Biography

John S. Martel, who joined the firm in 1964, is a veteran of over 100 trials with but four losses. His legal expertise covers a wide range of practice including antitrust and securities litigation, leasing disputes, construction litigation, banking services, insurance defense, and trade regulation.

Jon has tried major cases of all kinds, all across the United States. In 1968, for example, a Richmond, Virginia jury awarded his antitrust plaintiff the highest verdict in the history of the State.  In 1978, he represented the Bank of America and its subsidiary in lengthy hearings before an Administrative Law Judge in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. against market concentration charges, obtaining a favorable ruling. In 1979, he was matched against ex-mayor Joseph Alioto in a fraud/antitrust case, and successfully represented the Robert Mondavi Winery in the highly publicized two-month Krug-Mondavi trial. In 1981, John successfully defended the Hearst Corporation, the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle in a three-month federal jury trial involving a landmark antitrust battle.

He has been a frequent contributor to law reviews, (including articles such as “Fair Trial vs. Free Press in Criminal Trials”, California Law Review, 1959 and “Judicial Application of the Newspaper Preservation Act”, Brigham Young University Law Review, 1984). He has also lectured at the Hastings’ Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy (where he served on the Advisory Council) on the handling of expert witnesses and has been a guest speaker and panelist in various other law-related seminars nationwide. John also serves as a consultant to other trial lawyers on matters of trial strategy, jury selection, and expert testimony. He was asked to serve as Consultant to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in the Simpson case and the second Menendez case.

The National Law Journal profiled Mr. Martel as among the top 10 trial lawyers in the nation and he has been listed for more than a decade in Best Lawyers in America.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • National Chairperson for the Heritage Committee, American College of Trial Lawyers, 2013
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Board of Governors, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Northern California, 1990-1992
  • Fellow, Board of Regents, American College of Trial Lawyers, 1994-1998
  • California State Chairman, American College of Trial Lawyers, 1985-1986

Firm Highlights

Event

PDC 2020 PD Virtual Summer Camp

Sarah Good will be speaking at the Professional Development Consortium's live webinar, "Diversity Sponsorship Law Firm Programs." Details: Sponsorship is critical to the retention and advancement to partnership of associates at law firms. We will...

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Publication

Treatment of Commercial Leases in Tenant Bankruptcy - The Basics

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc with the nation’s economy, we have started to see bankruptcy filings by well-known companies such as GNC, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Modell’s, 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s...

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News

Community Reinvestment Groups Sue Trump Administration for Unlawfully Gutting Anti-Redlining Rules

Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, OCC’s Rushed Rule Lessens Accountability for Banks, Silences Communities Impacted by Systemic Lending Discrimination National Community Reinvestment Coalition, California Reinvestment Coalition Seek to Halt Unlawful Rule, Protect Vulnerable Communities Federal Reserve...

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Publication

Engineering, Procurement and Construction Agreements for Utility-Scale Battery Projects

The negotiation of an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement for a battery energy storage systems (BESS) project typically surfaces many of the same contractual risk allocation issues that one encounters in the negotiation...

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News

Farella Names New White Collar Defense & Internal Corporate Investigations Practice Co-Chairs

SAN FRANCISCO, June 29, 2020: Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel announces that Senior Associates Aviva J. Gilbert and Janice W. Reicher have been appointed co-chairs of its White Collar Defense and...

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Publication

7 Tips for Creating a COVID-19 Essential Business Travel Policy

As states are relaxing COVID-19-related restrictions, employers should remain cautious about business travel. California’s public health orders still limit travel to an “urgent matter” or that which is “essential to your permitted work.” Given...

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Event

Reexamining Indirect Discharges and the Clean Water Act After County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund

Sarah Bell will be speaking on this Strafford live webinar, "Reexamining Indirect Discharges and the Clean Water Act After County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund ." This CLE webinar will discuss the...

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Publication

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Insights and Resources

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing disruption throughout the US that we have not seen in generations. Governmental entities, academia, and the private sector are working diligently to contain COVID-19 while it...

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Event

7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop

Brian Donnelly is presenting the case study session, "Managing Partner Performance" at Fairfax Associates' 7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop. Click here for more information.

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Recognized in 2020 Chambers High Net Worth Guide for Private Wealth Law in Northern California

SAN FRANCISCO, July 10, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel’s Private Client Industry Group earned recognition in the 2020 Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) guide as a leading firm in the Private Wealth Law category...

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