Eric Martin is a commercial trial attorney who handles complex litigation matters. Mr. Martin was named one of Missouri' s Top Lawyers by Missouri Lawyers Weekly and serves as an instructor for the Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia School of Law.
As a member of the Bradley University Speech Team, Mr. Martin won an individual national championship and was a member of speech teams that won four national championships. At the University of Illinois College of Law, Mr. Martin won the Best Oral Advocate in the school’s primary moot court competition and was a member of the law school’s national moot court team.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Martin was a partner in another prominent St. Louis law firm. Mr. Martin is a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Class and Derivative Action Service Groups and maintains an active trial and appellate practice in federal and state courts and various arbitration forums.
Representative engagements include the following:
Financial Services Litigation
Mr. Martin represents a national bank in various litigation matters, including wrongful foreclosure claims and claims under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Merchandising Practices Act (MPA), and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).
In September 2012, Mr. Martin argued in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of a national bank in a case in which the trial court dismissed fraud and promissory estoppel claims. In January 2013, the 8th Circuit unanimously affirmed the dismissal in favor of Mr. Martin's client.
In September 2012, Mr. Martin obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial in Jackson County, Missouri for a national bank in a dispute with the world's largest property restoration company.
In 2012, Mr. Martin represented a national bank in a class action involving the Second Mortgage Loan Act. He is currently representing a national bank in two class actions pending in federal courts in Missouri, one involving a challenge to the securitization of asset backed securities and the other involving a challenge to foreclosure procedures.
Real Estate Litigation
Mr. Martin has extensive real estate litigation experience. As special counsel to a municipality, he obtained a reversal of a million dollar plus verdict involving an alleged breach of a real estate covenant. See Hemsath v. City of O’Fallon, 261 S.W.3d 1 (Mo.App. E.D. 2008). In condemnation matters, he has represented landowners in a high profile condemnation matter involving a prominent building in downtown St. Louis and a municipality in numerous cases arising out of the expansion of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Among his trial wins are a defense verdict in a Madison County, Illinois jury trial involving an adverse possession claim and a verdict in favor of shopping center seeking to enforce radius restriction.
As a member of the firm’s Securities Litigation and Enforcement Group, Mr. Martin represents broker-dealers in class action litigation, customer litigation and arbitrations, and intra-industry disputes.
Mr. Martin’s representative experience includes defending a federal class action involving an alleged $150 million shortfall in a pre-need funeral trust in a case that concluded in June 2012. He successfully represented a broker-dealer in a multi-million dollar FINRA arbitration involving a raiding claim. He convinced the North Dakota Supreme Court to reverse a trial court decision regarding the arbitrability of a dispute. See Schwarz v. Gierke, 788 N.W. 302 (N.D. 2010). He represented a broker dealer in a federal trial involving the timing of the sale of an unregistered security. In addition, Mr. Martin obtained a directed verdict in a “selling away” case and secured a favorable decision in a FINRA arbitration involving noncompete and tortious interference claims.
Mr. Martin represents telecommunications carriers and tower leasing companies in a variety of litigation. In 2011, Mr. Martin obtained a defense verdict for a national telecommunications carrier in a jury trial involving revenue sharing. Mr. Martin also has extensive experience in litigating challenges to telecommunications permits in federal court under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (“TCA”) and state court certiorari proceedings. In 2011, Mr. Martin convinced the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a federal district court decision and order that barriers to the construction of a telecommunications tower be removed. The resulting opinion is one of the strongest TCA decisions in the nation. See USCOC of Greater Missouri, LLC v. County of Franklin, Missouri, 636 F.3d 927 (8th Cir. 2011).
Bar and Court Admissions
United States Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Eighth Circuits
United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri, and the Central, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois
University of Illinois, J.D., magna cum laude, 1996
Bradley University, B.A., summa cum laude, 1993
Speeches and Seminars
Panel Member, "Insider's Guide to Class Action Litigation," Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, September 2012
Presenter, “Dealing with Troubled Tenants in Troubled Times,” Building Owners and Managers Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, April 2009
Presenter, “Demonstration of Cross Examination of Expert Witness,” Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia, January 2009
Presenter, “Demonstration of Direct Examination of Expert Witness,” Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia, January 2008
Presenter, “Electronic Discovery in the Information Age,” Brown Smith Wallace CIO Council, St. Louis, Missouri, June 2007
Presenter, “Game Under Protest: Key Differences Between Courts and Arbitrations,” Blackwell Sanders Corporate Counsel CLE, St. Louis, Missouri, May 2007
American Bar Association, Securities Litigation Committee; Commercial and Business Litigation Committee; Real Estate Litigation Committee
The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
The Illinois State Bar Association
The Missouri Bar
Civic Involvement and Honors
Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers (2010-2011)
Named a “Top Lawyer” by Missouri Lawyers Weekly (2006)
Instructor, Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia School of Law (2008-2009, 2013)
First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, Past Chair of Finance & Operations Committee, Co-Chair of 2010 Building Campaign, and current pro bono counsel
St. Louis Area Bradley University Alumni, Past President