Mark Mermelstein

Partner
White Collar & Corporate Investigations

Mark Mermelstein, a partner in the Los Angeles office, is a member of the White Collar and Corporate Investigations group. He also co-chairs Orrick's Privacy, Data Security and Internet Safety Group.

Mr. Mermelstein is a trial lawyer with more than 20 first-chair trials. He splits his time between white collar criminal defense and asset recovery for victims of corporate crimes. On the criminal defense side, he represents corporations and individuals facing allegations of securities fraud, healthcare fraud, antitrust violations, environmental crimes, money laundering, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the False Claims Act, mail/wire fraud, and embezzlement. Representing corporate crime victims, he focuses on cybercrime including data breach (including customer regulatory notice obligations), IP/trade secrets theft, hacking and counterfeiting.

With his substantial trial experience, Mr. Mermelstein knows how to devise winning strategies for trial and has the judgment to know when it is best to find an alternative solution.

He has written many articles and spoken extensively on many aspects of his practice. A frequent commentator on matters related to white collar crime, he was honored by the Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine as a Southern California Rising Star each year from 2004 through 2012.

Representative experience includes the following:

Asset Recovery representations

  • A victim of art fraud who was sold a phony Picasso painting for US$2 million. By referring to the matter to the United States Attorney’s Office for a successful criminal prosecution, and asset forfeiture seizure, recovered more than the client’s US$2 million cash outlay.
  • A major international union that was fraudulently induced to enter into more than US$25 million of over-priced office equipment leases. By initiating a state court lawsuit, Mr. Mermelstein was able to extricate the client from the leases and resolve the litigation on favorable terms.
  • An Internet company that was the victim of cyber-extortion when the perpetrator demanded payment of money in exchange for not releasing company and customer trade secret information.
  • An Internet company that was a victim of data breach as result of a sophisticated hacker.
  • A medical device company that was the victim of employee theft of trade secrets.

Healthcare representations

  • A chain of nursing homes in connection with a D.A.’s Office investigation into allegations of an elder abuse homicide at one of its residences, the related civil litigation and the related licensing investigation.
  • Numerous physicians and other healthcare professionals in connection with federal and state criminal investigations into allegations of Medicare/Medical fraud as well as drug distribution by writing prescriptions without medical necessity.
  • Aetna, where Mr. Mermelstein achieved a verdict after jury trial that was below the settlement offer.  The health insurer had been accused of insurance bad faith by decedent seeking more than US$20 million.

Mail/Wire/Securities Fraud representations

  • A French investment company in connection with a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation into allegations of fraud in connection with the purchase of a failed insurance company, Executive Life, and related civil litigation.
  • A senior executive at KB Home in connection with a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation into allegations of stock options backdating, related Securities & Exchange Commission investigation and civil litigation.
  • Numerous environmental consultants in criminal and civil proceedings brought by the California State Water Resources Control Board and qui tam whistleblowers related to allegations of fraud on the California Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund.  In one of these, after the criminal prosecutor indicated, there's a "99.9 percent chance I am charging your client and doing so within the next 2 months," Mr. Mermelstein was able to prevail upon the California Attorney General's Office to decline to prosecute the case.
  • National Basketball Association player in U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation.

