Mark A. Watson

“We’re a relationship firm, not a transactional firm.”

Mark Watson feels at home on water. He always has, going back to when he was an eight-year-old fetching squirrels his grandpa would shoot from the porch of his cottage on the Muskingum River below Duncan Falls.

“It was so cool to hang out with my grandfather, my uncles and a bunch of their friends. Grandpa kept three things in the fridge – beer, bait and limburger cheese. There was an island in the middle of the river, and I used to row to it, tie off and fish all day.”

Mark has since graduated to piloting sea-going trawlers in more far-flung waters, around such locales as the British Virgin Islands, Chesapeake Bay, Washington state, southwest Florida, the San Juan islands and, perhaps in particular, the gulf islands off British Columbia.

“It’s an amazing experience to watch the orcas and humpbacks on one hand and take in the snowcapped mountains off Vancouver on the other,” he says.

Mark comes by his fondness for the aquatic life by way of his grandparents on his paternal side, who used to take him fishing on a 14-foot jon boat. To get to the spot they knew, they’d pass through an old railroad tunnel, come out into a bay marked with fallen trees and catch small-mouth bass until they were done. When his mother married his stepdad, who had a membership at the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club, Mark took up sailing.

“Water was a big thing for me, still is,” Mark says. “For years, I had had a dream of living aboard a trawler and cruising the islands … Finally, I took three training classes with my wife, Kathy. Ever since then, about twice a year, I charter boats, captain the boats and head for the islands.”

Mark and Kathy’s daughter, Kaleigh, and her groom, Joe Lambert, were married in the British Virgin Islands aboard a boat he chartered. One of his most joyous moments is captured in a photograph framed in his office of Kaleigh and her husband on their wedding day. Mark now has a toddler grandson, Bodhi. Bodhi will experience his first experience on a large vessel captained by Mark (and crewed by the rest of the family) with a trip back to the British Virgin Islands in early summer 2024.

Much of his free time these days is spent checking off their shared bucket list items. He and Kathy have visited the 15th Century Inca capital of Machu Picchu in Peru and explored the Galapagos Islands. On their list now is a trip to Tanzania, another to Antarctica and a hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back, with an overnight stay in between.

The item at the top of his list is to pilot a cruise around what’s known in nautical circles as The Great Loop, a continuous waterway that takes in part of the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the great Lakes, up through Canada, then down either the Mississippi or the Tennessee River. You can learn more about it here:

Like his partners at Stubbins, Watson, Bryan and Witucky, Mark’s motivation is simple and straightforward: He wants to help his clients avoid problems and, when problems do arise, fix them.

“We match our client to the appropriate attorney in the firm depending on the client’s needs and our respective areas of practice. Also, we’re a relationship firm, not a transactional firm. Our aim is to nail down what your goals are and help you realize them over the long haul.”

Practice Areas

  • Estate Planning
  • Estate and Trust Administration
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Private Foundations

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1983
  • U.S. Federal Court for the Southern District of Ohio in 1985
  • U. S. Tax Court in 1992


  • Watson has received the Genesis Community Service Award: two State Awards from The Ohio High School Athletic Association for Exemplary Service and Contribution; the Zanesville Downtown Association Outstanding Downtown Volunteer Award; and the Commitment to Excellence and James E. West Fellow Awards of The Boy Scouts of America for outstanding contributions to the community.


  • Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1983.
    • While in law school, he was awarded the Order of Barristers, competed on the University of Cincinnati National Moot Court Team, served as an Editor for the Moot Court Program and as a Co-Director of the University of Cincinnati Moot Court Competition.
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree from The Ohio State University in 1980, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Economics.

Professional Associations

  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Muskingum County Bar Association (Past President)
  • Ohio State Bar Association Estate Planning Trust and Probate Council
  • Ohio State Bar Association Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section

Community Involvement

Mark is Past President of the following organizations:  the Zanesville Rotary Club, The Zanesville Downtown Association, The Alfred S. Carr Center, The Zanesville Quarterback Club, The Bishop Rosecrans School Board, The Rosecrans High School Athletic Boosters and the Bethesda Hospital Foundation. He has served as a Deacon, an Elder and member of the Stewardship Committee at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zanesville. Watson has also served on the Board of Directors of the Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce, The American Red Cross and the Genesis Healthcare Foundation. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for The William M. Shinnick Educational Fund and The Watkins Island Foundation.