Mark has been a trial attorney with ThompsonMcMullan since 2003. He has spent the majority of his legal career representing individuals, businesses, consumer financial institutions and local governments.
Mark’s practice focuses primarily on the defense of consumer financial services litigation and civil rights actions.
Mark defends members of the credit and collection industry, including collection agencies and collection law firms, in defense of lawsuits brought pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in state and federal courts throughout Virginia.
With a family history in law enforcement, Mark has also found that representing officials who have been called to public service to be a natural fit. Mark represents constitutional officers, police departments and police officers in a broad variety of matters, including defending allegations of excessive force and tort claims.
In addition, Mark’s litigation experience crosses over into construction law, commercial landlord/tenant, insurance defense, business torts and administrative hearings before the Department of Professional Occupational Regulation.
Mark is a regular speaker on a wide variety of topics, including fraud risks for small businesses, commercial landlord-tenant matters and consumer financial services. Mark has also presented on use of force tactics to law enforcement academies and regional SWAT teams.
- University of Richmond School of Law, J.D., 2002
- Notes and Comments Editor of the Richmond Journal of Law and Technology
- James Madison University, Bachelor of Science, 1999
- College of Integrated Science and Technology
Disclaimer: Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. ThompsonMcMullan cannot guarantee or predict similar results in any future case taken by the attorney.
- Sunday Lucas v. C.T. Woody, Jr., et al, 2014 Va. LEXIS 52, 756 S.E.2d 447 (2014). The Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed the trial court’s ruling dismissing a former inmates state law and § 1983 claims based on the statute of limitations. The issue before the Supreme Court was whether the statute of limitations in Va. Code § 8.01-243.2 applies when the plaintiff is no longer incarcerated at the time she files her action relating to the conditions of her confinement. The plaintiff contended that the language of the statute refers to a person who is confined in a state or local correctional facility. We argued that the language of the statute refers to a person who brings or has brought on his behalf a personal action relating to the conditions of his or her confinement. The Court found that both interpretations were supported by the language of the statute. However, in concluding that the statute was applicable to the plaintiff (a former inmate), the Court emphasized that the purpose of a statute of limitations is to provide parties and potential parties certainty with regard to when a cause of action is extinguished and noted that the plaintiff’s interpretation did just the opposite. The Court also read Code § 8.01-243.2 in conjunction with Code § 8.01-230 that provides that a “right of action shall be deemed to accrue and the prescribed limitation period shall begin to run from the date the injury is sustained.” The Court concluded that when read in conjunction, these two statutes mandate the following result: a cause of action for personal injury related to conditions of confinement in a state or local correctional facility accrues on, and the statute of limitation period beings to run from, the date the injury is sustained.
- Daniels, d/b/a Poker Palace v. Mobley, 285 Va. 402 (2013). Successfully defended a state prosecutor on appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia (SCOVA). The plaintiff, the operator of a bingo hall, filed a declaratory judgment against the prosecutor who had concluded that Texas Hold Em Poker constituted illegal gambling. The SCOVA held that the plaintiff’s action did not present a justiciable controversy. The SCOVA further determined that the trial court had the authority to rule upon the facial challenge to the constitutionality of the illegal gambling statute and it did not err in doing so.
- Landes v. Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC, 774 F.Supp.2d 800 (E.D.Va. 2011). Obtained dismissal with prejudice of a class action complaint affecting 91,000 class members. The plaintiff sought class certification for an alleged FDCPA violation involving dunning letters offering “tax season savings.” The plaintiff contended that the letters were deceptive, and thus violated the FDCPA, because the consumer would not actually have saved the stated amount due to potential income tax implications. We successfully argued that had the collection agency dispensed tax advice as the plaintiff demanded, the collection agency would have been engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, a misdemeanor offense in Virginia. The Court further agreed that there is no requirement in the FDCPA that any such tax disclosure is required. This was a case of first impression within the Fourth Circuit.
- Katz v. Allied Interstate et al., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25579 (E.D.Va. 2010). ACA International’s Mapbulletin newsletter lists this case as one of the top four Big Wins-Call Volume Cases in its 2010 Year in Review Litigation Trends. Successfully defended a national collection agency for alleged violations of state and federal laws.
- AV Preeminent Rated in Martindale-Hubbell
- Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite”, Construction category, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014
- Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite”, Civil Litigation category, 2015 – 2016
- Selected to the 2014 – 2016 Super Lawyers Virginia List, Consumer Law category; Top 100 Attorneys in Virginia for 2015
Mark regularly speaks to small businesses on reducing internal fraud risks. To law enforcement regarding use of force and other attorneys and property managers on ethical considerations in landlord-tenant law
Past Speaking Engagements
On September 10, 2014
As a regular presenter on use of force tactics to law enforcement academies, I am often asked why all law enforcement agencies have not implemented body-mounted cameras for all . . .
On July 17, 2014
The Supreme Court of Virginia has recently addressed and clarified the application of Va. Code § 8.01-243.2, which provides:
No person confined in a state or local correctional . . .
On May 15, 2014
The case of Marx v. General Revenue Corp. is garnering even more attention. In December of 2011, the 10th Circuit affirmed the decision of the trial court that awarded costs . . .
On May 6, 2014
In Fariasantos v. Rosenberg & Associates, LLC (Case No. 3:13cv543), a consumer brought a putative class action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the “FDCPA”) against a law . . .
On February 4, 2014
On January 31, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit addressed the issue of whether a debt collection notice that advised consumers that they could only . . .
On November 11, 2013
On November 6, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) formally issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking focused on the governance of debt collectors. Since its creation, the . . .
On August 9, 2013
The reach of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) continues to expand. Debt collectors of all shapes and sizes must familiarize themselves with the structure, purpose and activities of . . .
Liar Liar: Does Suggesting That a Consumer is Not Telling the Truth Create Liability Under the FDCPA?
On May 21, 2013
In Summers v. Merchants & Medical Credit Corp., a consumer filed suit against a collection agency who accused the consumer of being untruthful. More specifically, the consumer alleged that during . . .
On April 8, 2013
On March 22, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland addressed whether a debt collector can raise the bona fide error (“BFE”) defense for the first . . .
On March 18, 2013
A couple months ago, we discussed a case that was before the United States Supreme Court that will have a tremendous effect on FDCPA litigation nationwide. The case addressed the . . .
- Virginia State Bar
- Richmond Bar Association
Board of Directors
Membership Committee, 2015-2017
- Association for Credit and Collection Professionals International (ACA)
- ACA Attorneys Education Subcommittee for 2016-2017
- MAP Committee Member, 2013-2015
- Special Committee on Attorneys (2015-2016)
- St. Thomas More Society
- President, Virginia Collectors Association (VCA), 2015-2017
- Lewis F. Powell, Jr. American Inn of Court
- President, 2015-2017
- Executive Committee
- Secretary/Treasurer, 2013-2015