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Christopher S. Marks

Partner/Managing Partner, Seattle

Chris Marks is an accomplished trial lawyer with a private practice dedicated to successfully defending clients in general commercial, consumer, product liability and high-exposure mass tort litigation. His vast and wide-ranging experience allows him to serve as national, regional and local trial counsel for complex MDL matters throughout the United States with a verifiable track record of achieving favorable verdicts in jury and bench trials.

Mr. Marks represents individuals and companies in all three West Coast states where he is licensed and serves as national trial counsel in complex matters throughout the United States. He has tried cases to verdict in California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oregon, and Washington.

With a deep background in product liability, Mr. Marks handles matters varying in complexity and exposure, ranging from the strategic management and defense of MDL to the boots-on-the-ground defense of single-plaintiff cases often alleging catastrophic injuries or death. He approaches each case with a commitment to being thoroughly prepared to defend a client up to and through trial and appeal, when necessary, but also brings an ability to assess the pros and cons of other resolution methods.

In mass tort litigation, Marks brings specific experience to substantive product liability claims related to asbestos and talc, automotive consumer products, and transportation. He has developed a deserved reputation for being expeditious and efficient in coordinating and executing on document discovery, expert testimony development, depositions and motions beneficial to clients regardless of the eventual course of the litigation, managing multiparty litigation in a manner that ensures the company not only survives the challenge but also maintains a positive image with the consumers and the public during the fallout.

Through his work in product liability and multiparty litigation, Marks has become experienced and informed in defending automotive manufacturers, understanding the legal role of determined advocate and valued advisor during the process. He has worked with and against most of the leading experts in this industry, accumulating a wealth of knowledge beneficial to his clients.
Mr. Marks also has extensive experience preparing and defending corporate witnesses and designees for depositions and trial, as well as consulting with company engineers and experts to develop and conduct research and litigation test programs for rollover and crashworthiness litigation. He has honed these skills while handling matters for many of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers.

Prior to joining Tanenbaum Keale LLP, Mr. Marks was a partner with Sedgwick LLP and the managing partner of the firm’s Seattle, Washington, office and co-chair of the firm’s Environmental and Toxic Tort practice. He is a frequent presenter and panelist on substantive matters in product liability, automotive and mass tort litigation in addition to trial best practices and skill development.

Bar Admissions
• Washington
• Oregon
• California

Court Admissions
• U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
• U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
• U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
• U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
• U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
• U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

  • Led a team of attorneys that earned a unanimous defense verdict from an Indianapolis jury in a wrongful death case, which involved plaintiff’s counsel asking for $5 million at the end of a nine-day trial.
  • The firm’s client, which owns more than 700 gyms in the United States and Canada, filed suit in Washington state court, alleging multiple carriers should pay $500 million for pandemic-related losses after more than 1,200 employees tested positive for COVID-19. The lawsuit contends that the insurance carriers involved wrongfully denied coverage and failed to acknowledge that the COVID-19 virus physically damaged its properties, stating that the virus was “deposited” on the surface of exercise equipment, transiting through the air and ventilation system.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal after order for summary judgment in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington based on case precedent related to maritime law while defending a company specializing in the engineering and manufacturing of air and liquid filtration and separation systems.

  • American Bar Association
    • Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS)
    • TIPS Automobile Litigation Committee, former chair
    • TIPS Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee, former chair
  • Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
  • American Inns of Court (founding member of the William L. Dwyer Chapter)
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association
  • King County Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Multnomah Bar Association

  • Best Lawyers in America, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2021-present
    • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants Lawyer of the Year, 2023
  • Faculty Member, ABA/ABOTA National Trial Academy, 2018-2021
  • Washington Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2010-present
  • Washington Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Thomson Reuters, 2002, 2004-2008

  • “The Campaign of Plaintiffs’ Attorneys in Asbestos Litigation To Prohibit Genetic Testing and Suppress Basic Scientific Research,” Toxic Tort Committee of the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada, October 2022
  • “Deposition Tactics That Move The Needle,” Defense Asbestos Litigation Seminar, June 2022
  • American Bar Association’s 30th Annual Motor Vehicle Product Liability Litigation Conference, April 2022
  • “Large Verdicts in the Covid Era: What are the Long-Term Impacts? And Why?” Cutting-Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation Conference, March 2022

  • J.D., Seattle University School of Law (1998)
    • cum laude
  • B.A., University of Washington (1992)
  • C.E.P., L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (1993)
  • M.Sc., London School of Economics and Political Science (1994)