Trial, evidentiary hearing and pre-indictment successes

  • Obtained dismissal of US$5 billion lawsuit against Sinopec alleging violations of RICO.
  • Secured complete dismissal of manslaughter charges against a motorist accused of killing a prominent municipal employee in an alcohol-involved car accident.
  • Obtained complete dismissal of all allegations of impropriety in a high stakes child custody battle for a multi-millionaire business executive.
  • Won a hung jury verdict for ConAgra Foods, where the food manufacturer was facing a US$40 million claim from a distributor for breach of contract.
  • Convinced the California Attorney General's Office not to file criminal charges against numerous individuals and an entity under investigation for defrauding the California Underground Storage Tank Fund after the prosecutor had indicated there's a "99.9% chance" that I will charge your clients.
  • Persuaded the Orange County D.A.'s Office not to file criminal charges against a prominent physician under investigation for health care fraud after having been told that "his name is already written into the indictment." 
  • Obtained numerous not guilty jury verdicts for individuals accused of a wide array of criminal conduct.
Mark Mermelstein
Speeches
  • Co-presenter, "Cyber Security: Mitigating Business Risk", Canadian IT Law Association Annual Conference (October 20, 2014)
  • "Is it a Data-breach Incident or Cyber-attack? Lessons From the Frontlines of the Cyber-Security War," IAPP KnowledgeNet Meeting (August 27, 2014)
  • Co-Presenter "White Collar Roundtable," Association of Federal Defense Attorneys (February 21, 2014).
  • Co-Presenter, "Strategic Remedies for Fraud Victims: Early Warning Signs and Resources," Institute of Internal Auditors Inland Empire Chapter (February 19, 2014).
  • Co-Presenter, "Trials and Tribulations of Underground Storage Tank Fraud in California," PEMA (February 18, 2014).
  • Co-presenter, "UST Enforcement: The Environmental Consultant Perspective," California Unified Program Annual Training Conference (February 3, 2014).
  • Co-presenter, "Theft of Trade Secrets Through Cyberspace," Cyberspace Law Institute & Winter Working Meeting (January 31, 2014).
  • “Theft of Trade Secrets - Assessing and Responding to the Internal and External Threat,” Orrick Breakfast Roundtable and Webinar (December 4, 2013).
  • “Strategic Remedies for Fraud Victims: Early Warning Signs and Resources,” Inland Empire Chapter-Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (October 24, 2013).
  • “The Dynamics of a Trade Secret Case - The Joys, Burdens and Frictions of the In-House and Outside Counsel Relationship,” AIPLA Trade Secrets Summit (October 22, 2013).
  • “Strategic Remedies for Cybercrime Victims,” Canadian IT Law Association (October 10, 2013).
  • “What Do You Do If You Detect Fraud?/Cybercrime,” CCIA 2013 Fall Conference (October 4, 2013).
  • “What makes Jurors Tick? Jury Selection & Persuasion,” Bridgeport Conference (September 12, 2013).
  • “Criminal Law: Balancing Victims’ Rights and Civil Liberties in the Internet Era,” ABA Cyberspace Law Section (August 9, 2013).
  • “Changes In CA UST Enforcement: What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself,” National Institute for Storage Tank Management (June 27, 2013).
  • “Theft of Trade Secrets Decision-Making and Solutions,” Bridgeport Conference, Trade Secrets and Cybersecurity: What Every Attorney Should Know (May 17, 2013).
  • “Strategic Remedies for Cybercrime Victims,” Cyberspace Law Institute and Winter Working Meeting, American Bar Association, Business Law Section (January 25, 2013).
  • “Fraud Victims: Options & Resources,” Radio interview on VoiceAmerica (download mp3) (March 8, 2012).
  • “Ponzi and other Schemes: Strategic Remedies,” California Society of CPAs, Fraud and Economic Damages section (February 4, 2009).
  • “What Civil Litigators Need To Know About Criminal Law,” Lord Bissell Brook LLP, Los Angeles (December 7, 2006).
  • “Defending an Extraterritorial Search,” International Criminal Justice and White Collar Crime Conference, Steamboat Springs, Colorado (February 17, 2003).
Select Publications
Admitted In
  • California
  • New York
Court Admissions
United States Court of Appeals
  • Ninth Circuit
United States District Court
  • Central District of California
  • Northern District of California

Education
  • J.D., magna cum laude, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1997
  • B.A., First Class Honors, McGill University, 1994
Honors
  • Voted Southern California Rising Star 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 & 2004 by Los Angeles Magazine and Southern California Super Lawyers - Rising Star Edition Magazine
  • Editor, University of Pennsylvania Law Review
  • Commendation for participation in the pro bono civil rights panel, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
Clerkships
  • Hon. Jane R. Roth, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 1997-1998
Memberships
  • American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • State Bar of California

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