, "When the Policyholder Goes Belly Up," 14th Annual University of Texas School of Law Insurance Law Institute, October 16, 2009
  • Speaker, "Tag, You're It: ‘All Sums’ and the Mid-Continent Wrinkle," 6th Annual State Bar of Texas Advance Insurance Law Course, April 3, 2009
  • Speaker, "What Constitutes an ‘Adequate Defense’? -- Cadillacs, Chevrolets & Yugos," 13th Annual University of Texas School of Law Insurance Law Institute, October 23-24, 2008
  • Speaker, "A Novel Concept in Trigger of Coverage: It Happens When It Happens (or the ‘Plain Language’ Trigger)," 5th Annual State Bar of Texas Advance Insurance Law Course, March 27, 2008
  • Speaker, "Litigation Management Guidelines II: Validity," Mealey's Teleconference, October 16, 2007
  • Speaker, "Legally Obligated to Pay ‘As Damages," 12th Annual University of Texas School of Law Insurance Law Institute, October 11, 2007
  • Speaker, "The Policyholder's Right (And Rightly So) To Select Independent Counsel," State Bar of Texas Fourth Annual Advanced Insurance Law Course, March 29, 2007
  • Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Selected as a founding member of the American College of Coverage and Extra-Contractual Counsel (ACCEC), 2013; elected to Board of Regents, 2015

Named a "Lawyer of the Year," Insurance Law, Austin, The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., 2013, 2017-2018

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Insurance Law, Woodward/White, Inc., 2006-2019

Selected for inclusion in America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Insurance (Band 1), Texas, Chambers USA, 2011-2018

Selected as one of five top Texas insurance lawyers in The Go-To Guide, Texas Lawyer, 2002, 2007

Selected for inclusion in The International Who's Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers, Who's Who Legal, 2012

Named to "Texas Super Lawyers," Insurance Coverage, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2007-2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018

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