Mark specializes in complex civil litigation involving a wide array of personal injury and wrongful death actions such as those arising out of motor vehicle accidents, boating accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, premises liability, aviation/plane crashes, recreational liability, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), negligent security, inadequate supervision, drunk driving incidents, sexual and physical assault/battery, negligent entrustment, dog bites, boating and maritime/admiralty accidents, nursing home neglect and abuse, bad faith insurance practices, cruise ship passenger claims, intentional torts, and all other negligence based harms. He has litigated against some of the largest corporations in the world.
A native of Vermont, Mark returned to his home State in 2015, after practicing law for over a decade in Miami, Florida. During his legal career in Florida, he was consistently recognized as one of the top lawyers in the State by numerous legal publications including, Florida Super Lawyers, Florida Trend Magazine, and the South Florida Legal Guide. He has achieved the highest rating of “Superb: 10 out of 10,” from the lawyer rating service AVVO.com.
Among his many activities in the professional community, Mark was elected by his peers in 2004, to the Board of Directors for the Miami-Dade County Bar Association, one of the largest bar associations in the country with over 4,000 members. In 2005, that same organization appointed Mark to the Board of Directors for Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc., an organization providing legal services to the low income community in areas of housing, employment, government benefits, special education, and community economic development. In July of 2007, Mark was elected Chair of the American Justice Association’s Federal Tort Claim and Military Advocacy Section. He previously held the
position of chair-elect in 2006, and secretary of the Section in 2005.
Mark is a cum laude graduate of the University of Miami School of Law where he was a member of the University of Miami Business Law Review. He was co-founder of the University of Miami School of Law’s Aviation Law Society and served as the organizations first vice-president and thereafter president. Mark is a licensed aircraft pilot. He completed his undergraduate studies at Middlebury College (Vermont) where he graduated cum laude and was a member of the NCAA Men’s Varsity Basketball Team, 1991-1994.
Representative Verdicts and Settlements:
$40 million verdict for a victim in a negligent security case (Trial team).
$24 million verdict in a medical malpractice birth trauma case (Trial Team).
$4.5 million settlement for the wrongful death of minor in recreational vehicle accident.
$2.85 million settlement for a wrongful death in a plane crash.
$1.6 million settlement for injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
$1.5 million settlement for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accident.
$1.0 million settlement for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
$850,000.00 settlement for injuries sustained in a premises liability case.
$825,000.00 settlement for a broken arm injury in a car crash.
$750,000.00 settlement for injuries from a fall at a long term care facility.
$668,000.00 verdict against Walt Disney World for injuries sustained on premises
$500,000.00 bad faith insurance settlement on a $50,000 insurance policy.
$425,000.00 Federal Tort Claim Act settlement for an unnecessary surgery.
$400,000.00 settlement for back injuries sustained in a fall on a cruise ship.
University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, Florida
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude, 1999
Honors & Activities: Business Law Review
Phi Delta Phi Honor Society
Vice-President, Co-Founder, Aviation Law Society, 1998
President Aviation Law Society, 1999
Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont
Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, 1995
Honors & Activities: NCAA Men’s Varsity Basketball Team, 1991-1994
Journalist for School Newspaper, The Campus
Licensing & Bar Admissions:
Vermont Bar Association: 2014
Florida Bar Association: 1999
Professional & Community Involvement
Board of Directors: Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc; (2004-2010)
Miami-Dade County Bar Association; (2004-2007)
Member: Vermont Bar Association (2014-Present)
Florida Bar Association (1999- Present)
Miami-Dade County Bar Association (2000-Present)
Miami-Dade Justice Association (2000-2010)
American Association for Justice (2000-2010)
Chair, Federal Tort Claims Act Section (2007)
Miami Beach Bar Association (2005-2010)
Monroe County Bar Association (2005-2010)
Licensed Pilot – Single engine aircraft.
Mark A. Sylvester & Ira H. Leesfield, “Bad Call,” Trial, August 2010.Mark A. Sylvester, “Judicial Profiles” – Miami-Dade County Bar Association’s “The Bulletin”:
Judge John Schlesinger, April 2009.
Judge Thomas S. Wilson, January 2009.
Judge Mary Barzee Flores, December 2008.
Judge Maxine Cohen Lando, November 2008.
Judge David Miller, October 2008.
Judge Bronwyn Miller, April 2008.
Judge Jennifer D. Bailey, March 2008.
Judge Lawrence Schwartz, February 2008.
Judge Pedro Echarte, January 2008.
Judge Maria Espinosa Dennis, October 2007.
Judge Victoria Platzer, September 2007.
Judge Scott J. Silverman, August 2007.
Mark A. Sylvester, “Weather Related Crashes: Establishing Negligence Against Air Traffic Control,” American Association for Justice; Aviation Section Newsletter, Summer 2007.
Mark A. Sylvester, “Federal Tort Claims and the Discretionary Function Exception,” Association of Trial Lawyers of America Federal Tort Liability & Military Advocacy Newsletter, Vol. 12, No. 1, Fall 2006, pp. 5-7.
Mark A. Sylvester & Ira H. Leesfield, “Sanctions,” Chapter 20, ATLA’s Tort Litigation, Thompson/West Publishing, 2003.
Mark A. Sylvester & Ira H. Leesfield, “Apportionment of Fault in Inadequate Security Cases,” Trial, December 2001.
Mark A. Sylvester & Ira H. Leesfield, “Admissibility of Expert Testimony: What’s Next?” Trial, December 2000
Phone: 802-864-5723 ext. 26