56th Commissioned Judge, U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
HON. MARK R. HORNAK
The Honorable Mark R. Hornak was appointed as a United States District Judge by President Barack Obama on October 19, 2011, and entered on duty on November 21, 2011.
Judge Hornak is a designated patent judge pursuant to the Court’s designation as a “Patent Pilot Court” under Public Law 111-349. He is also a Judge of the Court’s “Veterans Court” and “Bridges Court” Programs. He chairs the Court’s Rules Committee and its Jury Committee, is a member of its Case Management, Court Governance, Court Reporters, and Information Technology Committees, and is a member of its Patent Case Task Force. He is a founder of the Q. Todd Dickinson American Inn of Court, which is dedicated to intellectual property law.
He was born in Homestead, Pennsylvania in 1956, and grew up in Munhall, Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh in 1978, where he was a National Merit Scholar, and a James Fulton Congressional Intern with Hon. William S. Moorhead (PA-14). He received his law degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh in 1981, and was named a University Scholar by the Chancellor of the University. While in law school, he served as editor-in-chief of the University of Pittsburgh Law Review and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. Upon graduation, he served as a law clerk to Hon. James M. Sprouse of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. From 1989 to 1993, he served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching employment litigation. He is an Elected Member of the American Law Institute, and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Judge Hornak has also served on the faculty of the National Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia.
In 1982, Judge Hornak began the practice of law at the Pittsburgh office of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, where he served on the Firm’s Executive Committee and chaired its Conflicts Committee, and where he remained in practice until his appointment to the Court. His practice focused on civil litigation, labor and employment law, the representation of government agencies and officials, and the national representation of broadcasters, publishers and authors, along with extensive service as an ADR neutral. From 1994 to 2011, he also served as the Solicitor to the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, which developed and constructed PNC Park, Heinz Field, PPG Paints Arena and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Judge Hornak also served as a Governor of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, and as a member of the Advisory Committee on Practice and Procedure of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Judge Hornak previously participated in a variety of community organizations, including service on the Boards of School Directors of the Steel Valley (PA) School District and of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. He has also served on the boards of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, the Girl Scouts of Southwestern Pennsylvania, WQED Multimedia, Leadership Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Economy League of Southwestern Pennsylvania. He previously served as a Battalion Chief/Emergency Medical Technician with the Munhall Volunteer Fire Department, and as an interscholastic basketball official.
While in practice, he was peer-recognized as a “Best Lawyer in America,” as one of Pennsylvania’s “Top 100 Lawyers,” as one of the “Top 50 Lawyers” in Pittsburgh, and as Pittsburgh’s 2012 Lawyer of the Year in labor law. For many years, he was listed in Chambers and Partners “Leading Lawyers -- USA” in labor and employment law.