Business Litigation and Shareholder Actions
The firm regularly represents businesses and individuals in disputes involving any variety of business torts, shareholder and partnership disputes, employment relationships, and breaches of contract.
Over the past decade, Mark and Brian have developed a niche practice in shareholder and member oppression actions under MCL 450.1489 and 4515. They have represented plaintiffs and defendants in dozens of oppression cases involving wide ranging forms of relief, including corporate dissolution, buy-outs, and damages ranging from the hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of dollars – both in trial and through negotiations and settlement.
Mark and Brian's recoveries in business litigation cases have repeatedly ranked among the top recoveries in the state. In 2013 and 2015, Mark and Brian, respectively, obtained the #1 largest settlements reported in Michigan Lawyers Weekly, both in complex shareholder oppression cases. In 2017, the firm was profiled by Michigan Lawyer's Weekly for an $840,000 settlement it obtained on behalf of a minority member of a hotel business.
Mark and Brian wrote the briefs in the first shareholder oppression case to reach the Michigan Supreme Court, helping to clarify and preserve the contours and proper application of the oppression statute. Madugula v. Taub (Michigan Supreme Court, July 15, 2014). Also, Mark and Brian worked on appellate briefing in a matter that ultimately was decided by the Michigan Supreme Court in a seminal decision concerning statute of limitations and accrual dates under both of Michigan’s oppression statutes. Frank v. Linkner (Michigan Supreme Court, May 15, 2017). Mark wrote a brief article summarizing the implications of this decision.
Mark has written extensively on the subject of legal duties, rights, and obligations in the context of shareholding, partnership, and other fiduciary relationships. The Michigan Bar Journal published his writings on these subjects in 2012, 2008, and 2007. Brian has presented to attorneys and judges on shareholder litigation and business break-up issues for the State Bar of Michigan, and he has contributed to numerous articles published in the area of business litigation.
Business Formation, Transactions, and Contracts
The firm has extensive experience handling business transactions within and between close corporations, including the following:
- Business incorporation and formation
- Company By-Laws
- Shareholder, membership, and partnership agreements
- Operating Agreements
- Employment and independent contractor agreements
- Warranties and liability limitations
- Employee handbooks
- Intellectual property protections
- Buy-Sell agreements
- Stock Options
- Real estate transactions
- Severance agreements
Intellectual Property Litigation and Counseling
The firm also has substantial experience in patent, trademark, trade secret, and copyright litigation. Max has provided representation in intellectual property disputes spanning a range of industries, including the computer software, internet technology, e-commerce, consumer electronics, medical device, DNA testing, and beverage industries. He has served as counsel of record and negotiated settlements in multiple patent and trademark cases. He was part of the trial team in a successful, high-stakes patent suit on behalf of a global medical technology company.
Max also provides strategic advice on intellectual property matters, guiding businesses and individuals through the process of securing, managing, and protecting their intellectual property in the United States and abroad.
Banking and Special Assets Litigation
The firm has has extensive experience in banking and special assets litigation. Mark has successfully litigated over 100 commercial special assets cases over the years. He utilizes unique and aggressive motion practice and collections strategies to move these cases toward resolution as expeditiously as possible. He has extensive experience in foreclosure by advertisement and judicial action and is expert in clearing complicated title defects.
On November 19, 2015, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed a nearly $1 million judgment that Mark obtained at trial on behalf of a financial institution after 5 years of litigation. Sterling Bank & Trust F.S.B. v. SC Southfield. On November 30, 2015, the Court of Appeals affirmed a summary disposition dismissal that Mark achieved for his client in a lender liability case. Younce v. JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Family Law; Custody and Divorce
The firm expertly handles a variety of family law matters. Mark has an exemplary track record of resolving such cases early, and short of trial, through facilitative mediation, helping to minimize the financial and emotional impact that such cases have on a family.
The firm also specializes in class action litigation, including in the areas of ERISA benefits, consumer protection, and property rights. Brian has successfully litigated class actions in courts around the nation. He has obtained groundbreaking judgments and settlements on behalf of thousands of children with autism in class actions challenging the denial of health care benefits. Two such settlements ranked among the top 5 class action recoveries reported in Michigan the year they settled. Brian also obtained a property damage settlement for a class of homeowners that ranked among the top 5 class action recoveries reported that year.