Mark Anchor Albert

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Mark Anchor Albert
MAA headshot.jpg
Born Mark Anchor Albert
(1961-03-13) March 13, 1961 (age 53)
Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Education B.A., University of California, Berkeley
J.D., Boalt Hall School of Law
Occupation Attorney
Known for trial lawyer; philanthropist
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website
lalitigationlawyers.com

Mark Anchor Albert, KM (born March 13, 1961) is a Los Angeles attorney, philanthropist, impresario and lay Catholic leader. He has played an integral lead role in several landmark legal cases in addition to founding support organizations for various Los Angeles area civic and cultural institutions, including the Los Angeles Opera and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He is the founder of the Queen of Angels Foundation, which in 2011 successfully revived the tradition of an annual procession in honor of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Albert was born in Los Angeles, California, to the famous trial lawyer Merrill K. Albert and the former Caryl Hansen. Introduced to music by his parents at an early age, he sang with the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir (also known as the St. Brendan's Church Choir) with Neil Diamond in the 1973 film Jonathan Livingston Seagull.[2] He attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in comparative literature (with an emphasis in Romance languages and literature). He subsequently gained fluency in French, Spanish and Portuguese, and became conversant in Italian. He joined the Phi Beta Kappa honour society in his junior year. A member of the Dean's Honor Society every term, Albert graduated in 1984 with High Distinction in General Scholarship, with the University of São Paulo publishing his senior thesis, "Forma e Conteudo em o Sohno de Terra", a literary critical analysis of Álvaro Cardoso Gomez’s noted fantasy work. In varsity sports he became U.C. Berkeley's first-string heavy-weight boxer and rowed on the university's crew team, California Lightweight Crew.

Following family tradition, Albert then attended U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law, where he was invited to be a member of the California Law Review in 1987, becoming associate editor in 1988. His senior thesis, "Deregulation and the Thrifts: The Case for Dismantling the Current Regulatory Structure", was published by U.C. Berkeley's National Center of Financial Services in 1988. Following his graduation in 1988, Albert was admitted to the California State Bar the same year.

Legal career[edit]

Albert began his legal practice in Los Angeles in 1988. For the first two decades, he exercised a senior role at a succession of major firms, including Sidley Austin, Hennigan, Bennett & Dorman, and Graham & James (now known as Squire Sanders. In 2008, he founded his own law firm and has since been consistently ranked among the top attorneys in his field.[3] He specializes in representing corporations facing serious liability exposure as well as private clients seeking justice for wrongdoing inflicted by unscrupulous or negligent businesses and individuals. Albert also handles large numbers of pro bono matters. To date he has recovered over four hundred million dollars in damages for his clients from corporations and their insurance carriers.

Albert has written extensively on legal matters as diverse as regulation of ratings agencies, antitrust law, bankruptcy law, economic policy, and intellectual property law, among others. His articles have appeared in various legal publications and periodicals including Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine.[4][5] Albert’s civil practice has focused exclusively on complex commercial litigation, trials and related appeals. Several of the complex commercial cases which Albert has litigated have resulted in important published decisions which several courts, treatises and commentators have cited in other cases, including:

Streamcast Networks, Inc. v. Skype Techs., S.A., 547 F. Supp. 2d 1086 (C.D. Cal. 2007) [6]

MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., 454 F. Supp. 2d 966 (C.D. Cal. 2006)[7]

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Superior Court, 121 Cal. App. 4th 490 (2004)

Transamerica Life Insurance Co. v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 302 B.R. 620 (N.D. Iowa 2003)[8]

AUSA Life Ins. Co. v. Citigroup, 293 B.R. 471 (N.D. Iowa 2003)

State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Superior Court, 114 Cal. App. 4th 434 (2003)[9]

In re Brown, 17 Cal. 4th 873 (1998)

Henry v. Alcove Inv., 233 Cal. App. 3d 94 (1991)[10]

Hill v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co., 166 Cal. App. 4th 1438 (2008)[11]

In re Acacia Media Techs. Corp., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37009 (N.D. Cal. July 19, 2005)

Streamcast Networks, Inc. v. Skype Techs., S.A., 547 F. Supp. 2d 1086 (C.D. Cal. 2007)[12]

Role in clergy sex abuse cases[edit]

Albert was one of the four lead defense attorneys (out of hundreds of lawyers) for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in over 600 clergy sex abuse cases from 2001 through 2008. In that capacity, Albert advocated for greater transparency and proper disclosure of clergy sex abuse claims involving minors. He was the primary architect of the Archdiocese’s landmark Report to the People of God: Clergy Sexual Abuse, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, 1930-2003.[13] He has also written on the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings on sexual ethics with respect to homosexual unions and gay marriage.[14] Albert played a key role in obtaining over $300 million in defense and indemnity payments from the Archdiocese’s liability insurance carriers, using sophisticated coverage analyses involving primary and excess insurance policies going back to the 1950s. He was later appointed the “Settlement Czar” responsible for negotiating, closing, and administering $660 million in settlements of 45 clergy sexual abuse cases in 2006 and 517 clergy sexual abuse cases between 2007 and 2008, helping to compensate victims for the harm they suffered.

Awards and philanthropy[edit]

Mark and Ana Albert with Roger Cardinal Mahony (left) and Archbishop Jose Gomez
Mark Albert (right) with Los Angeles City Council members Jose Huizar and Tom LaBonge and members of the Queen of Angels Foundation board of directors

The Second, Fourth and Fifth Districts of the California Court of Appeals appointed Albert as appellate counsel to represent indigent defendants on appeal. The California State Bar honored him for his pro bono legal efforts on behalf of consumers and other unemployed or disadvantaged individuals. Among other awards, Albert is the recipient of the California State Bar's Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services, the President's Pro Bono Service Award, and the Public Counsel William O. Douglas Award (team recipient).

In late 1993 and early 1994, Albert and his friends founded Allegro! (now known as Pulse), the young professional’s support group of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.[15] They supported the orchestra by raising money at Salons Musicales in private homes and historical venues, in which orchestra musicians performed for guests. In 1997, Albert founded Aria!, a young professionals’ support group for the Los Angeles Opera.[16] He and his colleagues sold selected concert series targeted for young professionals, hosted an annual White Tie Summer Opera Ball, and sponsored several opera recitals at private homes, museums, at the Music Center and other architecturally significant venues to engender interest and continuing support for the art and music of opera. Both organizations continue today.

In addition to Albert’s pro bono legal work and efforts to support Los Angeles’ cultural institutions, he also supports assistance efforts for homeless, ill and impoverished individuals and families through his church’s relief organizations. Albert is a member of the Knights of Malta and is co-chair of the Order of Malta’s Defense of the Faith Committee in the greater Los Angeles region.

Albert is the founding chairman of the Los Angeles-based Queen of Angels Foundation, a Roman Catholic devotional society and not-for-profit charitable corporation within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles which sponsors an annual parade and Grand Marian Procession[17] through Los Angeles’ downtown Civic Center. The purpose of the annual commemoration is to celebrate the founding of the City of Los Angeles on September 4, 1781, to salute Los Angeles’ accomplishments and diversity, and to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Angels, the city’s namesake and patroness. The first such observance in September 2011 marked the revival of the lapsed custom of conducting a procession and Mass in honor of the city's patroness and namesake, Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles (Our Lady of the Angels), which was initially begun on the first anniversary of the founding of Los Angeles in 1781 in the name of King Carlos III of Spain. The third and fourth annual observances featured Los Angeles' Catholic Archbishop José Horacio Gómez as principal celebrant.

Former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles City Council have issued commendations to Albert for his civic contributions to the City of Los Angeles.[18]

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