Mark L. Tuft is a Certified Legal Malpractice Specialist (California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization) and a partner in the firm’s Business Litigation group. He serves as outside counsel to lawyers, law firms, and public and private organizations on professional responsibility and professional liability matters, including law firm mergers and dissolutions, conflicts of interests, attorney sanctions, and State Bar admission and disciplinary matters. He also acts as an expert witness and consultant in these matters. His practice includes legal malpractice defense, media law, and related first amendment litigation. He also serves as an arbitrator and mediator in lawyer-client and law firm disputes.

Mark has served on several California State Bar Commissions on revisions to the Rules of Professional Conduct and the State Bar’s Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services. He is a former chair and special advisor to the California State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct and served on State Bar task forces on multi-disciplinary practice and amendments to the rules of professional conduct. Mark has taught professional responsibility as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law and has lectured on legal ethics at University of California, Berkeley School of Law and Hastings College of Law. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of San Francisco and formerly chaired its ethics committee. Mark is a member of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, the American Law Institute and is co-author of the California Practice Guide on Professional Responsibility published by a division of Thomson Reuters.  

Professional & Civic Engagement

  • PLI, The Law and Ethics of NewLaw, Co-Chair (2019 – Present) 
  • State Bar of California
    • Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services (Former Member)
    • Commission for the Rules of Professional Conduct (Former Member)
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
    • Ethics Committee (Former Chair)
  • American Bar Association 
    • Center for Professional Responsibility Editorial Board, Chair
  • Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (Former President)
  • American Law Institute

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings), Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, 2012 – Present
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Award of Merit
  • California Lawyers Association, Harry B. Sondheim Professional Responsibility Award, 2022
  • Super Lawyers Honoree, Northern California Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2005 – 2018

Thought Leadership

Publications

  • “A Brief Rundown on Material Limitation Conflicts for California Lawyers,” Practicing Law Institute, November 18, 2020
  • “Conflicts Based on Personal Relationships with Opposing Counsel,” Daily Journal, Vol. 126, No. 202, October 16, 2020
  • “Threats, Extortion and Legitimate Advocacy,” California Lawyers Association Journal of the Litigation Section, 2020
  • “How Not to Be A Lawyer,” Daily Journal, March 22, 2019
  • “De-Unifying California’s Integrated Bar,” Daily Journal, April 17, 2017
  • “Navigating Duties Between Prospective and Former Clients,” Practicing Law Institute, December 2016
  • “Rethinking Lawyer Advertising Rules,” The Professional Lawyer, 2016
  • Co-Author, “Supplemental Report of the Regulation of Lawyer Advertising Committee,” Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, June 20, 2016
  • Co-Author, “Report of the Regulation of Lawyer Advertising Committee,” Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, June 22, 2015

