Mark D. Pierce, Partner, is both a top-notch trial lawyer and an FAA-certified commercial pilot and flight instructor. He brings a wealth of experience to Slack & Davis’ clients in aviation-related legal matters. He has been board certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1988 and has received Martindale-Hubbell’s AV® rating based on peer reviews for legal ability and integrity. He also has been recognized by Super Lawyers (2011-2013).
- B.A., Journalism, The University of Texas at Austin
- J.D., The University of Texas School of Law
In 1979, Mark joined a Dallas law firm, focusing on complex business and commercial litigation. In 1985, he moved his practice to West Texas, where he became known not only as an outstanding advocate in personal injury and wrongful death cases, but also as a tenacious and creative trial and appellate attorney for consumers and victims of deceptive business practices.
With commercial pilot certification in single-engine and multi-engine airplanes, an instrument rating and an active flight instructor’s license, Mark has a depth of understanding of aviation issues that gives him unique insight on the legal responsibilities of manufacturers, pilots, air traffic controllers, owners, operators, maintenance facilities and others in the aviation realm.
Takacs, et al. v. Goodrich Actuation Systems SAS, Goodrich Corp., Eurocopter SAS, and American Eurocopter Corp.
Steven Takacs, a Border Patrol agent, was injured when the helicopter in which he was riding as an observer crashed during a routine mission. This was the #2 Products Liability verdict in Texas in 2012, according to the 2012 Top Texas Verdicts list, sponsored by Verdict Search and Texas Lawyer magazine.
Rene Leduc v. Oriental Building Services, Inc.
Rene Leduc, a baggage handler for American Airlines, severely injured his leg when he swerved to miss a pickup truck under the D-FW airport terminal. This was the #7 Motor Vehicle verdict in Texas in 2012, according to the 2012 Top Texas Verdicts list, sponsored by Verdict Search and Texas Lawyer magazine.
Hagerman, et al. v. Hawker Beechcraft Corp., Pumpco Inc., Alaro Inc., and Albert Francis Sidaras
Larry Hagerman, an airplane mechanic, was killed when the door of a pressurized airplane opened explosively and struck his head. The Bell County (Texas) jury awarded a record verdict to the plaintiffs.
- “The Seven Communication Secrets of Trial Lawyers”
- “Transactions Gone Bad: Litigation Between Buyers and Sellers of Aircraft”
- “The Pilot-Controller Relationship: Assessing Comparative Responsibility in General Aviation Crashes”
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
- “Panel: Automation Addiction and Pilot Training” (American Bar Association Aviation Litigation National Institute; June 5, 2014; New York, New York)
- “Human Factors in the Cockpit – Breaking Glass” (State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting – Aviation Section CLE; June 26, 2014; Austin, Texas)
- “Commercial Aviation and Human Factors Issues: Pilot Discipline and the Safety Culture” (American Association for Justice Annual Convention; July 27, 2014; Baltimore, Maryland)
Past Speaking Engagements
- “How to Ask For and Get Big Damages From Conservative Juries” (Texas Trial Lawyers Association; February 2014)
- “Demographics are for Dummies: New Ideas for Influencing Jurors in 2013” (Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association; July 2013)
- “Closing Strong: Turning a Good Case into a Great Verdict” (El Paso County Trial Lawyers Association, January 2013; Odessa Trial Lawyers Association, March 2013; Lubbock Trial Lawyers Association, April 2013)
- “How to Ask For and Get Big Damages from Conservative Juries” (Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, January 2013)
- “Government Documents and Witnesses: Using FOIA and Touhy in Aviation Litigation” (SMU Air Law Symposium, March 2012)
- “What You Should Know About Airplane and Helicopter Crashes” (El Paso, Texas; May 2009)
- “Effective Strategies for Growing and Adapting Your Practice” (Austin, Texas; October 2008)
- “The Pilot-Controller Relationship: Assessing Comparative Responsibility in General Aviation Crashes” (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; July 2008)
- “How to Litigate Your First Civil Trial in Texas” (El Paso, Texas; January 2003)
- Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, Treasurer and Southwest Regional Vice President
- Texas Aviation Association, Board Member
- American Association for Justice, Chair-elect – Aviation Law Section
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Advocate-level Member
- Texas Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA), former Director
- Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association
- Austin Bar Association
- El Paso Bar Association
- Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
- El Paso Trial Lawyers Association, President 1994-1996
- State Bar of Texas, Committee on Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct 2002-2004
- El Paso Bar Association, Consumer Law Committee, Chair 2005-2006
- 34th Judicial District of Texas, Special Prosecutor 2005-2006
- Texas Board of Legal Specialization’s Legal Assistant Personal Injury Trial Law Exam Commission 1997- 2001
- Consumers Group of El Paso, Inc., Chairman of the Board 1997-1999
- Board-certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1988
- Martindale-Hubbell AV®rated
- Super Lawyers (2011-2013)
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