Mark Oertel


Mark Oertel is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Lewis Brisbois and chair of the Surety and Fidelity Practices. He has more than 30 years of experience in the areas of surety, fidelity, insurance law, professional liability, construction, and commercial disputes.

He handles the following types of matters:

  • Contract surety disputes involving all phases of payment and performance bond claims, litigation and recovery
  • Commercial surety claims including license and permit bonds
  • Fidelity bond claims
  • Employee dishonesty claims
  • Construction disputes including all phases of contracting, performance and liability
  • Commercial disputes both domestic and international
  • Professional liability defense
  • Insurance coverage and litigation including extra contractual claims

Primary Area(s) of Practice

  • Surety
  • Fidelity
  • Construction
  • Insurance Law

Additional Experience



United States Supreme Court

United States District Court for all Districts of California

United States Circuit Court of Appeal, Ninth Circuit


  • American Bar Association-Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Fidelity and Surety Committee, Miscellaneous Surety Committee, Construction Industry Forum
  • National Bond Claims Association
  • Surety Claims Association of Los Angeles
  • Surety Claims Institute
  • Fidelity Law Association
  • University of California Master Gardeners

Professional Presentations

  • January 26, 2018, “Proactive Steps: What Steps Can the Surety Take to Minimize the Risk of Adverse Decisions in Arbitration?”, American Bar Association’s Fidelity and Surety Law 2018 Midwinter Conference, Washington, D.C.
  • October 13, 2017, Emerging Construction Risks in the US, Old Library at Lloyds, London
  • October 2, 2017, Emerging Construction Risks, Navigators Insurance Company, San Francisco, CA
  • August 22, 2017, California Fair Claims Handling Regulations, to Nationwide Insurance Company, EMC Companies, and Merchants Bonding Company, Des Moines, IA
  • January 24, 2013, "Underwriting the Commercial Crime Policy and the Underwriter's View of Claims-Handling and Outside Counsel", American Bar Association Mid Winter Program, New York, NY
  • July 2013, California Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations: California Department of Insurance Training Certification, Soiux Falls, SD; Des Moines, IA; and Bloomington, IL
  • October 17-18, 2012, Litigating Contract Surety Bond and Fidelity Insurance Claims, ACI, Philadelphia, PA
  • May 2012, "Subdivision Performance Bonds: Completion of the Project and Exoneration of the Bonds Two Years After the Real Estate Crash", Surety Claims Associating Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA


Southwestern University School of Law

Juris Doctor, 1985

Brigham Young University

Bachelor of Science in Finance, 1982

  • Composite Minor in Economics and Accounting


  • Summary of California Fair Claims Settlement Practice Regulations, 2013
  • An Update on the Application of Unfair Claims Settlement Practices and Bad Faith to The Fidelity Insurer Fidelity Law Journal Volume X, October 2004
  • Member Editorial Board of The Fidelity and Surety Digest, 2003-2012
  • Contributing Author to The Surety’s Indemnity Agreement Law and Practice, American Bar Association, 2002
  • Contributing Author to The Most Important Questions A Surety Can Ask About Performance Bonds, American Bar Association, 1997