Biography

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

Jon 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 was 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 lectured at the Hastings’ Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy (where he served on the Advisory Council) on the handling of expert witnesses and was a guest speaker and panelist in various other law-related seminars nationwide. John also served 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 John as among the top 10 trial lawyers in the nation and he was 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

What’s Ahead for California Wine Industry With Laws and Regulations - Q&A

More than wine, area lawyers specializing in the wine business have been forced in the past year to take on a number of critical issues. That includes regulations that were put in place to help...

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News

Four Farella Intellectual Property Partners Named 2021 IP Stars; Firm Recommended for Patent Litigation

Farella Braun + Martel’s James L. Day , Jeffrey M. Fisher , Eugene Mar , and Stephanie P. Skaff  have been named IP Stars by Managing Intellectual Property in its 2021 guide to the...

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Publication

In Verizon Decision Careful Review of Insurance Policies Expands Coverage

In Verizon Communications Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa ., the Delaware Superior Court ruled that Verizon was entitled to a defense under its D&O policy for fraudulent transfer claims. Although...

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Publication

The FASTER Act: What Companies Need To Know About the New Food Allergy Law

While the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act (FASTER Act) only makes a minor change to add sesame as a major food allergen, it signals the government’s intent to closely examine food...

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Publication

Eviction Moratoriums and Commercial Leasing: Current Issues

Farella's Tony Schoenberg and Jonah Trotz with guest speakers Marsha Ramsey and Margaret Duskin of Cushman & Wakefield discuss "Eviction Moratoriums and Commercial Leasing: Current Issues." The pandemic has had wide ranging impacts on...

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Publication

Fire Season Preparedness: What Wineries Should Do Now - Video

Farella's Quinn Arntsen and MaryJo Lopez with guest speaker Christopher Thompson of Napa Communities Firewise Foundation discuss "Fire Season Preparedness: What Wineries Should Do Now." California is at the start of another dry year...

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Event

Natural Resource Damages Conference

Sarah Bell is a program co-chair of Law Seminars International's 14th Annual Advanced Conference on Litigating Natural Resource Damages Santa Fe.   Sarah and James Colopy are speakers at the August 12 session "Sources of...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys Named to 2021 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Thirty-seven Farella Braun + Martel lawyers were named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists of top attorneys in Northern California for 2021. 2021 Farella Northern California Super Lawyers: George Argyris – Estate...

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News

NCRC Applauds Administration’s Announced Move To Rescind Disastrous Trump-Era CRA Rule Changes

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced it will propose to rescind its controversial Trump-era rules weakening the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and work with other banking regulators to adopt a clear, strong...

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Event

SCOTUS Copyright Fair Use Decision: Google vs. Oracle Recap and Takeaways

Join speakers, Eugene Mar and Erik Olson, in the discussion on "SCOTUS Copyright Fair Use Decision: Google vs. Oracle Recap and Takeaways." After more than a decade of litigation that included multiple trials and...

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