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Mark Crane

Shareholder | mcrane@smsm.com
Shareholder | Chicago, IL
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Mark Crane handles all aspects of civil litigation with a particular emphasis on the defense of complex product liability matters, medical device and medical negligence cases, and mass tort litigation. He also serves as the firm’s Managing Shareholder. 

Clients from industry-leading multinational corporations to private family-owned businesses rely on Mr. Crane to protect their reputation and bottom line. With each client, he combines deep experience and a strong record of success with a commitment to understanding his client’s business goals in order to provide the most effective and cost-efficient defense possible. 

This client-centric approach enables him to successfully defend individual lawsuits and find solutions to larger, more complex challenges that have the potential to destroy a company's reputation, drain its coffers, and even lead to catastrophic losses or bankruptcy.

Mr. Crane has served as national coordinating counsel for several major corporations, partnering with clients to develop strategies to effectively evaluate, defend, and resolve cases while controlling costs and risks of litigation. His candid advice helps clients make informed decisions about litigation, whether that means aggressively contesting a case at trial or reaching a reasonable settlement to avoid unnecessary costs.

He has obtained defense verdicts in jury trials involving complex product and professional liability claims, construction accidents, commercial and contract disputes, and other matters. His understanding of design and engineering concepts and of industry practices, standards, and regulations gives clients a significant advantage in the courtroom. He has successfully defended a wide variety of claims based on negligence and strict liability, including product liability matters ranging from medical devices and pharmaceuticals to power tools, heavy equipment, and consumer products. He has also litigated complex commercial matters involving contract disputes, tortious business interference, and antitrust claims, and obtained a jury verdict of over $93 million for his client in an antitrust case tried in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Mr. Crane is highly experienced in various forms of alternative dispute resolution, and has mediated hundreds of cases in venues throughout the country on behalf of businesses ranging from small privately held firms to multinational Fortune 500 companies. 

Community engagement has been an important part of Mr. Crane’s professional and personal life. Over the years, he has dedicated himself to a number of pro bono activities, and for the past decade he has served on the board of directors for the Young Men's Educational Network (YMEN), which provides after-school programs, mentoring, scholarship support, community service opportunities, and many other programs to disadvantaged youth in the inner-city Chicago neighborhood of Lawndale.

Honors

  • 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, 2004-2020
  • 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, 2005-2020

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Defense Research Institute, member
  • Young Men's Educational Network, board member

representative matters

  • Over the past 10 years, Mr. Crane has represented a multinational manufacturer of 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, the company turned to Mr. Crane and his colleagues at Segal McCambridge to take over and bring a potentially disastrous situation under control.

Within a few months, he developed and implemented a comprehensive defense strategy and a plan to manage, contain, and, ultimately, dispose of the entire litigation at the lowest possible cost and risk to the client.

  • 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. He 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.
  • In 2005, Mr. Crane and two of his partners obtained a landmark jury verdict in an antitrust and business tort case. In a classic "David vs. Goliath" confrontation, he and the trial team successfully argued in federal court in Chicago 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 over $93 million in damages, including a substantial punitive damages award.

Events


Speaking Engagements

“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).

Author

"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).

Education

Indiana University, J.D., cum laude, 1984

Purdue University, B.A., 1981

Admissions

  • Illinois, 1984
  • Indiana, 1985
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan