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Meet the Team at Venardi Zurada, LLP

Mark Venardi

Mark Venardi, Partner

“Every day I think about where I came from and how it feels to have someone care, so I am committed to helping people from all walks of life receive compensation for their injuries.”

Mark Venardi was born in 1962 in Seattle, Washington. He was raised in Peoria, IL, a Midwest blue-collar town. He enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and proudly served from 1980 through 1985. He spent the first two years on a sea-going tug performing search and rescue and marine law enforcement from the Grand Banks to the Windward Passage aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Tamaroa, which was the Coast Guard vessel that performed the rescue in “The Perfect Storm.”

Life at Sea

During this time period Mark sailed the Eastern seaboard in boats from 37 feet to 205 feet. He then served two years in Southeast Alaska aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Planetree, a 180-foot tender, which generally patrolled Southeast Alaska, but also included a voyage from Alaska to Hawaii and back. Mark spent his last year at Group Seattle performing search and rescue. Upon receiving an honorable discharge as an E-5 from the United States Coast Guard, Mark worked for approximately one year on the Chevron offshore oil platform Hermosa, off Point Conception, California.

Law School

It took Mark a bit to settle down in life for reasons that we will not elaborate on here, but it has been full steam ahead from the day Mark decided to become an attorney. Mark earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991 and his J.D. in 1994 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. During law school, Mark was the Co-Chairperson of the Moot Court Competition Committee, a recipient of the Outstanding Oral Argument Award, Snodgrass Competition, and a member of the University of San Francisco Maritime Law Review. He also served as a Judicial Extern to the Honorable Charles Legge, United States District Court Northern District of California. Mark graduated from law school in 1994, and was admitted to the California Bar in December 1994.

After graduating from law school Mark became an associate at Cox Wootton, Griffin & Hansen for four years before he joined Haight, Gardner Holland & Knight in 1998. Mark made Partner at the end of his 6th year of practice at Holland & Knight LLP, multinational law firm with over 1,000 attorneys.


Since 2004 Mark has represented people instead of large corporations. Mark continued his rapid rise to the top after switching sides to represent deserving members of the community. Mark is one of a select few graduates of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College which is the most demanding and prestigious trial lawyer training program in the country.

In 2013, his peers recognized him as a Top 100 Trial Attorney as selected by the National Trial Lawyers

In 2013, his peers recognized him as a Top 100 Trial Attorney as selected by the National Trial Lawyers, which is an invitation-only organization, his peers recognized him as one of the Best Attorneys’ in California in 2012 and 2013 as featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Wall Street Journal, SuperLawyers magazine selected Mark and recognized him with the prestigious SuperLawyers award for Northern California in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 (only top 5 percent of attorneys are selected), his peers have awarded him with a Martindale Hubbell “AV” Preeminent Rating since 2004, and he has tried multiple cases to verdict and received multiple verdicts in excess of $1,000,000, which entitles him to be a member of Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an organization that is made up of less than 1 percent of U.S. lawyers.

Mark has been a noted speaker on a number of legal topics, including continuing legal education seminars.

Mark’s other activities include having fun with and sharing adventures with his family including boating, wakeboarding, wake surfing, camping, road biking, mountain biking, surfing, sailing, fishing and scuba diving.

Areas of Practice

  • Auto Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Boating Accidents
  • Trucking Accidents
  • Personal Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Maritime Personal Injury
  • Employment Law
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Whistleblower Protection Cases
  • Retaliation
  • Wage and Hour
  • Severance Agreements
  • Employment Agreements
  • Executive Compensation
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Select Commercial and Intellectual Property Disputes on Contingency Fee

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1994
  • All State Courts within California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
  • Mark has also litigated cases “pro hac vice” or as a guest attorney in New Hampshire, Arizona, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii.


  • Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College, studied trial skills over a 5 year period and graduated from the Trial Lawyers College in August, 2013
  • Pepperdine University, Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, became a certified mediator upon completion of required coursework in 2012
  • University of San Francisco, patent law class. Earned an A in class.
  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
    • J.D. – 1994
    • Honors: Snodgrass Award for Best Oral Argument
    • Honors: Chairman, Moot Court Competition Committee
    • Law Review: University of San Francisco Maritime Law Review, Member, 1994
  • University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California
    • B.A. – 1991
    • Major: Political Science

Published Works

  • Author, “To Arbitrate or Not”, Silicon Valley Business Weekly, 2001


  • Speaker, “A Primer on Maritime Law”, Young Barristers’ Division Admiralty Committee, 1995
  • “Investigating Personal Injury Claims”, California Association of Private Investigators, 1996
  • “California Lawyer Roundtable Discussion on Employment Law”, 2002
  • “Employment Related Records in California”, Lorman Education Services, 2003
  • “Employment Related Records in California”, Lorman Education Services, 2004

