Mark Crane has over 30 years of experience handling all aspects of civil litigation, with a particular emphasis on the defense of complex product liability matters and mass tort litigation. Mr. Crane joined Segal McCambridge in 1989 and currently serves as the firm’s Managing Shareholder.
In today’s litigious world, many businesses learn the hard way that litigation can destroy a company's reputation, drain its financial lifeblood, and, particularly in the case of mass tort litigation, lead to catastrophic losses and even bankruptcy. Whether you face a single lawsuit or "bet the company" mass tort litigation, it's crucial to choose the right defense attorney. For nearly 30 years, clients ranging from industry-leading multinational corporations to smaller, family-owned businesses have relied on Mark Crane to protect their reputation and bottom line in tort litigation, not only because of his experience, knowledge, and record of successful results, but because he takes the time to learn and understand their business in order to provide the most effective and cost-efficient defense possible. This client-centric approach enables Mr. Crane to successfully defend individual lawsuits and find solutions to the larger, more complex challenges presented by recurrent or mass tort litigation.
Mr. Crane has served as national coordinating counsel for several major corporations, working closely with his clients to develop strategies for effectively evaluating, defending and successfully resolving cases throughout the country while effectively controlling the costs and risks of litigation. Mr. Crane provides candid advice to help clients make the right decisions in responding to litigation, whether that means aggressively contesting a case at trial or reaching a reasonable settlement to avoid unproductive litigation costs.
In the courtroom, Mr. Crane has obtained defense verdicts in jury trials involving complex product liability claims, professional liability, construction accidents, commercial and contract disputes, and other matters. He has successfully defended a wide variety of claims based on negligence and strict liability, including product liability matters involving products ranging from medical devices and pharmaceuticals to power tools, heavy equipment, and various consumer products. Understanding the relevant design and engineering concepts, industry practices and standards, and pertinent regulations better than plaintiffs' experts and plaintiffs' attorneys has helped Mr. Crane persuade jurors in many cases that injuries claimed by plaintiffs were not caused by any wrongdoing by the defendant company. In addition to his extensive experience defending tort claims, Mr. Crane has litigated commercial, contract law, and other matters. In 2005, together with SMSM shareholders Jeff Singer and Paul Wojcicki, Mr. Crane obtained a landmark $93 million jury verdict for his client in an antitrust and contract case tried in federal court in Chicago.
Mr. Crane has also mediated hundreds of cases in venues throughout the country on behalf of businesses ranging from small, privately held firms to multinational Fortune 500 companies.
Mr. Crane has been involved in a number of pro bono activities, including serving as a guardian ad litem for minor children through Chicago Volunteer Legal Services and providing free legal consultations to homeless persons in Chicago through the HELP program. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Young Men's Educational Network (YMEN), which provides after-school programs, mentoring and other programs to disadvantaged youth in the inner-city Chicago neighborhood of Lawndale. Mr. Crane lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with his wife and two children. He is engaged in his community in a number of ways, including being active in his church and devoting substantial time over the years to serving as a volunteer coach for various youth sports.
- Recognized as an Illinois Leading Lawyer (a designation limited to less than 5% of all lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community (2005-2016)
- Selected for inclusion in the Illinois Super Lawyers list (no more than 5% of lawyers in the state are selected), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community (2005-2014)
Professional & Civic Involvement
- Chicago Bar Association
- Serves as Guardian Ad Litem on behalf of minors through Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Program
- Volunteer youth coach, YMCA basketball; Glen Ellyn Park District soccer & baseball
- Young Men's Educational Network, board member
- Mr. Crane currently represents a large, multinational manufacturer of consumer products and medical devices, both as trial counsel in numerous individual cases, and as national counsel charged with defending and managing nationwide mass tort litigation. Faced with an explosion of multimillion dollar lawsuits filed throughout the country, and having experienced a large adverse verdict in the first case to be tried, this Fortune 500 Company turned to Mr. Crane and his partners at Segal McCambridge to take over the defense of the cases nationwide and bring a potentially disastrous situation under control. Within a few months, Mr. Crane developed and implemented a comprehensive plan to contain and resolve the litigation, and the Segal McCambridge trial team significantly altered the "playing field" of the litigation by obtaining a defense verdict in a trial involving 3 consolidated cases. Mr. Crane also implemented a comprehensive strategy to manage the litigation, develop winning defense themes and strategies, evaluate and quickly resolve cases at favorable, predetermined values when possible, and, ultimately, dispose of the entire litigation at the lowest possible cost and risk to the client. The plan is proceeding on target and within budget, bringing stability and predictability to a dangerous and chaotic situation.
