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Mark J. Spansel


Mark Spansel joined Adams and Reese in 1978 and is a Partner in the firm’s New Orleans office. As a trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience, Mark concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation and complex litigation, environmental and toxic tort litigation, energy and maritime litigation, and economic development.

Mark has served as trial and coordinating litigation counsel for a major, international energy company for 30 years, obtaining successful trial verdicts and outcomes in casualty and commercial litigation arising in connection with offshore and onshore drilling operations. He also has represented a Fortune 500 oil and gas refiner in litigation and corporate matters for over 15 years, including environmental exposure, commercial, casualty, environmental regulation, and transactional matters.

Mark’s significant experience also includes:

  • Representation of the States of Texas and Oklahoma in successful recovery of damages to rebuild a bridge struck by a towing vessel with barges. Successful defense of a Spanish shipbuilding company in connection with a collision on the Mississippi River.
  • Defense and management of exposures of a company in various lawsuits alleging maritime exposure to asbestos.

Mark has served on the Executive Committee of Greater New Orleans Inc. as Secretary and is a member of the Super-Region Committee, a collaborative effort between Greater New Orleans, Inc. and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber to focus on beneficial economic outcomes for Southeast Louisiana. He has served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce and was the Chamber’s General Counsel. He has also served as a member of the Jefferson Business Council.

Mark is ranked by Chambers USA for environmental litigation. He was honored with the "Words of Wisdom" Speakers Award by the International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI) in 2007.

Mark frequently lectures on maritime law and offshore/oil field liabilities at professional and industry seminars, including the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) Contracts & Risk Management Conference. He has been a regular speaker at IRMI’s Construction Risk Conference since 1984 and at its Energy Conference since its inception, and has co-authored several articles on maritime law for its “Risk Report.”

Mark was born in New Orleans on December 17, 1955 and attended Jesuit High School (1973). He and his wife, Joy, have been married since 1976, and have four children - Laura, Shelly, Erik and Brett and ten grandchildren. Mark enjoys being with his family, following the interests and activities of his children, doing charitable and community work and playing golf.

Among the people Mark most admires is Johnny Unitas because “he was a simple man with average talent who overachieved and attained greatness as a professional quarterback.” He believes the Unitas motto can be applied in most aspects of life: “Talk is cheap, just play the game.”