- Corporate and Business Organizations
- Financial Institutions
- University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., 1991
- University of Nebraska, B.S., 1987
Bar & Court Admissions
- Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
Michael is a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and serves as the managing partner of the firm’s eight offices. Michael is a member of the corporate and business organizations group and serves as corporate counsel to both large companies and mid-sized businesses engaged in multiple industries including manufacturing, retail, financial institutions and the restaurant and food industry. Michael’s areas of practice include mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, general commercial and business matters and licensing transactions.
Board Memberships and Community Activities:
- The Columbus Partnership, Current Board Member and Finance Committee Member
- Future Ready Columbus, Current Board Member
- President of the Board of Trustees of the Columbus Museum of Art, November, 2016 to November, 2018
- Ohio Business Round Table, Current Board Member
- One Columbus Leadership Circle, Current Member
- Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Current Board Member and Executive Committee Member
- Upper Arlington Community Foundation Board of Directors, Current Board Member, Vice Chair
- Columbus Museum of Art Board of Trustees, 2010 to present
- Vice President of the Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Development Committee of the Columbus Museum of Art, 2013 to 2016
- Godman Guild Association, Board of Trustees, 1995-2001
- Columbus Bar Association, Current Member
Other Career Highlights:
- Selected for Columbus Business First Power 100 List Recognizing the Most Influential Leaders in Central Ohio in 2019 and 2020
- Serving as the Co-Chair of the Legal Aid Society of Columbus' 2019-2022 Capital Campaign
- Accompanied Ohio Governor Robert Taft and representatives of the Ohio Department of Development on a trade mission to France and Germany
- Represented The Ohio State University in its negotiations with Nike regarding licensing rights and equipment/apparel products
- Represented ScottsMiracle-Gro in multiple transactions with Monsanto relating to ScottsMiracle- Gro serving as the exclusive agent for the marketing, sale and distribution of Round-Up products in the consumer lawn and garden market
- Represented multiple firm clients in structuring, negotiating and completing license and branding agreements with the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and over 50 colleges and universities
- Represented Bob Evans Farms, Inc. in its sale of 145 Mimi’s Cafe restaurants to Le Duff America, Inc.
- Represented ScottsMiracle-Gro in its divestiture of the Smith & Hawken Brand to Target Corporation
- Represented Camco Financial Corporation in its merger with Huntington Bancshares, Inc.
- Represented Thirty-One Gifts, LLC in its acquisition of Jewel Kade Holdings LLC
- Representing Thirty-One Gifts, LLC in its acquisition of Rendi LLC
- Represented multiple public companies and start-up companies in capital raising transactions
- Represented Citizens Independent Bancorp, Inc. in its equity raise
- Represented Venture Med, LLC in its Series A preferred equity raise
- Represented the owner of Safety Solutions, Inc. in a sale of stock to W.W. Grainger, Inc.
- Structured, negotiated and completed numerous intellectual property licensing agreements, including numerous celebrity licensing and endorsement deals
Honors & Awards
- Selected for Columbus Business First Power 100 List Recognizing the Most Influential Leaders in Central Ohio, 2019-2020
- Ohio Super Lawyers, Corporate, 2017-2020
- Chambers and Partners, Leading Lawyer in Corporate/M&A, 2016-2017
- Columbus CEO, Top Lawyers in Columbus, 2015-2016
- The Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Law, 2013-2021
- 8/20/2020112 Vorys Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers in America List; 26 Vorys Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers’ Inaugural “Ones to Watch” ListOne hundred and twelve lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America® 2021 edition. In addition, 26 Vorys attorneys were named to the inaugural Best Lawyers in America “Ones to Watch” list.
- 12/9/2019Vorys is pleased to announce that 39 attorneys from the firm have been named 2020 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/15/2019One hundred and thirteen lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2020.
- 2/18/2019The evening and the recognitions throughout it celebrate diversity and inclusion in hockey.
- 12/5/2018Vorys is pleased to announce that 48 attorneys from the firm have been named 2019 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 9/11/2018Martz Quoted in Columbus Business First Story Titled “How Columbus Lawyers Have Joined the Effort to Stem Evictions”Michael Martz, Vorys’ managing partner, was quoted in a Columbus Business First story about a Legal Aid Society of Columbus pro bono legal program that assists individuals facing eviction.
- 9/8/2018Michael Martz, Vorys’ managing partner, was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch story regarding the donation of the Pizzuti Collection contemporary art museum — and 40 works of art — to the Columbus Museum of Art.
- 8/15/2018One hundred and thirteen lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019.
