Main Menu

Overview

Insurance Claims/ERISA Litigation Attorney

Mark sues insurance companies when they fail to pay claims. Varnum represents only insureds in these matters. Mark has helped shape the landscape of Michigan insurance law since 1985. He is regularly asked to speak on insurance issues for continuing legal education programs, and at other Bar-related activities.

Mark is also Varnum's lead attorney in litigation matters dealing with employee benefit issues under ERISA. He has handled all facets of employee benefit litigation, from benefit claims to multi-employer plan contribution issues. Mark has acted as benefit counsel for litigation matters on a national basis for a Big Three Auto Maker and a national food processor.

Mark's practice has also allowed him to develop an extensive appellate practice. He has appeared at every level of state and federal court in the country, including the United States Supreme Court. His representation of the County of Kent in Northwest Airlines v The County of Kent, et al, 510 U.S. 355 (1994), culminated in a decision from the United States Supreme Court. Mark has also argued, en banc, before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Nixon v County of Kent, 76 F3d 1381 (6th Cir. 1996), en banc.

Mark is the chairperson of the Contributions Committee and coordinates Varnum's Pro Bono Services Program, which he has handled for over ten years.

Leadership

Honors & Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – ERISA, Grand Rapids, 2016, 2018

Best Lawyers in America®, Litigation – ERISA, Grand Rapids, since 2013

Leading Lawyers: Employee Benefits Law; Insurance Coverage Law: Consumer Insureds; Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law

Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated

Professional Affiliations

Grand Rapids Bar Association: Pro Bono Committee, chair

Oregon State Bar Association, member; House of Delegates, past member

State Bar of Michigan

Washington State Bar Association

News & Publications

Education

University of Detroit School of Law
Detroit, Michigan
J.D., cum laude, 1985

University of Washington
Seattle, Washington
B.A., cum laude, Communications, 1980
Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan
  • Oregon
  • Washington

Court Admissions

  • All Michigan state courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the District of Oregon
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • United States Supreme Court
Back to Page