Shareholder & Co-founder at Heise Suarez Melville, P.A.

PRACTICE AREAS

  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Products Liability Litigation
  • Catastrophic Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation

PROFILE

Over 30 years ago, Mark began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable James Lawrence King, former Chief United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida. Since that time, Mark successfully pursued a broad spectrum of cases in arbitration or in state and federal courts.

 

Significant matters include:

  • Leading the Boies Schiller team that pursued the high-profile, multi-district litigation class action against Takata and several auto manufacturers. The case involved the largest automobile recall in history and has already resulted in recovery of over $1.5 billion for the owners and lessees of millions of cars nationwide with deadly and defective Takata airbags 
  • Trying a six-week legal malpractice case where the plaintiff sought over $100 million dollars including prejudgment interest. This trial may be viewed at: https://cvn.com/proceedings/boca-airport-v-proskauer-rose-trial-2010-05-10
  • Serving as trial counsel for Philip Morris USA in Engle progeny trials in Florida state and federal courts. Some of these state court trials may be viewed at: https://cvn.com/proceedings/sommers-v-rj-reynolds-trial-2017-03-20 https://cvn.com/proceedings/yvonne-banks-v-rj-reynolds-tobacco-company-et-al-trial-2014-02-13
  • Arbitrating a joint venture dispute over a right of first refusal involving a leasehold at the Fort Lauderdale Airport
  • Serving as class counsel to successfully recover overcharges in Singer v. AT&T Corp, 185 F.R.D. 681 (S.D. Fla. 1998)
  • Serving as class counsel to successfully recover an unconstitutional parking tax surcharge in McGrath v. City of Miami, 789 So.2d 1168 (Fla. 3d DCA 2001) aff’d 824 So.2d 143 (Fla. 2002). The law was held unconstitutional and the city gave back taxpayers who made claims 100 cents on the dollar
  • Representing clients in major malpractice cases, such as a first-round 2013 NFL draft pick whose career ended in 2016 due to medical malpractice

In addition, Mark has successfully litigated a plethora of complex, significant matters, including multimillion-dollar insurance claims, the defense and prosecution of legal and accounting malpractice claims, and securities litigation on behalf of defrauded investors. Some of these reported cases include Flint v. ABB, Inc., 229 F. Supp.2d 1338 (S.D. Fla. 2002); Southeastern Staffing Services, Inc. v. Florida Dept. of Ins., 728 So.2d 248 (Fla. 1st DCA 1998); Christiania Holding, Inc. v. Koalick, 695 So.2d 491 (Fla. 3d DCA 1993).  

Notably, one of his most meaningful and rewarding cases dates to his first year as a lawyer, when he represented an elderly woman whose 49-year-old son had suffered debilitating brain damage resulting from a vaccine he received as an infant.  At the time, Congress had recently passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and the mother approached Mark approximately two weeks before the expiration of the statute of limitations to file a claim.  She only wanted one thing: the ability to die in peace knowing her son would be taken care of for the rest of his life. Although the case had countless challenges and nuances, Mark did not hesitate to take it on pro bono. He spent three years moving the case forward before the federal government and he eventually secured the outcome the family wanted: access for her son to an assisted living facility for the rest of his life and support to ensure that he could live as independently as possible. In addition to waiving his fees, Mark persuaded other attorneys involved in the case to follow suit so the son could keep the meager $30,000 provided for by the law to cover all the pain and suffering incurred throughout his life.

Another example: Most recently, Mark provided pro bono representation for a female Ph.D. candidate at Johns Hopkins University who was being sexually harassed by fellow students to the point it was disrupting her ability to study. His representation of his client before the university’s board ensured that his client could complete her degree in peace.

Indeed, whether you’re a firm client, a legal colleague, or a community partner, it’s likely that you’ll rank Mark’s generosity as one of his strongest personal attributes. A true believer in giving back to support meaningful causes, particularly those related to our youth, Mark has spearheaded major donations of everything from back-to-school basics for underprivileged children at local schools to meaningful contributions to charitable nonprofit organizations such as Cancer Support Community, Children’s Home Society and Lotus House.

EDUCATION

  • University of Florida, J.D., with honors
    • Order of the Coif
    • Order of the Barristers
    • Moot Court Board (and co-winner of UF intramural competition)
    • Appellate Advocacy Instructor
    • Book Award–Jurisprudence
  • Vanderbilt University, B.S., cum laude, Mathematics

ADMISSIONS

BARS
The Florida Bar

 COURTS

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court: Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court: Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court: Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court: Eastern District of Michigan

AWARDS, RECOGNITIONS AND ASSOCIATION

  • American Bar Association
  • Dade County Bar Association
  • Florida Super Lawyer (2006-Present)
  • Florida Trend Magazine, “Legal Elite,” (2008-Present)
  • South Florida Legal Guide, “Top Lawyer,” (2009-Present)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Bet-the-Company Litigation and/or Commercial Litigation, (2010-Present)
  • Board of Directors, Children’s Home Society of South Florida
  • Board of Directors, The Wellness Community

CLERKSHIPS

Law Clerk, Honorable James Lawrence King, Southern District of Florida (1988-1989)