- 12/5/2017Vorys is pleased to announce that 56 attorneys from the firm have been named 2018 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 10/30/2017Vorys announced that Michael D. Martz will assume the role of firm managing partner on January 1, 2018.
- 8/17/2017One hundred and eight lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018.
- 5/26/2017Vorys announced that 30 of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized among the leading practitioners in the country in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA.
- 12/2/2016Vorys is pleased to announce that 58 attorneys from the firm have been named 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/15/2016One-hundred and eleven lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017.
- 5/27/2016Vorys announced that 36 of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized among the leading practitioners in the country in the 2016 edition of Chambers USA.
- 8/17/2015One-hundred and eighteen lawyers from Vorys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016.
- 8/18/2014One-hundred and ten lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2015.
- 7/18/2014Michael Martz, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and a member of the corporate group, was included on Columbus Business First’s “20 People to Know in Banking and Finance” List. Martz was selected for his work representing financial institutions.
- 8/14/2013One hundred and eleven lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014.
- 7/30/2015In mid-2000, the SEC adopted Regulation FD to protect investors by creating a level playing field for all investors for access to material, nonpublic information. The SEC’s primary concern was that selective disclosure, and the perception of selective disclosure to analysts and institutional investors, of material, nonpublic information, leads to a loss of investor confidence in the integrity and fairness of the securities markets.
- 7/30/2015On June 9, 2015, the Federal Reserve, OCC and FDIC (as well as the SEC, CFPB and NCUA) issued a final interagency joint policy statement (JPS) establishing standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities they regulate.
- 7/30/2015Imagine the following scenario: your bank has just announced an agreement to be acquired by a larger institution that is entering your market for the first time. Two months into the process your CEO, CFO and chief lender tell the board that they have decided to accept offers from local competitors because (a) they will make more money, (b) they have a built-in customer following and (c) despite good relations with the buyer they are uncertain as to their future and have families to consider.
- 7/30/2015As the M&A environment heats up and industry chatter increases, banks and their boards need to be prepared to take advantage of strategic opportunities. Boards should have an M&A strategy in place and this preparation needs to take place before the situation arises.
- Spring 2015As 2015 gets under way, bank compensation committees are tasked with setting the bank’s executive compensation strategy for the year and effectively communicating that compensation structure to shareholders. Compensation committees need to strike a balance between a compensation program that attracts and retains employees and encourages those employees to take appropriate business risks while advancing the bank’s growth strategies and discouraging inappropriate risks.
- Spring 2015Maybe at one time your company was reporting to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and your company’s stock was listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ). You were relieved when the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act allowed you to terminate your SEC registration, even though it meant that your stock could no longer be listed on NASDAQ.
- Spring 2015During the past three years, a significant number of community banks and their holding companies (collectively, banks) throughout the United States elected to “go dark” by taking advantage of a provision in The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). These banks were able to suspend their reporting obligations under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and deregister with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) because they had fewer than 1,200 shareholders of record.
- 3/23/2015Enhanced Opportunities for Community Banks: The Federal Reserve’s Proposal to Raise the Threshold for Qualifying as a “Small” Holding Company from $500 million to $1 billion in Consolidated AssetsIn December 2014, Congress modified portions of Dodd-Frank to provide additional opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden on community banks. In response to this legislation, on January 29, 2015 the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) requested comment on several related proposals (and an interim rule) focused primarily on increasing the number of holding companies eligible for the reduced reporting and other requirements under the “small” holding company exclusion.
- Winter 2014Following an extended dry spell for de novo bank applications, in what could be interpreted as a gesture to “kick-start” de novo conversations, the FDIC issued in November a somewhat “out of the blue” financial institutions letter (FIL-56-2014) containing a series of Q&As relating to procedural issues surrounding applications for deposit insurance.
- Winter 2014The Status, Issues and Relevant Ongoing Questions Related to DOMA Same-Sex Marriages, Secured Lending Transactions and Related Collection Issues in OhioWhen bankers see news reports about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Ohio’s Marriage Amendment and recent court cases involving same-sex marriages, they probably think in terms of constitutional, health care, employment and domestic issues.
- Winter 2014Both state and federal bank regulatory exam reports use references to Matters Requiring Attention (MRAs), Matters Requiring Board Attention (MRBAs) and Matters Requiring Immediate Attention (MRIAs) as mechanisms for bringing issues and concerns to the attention of financial institution boards.
- Winter 2014Community banks and thrifts have great reputations for their focus on customer service. Management and boards of financial institutions are accustomed to being thoroughly engaged and focused on maintaining and monitoring good relationships with their key customers at all levels.
