Mark D. Tokunaga

Mark Tokunaga has defended corporate clients and individuals for the past 22 years in California and 19 years in Nevada. For the past 14 years, he has specialized in the representation of ski areas as well as other entities in the sports and recreation industry. Some of Mark’s ski industry clients include Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Heavenly Ski Resort, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, Homewood Mountain Resort, Donner Ski Ranch, Diamond Peak Ski Resort, Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort and Salomon North America. Mark is a member of the Association of Ski Defense Attorneys and is a regular speaker before the California Ski Industry Association and other ski industry groups.

Mark’s expertise in issues related to defending recreation cases, such as assumption of the risk and releases of liability, allows him to efficiently and expeditiously dispose of many cases in the early stages of litigation. He has also handled trials and appeals and helped shape the law of assumption of the risk and releases in California. Mark successfully defended Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in Platzer v. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, 104 Cal.App.4th 1253, (2002), a case in which the mother of a 7 year-old Joseph Platzer signed a release of liability when she placed her son in a ski school lesson. Joseph was seriously injured when he fell from a chairlift (a common carrier). The Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s dismissal of all negligence claims based on the release, and upheld the jury’s verdict in May, 2001 in favor of Mammoth on the issue of gross negligence. In Varner v. Sugar Bowl Corporation, a case Mark tried in February, 2003, the plaintiff claimed that Sugar Bowl created a dangerous condition on a ski run and failed to remedy or warn of that condition. Mark successfully defended Sugar Bowl at trial in which the jury took only 11 minutes to deliberate before returning the defense verdict. Finally, Mark also successfully defended ski area clients at the appellate level in Westlye v. Look Sports, Inc., 17 Cal.App.4th 1715, (1993), where the California Third District Court of Appeal upheld a ski rental shop’s release of liability as to the negligence and warranty claims.

In addition to sports and recreation cases, Mark has extensive experience in catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death matters in both California and Nevada involving product liability, automobile and truck accidents, premises liability and propane explosions. His practice also includes construction defect litigation.

Mark graduated from UCLA in 1980 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and received his law degree from Santa Clara University in 1986.