Mr. James C. Martin
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith Centre 225 Fifth Avenue
225 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone    (412) 288-3546
Fax         (412) 288-3063

Type of Case: Civil and Criminal
Admitted to practice:
Supreme Court
1st Circuit, 2nd Circuit, 3rd Circuit, 4th Circuit, 5th Circuit, 6th Circuit, 7th Circuit, 8th Circuit, 9th Circuit, 10th Circuit, 11th Circuit, D.C., Federal


Jim is a partner working out of Reed Smith's Pittsburgh, New York and Los Angeles offices, who has specialized in appellate law for more than 30 years.

Appellate Experience

Jim has briefed and handled cases in the United States Supreme Court, all of the federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, the California Supreme Court, the state supreme courts of California, Washington, Arizona, Delaware, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Massachusetts.

Areas of Substantive Expertise and Consultation

Jim's expertise spans a wide range of substantive areas including unfair competition, insurance recovery, coverage and bad faith, financial services, intellectual property, products liability, pharmaceutical and medical devices, and class actions. He has dealt with many specialized issues in each of these areas, including those involving preemption (federal and state), expert witnesses (federal and state) and consumer fraud (federal and state). In addition to briefing and arguing appeals, Jim regularly consults with trial lawyers on substantive and procedural issues in ongoing cases to help shape trial strategies and make the best record possible for an eventual appeal. These trial consultations also include briefing and argument, and the preparation of post-trial motions, writs, or interlocutory appeals.


  • J.D., 1978 University of Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA Summa Cum Laude
  • B.A., 1974, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Gamma Mu.

Practice Focus:

  • Practice devoted to post-trial motions, civil appeals and writs. Specialized in appellate law for over 30 years.


  • Co-editor and contributor to the Practice Guide for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Co-editor and chapter author of Third Circuit Appellate Practice Manual (PBI Press 2007) (Second Edition 2010)
  • Ninth Circuit editor of Superseding and Staying Judgments, national compendium (ABA 2007)
  • Co-author of California Expert Witness Guide (CEB)
  • Contributing author of Civil Appellate Practice (CEB 3d ed.)

Representative Cases:

  • Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management System, Inc., No. 12-1163, 2014 WL 1672043 (2014). Assisted in filing of certiorari petition, merits briefing and argument in case defining legal standard for exceptional case determinations for recovery of attorneys fees.
  • Lidle v. Cirrus Design Corporation, 2012 WL 6603388 (2d Cir. 2012). Affirming defense verdict in complex airplane design defect case.
  • Azur v. Chase Bank, USA, 601 F.3d 212 (3d. Cir. 2010). Upholding judgment against credit card holder on attempt to recover under federal law for fraudulent use of credit card.
  • United States ex rel. Rostholder v. Omnicare Inc., 2014 WL 661351 (4th Cir. 2014). Affirming summary judgment on FCA whistleblower claims involving packaging of allegedly adulterated pharmaceuticals.
  • Eastham v. Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C., 2014 WL 2535385 (6th Cir. 2014). Affirmance of summary judgment of construction of oil and gas lease option to extend drilling agreement.
  • Thao v. Midland National Life Ins. Co., Nos. 13-1272 & 13-2366 (7th Cir. 2013). Upholding summary judgment in class action disputing construction of annuity contract relating to calculation of fees and costs.
  • Murr v. Midland National Life Ins. Co., No. 13-2045 (8th Cir. 2014). Affirming summary judgment in class action disputing construction of annuity contract on interest adjustment on surrender.
  • Siepel v. Bank of America, N.A., 526 F.3d 6112 (8th Cir. 2008). Obtained affirmance of application of SLUSA preemption to class action based on trust conversion.
  • In re St. Jude Medical, Inc., 522 F.3d 836 (8th Cir. 2008). Obtained reversal of certification of nationwide consumer fraud class based on individualized fact issues raised by defendant’s evidence.
  • Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F. 3d 799 (9th Cir. 2004). Represented media figure in case analyzing minimum contacts jurisdictional issue in the context of appropriation of name and likeness.
  • Liebel-Flarsheim Co., et al. v. Medrad Inc., 481 F. 3d 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2007). Obtained affirmance of district court's summary judgment for Medrad on various invalidity grounds after nine years in litigation.
  • City of Hope v. Genentech, Inc., 43 Cal. 4th 375 (2008). Represented hospital in affirmance of $300 million award of breach of contract damages.
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Superior Court, 159 Cal. App. 4th 381 (2008). Obtained writ relief ordering sustaining of demurrer on application of SLUSA preemption to class action involving trust conversion.
  • Wilborn v. Bank One Corp., 906 N.E. 2d 396 (2009). Declaring Ohio public policy supports enforcement of a mortgage contract provision requiring a borrower to pay a lender's attorneys' fees incurred on reinstatement of mortgage after default.
  • Beneficial Consumer Discount Company v. Vukman, 2013 WL 5354330 (Pa. 2013). Reversed ruling by intermediate appellate court stripping state trial courts of jurisdiction when mortgage foreclosure notices are deficient.

Honors and Awards:

  • Jim has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in Appellate Law and the 2013 "Lawyer of the Year" for Appellate Practice in Pittsburgh, as one of Pennsylvania's and Southern California's "Super Lawyers" in Appellate Law, a Benchmark Appellate Star in Pennsylvania, an American Lawyer Media Southern California Top Rated Lawyer in Appellate Law, and for admission into the American Law Institute. Additionally, Jim has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell. . With Colin Wrabley, he received the Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing for his 2014 article “Using Privately Provided Out-of-Court Relief to Defeat Class Certification.”

Nature of Firm's Practice:

  • Full service - civil litigation and corporate. For more information, visit

Other Information:

  • Jim is certified as a specialist in the area of Appellate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He is a fellow, director, and president of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and is a member and former president of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers.
  • Jim is a founding member of the Third Circuit Bar Association and served as its second president. He also is a member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Section on Appellate Courts and served as its chair. He served for three years on the California State Bar Committee on Appellate Courts and is the former vice-chair of the Federal Bar Association's Appellate Law and Practice Committee.
  • Jim has been a practitioner-advisor in appellate advocacy at both Boalt Hall and Hastings law schools, and is a frequent author and consultant for California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) on a variety of subjects involving civil litigation and civil appellate practice.