Walter Haverfield Attorney

Mark S. Fusco

  • Partner
  • Cleveland Direct: 216.619.7839
  • Cleveland Fax: 216.916.2394

Overview

Mark is a partner in the firm’s Litigation practice group.  He understands that successful litigation begins with a strong client relationship.  Mark takes the time to learn his clients’ business objectives and develops litigation strategies to meet those objectives. He develops pre-litigation strategies that minimize the time and expense of litigation, he has also tried cases to verdict in counties throughout Ohio.  He has led litigation teams, first-chaired jury trials, argued key pretrial motions, taken and defended party and expert depositions, and managed commercial class action litigation.

Mark also has extensive appellate experience and has briefed and argued cases in the 5th, 8th, 9th and 11th Ohio appellate districts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He has recently expanded his practice to include representation of school boards and other educational entities in business disputes.

Experience

Commercial Litigation
  • Represented a global manufacturer of industrial tooling in a contract dispute with one of its suppliers. The supplier claimed $1.4M in damages, based his client’s refusal to accept three truckloads of scrap material. The case turned on whether the terms and conditions of the client’s on-line system took precedence over the purchase order submitted by the supplier containing different terms. The court, after three days of trial, found in favor of Mark’s client and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.
  • Obtained a six-figure judgment plus attorneys’ fees for a commercial property owner in a contract dispute. In addition, the court rejected the opposing party’s claim for business interruption. The trial court’s decision was affirmed on appeal.
  • Obtained verdict for a client in a dispute over competing purchase orders by using forensic computer evidence to show that the opposing party had altered e-mails containing its acceptance of the original terms.
  • Represented an automobile dealer in a hearing before the Ohio Motor Vehicle Dealer Board who was seeking to acquire and relocate a new motor vehicle dealer franchise.
  • Obtained summary judgment for an automobile dealer in a dispute with a commercial customer who claimed lost profit due to excessive delays in the repair of its business vehicle.
  • Represented a local company in a dispute over a software contract with a national consulting company. The consulting company was claiming $4 million in damages. Mark brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio before the consulting company could file suit in a state court in Pennsylvania. Mark fought the battle on his client’s turf, and resolved the matter for less than $100,000.
  • Resolved a national class action suit filed in Los Angeles against one of his local clients. The case involved $300 million in damages, but after three years of litigation and a number of mediation sessions, Mark was able to resolve the case for a fraction of the amount claimed with a significant contribution from the client’s insurance carrier.
  • Resolved a complex commercial case on behalf of a supplier of insulation used in power generators. The plaintiff was claiming several million dollars in lost profits. In addition to obtaining a favorable settlement, Mark invoked an indemnification clause in the purchase order with the manufacturer, requiring it to pay the settlement amount and Mark’s client’s attorney fees.
  • Obtained summary judgment for an orthodontist on fraudulent inducement claim asserted by a national practice group. Resolved his client's counter claim for a confidential settlement amount.
  • Defeated a claim for attorney fees brought by a National Consumer Rights law firm by showing that the law firm failed to provide its client with an initial offer of a settlement which was greater than the settlement reached on the morning of the trial
  • Defended several claims brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
  • Obtained the dismissal of a breach of contract claim filed by a plumbing company against the successful bidder for a public improvement contract in Lorain County
  • Obtained a six figure arbitration award against a construction company who built improvements on unstable soil
  • Obtained a six-figure arbitration award on behalf of an anesthesia practice group against a gastroenterology practice
Real Estate Litigation
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a real estate developer by successfully arguing that the provisions of an automatic termination provision in an option contract could not be modified by contrary oral representations.
  • Through creative use of Ohio’s forcible entry and detainer statute, Mark was able to clear the way for a significant real estate project in downtown Cleveland in a matter of weeks.
  • Represents to automobile franchisees in the Automobile Industry Special Binding Arbitration Program
Labor & Employment Litigation
  • Obtained a judgment on behalf of a manufacturing client against two former employees to recoup the cost of specialized training.
Appellate Litigation
  • Obtained the reversal of a six figure jury verdict against a physician in a Fair Credit Reporting Act claim.
  • Upheld a trial court’s decision awarding zero damages in a UCC matter, despite the fact that the plaintiff had demonstrated liability.
  • Secured a reversal of a trial court’s judgment that an equity membership contract for an exclusive country club was unconscionable.
  • Obtained the reversal of a trial court decision that an equity golf membership was a consumer transaction.
  • Upheld a trial court’s decision that an option clause in a residential building contract had been waived by the consumer.
This is just a sample of significant cases Mark has handled in the last few years. Mark has tried other non-contract cases during this time as well. He also arbitrated two cases for local auto dealers whose franchises were revoked in the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies. The cases involved complex issues of determining market area and trying to deduce the manufacturer’s future plans for expansion of their dealer network. One of the franchises was reinstated and the other franchise owner received a significant financial settlement.

Recognition

Articles

Presentations

  • March 2016 – “Contracts Have Consequences—The Nuts and Bolts of Vendor Contracts and Common Pitfalls” Northeast Ohio Legal Updates, Buckeye Association of School Administrators
  • April 2015 – “What School Districts Need to Know About Insurance Policies,” Northeast Ohio Legal Updates, Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, Independence, OH
  • October 2014 – “Contracts Have Consequences—The Nuts and Bolts of Vendor Contracts and Common Pitfalls” Northeast Ohio Legal Updates, Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, Independence, OH
  • March 2013 - "Acronyms That Rule Your Sales: The ABCs of FTC, HIPAA, and CAN-SPAM," Medtrade Annual Convention at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV
  • November 2005 - Presented a portion of a continuing legal education program on topics in real estate law
  • October 2003 - Presented continuing legal education program entitled “Winning on Appeal: Brief Writing and Oral Argument” with Judge Diane Karpinski of the Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals 

Associations

  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Barrister, William K. Thomas Inn of Court
  • Volunteer attorney for Community Legal Services, 2000-2006
  • Mock Trial Advisor, Strongsville High School - 2003-2004