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

News

Farella Braun + Martel Elevates Five to Partner

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Event

How Mentorship Advances the Careers of Diverse Lawyers

Buzz Hines and Kelly Matayoshi are panelists at this ABA Section of Litigation Judicial Internship Opportunity virtual program co-sponsored by the Diversity & Inclusion, LGBT Law & Litigator, Minority Trial Lawyer, and Woman Advocate...

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Publication

New Year, New CMS Price Transparency Rule For Hospitals

Transparency in health care pricing can help patients make informed decisions, increase competition, and drive down the cost of health care. Accordingly, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has promulgated a new...

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Publication

Bankruptcy Provisions in COVID Relief Legislation Impacting PPP Loans, Commercial Leases and Preference Claims

With the COVID-19 pandemic stretching on into another year, businesses continue to experience adverse effects. Bankruptcy filings, especially among retailers, were higher than average in 2020, and it is likely that more companies large...

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Publication

Cannabis Industry, Including CBD Products, Subject to New Proposition 65 Warning Requirements

Updated Proposition 65 warning requirements for cannabis products came into effect on January 3, 2021. As of that date, anyone offering for sale cannabis products in California—including hemp-derived CBD products—must provide an appropriate warning...

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Event

ACGSF: The Facts on SPACs

Drew Goodwin is a panelist at the ACG San Francisco live webinar, "The Facts on SPACs." Details: Join us for a discussion on special purpose acquisition companies. How are they raised, who invests; how...

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Publication

What to Do When Commercial Leases End Up in Bankruptcy

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many businesses to close, leaving landlords in the lurch. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shake up the nation’s economy. Long-standing companies such as JC Penney, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Modell’s...

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News

17 Firms Join Crowell in Seeking Trump's Removal

Farella is among 17 law firms joining Crowell & Moring in sending a joint letter to Vice President Mike Pence to call for President Donald Trump’s immediate removal from office and to urge Pence to invoke the 25th...

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News

Lawyers Warn Those Bracing for Prop. 19’s Tax Hit: Act Fast

Evan Abrams spoke to the San Francisco Business Times for the article "Lawyers Warn Those Bracing for Prop. 19’s Tax Hit: Act Fast."  In the article, Evan said, “If you really want to do anything...

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Event

Perspectives on Virtual Proceedings: ADR & Claims Resolution in a COVID World

Erica Villanueva will be speaking at the 2021 Virtual Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar on "Perspectives on Virtual Proceedings: ADR & Claims Resolution in a COVID World."

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