Mark H. Epstein

Profile

Mark Epstein is a partner in the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. His practice focuses on complex litigation matters including trials and appellate work. 

Some of Mr. Epstein’s representative trials and arbitrations include:

  • Counsel for JC Penney in an action brought by Macy’s, Inc. in the New York Supreme Court claiming intentional interference with contractual relations pertaining to JC Penney’s contract with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO). Mr. Epstein successfully defeated multiple attempts by Macy’s to obtain a preliminary injunction barring JC Penney from selling certain products designed by MSLO. The trial took place over a six week period and is currently under submission.
  • Counsel for Michael Ovitz in a derivative action stemming from his tenure as President of the Walt Disney Company. The matter was tried in the Delaware Chancery Court over a three month period and was the second longest trial in that court’s history. The court found in Mr. Ovitz’s favor on all counts, ruling in a 180 page opinion that he had acted properly in all respects. Mr. Epstein then successfully defended the judgment in the Delaware Supreme Court.
  • Counsel for Peter Morton and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in multiple actions relating to the cancellation of a $1.25 billion condominium project and the sale of the Hotel. Mr. Morton and the Hard Rock were sued for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and related torts. The matter was tried over a six week period in the Nevada state court. The jury returned a verdict vindicating Mr. Morton and the Hard Rock Hotel. In a related arbitration brought by an investor, the arbitrator ruled in favor of the defense and awarded Mr. Morton and the Hard Rock approximately $1 million in fees.
  • Counsel for the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in a matter valuing certain intellectual property rights. Following a two week trial, the opposing party appealed the judgment. The judgment was affirmed and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was awarded its fees.
  • Counsel for a law firm accused of malpractice and overbilling, and in a cross action by the firm for unpaid legal fees. The matter was arbitrated over a two week period, following which the firm was held not to have committed malpractice or overbilled, and in which the firm was awarded all of the fees it sought, including its attorneys’ fees relating to the arbitration.
  • Counsel for an investment firm in a dispute relating to the division of proceeds following the merger of a company in which that firm had invested. The matter was tried to an arbitrator and resulted in a recovery for the investment firm.
  • Counsel for the Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC) in a Bankruptcy Court trial in which SIPC recovered approximately $5 million in proceeds, which it used to pay investors after a brokerage company failed.

In addition, some of Mr. Epstein’s other matters include:

  • Lead counsel representing California’s Native American Tribes in the California Supreme Court litigation challenging an initiative approving Tribal gaming.
  • The prosecution of a fraud claim on behalf of an investment company in the Texas state courts against an appraisal firm. In that case, the investment company lost substantial sums due to an appraisal that allegedly fraudulently valued a development, which eventually went bankrupt. The matter settled on favorable terms.
  • The representation of MGM Resorts, International in a derivative action filed in the Nevada state court. Mr. Epstein obtained a dismissal of the action at the pleading stage, which was affirmed on appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.
  • The defense of a nationwide paper, packaging, and office supply distributor in a wage and hour class action.
  • The representation of a number of leading research institutions, universities, hospitals, and patient advocacy organizations as amici curiae in the trial court and California Court of Appeal in the defense of the California Stem Cell Research initiative.
  • The successful representation of a pipeline company in the federal and Alaska state trial and appellate courts in a wage and hour class action.
  • The representation of the Los Angeles County Bar Association as amicus curiae in the California Court of Appeal in a matter relating to the rules governing conflicts of interest.
  • The appellate representation of a major entertainment company challenging an adverse jury verdict. The Court of Appeal (in two separate appeals) ultimately reduced the judgment by 80%.
  • The representation of a major investment company in post trial proceedings in the United States District Court and on appeal in the Ninth Circuit following an adverse jury verdict in which the company was found liable for fraud. The Courts ultimately reduced the jury’s verdict by approximately 75%.

Beyond his regular practice, Mr. Epstein currently serves on the Board of Directors of Public Counsel, the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Education Partnership, the Board Directors of the Friends of the Los Angeles County Law Library, and the Board of Trustees of Pacific Palisades Charter High School. From 1991 to 2013, Mr. Epstein served as pro bono general counsel to Coro Southern California. Mr. Epstein has also served as Special Counsel to the Los Angeles Police Commission and was a Deputy General Counsel to the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department (“Christopher Commission”). Mr. Epstein is a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and is a Fellow of the American Bar Association. He has also taught appellate practice as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School.

Mr. Epstein received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1981, and his J.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 1985. Mr. Epstein also graduated from the Coro Fellows Program (Los Angeles) in 1982. Prior to beginning his practice at Munger, Tolles & Olson, Mr. Epstein served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Stanley A. Weigel, United States District Judge for the Northern District of California, the Honorable Edward A. Panelli, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, and the Honorable William J. Brennan, Jr., Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

 

Mark Epstein is a partner in the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. His practice focuses on complex litigation matters including trials and appellate work. 

