Mark C. Stephenson is Of Counsel at Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP. Mr. Stephenson has significant experience representing companies of all sizes in Employment, ERISA and non-ERISA fiduciary matters. He has litigated a wide array of Employment claims, including whistleblower, sexual harassment, retaliation, race, sex, national origin, FMLA, disability discrimination, wage and hour collective actions and the enforcement of stock options, restrictive covenants and other employment-related agreements.
Mr. Stephenson also represents lenders, servicers and investors in mortgage litigation and class actions related to issues arising under consumer foreclosure disputes (including HAMP, HARP and MHA programs), alleged fraudulent mortgages, loan documentation and servicing issues, FHA requirements, predatory lending, MERS and assignment issues, and claims brought pursuant to the federal Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (“HOEPA”), and the Real Estate Procedures Settlement Act (“RESPA”), litigating class action claims as well as defending lenders and services in investor claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. He advises clients in fair lending as well as compliance matters involving the CFPB, DOJ and federal and state agencies. Mr. Stephenson represents lenders and credit card issuers in consumer disputes, claims made under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, unfair and deceptive trade practices, debt collection violations, identity theft, privacy issues, bankruptcy and fiduciary-related claims.
Mr. Stephenson also defends companies and ERISA fiduciaries in defense of EBSA/DOL investigations and litigation arising from 401(k) management, multiemployer pension liability, breach of fiduciary duty, denied claims for benefits and subrogation. He also defends governmental entities and companies, as well as their fiduciaries, not subject to ERISA regarding claims of breach of fiduciary duty.
Mr. Stephenson counsels employers of all sizes on employment best practices, implementing employee handbooks, policies and procedures that are tailored to maximize managerial flexibility and control. He also works with companies to protect proprietary and confidential information as well as valuable relationships with customers and employees by developing effective restrictive covenants, works for hire, non-disclosure and non-competition agreements.
Mr. Stephenson offers specialized knowledge and skill in the defense of professional liability, regarding matters that involve:
- Employment Practices
- ERISA Fiduciaries and Plan Administration
- Non-ERISA Fiduciaries
- Mortgage Broker Liability and Compliance
- Labor and Employment
- ERISA and Fiduciary Liability
- Business and Professional Liability
- New Jersey
- United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland
- United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey
- United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
- United States District Court for the Northern District of California
- United States District Court for the District of Colorado
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- United States District Court for the District of Maryland
- United States District Courts of Michigan
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
- United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- United States District Court for the Western District of New York
- The United States District Courts of Pennsylvania
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits
- The United States Supreme Court
- Temple University School of Law, Juris Doctor
- St. Joseph’s University, B.A. International Relations with certificate in Latin American Studies.
- First Baptist Church of Woodbine v. Knowles, No. 1:10-cv-2896 (U.S.D.C. –D.N.J. 2010) ; First Baptist Church of Texas City at MLK, No. 3:10-cv-00112 (U.S.D.C. – S.D.Tex. 2010). Lead counsel in multiple, related cases, designing comprehensive litigation plan and successfully executing resolution strategy in defense of mortgage broker/construction firm on allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and fraud in relation to “build to own” financing and construction of churches.
- Roarty v. Tyco Intern. Ltd. Business Travel Acc. Ins. Plan, 386 Fed.Appx. 329 (3d Cir. 2010). Successful appeal, reversal and remand of ERISA fiduciary benefit litigation, and subsequent summary judgment, in employee benefit claim presenting first impression issues.
- In Re U.S. Truck, No. 99-59972 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 1999). Lead ERISA counsel in successfully defending major trucking company in chapter 11 reorganization with regard to multi-million dollar claim for pension liability payments that resulted in 95% reduction in liability.
- Road Carriers L.707 Pension Trust Fund v. McCready, No. 9:93-cv-02255 (E.D.N.Y. 1993). Successful defense of lead defendant in complex litigation on charges of breach of fiduciary duty and fraud, spearheading a resolution strategy that concluded more than 5 years of pre-trial activity and avoided potential collateral and appellate litigation.
- Mr. Stephenson is a member, and frequently invited speaker, of the Eastern Claim Conference.
- Prior to joining FMG, Mr. Stephenson was a partner at Nelson, Levine, DeLuca & Horst and Margolis Edelstein, and Of Counsel at Cozen & O’Connor. He was corporate counsel to Unisys Corporation, focused on labor, employment and large scale corporate structuring. He has also served as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia, PA and Senior Counsel to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.