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Mark Smith

"Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest."

Mark Twain

smith-op

Key Service Areas

  • Construction Law
  • Dispute Resolution and Litigation Services
  • Human Resource and Employment Law

616.233.5216

legal assistant - Carol Przybylski

About Mark

What types of legal issues do you help individuals and businesses resolve?

I assist clients in developing policies, procedures and documents that address not only their internal operations but their dealings with customers and vendors so that they can focus on their core business rather than the legal consequences of their activities. In the event of an internal or external conflict, I help them identify the resolution they desire and the strategy to get there in an efficient, cost-effective manner, while minimizing how the issue at hand impacts the day-to-day operation of the business.

What skills help you advise the client and achieve the best results or outcomes?

Since I assist clients in not only their day-to-day business operations but in the resolution of disputes, I’m able to counsel them regarding how a given issue fits into the big picture view of their business. With a broad client base in diverse segments of the economy, I understand that one size does not fit all when it comes to solutions to problems. As a counselor, certified mediator and trial lawyer, I have a wide base of knowledge from which to draw in identifying a path forward that best fits the needs of the client.

What did you learn in your first year of practice that you still utilize today?

Personal integrity, honesty and civility are critical for any lawyer to properly serve their clients. With these attributes as a calling card, both your clients and your opponents will understand that your motivation is solely to solve the problem at hand rather than to gain some advantage at their expense. Never give your clients or your opponents any reason to think to the contrary and you will have happy clients, as well as the respect of the judges and lawyers you encounter in your practice.

Education

Marshall - Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary, J.D., 1981

Western Michigan University, B.B.A., 1978

Kellogg Community College, A.A., 1976

Insights

How to Attract Talent and Not Get Sued

September 28, 2016

View All

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer?

A:

I enjoy the opportunity to learn about a broad range of clients and to use my skills and experience to assist them in solving the issues they encounter. Every client is unique with different backgrounds, goals and expectations and so each day presents a new way to deliver legal services.

Mark currently serves the firm and its members as Vice President and a member of the Executive Committee. He was formerly a Grand Rapids Bar Association President.

Associations

Grand Rapids Bar Association, President (2011 - 2012)

Grand Rapids Bar Association, Vice President (2009 - 2010)

Grand Rapids Bar Association, Secretary (2007 - 2009)

Grand Rapids Bar Association, Trustee (1997 - 2000)

State Bar of Michigan

American Bar Association

The SOURCE, Board Member

The Grand Rapids Community Media Center (Trustee 2000-2003, President 2004 - 2006)

West Michigan Blues Society (Trustee 1993 - 1997, President 1998 - 1999)

Leadership Grand Rapids

Bar Admission

Michigan

U.S. Federal District Court, Western District of Michigan

U.S. Federal District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

U.S. Federal District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin

U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

U.S. Tax Court

Awards and Recognition

Martindale Hubbell Preeminent AV Rating

Community Media Center, 2006 Media Access Leadership Award

Leading LawyersSM

Best Lawyers of America®, Commercial Litigation

Grand Rapids Bar Association President's Award, 2014