Mark Rossman, Esq.
Mark has been described in various media outlets not only as a “legal fighter,” but also a “peacemaker,” who “knows the bounds of uncertainty” and “puts the human factor first.” Early on in his career, Michigan Lawyers Weekly likened Mark to a gladiator, observing that he finds himself very much at home and quite eager to step into the high stakes battle arena of business litigation and negotiation:
“If the courtroom is a battlefield, Troy attorney Mark C. Rossman doesn’t mind affixing his helmet, strapping on his boots and grabbing a bayonet. . . [and] no matter what he handles, Rossman knows the human factor always comes first.”
This has proven true both inside and outside of the courtroom, as Mark’s defense of another was recently featured in local media outlets for stepping into the middle of a violent and life-threatening road rage incident during the morning commute on February 11, 2020. Mark’s, and his firm’s, willingness, and, in fact, eagerness, to engage their opponents in the courtroom – or out on the street, as the case may be – is precisely what so many times motivates our adversaries to consider more “peaceful” alternatives, which, of course, so often represent the best outcomes for everyone involved . . . But when the words “mutual resolution” are not on the table, Mark and his team are ready to affix and take up the proverbial helmets and bayonets and go to work.
Mark’s reputation as a fighter is well earned. In his prior law firm, Mantese & Rossman, P.C., where he became a named partner just 6 years out of law school, Mark was tasked with his share of high-profile litigation battles from a very young age. His first day on the job, just before 9/11, he was assigned to file an $83.5 million lawsuit against Kellogg on behalf of a British bagel company, which case he promptly drafted and filed, litigating it with his team for the next 5 years, ultimately settling in the Federal Court of Appeals. Mark won another case against Kellogg during that time in an intellectual property challenge involving the Toucan Sam trademark. A few years later, Mark single-handedly sued a prominent law firm in response to a wrongful seizure of his client’s assets, and, it is fair to say, he not only took that law firm to the proverbial cleaners, but he also made a public example of what happens to a debt collector who crosses the line.
He achieved a class action settlement against a home builder on behalf of 40 homeowners for construction defects. He sued Waste Management for noxious odors, forcing the garbage empire to settle for over $18 million in cash and remediation measures. That same year, he and his former law partner secured a $1.275 million jury verdict in Federal Court for breach of an email contract. Still, in the first decade of his practice, Mark co-wrote a brief in the United States Supreme Court with the renowned practitioner, David Frederick, Esq., and won, securing a unanimous decision from the High Court which teed up a substantial settlement in an Arkansas class action against Big Tobacco. In addition to filing Supreme Court Briefs that year, Mark displayed his early penchant for managing a diversity of practice, cross-examining a cold-blooded murderer in the Oakland County Jailhouse, as reported by the Detroit News, which experience inspired his award-winning 2015 short story, The Last Bullet. In 2012, Mark was part of a litigation team that secured the largest business law settlement reported in the State of Michigan on behalf of a minority shareholder – $13,000,000. He also procured the 13th largest recovery in a shareholder case of $4.59 million and represented a Judge in a lawsuit to secure insurance benefits for an autistic child. He also challenged government overreach, suing the State of Michigan Department of Treasury in a class action for violation of the 4th Amendment, forcing an internal policy change against warrantless searches and seizures of assets.
“If the courtroom is a battlefield, Troy attorney Mark C. Rossman doesn’t mind affixing his helmet, strapping on his boots and grabbing a bayonet. . . [and] no matter what he handles, Rossman knows the human factor always comes first.” – Douglas J Levy, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 11/19/2007
He has 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 tens of thousands to tens of millions of dollars.
In 2015, he formed Rossman, P.C., where he and his team represent both the Davids and the Goliaths of the business world and beyond. Mark’s client base is indeed varied, including individuals being oppressed or marginalized in business relationships and who require some muscle in order to level the playing field, such as, perhaps, a minority shareholder who is being choked out of the business by the controlling majority; or close corporations and privately held businesses of varying net worth and value ranging from a fledgling start-up to well-established businesses with substantial value and a strong need for corporate governance, litigation avoidance protection, succession planning, crisis management, or partnership separation.
Mark has not only recovered tens of millions of dollars for his clients but, just as importantly, he has also protected his clients from loss when under attack through corporate planning, crisis strategies and litigation defense. Mark’s versatility and abilities in very multifaceted areas of law are unparalleled, as recognized by his peers. He has been voted a DBusiness Top Lawyer five times in the fields of business transactions and litigation, and also family law – Commercial Law (2016), Family Law (2018), Commercial Litigation (2019-2020) and Business Law (2021). He is the only lawyer in the State of Michigan to have ever received this election in both the family and business law categories. He has been named in Super Lawyers continuously since 2009, being voted into the prestigious Top 100 list in 2020. Early in his career, he was named an “Up & Coming Lawyer” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
Now, entering his third decade of practice, Mark has become one of the preeminent practitioners and authorities in the area of fiduciary breach and corporate oppression actions. He has 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 tens of thousands to tens of millions of dollars. Mark has handled these matters in trial courts around the state and all the way up to the Michigan Supreme Court. He co-wrote the briefs in the first shareholder oppression case to reach the Michigan Supreme Court. Madugula v. Taub (Michigan Supreme Court, July 15, 2014). Mark wrote briefs in the Court of Appeals for 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 also secured a groundbreaking decision in the Michigan Court of Appeals in a member oppression case, reversing the trial court’s ruling and ordering that a judgment be entered in favor of the firm’s client on his member oppression and other claims. Castle v. Shoham (Michigan Court of Appeals, August 7, 2018), which case Mark tried on remand with H. Joel Newman, Esq. at the start of the pandemic in what is believed to be the first trial by Zoom conducted by a business court during the 2020 quarantine.