Presentations

  • Speaker, “Representing a Client with Diminished Capacity,” CEB, June 15, 2022
  • Speaker, “Preventing Lawyer Harassment: California’s New Regulatory Approach.” Berkeley Center on Comparative Equity & Anti-Discrimination; co-hosted by California Lawyers Association, CELA; Impact Fund, Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, ABA Civil Rights and Social Justice Section and FastCase, Berkeley, CA, April 22, 2022
  • Co-panelist, “Timeless Trust Account Techniques” – Three Part Video Taped Series, the Rutter Group, a division of Thomson Reuters, April and May 2022
  • Panelist, Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law, 2022 Program – “New Developments in Workplace Sexual Harassment: Ethical Issues in Investigations,” Berkeley, CA, January 28, 2022
  • Speaker, “2021 Ethics Law Update - Year in Review,” CEB, December 14, 2021
  • Panelist, “Ethical Challenges for California Lawyers 2020-2021,” The Rutter Group, November 16, 2021
  • Panelist, “The Do’s and Don’ts of Negotiating and Managing Aggregate Settlements,” The Rutter Group, November 16, 2021
  • Panelist, PLI’s California MCLE Marathon 2021: Current Developments in Legal Ethics-Competence Issue, San Francisco, CA (Live Webcast), November 8, 2021
  • The Complex Web of Licensing and Multi-jurisdictional Practice for External Attorney Investigators – 2021 AWI Annual Conference, Remote Access, Denver, CO, October 14, 2021
  • Co-Chair, "The Law and Ethics of NewLaw 2021," Practicing Law Institute Webinar, October 7, 2021 
  • Panelist, Legal Ethics – "At the Intersection of Truth and Free Speech-What happens when Freedom of Speech and Truth Collide?," The Rutter Group Webinar, Los Angeles, CA, May 7, 2021 (Via Zoom)
  • Speaker, California Lawyers Association Webinar, "The Ethical Consequences of Lawyers Engaging in Prohibited Discrimination/Harassment/Retaliation," Oakland, CA, May 6, 2021
  • Speaker, CEB/Alameda County Bar Association, “CEB Multi-Jurisdictional Practice Program,” Oakland, Calif., April 2021
  • Speaker, “CEB’s December Annual Key Developments in Ethics Program,” Webinar
  • Panelist, “The Evolving Profession – Material Limitation Conflicts Under Rule 1.7,” PLI California MCLE Marathon (Live Webcast), November 16, 2020
  • Panelist, “Collecting or Forfeit? Ethics, Fees and Dividing Fees,” The Rutter Group (Thomson Reuters), Legal Ethics Webinar, November 5, 2020
  • Panelist, “Ethical Challenges for California Lawyers 2020-2021,” The Rutter Group (Thomson Reuters), Legal Ethics Webinar, November 5, 2020
  • Speaker, “The Law Governing Lawyers – The Year in Review,” BASF Legal Ethics Program, San Francisco, January 2020
  • Speaker, “Legal Ethics,” CEB Annual Review Program, Oakland, Calif., January 2020
  • Panelist, “Current Developments in Ethics,” PLI California MCLE Marathon, San Francisco, December 2019
  • Panelist, “Communicating with Represented and Unrepresented Persons,” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, November 5, 2019
  • Panelist, “Ethics for California Lawyers,” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, November 5, 2019
  • Panelist, “Cutting-Edge Conflicts: “Recent Developments in Perilous Times”, ABA National Legal Malpractice Conference, San Diego, September 2019
  • Panelist, “Attorney Advertising and the Search for Plaintiffs,” George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School Thirteenth Annual Judicial Symposium on Civil Justice Issues, Arlington, VA, May 6, 2019
  • Speaker, “The Law Governing Lawyers 2019 – The Year in Review,” BASF Legal Ethics Program, San Francisco, January 2019
  • Speaker, “Legal Ethics,” CEB Annual Review Program, San Francisco, January 2019
  • Panelist, “Current Developments in Ethics,” PLI California MCLE Marathon, San Francisco, December 2018
  • Speaker, “Legal Ethics for California Lawyers 2018-2019” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, November 2018
  • Speaker, “Ethics – New rules CLE with the ACBA,” CEB/Alameda County Bar Association, Oakland, Calif., October 2018
  • Panelist, “Mastering California’s New Rules of Professional Conduct – What Every Lawyer Needs to Know to be in Compliance” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, October 2018
  • Panelist, “New Professional Responsibilities of Prosecutors CRPC-5110,” The Rutter Group, Universal City, Calif., April 2018
  • Speaker, “CEB’s January Ethics Live Cast,” Oakland, Calif., January 2018
  • Speaker, “The Law Governing Lawyers 2017-2018: The Year in Review,” BASF Legal Ethics Program, San Francisco, January 2018
  • Panelist, “Current Developments in Legal Ethics,” PLI’s California MCLE Marathon, San Francisco, December 2017
  • Speaker “Representing Clients with Diminished Capacity: Managing Risks and Satisfying Responsibilities,” Pilot Legis Annual Conference, New Orleans, October 2017
  • Moderator, “New and Evolving Attorney Disqualification Issues” California Judges Association/Rutter Group Annual Program, Los Angeles, February 2017
  • Speaker, “The Law Governing Lawyers 2016-2017: The Year in Review,” BASF Legal Ethics Program, San Francisco, January 2017
  • Panelist, “Current Developments in Legal Ethics,” PLI California MCLE Marathon Program, San Francisco, December 2016
  • Speaker, “Legal Ethics for California Lawyers 2016-2017” The Rutter Group, Universal City, Calif., November 2016
  • Speaker, “Fee-Sharing Fundamentals, Strategies and Trends” The Rutter Group, Universal City, Calif., November 2016
  • Panelist, “Really Interesting Legal Ethics Stuff,” State Bar of California 89th Annual Meeting, San Diego, September 2016
  • Speaker, “Rethinking Advertising Rules,” American Bar Association 42nd Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, June 2016
  • Panelist, “Redux: Who’s Running the Profession? The Future of Rules-Making and the Disciplinary Process,” State Bar of California Ethics Symposium, San Francisco, April 2016
  • Speaker, “Phantom Clients and How to Exorcise Them,” Hinshaw & Culbertson LMRM Conference, Chicago, March 2016
  • Speaker, “The Law Governing Lawyers 2015-2016: The Year in Review,” BASF Legal Ethics Program, San Francisco, January 2016
  • Speaker, “Regulation of Lawyer Advertising,” NOBC/APRL, Chicago, July 2015
  • Speaker, “Conflicts: Who is Your Client?,” 14th Hinshaw & Culbertson LMRM Conference, Chicago, February 2015
  • Speaker, “FAQs: The Lawyer’s Duty of Confidentiality,” CEB/Alameda County Bar Association, Oakland, Calif., January 2015