Mark A. Watson

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

Mark Watson has always felt quite at home on water.  It goes 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 because I got 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’s grandparents on his paternal side would take him fishing on a 14-foot jon boat to a spot they knew.  They’d pass through an old railroad tunnel, come out into a bay marked with fallen trees and catch bass until they were done.  Then when his mother married his step-dad, 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 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.”

A few months before this writing, Mark and Kathy’s daughter, Kaleigh, was 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.

Kathy was a co-valedictorian of her class at Zanesville High.  Mark’s mother will tell you Kathy is the main reason her son is still alive – he was a bit of a risk taker early on, not to mention a cliff diver.  He says she was his keel, which seems apt.

He and his wife attend every Ohio State University football home game.  They enjoy target shooting.  One day, he would like to visit the 15th Century Inca capital of Machu Picchu in Peru and explore the Galapagos Islands.

Like his partners, Mark’s motivation is helping his clients avoid problems and, when they do arise, fixing them.  He talks about what sets the firm apart:  “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
  • Elder Law

Bar Admissions

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


  • BV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • 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
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

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.