Mark has written extensively on the subject of legal duties, rights, and obligations in the context of shareholding, partnership, and other corporate relationships. The Michigan Bar Journal published his writings on the fiduciary obligations inherent in reinsurance contracts, fiduciary duty and the partnership component, and corporate oppression. He is also a co-chair in the State Bar of Michigan Small Business Section.
Oral Argument in Michigan Court of Appeals
June 5, 2018
Castle v. Shoham
Mark has structured the following types of transactions:
- All manner of corporate governance
- The formation of privately-held businesses.
- Shareholder and member operating agreements
- Partnership arrangements
- Commercial real estate transactions
- Stock purchase agreements
- Asset purchase agreements
- Automotive supplier agreements
- Sales representative and employment agreements
- Non-compete and non-solicit agreements
From 2018-2020, Mark hosted and presented at the State Bar of Michigan, Business Law Section Annual Symposium on Corporate Oppression, in both Detroit and Grand Rapids. Each year, Mark and the firm devote a substantial amount of time to this very prestigious program, which features the top practitioners and academics in the field of business law. Here is a link to the firm’s Symposia Archives, where you will find the videos and program materials as archived by the State Bar of Michigan: click here.
“I tell them that there are three certainties in litigation . . . First, it’s going to cost a lot. Secondly, it will take a lot of time. And finally, the outcome is entirely uncertain.”
– Mark Rossman, Oakland County Legal News, 1/19/2021
Some of Mark’s recent representative engagements include the following:
- Fiduciary partners in separation, corporate oppression and dissolution actions
- General Counsel of Caballo Bravo, a digital media platform serving Latino and Native American market
- Foreign consulting company in successfully defending business tort claims
- Bankruptcy creditor/adversarial proceeding plaintiff in $3,000,000 settlement
- Insured sued by AAA Insurance for fraud (no cause jury verdict + all attorney fees awarded)
- Holders of six-seven figure commercial judgments in collections and seizure
- Troy commercial furniture business in sale of stock
- Terminated executives in severance and cash-out negotiations
- Sales representative in unpaid commissions actions
- Sellers in sale of hospital to Veterans Administration in Saginaw
- Commercial lender in trial resulting in a $1 million judgment
- Medical doctor in contested peer review action
- Sellers of real estate easement and leases to cellular telephone company
- Both husbands and wives in high asset divorce matters
Some of Mark’s litigation experience includes:
- Member and shareholder oppression disputes
- Partnership and fiduciary duty actions
- Business breach of contract and tort cases
- Real estate disputes
- Medical practitioner peer review
- Lender liability cases (bank side)
- Commercial judicial foreclosures
- Complex commercial collections and debtor investigation
- Automotive supplier disputes
- Construction defect cases
- Class actions
- Environmental remediation litigation
- Bankruptcy matters (creditor side)
- Probate disputes
- Family law and child custody matters
Before attending University of Michigan and graduating with honors in 1998 with a degree in English, Mark spent a year living alone in the Hoback Junction region of Northwest Wyoming. After his undergraduate and trial-by-dangerous-error wilderness survival studies, he attended Wayne State University Law School, earning his Juris Doctor, cum laude, in 2001. Mark distinguished himself in law school, earning a Silver Key Certificate for high scholarship and by winning first place in the law school’s very competitive mock trial contest.
Mark is a lifelong resident of Southeast Michigan. He is married with three children. Outside of his law practice, he enjoys writing fiction and poetry, snowboarding, baseball, drone photography, and, when time permits, working on material for his publishing company, publishing313. Mark won second place in the State Bar of Michigan’s writing competition for his fiction piece, The Last Bullet, which examines the questions and contradictions inherent in an act of vigilante justice.
Mark was well-advised at an early age of the hard work and dedication inherent in becoming a successful attorney. His father worked at one of the greatest law firms in Detroit, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, LLP. On Saturdays, Mark would go to the office and roam the halls while his dad dictated letters, marked up hard copy contracts (no computers back then), and reviewed the new supplements to health care regulations. What strikes Mark most in hindsight was how seriously the attorneys in there, on the weekend, took their job. It was in the pursuit of that very same high caliber law practice for which the Honigman firm is known that Mark founded the firm in 2015 and quickly partnered with the most capable, hard-working, diligent and intelligent lawyers in order to grow the firm and provide legal services at the highest levels.