Mark D. Obenshain

Shenandoah Valley Lawyer

Mark Obenshain is an accomplished trial lawyer and public servant who relishes a good fight. He has worked to change the attorney-client paradigm for his clients to better align their interests and to share the risk in significant disputes and "bet the company" litigation.

Mark has been a tireless and effective advocate for his clients and constituents, both in courthouses and in the state house. As a lawyer, Mark was a founder of Lenhart Obenshain, a firm that grew to more than 20 lawyers before he decided to change directions and start a new firm. For his efforts over the past 25 years, he has been recognized by his peers as one of the top commercial trial lawyers in Virginia.

Mark has received the following accolades for his work:

  • Named to "The Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation"
  • Listed as a "Legal Elite" in Virginia Business Magazine
  • Included in the list of Virginia's Super Lawyers®
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®

Over the past 10 years, Mark has prosecuted claims in state and federal courts throughout Virginia and in other states with regard to serious personal injury, wrongful death, will contests, intellectual property, breach of contract, as well as commercial tort claims against some of the largest businesses in the world. Some of these businesses include Sony-Erickson, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia, LG Electronics, Garmin and others. Mark has recovered tens of millions of dollars for his clients through jury verdicts and settlements.

Former Work Experience

As a legislator, Mark has served as a member of the Virginia Senate since 2004, now serving as Co-Chair of the Courts of Justice Committee He has also served as Republican Whip and Chair of the Privileges and Elections Committee. He has been chief patron of many bills addressing civil litigation reform. In 2013 Obenshain was the Republican nominee for Attorney General of Virginia. He received 1.1 million votes and raised more money than any candidate ever for that office (more than $6 million) only to lose one of the closest statewide election in Virginia history by well under 1,000 votes – seven one-thousandths of a percent.

Mark has more than twenty-five years of litigation experience and over 125 jury trials to his credit. He serves as lead counsel in complex litigation for clients. He began as a trial lawyer representing governmental agencies and their employees and insurance companies and their insureds in general and civil rights litigation. Mark now focuses largely on serious injury and wrongful death cases as well as select commercial and fiduciary disputes. In addition to serious injury and wrongful death cases, Mark handles commercial disputes including intellectual property (trade secrets, patent, trademark and copyright) shareholder disputes, breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation cases.

Keeping the Cost Low

Mark handles the majority of his cases under contingency fee arrangements, which can be models of efficiency. Mark and his clients have found that these arrangements can effectively align the interests of the client and the attorney, make them partners in the litigation and provide access to legal system for clients who either do not have the ability or the desire to incur an out-of-pocket expense for attorneys' fees.

Under such fee agreements, both attorney and client have the incentive to keep expenses as low as possible, resolve the matter quickly and recover as much as possible. Mark and the firm also handle cases on a fixed fee or hourly basis.

Mark also has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation. He is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference.

Education

  • Washington and Lee University School of Law, Lexington, Virginia, J.D., 1987
  • Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, B.A., Economics, 1984, B.A., History, 1984

Admissions:

  • Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Recognitions

  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation, 2006 - 2014 (Copyright by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC)
  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, Permanent Member
  • Selected to "Legal Elite," Civil Litigation, Virginia Business, 2001 - 2012
  • Selected to "Virginia Super Lawyers," Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters
    • Business Corporate, 2006 - 2008
    • Business Litigation, 2009 – 2013

AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

Professional Involvement

  • Virginia State Bar
  • Harrisonburg-Rockingham Bar Association
  • Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference (permanent member)
  • Boyd-Graves Conference (2003- Present)

Public Service

  • Candidate for Attorney General of Virginia (2013)
  • Senate of Virginia (2004-Present)
  • Co-Chair of Senate Courts of Justice Committee (Present)
  • Governor's Commission on Government Reform (2010-2013)
  • James Madison University Board of Visitors (1995-2003)
  • Mercy House, Inc. Board of Directors (1993-2004)
  • Harrisonburg Rotary Club, former Director, Member (1989-Present)
  • Governor's Commission on Citizen Empowerment (1994-1995)
  • Governor's Advisory Commission on Welfare Reform (1995-1997)
  • Virginia Sheriff's Association, Legislator of the Year 2008
  • Virginia Association of Commonwealth's Attorneys, Champion of Justice Award 2011
  • Virginia Farm Bureau, Legislator of the Year 2012

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