“Honesty is key.”
Mark Stubbins grew up playing pickup ball. Games were spontaneous, not scheduled or organized in leagues. He spent seasons exploring the woods near his home, looking for arrowheads, turning over rocks to see what lived there.
He didn’t watch TV, he says. “It was more about being outdoors, finding ways to entertain myself. My friends and I were always in the woods. I’d take off on Friday, tell Mom I was going camping and that I’d see her Sunday.”
In this way and others, Mark says, he was able to grab hold of his imagination and let it grow. “It’s a struggle for young kids now. I worry that communication skills may be eroded, that reading is being lost. Many children are fed ideas, have minute-long videos and movie trailers beamed to them instead of developing their own ideas and learning to think critically.”
His sense of independence was advanced in other ways, too. As a senior at Zanesville High, for example, he was editor of The Zanesvillian, a page of school-related news that ran each week in the Zanesville Times Recorder. He’d go to the newsroom, meet with an editor and lay out the page. The experience sharpened his writing skills and taught him not to fret about his critics.
“I remember getting a call from the school superintendent who was not at all pleased with a piece I’d written critical of his administration. I realized that no matter what you do, you’re almost certainly going to be criticized for it, so go ahead and do what you think is right and true.”
Mark and his elder brother and partner, Brent, are the sons of an attorney, James Stubbins. Mark describes his father as “a handshake attorney,” one whose word was sufficient. Their mother, Ann, was a Smith College graduate.
Unlike his partners, Mark is comfortable making a chocolate layer cake from scratch. He and his wife, Kay, a nurse, are parents of Kara, a hospital administrator in Chicago; Grant, Kara’s twin and an associate with the firm; Blake, a student at Miami University, and Amanda, a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, Africa.
In his work, he makes it a point not to file frivolous motions or suits: “Honesty is key. If I don’t think someone has a good case, I tell them. I’m not here to take a case just to make money. I file pleadings that need to be filed, and I don’t file pleadings that don’t serve my clients’ objectives. I take pride in my work.”