Attorney with love of history may make some of his own


 By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News
During family vacations as a youngster, Mark Plaza enjoyed soaking up U.S. history at civil war battlefields and colonial towns. An eighth-grade school trip to Washington, D.C. – with his first view of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence – ranks as one of the most inspiring moments of his childhood. So when Plaza asked for advice on what he could do for a living based on his interests, his mother suggested the law.  
“A seed was planted, and it only grew from there,” he says.
A graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School, Plaza is now a shareholder at Maddin Hauser Wartell, Roth & Heller in Southfield, where he is a member of the Consumer Finance Regulatory Compliance and Real Property Litigation Group. He concentrates his practice in real estate, appellate, construction and financial services litigation as well as regulatory compliance. Plaza represents financial institutions and insurance carriers in disputes involving mortgage priorities, mortgage loan modifications, title insurance, wrongful foreclosure, construction liens, and adverse possession. 
Early in his legal career, Plaza dabbled in bankruptcy and general litigation before ultimately discovering real estate litigation and regulatory compliance. 

“It’s a fascinating area of the law, especially in recent years as lending institutions and mortgage loan servicers have had to respond to the rise in foreclosures, to work with consumers looking to modify their mortgage loans, and to adjust to new laws and regulations that really are just now coming into place.”

Maddin Hauser was one of only a few U.S. law firms involved in the most intensive government-mandated default servicing audit in this country’s history. According to Plaza, the firm has invested significant time and resources in research and development in order to create efficiencies in the delivery of legal services for clients, as evidenced by its proprietary mortgage litigation management tool, the Lending Litigation Toolkit (L2Tk). 
“Our firm is at the forefront of working with mortgage servicing clients in this changing environment,” he says. “I’m truly excited to be involved in real estate and regulatory compliance at this critical time.”

The most interesting aspect of this practice area comes down to the law and people, Plaza says.  

“We genuinely enjoy working with our clients and the people that work for them. We help clients navigate a landscape of shrinking legal budgets and an environment of ever growing complexities from complicated emerging issues to demands on a company’s bottom line.”

Plaza’s interest in the law extends outside of the office as well. He is involved in the Michigan Center for Civic Education (MCCE) and has participated as a scoring judge in the organization’s annual high school mock trial tournament. 

“It’s unbelievable how good some of these high school students are,” Plaza says. “When these kids start graduating from law school in about 10 years, all of us lawyers will need to pick up our games a bit.”

In 2012, Plaza joined the Law Related Education and Public Outreach Committee of the State Bar, and is part of the Law Day subcommittee that sponsors an annual Law Day context to help encourage and improve the public’s understanding of the judicial system.  Plaza also has shared his love of history and government by joining a few local historical societies over the years, as well as the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society and Historical Society of Michigan.  

In his spare time Plaza is a big baseball fan, “but sadly my abilities never quite matched my love for the game, and it ultimately led to my premature retirement from my firm’s softball team, the Mad Haus Bombers.” However, his love of the game led him to The Miracle League of Plymouth, an organization that assists children with disabilities experience the joy of playing baseball. Since 2011, Plaza – along with one of his law partners, George Cassar – has served on the MLP Board. 

“It truly is a rewarding experience to use what I’ve learned as a lawyer to give back to the community.”

Plaza, who grew up in Detroit and Dearborn, currently lives in Canton with his new bride, Karen, also an attorney. 

“People like to joke about two attorneys marrying each other, but I couldn’t be happier.”
Read more about Maddin Hauser’s Consumer Finance Regulatory Compliance and Real Property Litigation Group at