- For the past decade, Mr. Crane has defended a major American manufacturer from all cases filed anywhere in the nation in connection with a line of implanted medical devices the company designs and manufactures. Mr. Crane's thorough knowledge of the product, the client's needs and preferences, and the nuances of the specialized area of medical device litigation have allowed him to provide the client with a consistent, streamlined, and successful defense of several dozen lawsuits filed in diverse jurisdictions. The efficiencies gained by implementing a uniform approach to the defense of similar cases nationwide has eliminated duplicative work within the company and shifted much of the burden of managing the litigation away from the client's in-house attorneys and claims personnel, allowing them to direct more of their time and resources to other matters.
- Faced with hundreds of potential claims against its insured physicians who had prescribed a controversial pharmaceutical combination that became the subject of an avalanche of mass tort litigation, a major professional liability insurance carrier hired Mr. Crane to protect the interests of the physicians at risk, represent all of its insureds throughout the country, and serve as national coordinating counsel. Going beyond aggressive and effective representation of all of the individual physicians at risk, Mr. Crane and the Segal McCambridge team formulated and implemented an innovative global solution in which the physicians were fully protected, and both the carrier and its insureds avoided paying any judgments, settlements, or even defense costs.
- Mr. Crane's skills inside and outside of the courtroom have translated to other areas of high-stakes litigation, as evidenced by a landmark jury verdict that he and two of his partners at Segal McCambridge obtained in an antitrust and business tort case tried in 2005 in federal court in Chicago. In a classic "David vs. Goliath" confrontation, Mr. Crane and the other members of the Segal McCambridge trial team argued that communications giant Clear Channel Entertainment had illegally squeezed a small independent promoter out of the business of promoting American Motorcycle Association-sponsored racing events. The jury awarded Mr. Crane's client over $90 million in damages, including a substantial punitive damages award.
- Obtained defense verdict in Cook County, Illinois jury trial involving construction site accident in which worker fell down temporary stairs, sustaining back injury that required 7 surgeries
- January 2016
- "Why Is My Company Being Sued in Madison County, Illinois"Webinar, 8.31.16
- For the Defense: Litigation Across the Drug and Device SpecturmChicago Marriott Downtown, 5.19.16
“Update on Defending Off-Label Promotion Claims in Product Liability Cases,” American Conference Institute Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference, New York, NY (December 3, 2015)
"Pitfalls Surrounding Sales Representatives in the Field," HB Litigation Conferences presents Drug & Device Defense: Emerging Litigation and Regulatory Developments, Philadelphia, PA (October 22, 2014)
"Lateral Hire Do's and Don'ts: Why Firms Focus on Lateral Growth," Thomson West Law Firm Expansion Summits, June 2008 (Atlanta) and July 2008 (Chicago).
"Keys to a Productive Relationship: National and Local Counsel in Mass Tort Litigation," For the Defense, Volume 46, Number 5 (May 2004).
"Talking to an Attorney," ADA Legal Adviser (July 1998).
"Product Liability Defendants Discover Substantial Alteration Defense Has Been Substantially Altered," DRI Hand and Power Tools newsletter (Spring 1998).
"The Data Bank: Is It Big Brother at Work?" ADA Legal Adviser (December 1997).
"Making Cross Examination Work," The Practical Litigator (ABA/ALI) (July 1996).
- Automotive & Transport
- Business Torts
- Complex Commercial Litigation
- Insurance & Reinsurance Litigation & Counseling
- Medical & Dental Malpractice
- Medical Devices
- Medical Negligence & Healthcare Liability Litigation
- Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Litigation
- Power Tools & Machinery
- Product Liability
- Professional Liability
- Public Official Liability
Purdue University, B.A., 1981
Indiana University, J.D., 1984, cum laude
- Illinois, 1984
- Indiana, 1985
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan