Mark R. Hornak was appointed as a United States District Judge by President Barack Obama on October 19, 2011 and entered on duty on November 21, 2011. He became Chief Judge of the Court on December 7, 2018.
Judge Hornak is a Judge of the Court’s “Veterans Court” and “BRIDGES Court” Reentry Court programs. He is a co-founder of the Q. Todd Dickinson American Inn of Court, which is dedicated to intellectual property law, and is a member of the Third Circuit Judicial Council.
He was born in Homestead, Pennsylvania in 1956. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and was named a University Scholar by the Chancellor of the University. While in law school, he served as editor-in-chief of the University of Pittsburgh Law Review. Upon law school graduation, he was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and then served as a law clerk to Hon. James M. Sprouse of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. From 1989 to 1993, he served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching employment litigation. He is an Elected Life Member of the American Law Institute, and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is also a member of the faculty of the National Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia.
In 1982, Judge Hornak began the private practice of law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His practice focused on civil litigation, labor and employment law, the representation of government agencies and officials, and the national representation of broadcasters, publishers and authors, along with extensive service as an ADR neutral. From 1994 to 2011, he was the Solicitor to the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, serving as the principal public lawyer for the development and construction of Pittsburgh's Major League baseball park, along with its NFL football stadium and NHL hockey arena, along with its convention center. Judge Hornak also served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Practice and Procedure of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
While in practice, Judge Hornak participated in a variety of civic and community organizations, including service as a member and President of his local public school board, and on a number of civic and charitable boards, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, the Girl Scouts of Southwestern Pennsylvania, WQED Multimedia, Leadership Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Foundation. He previously served as a Battalion Chief/Emergency Medical Technician in his community's volunteer fire department, and as an interscholastic basketball official.