About Marty
Practice Areas

   About Marty

Marty has been practicing law for 25 years, and still has never lost a case.  A decade ago, when his record reached 50 - 0, he was featured in several legal publications, including the National Law Journal.  Since then, Marty has raised the figure in his win column while keeping the losses at zero.  

A majority of Marty’s wins have come via summary judgment, but he’s also had a dozen trials (jury, bench, and FINRA arbitrations).  Additional wins have resulted from playing the role of “relief pitcher”:  replacing other counsel after an adverse verdict, and overturning it on appeal.  

Over the years, Marty's client base has consisted primarily of Fortune 500 companies, most notably MetLife, AIG, Quaker Oats, and The Standard.  That remains true today.  Marty spent most of his career at a boutique, 15-lawyer firm (Connelly Sheehan Harris), but also had two stints at mega-firms (Drinker Biddle & Reath as a partner, along with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey as an associate).  In early 2008, CSH merged into Drinker.  After trying big firm life there for one year, Marty concluded he could better serve his clients by setting up his own shop, so in April 2009 that's exactly what he did.   

Although based in Chicago, Marty handles cases throughout the United States (a large majority of his practice involves cases outside Illinois).  A few of his most notable victories are summarized below:     


   Illustrative Cases

 ●  Chapman v. AI Transport, 229 F.3d 1012 (11th Cir. 2000) (en banc).  A leading case on several issues including the use of subjective criteria, especially based on interviews.  Summary judgment was affirmed by the en banc Court of Appeals.  

 ●  Wing v. MetLife (S.D. N.Y. 2008):  Milberg Weiss tried to pursue a class action for breach of contract on behalf of retired sales reps, who claimed a right to receive commissions “for life” (after retiring) on certain types of insurance policies.  Marty won the major battle:  the motion to certify a class was denied.  Then, after discovery concluded, the named individual plaintiffs’ surrendered and dismissed their claims.     
 ●  Powers v. New England Life (FINRA arbitration in IL, 2008).  New England fired a manager for “market timing” and obstructing an internal investigation.  He sued for defamation on his Form U-5.  Half a dozen similar “market timing” cases had been litigated in this industry, each time resulting in an award exceeding $1 million.  Marty broke the industry's losing streak.  Not only were Powers’ claims rejected, he also was ordered to pay most of the arbitrators’ fees.

 ●  13 related RIF cases for Quaker Oats, including Coleman v. Quaker Oats, 232 F.3d 1271 (9th Cir. 2000).  During a nationwide reduction in force, a disproportionate number of older salespeople lost their jobs.  A dozen individuals filed age discrimination lawsuits, on top of which the EEOC threatened to bring a representative (class) action.  Marty won summary judgment in more than half the cases, while settling the rest (including the EEOC) on very favorable terms.    

  ●  Allmerica v. Sumner & MetLife (D. Ore. 2001):  MetLife hired two branch managers and many producers away from a competitor.  The competitor filed suit, alleging breach of restrictive covenants, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, etc.  Marty defended MetLife.  MetLife won the preliminary injunction hearing, and also won partial summary judgment (very early in the case) by striking the restrictive covenants as non-compliant with an Oregon statute.  After that, the case settled.



College:  Princeton (1984)

Law School:  Univ. of Michigan (1987) (Order of the Coif)


  Bar Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Courts of Appeals:  2nd 3rd, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 11th Circuits

U.S. District Courts:  N.D. IL;   N.D. Ohio;   E.D. Mich.;   D. Ariz.

State Courts:  IL + OH