Honors and Awards

  • Top 100 Trial Attorneys, The National Trial Lawyers, 2014
  • Northern California Superlawyers, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013
  • Best Attorneys in California 2012 and 2013
  • “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Lifetime Member
  • Recipient, Outstanding Oral Argument Award, Snodgrass Competition, 1993

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • American Association of Justice
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
  • National Employment Lawyers Association
  • California Employment Lawyers Association
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association, Board Member Employment Law Section 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Young Barristers’ Division Admiralty Committee, Chairman, 1996
  • American Bar Associations, Member
  • State Bar of California, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Cox Wootton, Griffin & Hansen LLP, Associate 1994-1998
  • Haight, Gardner Holland & Knight LLP, Associate 1998-2000
  • Holland & Knight LLP, Partner 2001-2004


  • United States Coast Guard, 1980-1985

You can be confident in relying on our zealous and effective Oakland personal injury lawyers:

  • We have served Northern California for over 35 years.

  • Our attorneys have been honored with numerous accolades, including SuperLawyers, AV Rating, and Top 100 Trial Attorney Awards.

  • In our decades of legal service to the community, we have garnered a substantial reputation. We are respected by opposing counsel, feared by insurance companies, and followed by jurors.

  • We combine Big Firm experience with boutique office attention and care. Several of our attorneys have experience working for the biggest law firms in the country, including the most prominent maritime defense law firm. Our attorneys rely on that big-firm know-how but prefer the personal touch of a smaller firm, allowing us to provide individualized and attentive representation to each of our clients.

  • We’ve been through it, too. Attorney Mark Venardi had to personally deal with a medical malpractice injury he suffered at a time when he was working a blue-collar job on an offshore oil rig; he knows what it’s like to be a working man dealing with a personal injury. He built his way up to working for the biggest maritime defense firm in the country, before deciding to focus on helping people like himself who were hurt by negligence and mistreatment from others.

  • We like to fight for the underdog. Attorney Martin Zurada is an immigrant and the son of immigrants who tirelessly worked his way up through education and experience to attain the American dream. Even though he has served in large, high-level litigation law firms, he prefers helping clients directly, fighting against injustices, and securing victories for the little guy who has been wronged.

  • We win. We have secured multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. In our combined tenure, we have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients across our broad areas of practice.

  • We care first and foremost about our clients. We dedicate ourselves to serve each and every client personally, and we make ourselves available to our clients around the clock.

  • There is no cost to you until we win. If we don’t make a recovery for you, we will not collect a fee. And all initial consultations are free of charge.

Dedicated Areas of Practice

We offer a wide range of litigation services for Oakland personal injury and employment law clients. Specifically, our areas of dedicated practice span the following issues:

Employment Law. California employers must assure proper pay to employees and comply with a variety of rules and regulations to prevent discrimination and unfair treatment of employees. We represent victims of wage and hour violations, employment discrimination, workplace harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and any other form of California workplace mistreatment. If you believe you were treated inappropriately at work, we can help.

Personal Injury. If you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence, you deserve compensation. That’s where we come in. As Oakland personal injury attorneys, we right the wrongs done to our clients. And we do it at our cost during the entire duration of your case. There is never any fee until we win. Give us a call if you have been hurt in a car accident, by a toxic spill or contamination, as a result of medical malpractice, due to abuse or neglect, in a maritime accident, by a vicious animal attack, or any other incident caused by someone else’s negligence.

The Sooner You Speak to an Oakland Injury Lawyer, the Stronger Your Chances for Recovery Will Become.

Contact the Oakland injury lawyers at Venardi Zurada today, and let’s get started. We are available to talk any time, so whether you call, email or chat online, we’ll respond and set up an appointment to meet you. We have several Spanish speakers in the office and welcome the opportunity to cater our services to Oakland’s Spanish-speaking population. You pay no fee until we win for you, so you have nothing to lose by contacting our office for a free consultation. The sooner you call, the faster we can start getting results for you. Call 925-937-3900.

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Location1 OAKLAND

1418 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA 94612
PH: 510-832-4295 PH: 510-832-4298 (Español)
FX: 510-832-4364

Location2 ORINDA

25 Orinda Way, Suite 250, Orinda, CA 94563
PH: 925-937-3900 PH: 510-832-4298 (Español)
FX: 925-937-3905

Location3 REDDING

1650 Oregon Street, Suite 201, Redding, CA 96001
PH: 530-830-3473 PH: 510-832-4298 (Español)