- Summer 2014With developments over the recent years that include a number of high profile data breaches (e.g., Snowden and Target), the National Institute of Standards and Technology release of its recommendations titled the "Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity," and the enhanced regulatory exam focus on identifying an institution’s preparation and protections related to cyber risks, institutions and boards that fail to focus and create plans to deal with cyber risks do so at their own peril.
- Summer 2014Life as a mutual thrift is a good news/bad news proposition. The "good news" is that you’re not constantly facing shareholder pressures for performance and returns because you don’t have shareholders to worry about. The "bad news" is that your only current direct option for raising capital, when needed or desired, is severely restricted to the long-term mechanism of accumulating retained earnings.
- Summer 2014While the "big" banks and bank holding companies have been issuing preferred stock to raise capital for years, we have recently seen increased interest from community banks and bank holding companies in issuing convertible preferred stock to raise capital. In the past 12 to 18 months, there have been a number of convertible preferred stock offerings, including both registered offerings and private placements, by community bank and thrift holding companies.
- Summer 2014On February 24, 2014, the Federal Reserve provided better insight into issues that may delay or prevent its approval of applications and notices relating to transactions, including mergers and branch or line of business expansions. The Federal Reserve’s supervisory letter also announced that it would begin publishing a semi-annual report in the second half of 2014 to enhance transparency in the bank applications and notice process.
- Spring 2014Jeffrey E. Smith, Anthony D. Weis and Thomas O. Ruby, partners in the Columbus office, authored this article on Issues in Participation Agreements, Continued for the Spring 2014 issue of The Bankers' Statement.
- Spring 2014Brenda K. Bowers, of counsel in the Columbus office, authored this article on Ohio House Bill — The Ohio Legacy Trust Act and Due Diligence Concerns for the Spring 2014 issue of The Bankers' Statement.
- Spring 2014Susanne M. Hopkins, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office, authored this article on Patent Trolls Continue to Target Financial Institutions, but Change May Be Near for the Spring 2014 issue of The Bankers' Statement.
- Spring 2014David A. Froling, a partner in the Columbus office, authored this article on New Focus on Tax Sharing Agreements for Financial Institutions for the Spring 2014 issue of The Bankers' Statement.
- 10/21/2013Statutory protections, indemnification and director and officer liability insurance (D&O insurance) all combine to provide some level of comfort and protection to bank directors in the proper performance of their duties as directors. The hope is that directors can begin and complete their terms of office knowing that these protections exist, but never having to call on the protections or their potential limitations.
- 1/23/2013On December 20, 2012 Governor John Kasich signed into law Amended Substitute House Bill 510 to change the way Ohio taxes financial institutions. Beginning January 1, 2014, Ohio imposes a new business privilege tax on financial institutions doing business in Ohio.
- 1/21/2013On January 10, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a number of mortgage-related rules, including its long-awaited qualified mortgage (QM) rules in an 804-page set of complex guidelines for residential real estate lending mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. The rules take effect in January 2014.
- 1/18/2013Bankers will recall that certain mortgage servicing organizations, many affiliated with large banking organizations, agreed to a comprehensive settlement process with regard to a variety of claims relating to residential mortgages generated in the 2009-2010 timeframe as part of enforcement actions commenced in 2011.
- 1/4/2013The banking world has been rocked in recent weeks by news of very significant settlements between banks and federal regulators for alleged violations of laws and regulations pertaining to bank secrecy and money laundering. The level of these settlements should serve to remind bankers that the regulatory agencies take compliance with those laws and regulations very seriously.
- 1/2/2013As all bankers know, the FDIC as receiver has "ramped up" it’s efforts to bring actions against directors, officers and "institution-affiliated parties" (IAPs) of failed institutions during the current banking challenges. The FDIC may elect to bring suit against former IAPs and others based upon simple negligence or gross negligence, and actions for both are often included in the complaint.
- 6/4/2012In recent examinations, the FDIC has identified issues arising from the existence of "optionality" provisions in participation agreements that provide the originating lender with the option of repurchasing the participated portion of the loan upon a borrower default.
- 4/9/2012Client Alert: Bankers Beware: Copying and Removal of Confidential Financial Institution and Supervisory Information Can Lead to FDIC ActionBank officers and directors, as well as bank legal counsel should take heed of the FDIC's Financial Institution Letter dated March 19, 2012 (FIL-14-2012).
- 3/9/2012In a long-awaited move, the U.S. House on Thursday passed, as part of the JOBS Act, proposed legislation that includes raising the threshold for SEC registration for banks and bank holding companies from 500 shareholders to 2,000 shareholders. The threshold for deregistration would be increased from 300 shareholders to 1,200 shareholders.