Berry Moorman

Mark E. Straetmans

Mark E. Straetmans

Detroit OfficeMark E. Straetmans
Tel: (313) 496-1200
Fax: (313) 496-1300
Email: [javascript protected email address]

Practice Areas
Business and Corporate Law
Civil Litigation
Insurance Law
Real Estate

B.S., Wayne State University, 1975
J.D., cum laude, Detroit College of Law, 1978

State Bar of Michigan
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin


Mr. Straetmans regularly handles business and real estate transactions. He also serves as outside general counsel for several companies providing his clients with guidance on contracts, insurance claims and coverage, corporate organization and entity governance.

He is often involved in business litigation and the defense of both employee benefit plans and third-party administrators in ERISA litigation.

Mr. Straetmans has appeared on behalf of clients on numerous occasions in United States district court’s and Michigan State courts. He has also represented clients in the United States Sixth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Reported and Notable Decisions:
Slinger Mfg. Co. v. Nemak,
2008 US Dist LEXIS 91330 (ED Wis 2008)
Temporary Restraining Order/Breach of Non-Compete/Tortious Interference – automobile supply chain dispute. In this automobile manufacturing supply chain dispute, plaintiff sought a temporary restraining order to prevent our client, a Chinese manufacturer, from selling cylinder liners directly to plaintiff’s customer instead of selling them through plaintiff pursuant to a pre-existing contractual arrangement. Our client’s position was that the prior contract no longer applied due to plaintiff’s prior material breach. The federal district court in Milwaukee agreed with us that a temporary restraining order was not warranted and stayed the proceeding pending arbitration in Singapore pursuant to Chinese law as required by the contract.

Regents of the University of Michigan v. Otis Spunkmeyer, Inc.,
2006 WL 542979 (ED Mich 2006)
In this ERISA benefit entitlement medical benefits case, we represented the third-party administrator and stop loss insurer of an employer’s health care plan. We successfully persuaded the court to dismiss the hospital’s claim for fees based upon the failure to timely add an employee’s dependent to whom the services were rendered as an insured.

Mohammad Al-Mehdi v. Hafezi
No. 238520 (Mich. Ct. App. July 15, 2003)
Life insurance benefit dispute where plaintiff’s claim was dismissed due to misrepresentations in the application for coverage.

Lafarge Corp. v. Altech Environment, U.S.A.,
220 FSupp2d 823 (ED Mich 2002)
Breach of contract regarding environmental equipment/liability for consequential damage/jurisdiction dispute. This case involved a breach of a contract to provide and install environmental monitoring equipment and a claim for consequential damages. The court determined that jurisdiction over our client’s French parent was lacking.

McGuire v. Reliance Std. Life Ins. Co.,
2000 US App LEXIS 786 (6th Cir 2000)
ERISA life insurance benefits dispute where the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the doctrine that evidence not first presented to our client, an ERISA plan administrator, could not be considered by a reviewing court.

Hershey v. Massachusetts Mut. Life Ins. Co.,
2000 US Dist LEXIS 9419 (WD Mich 2000)
In this disability insurance benefit dispute, summary judgment was granted to the defendant insurer based upon the definition of disability in the policy.

Great West Life and Annuity Ins. Co. v. Titan Indem. Co.,
1997 US Dist LEXIS 4261 (ED Mich 1997)
This was a priority among insurers dispute involving ERISA preemption of the Michigan no-fault insurance law. We persuaded the court that the plan language preempted the state insurance code.

R. E. Harrison Co. v. Andary
No 116884 (Mich Ct App July 30, 1990)
Lease option to purchase dispute. The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a trial court decision that our client had not timely exercised an option to purchase real estate that was part of a written lease agreement.

Mannino v. Dominion Life Assur. Co.,
539 FSupp 323 (ED Mich 1982)
We obtained a dismissal of plaintiff’s claims for life insurance benefits based upon misrepresentations in the insured’s application for coverage. The key issue was that evidence of defendant’s underwriting standards could not be rebutted by the testimony of an underwriting expert unfamiliar with the standards of the defendant company.

Is The Principal Residence Exemption For Property Tax Purposes Available In Michigan If One Spouse Maintains A Principal Residence In Another State? (February 2011)

Purchasing Michigan Real Estate; An Investment Opportunity (March 2010)

Until Death Or Divorce Do Us Part Do You Want Your Ex-Spouse To Receive Money Upon Your Death (November 2002)