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Mark Joseph Kenney 1952-2022

On March 26, 2022, we lost our partner Mark Kenney. He left a rich legacy both personally and professionally.

Mark was devoted to Severson & Werson, its clients and the financial services industry that he represented for his entire 42 years in civil practice. Mark was a leader, mentor, scholar and friend who enriched the lives of all of us who practice with him. He was an exceptional advocate who represented some of the worlds’ largest corporations as well as the neediest of individuals, showing all of them the same care, zeal and enthusiasm. His practice ranged from the simplest courts in rural America to the California Supreme Court. Mark also served Severson in many capacities including as a managing partner for many years. And through it all, Mark never lost his love of the law.

Mark was raised in Colorado, but was equally at home in San Francisco where he attended USF and New York where he excelled at NYU Law School. After law school, Mark became the favorite law clerk of one of the top federal district court judges in the country, Judge Paul Matsch of Denver. On completion of his clerkship, Mark joined Severson where he specialized in the representation of financial institutions of all varieties, including banks, mortgage originators and auto finance companies. He was active in the American Financial Services Association where he served for many years as the Secretary of its Law Committee. Mark was a superb trial lawyer with victories in numerous high visibility cases, e.g. AFSA v. City of Oakland, 34 Cal.4th 1239 (2005). Mark also had a range of pro bono clients, including organizations such as the ACLU and simple individuals with extraordinary needs.

Over the years, Mark was responsible for a score of young attorneys whom he mentored and have become leaders both in our firm, the State Bar and our community. His greatest legacy is his family. He is survived by his wife, Sheila, and four sons, Austin (a Member in Severson’s Irvine office), O’Bryan, Zachary and Mark Gabriel. We are all blessed and privileged to have had Mark as a friend and colleague.

Attorneys Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California

Experienced Attorneys at an Institutional Law Firm with over 70 years of experience delivering sound legal counsel, fierce advocacy, cost-effective trial results, and shortened resolution times throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Orange County.

Our award-winning business, financial services, insurance, construction, employment, real estate, and banking attorneys have been an integral part of the growth and health of the modern banking, financial services, and insurance industries nationwide.

Our clients include banks, market funded consumer and automobile finance companies, mortgage bankers, and domestic and foreign insurance companies. Our team of litigators and transactional attorneys have a vast track record of success in obtaining results for businesses of all sizes and individuals.

The results our attorneys have obtained throughout San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, and nationwide have given us a unique advantage in serving clients of all sizes by taking on cases at any stage of a trial and matters of banking & financial law, insurance law, construction, business litigation, employment law, and real estate.  Unlike many law firms, our unique team of both transactional lawyers and trial attorneys means we have the expertise to represent our clients at all stages of a case, from beginning to end.

Contact our team of attorneys today for trusted legal counsel and to learn more about the Severson Advantage.

Consumer Finance

District Court (Mass.) Finds Mass. State Law That Is Exempted from FCRA Pre-Emption Still Provides No Remedy

In Brown v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Civil Action No. 22-11298-FDS, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86171 (D. Mass. May 17, 2023), Judge Saylor dismissed a claim under Massachusetts state law. The Massachusetts Credit Reporting Act provides, in relevant part, that:…


California Appellate Tracker

Diaz v. Zuniga, No. B318131, 2023 Cal. App. LEXIS 395 (Ct. App. May 19, 2023)

Following Balistreri v. Balistreri (2022) 75 Cal.App.5th 511, this decision holds that if a trust provides a procedure or method for amending the trust, whether phrased as exclusive or optional, any amendment must conform to that procedure or method; otherwise it is invalid.  Prob. Code 15402’s “qualification ‘[u]nless the trust instrument provides otherwise’ indicates that if any modification method is…