Osborn partner Timothy Eckstein agreed, calling him a "decent, decent person to his core," with a playful side as well Mark kept a unicycle in his office that he occasionally rode in the hallway.
He was a truly gifted lawyer, added Osborn's Nelson. "I know people who were in the game for 20 years and didn't have his knack," he said. "Frankly, I think he was born to do this."
Mark, who passed the bar in 2005 after earning the highest score on the exam, began his career as a reporter, writing for the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Albuquerque Journal after he graduated from journalism school.
He explained why he switched careers to Berkeley journalism school dean emeritus Neil Henry. In Henry's book American Carnival: Journalism Under Siege in an Age of New Media, Mark said, "I came to realize that government officials are so well-trained in obfuscation and spin that it's next to impossible to get a real answer to most questions you ask them. This continues to drive me absolutely nuts with people in general.…I met a lot of lawyers while working on stories, and I came to think of them as the people who really understood what's going on, and the ones who can make real change in the final analysis."
Jenna Greene can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.