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MarkWhitford

Partner

"I enjoy when clients come to me with new, challenging questions, and we get to develop a strategy together to effectively address those concerns."

Overview

Biography

A former NY Supreme Court Appellate Division attorney, Mark concentrates on providing advice and litigation support to insurers across the country concerning their complex insurance needs, with a specific focus on commercial and excess liability, construction defect, property, directors and officers, and personal lines policies. Mark strives to deliver upfront, candid guidance to his clients concerning their complex needs, and he focuses on creating direct paths for resolving concerns.

Mark has briefed, argued, and succeeded on many commercial and insurance-related appeals throughout NY state and federal courts during his career.

In addition to his own practice, Mark serves on the firm's Diversity Partner Committee, and he regularly volunteers to provide advice to pro se litigants in state and federal courts.

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Monroe County Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association

Selected Memberships & Affiliations

  • Defense Research Institute
Experience

Representative Experience

  • Representing a national insurer in various breach of contract and extracontractual claims pending in California and Washington under municipality-liability policies.
  • Secured summary judgment in favor of insurers in multiple declaratory judgment actions. Successfully defended those dismissals on appeal to state and federal appeal courts for claims involving various first- and third-party claims such as environmental losses, agent liability, and large property losses.
  • Defended and pursued interests of insurers with respect to priorities of coverage among multiple insurers for complex losses, including claims related to additional insured coverage and contractual and common-law indemnification.
  • Successfully defended defendants in multiple complex construction-related accidents, including defense of claims under Labor Law § 240, with verdicts taken through trial.
  • Assisted with the successful defense of an appeal concerning a limitation on damages for a foreign corporation based on NY choice-of-law principles, including appeals before the Appellate Division, Fourth Department and the Court of Appeals.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss extracontractual allegations against insurers in state and federal actions in first- and third-party claims, including claims under General Business Law § 349, consequential damages, and punitive damages.
  • Successfully defended defendants in multiple complex construction-related accidents, including defending claims under Labor Law § 240, with verdicts taken through trial.
  • Successfully prosecuted appeals to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department and secured summary judgment in favor of an insurance company where the client did not owe any duty to the injured plaintiff.
  • Secured a dismissal of claims against an insurer by the contractor who performed services for the insured based upon the lack of any agreement between the insurer and contractor, which was affirmed by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department.

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Counsel
  • New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, Appellate Court Attorney

Selected Community Activities

  • Pittsford Youth Services, Board Member
  • Federal Pro Se Assistance Program, Volunteer
  • 7th Judicial District Help Center at Rundel Library, Volunteer
  • World of Inquiry School No. 58, Volunteer
  • Foodlink Lexington Avenue Urban Farm, Barclay Damon Community Day Volunteer

Selected Honors

  •  The Best Lawyers in America®: Insurance Law and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2021
  • The Daily Record, Excellence in Law Awards: Up & Coming Attorney, 2013
Knowledge

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Monroe County Bar Association, “Perfecting an Appeal in the Second Circuit and Considerations for Appellate Practitioners”
  • New York State Bar Association, Law School for Insurance Professionals, Program Chair
  • Selected Client Presentation, “Responding to Tenders for Defense and Indemnification”
  • Buffalo Claims Association 22nd Annual Education Day, “Liens, Liens Everywhere”
  • New York State Bar Association, “Advanced Insurance Coverage: Hot Topics, Tough Issues, and a Look Ahead”

Selected Publications & Media

  • New York State Bar Association Insurance Law Practice, “Motor Vehicle Coverage Issues”

Selected Alerts & Blog Posts

Featured Media

Alerts

Brace for Changes to Patent Assignor Estoppel—Impact on Contractual Provisions

Alerts

What Employers Can Expect Under the Biden Administration: Employment-Based Immigration in the US

Alerts

NYS Appellate Division Holds Insurer Not Entitled to Recoupment of Defense Costs for Uncovered Claims

Alerts

New York Appellate Court Rules That Not-for-Profit Corporation Law Creates a Private Right Action Against an Employer for Retaliation for Whistleblowing

Alerts

What Employers Can Expect Under the Biden Administration: Outlook for Legislation on Fair Pay Equity

Alerts

Order Up: Erie County, New York, Restaurants Prevail Against Indoor-Dining Ban

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