Thomas Martin - California Personal Injury Lawyer
Thomas Martin, a personal injury lawyer with Bisnar Chase, relishes the challenge of battling and winning for his clients. Martin has a unique perspective as a member of the law firm's trial team because he has seen the world as a defense attorney for insurance companies as well as a plaintiffs' attorney upholding the rights of seriously injured clients. From car accidents and motorcycle accidents to product defect and wrongful death cases, Martin is a veteran lawyer with nearly 35 years of experience and a stellar track record of obtaining positive outcomes for his clients.
Education and Experience
Martin graduated with a Bachelor's degree in psychology and a law degree, both from the University of San Diego. As an undergraduate student he was on the National Honor Society and the Dean's List. He became a member of the State Bar of California in 1983 and is licensed to practice law both in state and federal courts. He served as a temporary judge at the Orange County Superior Court in 2007. Between 1984 and 2006, Martin worked with four different Orange County law firms handling all aspects of civil litigation. In 2006, he started a law firm based in San Juan Capistrano dealing primarily with personal injury cases including motorcycle accidents, boating accidents, premises liability, products liability and construction accidents. He also served as a court-appointed mediator and arbitrator in Orange County.
A Trial Attorney Living on the Edge
Martin says the reason he became a lawyer was "to be in the courtroom and try cases."
"I really enjoy being in the courtroom and in front of the jury," he said. "It's all about the challenge of trying a case. You have to amass a lot of information, organize the information, and present it to the jury in a manner in which they can understand what's before them. Then, you have to convince them to find in favor of your client."
Martin likens being a trial attorney to a thrill-seeker who lives on the edge.
"Yes, you are prepared and you may have done a great job," he said. "But, you never know what a jury is going to do on a given day. It's a roll of the dice. The satisfaction that comes from winning a case is enormous. The goal is always to get the plaintiff the money they deserve, to get them the best possible verdict or settlement."
Skilled Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Martin has represented a number of motorcycle accident victims in Orange County and in Southern California. These cases are special to him because Martin is an avid motorcyclist himself. He is a member of the American Motorcyclist Association and the National and Orange Coast Harley Owners Group.
"When I had my own practice, a majority of my cases involved motorcycle accidents," he said. "It was a way for me to combine my passion and my career. I've been riding for 45 years."
Martin says police officers investigating motorcycle accidents generally tend to assume motorcyclists are at fault. Jurors tend to have preconceived notions about motorcyclists being daredevils and risk takers. As a long-time rider, Martin knows one cannot generalize when it comes to motorcyclists.
"Clearly, there are some motorcyclists who may be reckless or who may even be viewed as an undesirable part of society," he said. "But a vast majority of people who ride do it because it's a hobby or it's a passion. The year-round good weather in Southern California makes it a perfect location for motorcyclists to enjoy riding."
Martin says, be it negotiation or trial, what he enjoys the most is the unglamorous work of meticulous case preparation.
"Yes, it's a lot of behind-the-scenes work and it's not sexy," he said. "I'm a stickler for getting things done way ahead of time -- a week or even a month in advance. I hate deadlines and I don't want anything catching me by surprise."
Giving Back to the Community
Martin says in addition to trying and winning cases, he also enjoys giving back to the community. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Dana Point recently honored Martin for his pro bono work in assisting a number of veterans.
"While we are in the business of fighting and winning cases, it is also important to serve the community that gives you so much," he said.
When he's not in the courtroom or busy with case preparation, Martin enjoys riding his Harley, mountain biking and long-distance running. He is also extremely proud of his daughter who is studying to be a pilot.