Law School/Year: University of San Diego School of Law, 1974
College/Year: UC Riverside, 1971
California, 1974; all U.S. District Courts in California; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Discrimination & Civil Rights, Labor
Mark Saxon was trial and appellate counsel for San Diego Navy Federal Credit Union in the landmark case decided in 1984 that created what is now known as “Cumis” counsel. The case holds that when an insured party that has been sued has a conflict of interest with its insurance company, the insured is entitled to select its own independent defense counsel, to be paid for by the insurer.
The Cumis case led to the California Legislature enacting Civil Code 2860, governing the rights of insured defendants to independent counsel. The requirement for independent Cumis counsel in California has been adopted by numerous other states.
Saxon is a partner in Gordon & Rees’ San Diego office and is chair of the firm’s Employment Practice Group. He provides pro-active advice to companies of all sizes on topics ranging from wage and hour issues to avoiding claims of wrongful termination. In addition, Saxon regularly defends employers and supervisors in both state and federal court, as well as in arbitration proceedings, against claims of discrimination, harassment, defamation, violation of privacy rights, and violation of wage and hour laws.
Saxon is a frequent speaker at seminars on employment law. He has served as a judge pro tem in San Diego court cases, as well as an arbitrator of disputes on behalf of the American Arbitration Association.
Former chairman of Superior Court Committee, San Diego County Bar Association; Labor and Employment Law Section, Civil Litigation Section, State Bar of California; Labor and Employment Section, Civil Litigation Section, American Bar Association; former board member and vice president of legislation, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), San Diego Chapter
Saxon is a member of the La Jolla Executive Roundtable. He is past president of both the Torrey Pines Kiwanis and the board of trustees of La Jolla Country Day School. He has completed an eight-year tenure as a member of both the Holiday Bowl Committee and the Greater San Diego Sports Association.
Saxon is a native Southern Californian. He studied economics and the history of the labor union movement while spending a year abroad in college at Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland. He has two wonderful children and three energetic grandchildren. Saxon resides with his wife of 40 years in Rancho Santa Fe.