“Mark is approachable.” That’s what we hear from our clients and many lawyers and judges. Since Mark ‘s earliest days in nearby Prince George County, Virginia where he excelled on the football field and in the classroom and he has been a leader who can effectively communicate his ideas in ways people understand. At James Madison University (JMU) and later at the University of Richmond School of law, Mark displayed those skills, winning outstanding student awards and building consensus for the things that mattered most to him — helping people in difficult circumstances. This translated into his professional career being named to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Mark has handled cases from California to Pennsylvania and, of course, Virginia, where he has won the respect of peers and judges being named one of the country’s pre-eminent trial lawyers holding the coveted distinction of an “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the nation’s oldest, largest and most respected lawyer rating service. He was elevated by his fellow lawyers to sit on the Board of Governors of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and to help in the selection of state judges on the prestigious Richmond Bar Association’s Judiciary Committee.
Mark’s talents are not just reserved for big companies and rich clients. His most gratifying cases are those that help real people. In 1989, Mark spent hours sifting through piles of dirty boxes to find a warrant that exonerated a client who was charged with failing to pay child support. It seems a judge years before had determined that the child was not Mark’s client’s in the first place. In 1997, Mark traveled to Pennsylvania to take on a city hall determined to force small businesses to pay taxes it didn’t enforce on other larger businesses. After winning in the trial court, the case went on to the Pennsylvania appellate courts where the Judges agreed the tax was unfair and unconstitutional. His client even got nominated for the “Liberty Bell Award” for defending the rights of people to be treated equally. Throughout it all, Mark has held on to one simple ideal: “The law should work for regular people, not just the people in the corporate suites”. That simple idea comes through in everything he does in cases against manufacturers, governments, and insurance companies.
Mark has been married to his wife Suzanne for 31 years. They have two sons, Mark and David, who followed their father to JMU and who now work in the financial sector. In his spare time, Mark writes for legal blogs and speaks to students and young lawyers about how to partner with the law to achieve wonderful things.