His work as Managing Shareholder has turned Zausmer, August & Caldwell into one of the most highly regarded litigation firms in Michigan.
In the courtroom, Mark has successfully tried and resolved a number of high-stakes, groundbreaking cases, such as his handling of a $14.9 million settlement on behalf of a client whose property was the target of an eminent domain taking by the U.S. government – the largest settlement in Michigan in 2002 as reported by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. His arguments in two eminent domain cases before the Michigan Supreme Court forged new law regarding acquisition of private property for public purposes.
Mark has also gained prominence for navigating financially distressed businesses through liquidation, rehabilitation, and receivership. He has been appointed as Receiver and Conservator to troubled businesses by the Governor, the Insurance Commissioner, the Attorney General, and the Cemetery Commissioner. He had a leading role in several troubled companies in which the State exercised its regulatory authority, such as The Wellness Plan, OmniCare, and most notably, a collection of 28 cemeteries across the state. In the cemetery matter, the prior owner misappropriated more than $60 million in trust funds, but after Mark instituted a number of measures to avoid financial collapse, recover assets, and restore solvency and profitability, the trust funds were replenished and the business was eventually sold and transitioned to a new owner. He also serves as counsel to Cadillac Insurance Company for one of the largest and most complex insurance company receiverships in Michigan history.
Mark’s influence has also been felt in the region’s economic growth. As counsel for the City of Detroit in the development of the Fox Theater District and the Cobo Hall expansion projects, he has been at the forefront of the revitalization of downtown Detroit. Mark has also represented Detroit and Wayne County in other important economic development projects in the region including the Chrysler Jefferson Assembly Plant, Tiger Stadium, Detroit City Airport, Pinnacle Aeropark, and Veterans Administration Hospital projects. His work has made a substantial impact on future growth in Southeastern Michigan. His participation in resolving budget disputes between the Wayne County Sheriff and the Wayne County Executive have also placed him at the forefront of important political issues in our region.
Despite his many victories and accomplishments, Mark is most proud of the law firm he has built. By assembling a team of talented and credentialed attorneys and fostering a culture of hard work, innovative thinking, and entrepreneurism, Zausmer, August & Caldwell has become the go-to firm for companies, municipalities, and individuals in need of first-class legal representation. For Mark, lists, rankings, and industry accolades are meaningless compared to the business and personal relationships he and his colleagues have cultivated with their clients and the deep trust that those clients place in the firm.