Mark W. Batten, Esq.
Labor Guild Board of Directors
Cushing-Gavin Award Recipient
Management Attorney Award, 2017
Mark Batten is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Class & Collective Actions Group at Proskauer Rose, LLP. He represents employers nationwide in several industries at all stages of complex employment litigation, in collective bargaining, practice before the NLRB, labor arbitrations, union organizing campaigns, and day-to-day advice on contract administration and more. He also deals with diverse civil litigation and is an experienced appellate attorney.
A key component of Mark’s practice is representing media properties, first as a partner at Bingham Dana for eleven years, and continuing when he joined Proskauer in 2004. His publishers include the Boston Globe, the Portland Press Herald, and Gatehouse Media’s many New England and national daily and weekly newspapers. Their local dailies include the Quincy Patriot Ledger, the Brockton Enterprise, Worcester Telegram, Cape Cod Times, MetroWest Daily News, and the Providence Journal. Mark’s media practice also includes newsroom litigation related to libel defense, representing reporters under subpoena, and access to sealed records and judicial proceedings. On the digital side, he represents Gawker and Upworthy. Since 2003, the Internet has imploded print media’s traditional business model. As advertising and circulation revenues declined, that created “an existential threat to the industry,” Mark explains. “Newspapers had to figure out how to produce the highest quality product with fewer resources. With so many fixed costs and such an oppressive set of economic factors, management and their unions were in the same boat. To survive while maintaining as many jobs as possible, they had to find a way to partner and work collaboratively across the table. And they did.”
While the Boston Globe’s Senior Vice President for Operations and Employee Relations, Gregory Thornton (CGA ’02) worked with Mark for over fifteen years. Greg notes, “Mark has represented the Globe with the highest ethical standards, and always with a mind toward finding creative ideas to provide equitable solutions to complex labor issues in a challenging and changing newspaper environment. He is a brilliant labor and employment attorney, and a truly class act.”
After Harvard Law School and serving on the Law Review, he clerked for US District Judge Richard L. Williams. Mark then served as a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington for four years, where he was lead counsel in major litigation for over two dozen federal agencies, ranging from the U.S. Air Force, the CIA, the U.S. Secret Service, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Mark regularly writes and lectures on employment-related matters. In his spare time, he is an experienced computer programmer and has published several commercial computer games. Mark and his wife Margaret have two daughters.