Mark D. Shepard
Area of Emphasis
Mark Shepard is a shareholder in the Litigation Group of Babst Calland and currently serves on the firm’s Board of Directors. He also serves as general counsel to the Firm. Prior to joining the firm, he served as chair of the litigation group for one of Pittsburgh’s largest law firms.
Background as a Litigator
Mr. Shepard focuses his practice in the areas of commercial, toxic tort, products liability and environmental litigation. He has represented clients as lead trial counsel in a variety of complex commercial litigation matters involving contract, trade secret, trade name disputes, securities fraud, common law fraud, antitrust and RICO claims. Mr. Shepard also has significant experience in representing defendants in consumer and other class actions.
A sizeable portion of his environmental litigation practice has been devoted to defending clients in federal and state superfund litigation and permit appeals. Mr. Shepard has used his broad experience in environmental cost recovery litigation to develop a specific emphasis on natural resource damage (NRD) claims by federal and state trustees.
Mr. Shepard has maintained an active practice in toxic tort litigation involving alleged exposure to toxic substances in the air, water and/or soil. During his career, he also has frequently been retained to handle communications, insurance coverage and mining litigation. He also has substantial experience in products liability defense, particularly in the mining equipment industry. As a result of the nature of his litigation practice, Mr. Shepard has participated in numerous forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings including commercial arbitration, mediation, mini-trials and early neutral evaluation. He has been retained regularly as a mediator for complex commercial, products liability, insurance coverage, securities and natural resources cases. Mr. Shepard currently serves as a mediator, arbitrator and early neutral evaluator in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Background as a Neutral
Mr. Shepard is a trained mediator who has mediated well over 800 cases during the past 20 years involving commercial contracts, securities or broker dealer claims, products liability, professional liability, insurance coverage, personal injury, natural resources, environmental statutes, oil and gas disputes, closely-held business disputes, copyright, trademark, construction and real estate disputes. He has been appointed as a Special Discovery Master in the Western District of Pennsylvania and Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny on a number of occasions. Mr. Shepard has also served as an AAA appointed or common law Arbitrator in approximately 20 commercial arbitrations. He is a certified mediator and early neutral evaluator in the Western District of Pennsylvania and a member of the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators. Currently, mediation, arbitrations and special discovery master appointments constitute approximately 70% of his practice.
Mr. Shepard graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1979 where he earned a B.A. and was selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. at Duke University in 1982 where he was a member of the Duke Law Journal and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Memberships and Affiliations
Mr. Shepard is admitted to practice in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia, as well as before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth and Sixth Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia.
Mr. Shepard is an active member of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and American Bar associations. He was appointed to the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Commission in 2007 for a three-year term. Mr. Shepard served as chair of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Civil Litigation Section in 2000-2001 and as a member of the Bar Association’s Board of Governors from 2005-2011. In 2001, he was elected to membership in the Allegheny County Academy of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Shepard has served as chairman of the Academy’s Program Committee. For a number of years, he coordinated the county-wide High School Mock Trial competition. Mr. Shepard was ranked in Chambers and Partners’ Chambers USA Guide in the Pennsylvania – Litigation: Mediators section in 2023 and Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh & Surrounds – Litigation: General Commercial section in 2020-2022. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the Commercial Litigation Section since 2006, Litigation – Environmental Section since 2011 and Bet-the-Company Litigation Section since 2015. He was named the Best Lawyers® 2019 Litigation – Environmental “Lawyer of the Year” and 2022 Bet-the-Company Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” in Pittsburgh, Pa. He was also selected to the 2005-2023 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and 2011-2014 Top 50: Pittsburgh Super Lawyers lists (Thomson Reuters).