Some of Mr. Epstein’s representative trials and arbitrations include:

  • Counsel for JC Penney in an action brought by Macy’s, Inc. in the New York Supreme Court claiming intentional interference with contractual relations pertaining to JC Penney’s contract with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO). Mr. Epstein successfully defeated multiple attempts by Macy’s to obtain a preliminary injunction barring JC Penney from selling certain products designed by MSLO. The trial took place over a six week period and is currently under submission.
  • Counsel for Michael Ovitz in a derivative action stemming from his tenure as President of the Walt Disney Company. The matter was tried in the Delaware Chancery Court over a three month period and was the second longest trial in that court’s history. The court found in Mr. Ovitz’s favor on all counts, ruling in a 180 page opinion that he had acted properly in all respects. Mr. Epstein then successfully defended the judgment in the Delaware Supreme Court.
  • Counsel for Peter Morton and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in multiple actions relating to the cancellation of a $1.25 billion condominium project and the sale of the Hotel. Mr. Morton and the Hard Rock were sued for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and related torts. The matter was tried over a six week period in the Nevada state court. The jury returned a verdict vindicating Mr. Morton and the Hard Rock Hotel. In a related arbitration brought by an investor, the arbitrator ruled in favor of the defense and awarded Mr. Morton and the Hard Rock approximately $1 million in fees.
  • Counsel for the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in a matter valuing certain intellectual property rights. Following a two week trial, the opposing party appealed the judgment. The judgment was affirmed and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was awarded its fees.
  • Counsel for a law firm accused of malpractice and overbilling, and in a cross action by the firm for unpaid legal fees. The matter was arbitrated over a two week period, following which the firm was held not to have committed malpractice or overbilled, and in which the firm was awarded all of the fees it sought, including its attorneys’ fees relating to the arbitration.
  • Counsel for an investment firm in a dispute relating to the division of proceeds following the merger of a company in which that firm had invested. The matter was tried to an arbitrator and resulted in a recovery for the investment firm.
  • Counsel for the Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC) in a Bankruptcy Court trial in which SIPC recovered approximately $5 million in proceeds, which it used to pay investors after a brokerage company failed.

In addition, some of Mr. Epstein’s other matters include:

  • Lead counsel representing California’s Native American Tribes in the California Supreme Court litigation challenging an initiative approving Tribal gaming.
  • The prosecution of a fraud claim on behalf of an investment company in the Texas state courts against an appraisal firm. In that case, the investment company lost substantial sums due to an appraisal that allegedly fraudulently valued a development, which eventually went bankrupt. The matter settled on favorable terms.
  • The representation of MGM Resorts, International in a derivative action filed in the Nevada state court. Mr. Epstein obtained a dismissal of the action at the pleading stage, which was affirmed on appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.
  • The defense of a nationwide paper, packaging, and office supply distributor in a wage and hour class action.
  • The representation of a number of leading research institutions, universities, hospitals, and patient advocacy organizations as amici curiae in the trial court and California Court of Appeal in the defense of the California Stem Cell Research initiative.
  • The successful representation of a pipeline company in the federal and Alaska state trial and appellate courts in a wage and hour class action.
  • The representation of the Los Angeles County Bar Association as amicus curiae in the California Court of Appeal in a matter relating to the rules governing conflicts of interest.
  • The appellate representation of a major entertainment company challenging an adverse jury verdict. The Court of Appeal (in two separate appeals) ultimately reduced the judgment by 80%.
  • The representation of a major investment company in post trial proceedings in the United States District Court and on appeal in the Ninth Circuit following an adverse jury verdict in which the company was found liable for fraud. The Courts ultimately reduced the jury’s verdict by approximately 75%.

Beyond his regular practice, Mr. Epstein currently serves on the Board of Directors of Public Counsel, the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Education Partnership, the Board Directors of the Friends of the Los Angeles County Law Library, and the Board of Trustees of Pacific Palisades Charter High School. From 1991 to 2013, Mr. Epstein served as pro bono general counsel to Coro Southern California. Mr. Epstein has also served as Special Counsel to the Los Angeles Police Commission and was a Deputy General Counsel to the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department (“Christopher Commission”). Mr. Epstein is a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and is a Fellow of the American Bar Association. He has also taught appellate practice as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School.

Mr. Epstein received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1981, and his J.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 1985. Mr. Epstein also graduated from the Coro Fellows Program (Los Angeles) in 1982. Prior to beginning his practice at Munger, Tolles & Olson, Mr. Epstein served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Stanley A. Weigel, United States District Judge for the Northern District of California, the Honorable Edward A. Panelli, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, and the Honorable William J. Brennan, Jr., Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.