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Full Biography

Mark Kompa and Irina Igorevna GavrilovaMidnight opening of the drawbridges at St. Petersburg, Russia (June 2013)

I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. I attended John Overton High School, where I served as student council president my senior year. I was a member of the Overton debate team my junior and senior years and won the state debate championship, going 8-0 in the tournament during my senior year of high school in 1973.

I aspired to be a lawyer since I was in the tenth grade and so I am living my dream.

Although I grew up in Nashville, I attended the University of Southern California on a full debate scholarship. I was on one of only 78 teams that qualified for the National Debate Tournament my sophomore year in 1975. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from USC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1977.

I attended Syracuse College of Law from 1977 to 1980. I graduated with my Juris Doctorate degree in 1980 and was awarded the American Jurisprudence Award in Administrative Law.

I was a Deputy Sheriff with the Metropolitan Sheriff's Department all four summers that I attended college. I was the radio dispatcher, served subpoenas, and guarded prisoners awaiting trial in the top floor lock-up at the courthouse in downtown Nashville.

I served as an intern at the Governor's Office after my first year of law school during the summer of 1978. My office was at the state capitol building in Nashville, where I worked directly for the governor's lobbyist, J. Nelson Biddle III.

After my second year of law school, I interned at the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office under District Attorney Edward G. Rendell, where I was permitted to try misdemeanor cases and conduct preliminary hearings in felony cases. During my internship in the summer of 1979, I tried 10 cases to verdict, winning them all.

Upon graduating law school, I passed both the July, 1980 Pennsylvania bar and the February, 1987 California bar on my first attempts. I have been a member in good standing of both bars since I was admitted to practice in those jurisdictions.

From 1980 to 1984, I served as an assistant district attorney (ADA) in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, where I was assigned to the Municipal Court Unit (for one year), the Special Investigations Unit (for two years), and the Felony Jury Unit (for my final year there).

While in the Special Investigations Unit, my supervisor and I reviewed all officer-involved shootings in the city and county of Philadelphia, and I prosecuted all officer-involved crimes, including a false arrest case, two forgery cases, and an officer-involved shooting case where a police sergeant shot at another policeman in a police station over a police woman. During the year that I served in the Felony Jury Unit, I was primarily responsible for prosecuting a caseload of 118 felony cases that had been assigned to the Honorable Jacob Kalish of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. During the four years that I served as an ADA, I tried approximately 200 cases to verdict, including 12 jury trials.

In October 1984, I joined Adelman, Lavine, Gold & Levin, which was then the most prestigious debtor-trustee bankruptcy law firm in Philadelphia. As an associate at Adelman, Lavine, I was principally responsible for litigating cases in bankruptcy court for the firm's clients, which culminated in four favorable decisions published in the Bankruptcy Reporter.

In December 1986, I returned to California. In June 1989, I founded the Law Offices of Mark A. Kompa as a sole practitioner. Among my representative clients are:

  • Brookfield Office Properties (Since 2013)
  • First American Title Insurance Company (Since 1991)
  • The Irvine Company (Since 1989)
  • The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) (Since 2016)
  • Dansk Investment Group, Inc., f/k/a USA Petroleum Corp. (Since 2011)

During my tenure as a sole practitioner, I have tried at least 50 cases to judgment or verdict, including a one-month legal malpractice jury trial and one-day breach of contract jury trial, both of which I won across-the-board.

On May 9, 2014, I married actress Irina Igorevna Gavrilova of Dubna, Russia, who may be found on IMDb under Irina Kompa. We reside together in Tustin Ranch, California, where I have resided for the past 19 years.

I am a member of USC's Cardinal & Gold Club, and contribute annually to St. Jude's Hospital, City of Hope, Ability First, and Syracuse College of Law.

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