Borton Petrini


Mark W. Shem

Mark Shem is a Partner in the San Jose office of Borton Petrini, LLP. He received his undergraduate degree in political science and history from the University of California, Davis in 1987, and earned his Juris Doctorate from Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1990.

Mark’s primary area of focus as a San Jose lawyer is civil litigation from landlords, homeowners to contractors ranging from defect claims, breach of contract, habitability, indemnity issues, landlord-tenant, premises liability and employment questions. He has represented homeowners associations, homeowners, developers, general contractors, and subcontractors in both state and federal courts involving a variety of legal issues.

Mark is a firm believer in effective use of written discovery to narrow the issues and achieve early settlement. While the special master process has its benefits, sometimes, even picking up the phone can achieve the best results.

Before coming to Borton Petrini, LLP, Mark’s legal experience included handling insurance defense cases from personal injury, premises liability, landlord-tenant, habitability, toxic tort to skilled nursing home/elder abuse as well as personal injury actions against governmental entities.

Mark has tried multiple cases as a San Jose lawyer and prevailed recently in summary judgment on three cases involving employment and construction defect issues.

Mark is an active participant in the life of his community. He is an active member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, serving as the 2010 President.

In 2011, he was elected to a three-year term on the California State Bar’s Board of Trustees where he focused on access to justice and legal education issues. He is an attorney coach for the Lynbrook High School mock trial team, and a member on the Advisory Committee of the Silver Creek High School Legal Academy Program.

He is a member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association and the California State Bar. Mark is also admitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Northern District of California and Eastern District Federal Courts of California.

Lectures & Seminars:
Persuasive Legal Writing and Effective Oral Advocacy, Santa Clara Bar Association
Top Ten Tips Avoid Getting Bounced from Court, Santa Clara Bar Association
Pleading as a Weapon in the Litigation Battle
Summary Judgment Motions, Mysteries of the Deep & Calm Seas, Santa Clara County Bar Association
E-Discovery Update
When Judges Cross the Line, Santa Clara County Bar Association
Sanctions Denied!
E-Discovery is Discovery
Elimination of Bias: How Well Do I Know Myself?


University of California, Davis, B.A., 1987
Temple University School of Law, J.D., 1990


State Bar of California, 1991
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1991
U.S. District, Eastern District of California, 2002
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1991

Business & professional Associations

Business and Professional Associations
Santa Clara County Bar Association, President, 2010
State Bar of California, Board of Trustees, 2011–2014
Central Coast Claims Association
Lynbrook High School Mock Trial Team, Coach

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