Mark is a partner in Taft's Commercial Litigation practice. He focuses his practice principally in the areas of:
- Commercial litigation
- Consumer finance and mortgage banking litigation
- Class action defense
- Trade regulation litigation
Mark has represented mortgage banking and financial institution clients for more than 20 years, with particular emphasis in class action defense. In this area of his practice, he has served as lead trial counsel in handling dozens of class actions across the country, representing clients in state and federal courts. Mark has defeated class certification, obtained dismissals, tried cases and argued appeals in consumer finance class actions involving RESPA, mortgage broker fees/yield-spread premiums (YSP), truth-in-lending, discharge fees, escrow practices, fair lending statutes, debt-collection practices, late fees, foreclosure and private mortgage insurance.
Mark’s experiences with class action defense reaches into other substantive areas, such as representing clients in wage and hour claims, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as securities/shareholder disputes, mass torts and antitrust.
In his commercial litigation practice, Mark has handled cases involving the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and breach of warranty/breach of contract; the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO); fraud; the federal Lanham Act and trademark infringement; franchise, dealership, and shareholder disputes; and attorney malpractice.
While Mark was in law school, he was a member of the UCLA Law Review. Mark was also a legal writing instructor at the University of Minnesota Law School. He has mediated cases for the Hennepin County District Court Volunteer Lawyer Project.
Mark’s community activities include: Boy Scouts of America, Northern Star Council (President’s Cabinet member), World Press Institute (Host Family), and University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts Alumni Society (former Director).
Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer (2010)
Recipient, Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award, U.S. District Court District of Minnesota (2010)
All Service Areas
- UCLA School of Law (1983)
- University of Minnesota (1979)
summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
- State - California
- State - Minnesota
- Federal - U.S. Supreme Court
- Federal - 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Federal - 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Federal - 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Federal - District of Arizona
- Federal - District of Minnesota
- Federal - Western District of Wisconsin
- Federal - 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Defended correspondent lenders in repurchase litigation on multi-million dollar breach of representation/warranty and indemnification claims brought by purchaser who subsequently sold loans into residential mortgage-backed securities.
- Obtained decertification/summary judgment in favor of wholesale lenders in RESPA § 8 yield spread premium case; affirmed by the 8th, 9th, and 11th Circuits.
- Obtained summary judgment and denial of class certification in favor of mortgage servicer concerning late fees; affirmed twice by the 11th Circuit.
- Obtained denial of class certification against mortgage servicer concerning private mortgage insurance; affirmed by Minnesota Court of Appeals.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of mortgage servicer concerning payoff fees; affirmed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
- Obtained denial of class certification on fee split claim concerning appraisal fees; individual settlement mooted appeal to 8th Circuit.
- Successfully defended mortgage lenders, servicers, and investors in individual lawsuits related to mortgage loan origination, servicing, and default practices, including lawsuits concerning quiet title; foreclosure practices; predatory lending; loan modifications; RESPA, including fee splitting, referral fees, markups, and outsourcing; escrow account administration practices; truth-in-lending (TILA); force placed hazard insurance; private mortgage insurance; late fees; bankruptcy attorneys’ fees; mortgage payoff fees; discount fees; the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; Fair Credit Reporting Act; fraud; state consumer protection statutes; and federal preemption defenses.
- Obtained 8th Circuit reversal of trial court judgment that law firm client had breached its fiduciary duty to client and was required to disgorge legal fees earned.
- Represented civilly committed patient on §1983 claims for violations of substantive/procedural due process rights at state facility; jury verdict for compensatory/punitive damages of $408,500 and subsequent injunctive relief.
- Defended Fortune 500 telephone manufacturer on multi-million dollar breach of warranty/fraud claims; three jury trials.
- Represented vacuum cleaner manufacturer/distributor on trademark infringement/ defamation claims.
- Obtained denial of preliminary injunction against air compressor manufacturer on Lanham act claim; affirmed by 8th Circuit.
Speeches and Publications
- 2017-01-30, Comment, Splitting Up Alaska’s Oil Wealth Pie: The Constitutionality of Accumulative Residency Requirements After Zobel v. Williams, 12 UCLA-Alaska Law Review 119 (1983)
- 2017-01-30, A Practitioner’s Guide to Class Actions, Contributor (American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section 2010)
- American Bar Association
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Ramsey County Bar Association
- State Bar of California
- Consumer Litigation Section Council
- Washington County Historical Courthouse Advisory Committee