Mark Schallert

Mark Schallert

Mr. Schallert received his B.A. in psychology from Stanford University (1977, graduate “with distinction”) and his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (1983, Order of the Coif). Upon graduating from Hastings, he joined Pillsbury Madison & Sutro (now Pillsbury Winthrop). He practiced law at Pillsbury for over 15 years and was a partner for eight years. He also worked for the Office of the San Francisco Public Defender where he tried seven criminal jury trials. While at Pillsbury, he was a member of the firm’s Professional Liability Committee and served as counsel to the firm.

Mr. Schallert joined with Mr. Doyle to focus particularly on plaintiff’s employment law. He and Mr. Doyle served as lead counsel in the Evelyn R. Sosa v. Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc. wage-and-hour class action brought in Alameda County Superior Court. After more than two years of intensive litigation, the case settled for $13.5 million. Many of the full-time workers received in excess of $10,000. More recently, he successfully argued the appeal of a jury’s adverse verdict in a hostile work environment case, Joyce Turman v. Turning Point of Central California. That published opinion drew attention because the firm’s client ultimately prevailed when the appellate court found that defendant had failed to present substantial evidence in support of the defense verdict.

 Mr. Schallert continues to focus on wage-and-hour claims, especially class actions, and claims for gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Among his other notable cases are the following:

  1. Lead trial counsel for six banks seeking recovery on guaranteed investment contracts issued by Executive Life Insurance Company. The California Insurance Commissioner sought to deny any recovery on the contracts by alleging improper relationships between the bank and an artificially inflated junk bond market, which had caused the collapse of Executive Life. After three trials (each at least a month in length) and three appeals, Mr. Schallert’s clients received judgments and final payments for $1.5 billion. See Texas Commerce Bank v. Garamendi, 11Cal.App. 4th 460 (1992); Commercial National Bank v. Superior Court, 14 Cal.App. 4th 393 (1993); In Re Executive Life Ins. Co., 32 Cal.App.4th 344 (1995).
  2. Lead trial counsel for plaintiffs in a four-month civil-rights trial after the family of a parolee was subjected to an unlawful search and seizure by the Department of Corrections. In what the San Francisco Chronicle and the Examiner reported as the first successful lawsuit arising out of parole search, the Contra Costa County jury awarded plaintiffs over $600,000 in emotional distress damages, and the court awarded $2.1 million in attorneys’ fees along with wide-ranging equitable relief.
  3. In his first major civil trial, Mr. Schallert was second-chair for plaintiff in a month-long trial arising out of a complex check kite fraud culminating in the return of $17 million of worthless checks. Mr. Schallert’s client recovered a final judgment of $23 million. See Chicago Title Insurance Company v. California Canadian Bank, 1 Cal. App. 4th 798 (1991)