Mark Bale litigates civil matters with an emphasis on business, commercial, real estate, construction and lender/creditor issues.  He regularly handles complex, multi-million-dollar business and commercial matters in state, federal and bankruptcy courts throughout California. Mark also advises clients in a variety of real estate matters, business purchase and sale transactions, and business entity formations and regularly drafts and negotiates a variety of complex legal documents and contracts. Mark has represented a broad range of entity clients including financial institutions and lenders, commercial and residential property owners, real estate developers, construction management companies, general contractors and subcontractors, insurance companies, and government entities. Mark also counsels businesses of all sizes on labor and employment issues and legal compliance in all aspects of business operations.

Mark gained significant business development and strategic management experience in Internet and emerging technology fields with two San Diego technology companies from 1999 to 2003. As a result, Mark has a unique and valuable perspective on the intersection of the business world and his legal practice.

Mark serves as the Athletic Committee Chair on the Board of Directors of the Foundation of La Jolla High School and previously served on the Board of Directors of the La Jolla Youth Baseball organization.  He is an avid sports fan and a music enthusiast who enjoys spending time at San Diego’s beaches with his wife and sons.


  • University of San Diego (B.A., 1990)
  • California Western School of Law (J.D., 1994)


  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers - San Diego
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • State Bar of California

community service

  • Board of Directors, Foundation of La Jolla High School, 2017-Present 
  • Board of Directors, La Jolla Youth Baseball, 2012-2016

Related News


We are delighted to announce the elevation of John Schena and Kristen Bush to named partners, marking a significant milestone for the firm. Effective February 1, 2024, the firm proudly embraces its new identity as Schwartz Semerdjian Cauley Schena & Bush (SSCSB). Additionally, we are pleased to recognize the outstanding accomplishment of attorney Mark Bale, who is being elevated to partner.

These advancements underscore our commitment to nurturing and promoting exceptional talent within our ranks. Managing Partner Ross Schwartz expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “John, Kristen and Mark have grown with our firm over the years and we are thrilled to see them assuming new leadership roles to help take the firm to a new generation in the San Diego community.”

John Schena is a seasoned trial attorney with an emphasis on commercial litigation, including fiduciary duty, trade secret, and employment matters.  John has significant arbitration and trial experience, including first-chairing three jury trials over the last year.  He is dedicated the communities in San Diego and Baja and provides expertise to local non-profits. 

Kristen Bush is an accomplished business litigator, dedicated to representing individuals and businesses in a diverse spectrum of legal challenges, including contract disputes, professional liability matters, construction-related issues, and various other facets of business torts. Her expertise has garnered recognition at a national level, exemplified by her exclusive selection for the American Bar Association's Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Leadership Academy, an honor that only 25 attorneys nationwide receive.

Mark Bale has over twenty-five years of experience litigating civil matters with an emphasis on business, commercial, real estate, construction, liability defense, and lender/creditor issues.  He regularly represents clients in complex disputes in state, federal and bankruptcy courts throughout California.

Founding Partner Dick Semerdjian expressed his confidence in the newly appointed leaders, stating, “John, Kristen and Mark have built tremendous rapport with our clients and the San Diego community over the years, and we look forward to seeing them flourish in their new leadership roles.”

Congratulations, John, Kristen and Mark!


On February 12, 2020, the Associated Subcontractors Alliance will host their Annual Legal Update and Member Showcase, an information packed review of new and noteworthy employment and labor laws and regulations that affect those in the construction industry.  Schwartz Semerdjian attorneys Kevin Cauley, Kristen Bush, and Mark Bale will present on various topics, including the use of independent contractors, lactation rooms, amendments to the California Pay Act, harassment training requirements, paid family leave, and compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act.  Click here for the event flyerRegistration can be completed online at the ASA website.


Schwartz Semerdjian attorney Mark Bale was recently selected as the Athletic Committee Chair for the Foundation of La Jolla High School.  Mark serves on the board of directors of the Foundation of LJHS which was established to enhance the overall educational experience of LJHS students by raising, managing and disbursing funds to support academic, athletic and other needs of the school for which funding is not available. Congratulations, Mark!


Schwartz Semerdjian recently added an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) win to its portfolio with a client in Hillcrest. Residents in the area for more than 40 years, were sued by a developer when they reported disregard of appropriate permitting practices for a neighboring property. The developer sued them for losses after the property failed to sell, and they retained SSCM attorneys Dick Semerdjian, Mark Bale and Alison Adelman because the clients believed the lawsuit was a “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation,” an impermissible attempt to chill their free speech and petition.

After extensive briefing and oral argument, the Court granted the anti-SLAPP motion, and the victory will result in the dismissal of five causes of action against firm’s clients, to their great relief and the reimbursement of the attorney’s fees and costs they spent relative to hiring the firm to defend them. For more information concerning the California anti-SLAPP statute, contact us at (619) 236-8821.


Schwartz Semerdjian associate attorney Mark Bale was invited to speak to the San Diego Chapter of the Forensic Expert Witness Association (“FEWA”) at their dinner meeting on July 25, 2016.  Mark’s presentation to the FEWA members will address recent changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the impact of those changes on the work of attorneys and expert witnesses.