Martin Stern began his career at Adams and Reese in 1985 when the firm had only one office and approximately 50 lawyers. Now with the firm over six times as large, Martin serves as its Appellate Team Leader, overseeing its fast-growing appellate practice and also focusing on class action, products liability and constitutional litigation.
Martin has argued numerous appeals, ranging from the appeal of a $1 billion punitive damage award for a major oil and gas company to working on the pro bono team that won Kennedy v. Louisiana, where the United States Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision that the death penalty is unconstitutional for non-homicide crimes against individuals.
Martin has worked on a wide array of other high profile cases, including:
- Leading the successful effort to defeat class certification in several toxic tort cases, including most recently one based on alleged exposure to naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) from oil and gas exploration.
- Leading the successful effort to defeat other cases—even before class certification could be sought—including one alleging that oil and gas production caused coastal erosion and, in turn, Hurricane Katrina-related damage.
- Serving as lead counsel for a local governmental body to defeat alleged violations of the Takings, Due Process and Interstate Commerce Clauses.
- Representing defendants in complex litigation involving product liability claims, particularly in the pharmaceutical arena.
Martin also has a deep background in legal ethics, having represented judges before the Louisiana State Judiciary Commission as well as lawyers before the Louisiana State Disciplinary Board, for which he formerly served as Hearing Committee Chair. Martin makes use of this experience in his position as Claims Counsel for the firm, essentially serving as in-house counsel for Adams and Reese. Martin was the first Chair of the firm’s Ethics Committee and was also Chair of the Recruiting Committee.
One of Martin’s great passions is his pro bono work. He is a current director of Louisiana Appleseed and a past director of national Appleseed, a non-profit organization that attacks systemic injustice at its root cause—what American Lawyer Magazine® called “pro bono’s new frontier.” Martin is a recipient of Appleseed’s Evelyn Singer Award, a nationwide award for outstanding pro bono service.
In addition, Martin received the “Outstanding Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year” at Adams and Reese and was named among the Leadership in Law – New Orleans CityBusiness Class of 2008 for spearheading the reestablishment of an Appleseed Center in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina.