Martin E. Rose

If you’re trying to figure out who’s responsible for all this, look no further than Marty Rose. He’s responsible for the attitude, the swagger, the cartoons – all of it. He’s also responsible for building a firm – along with Hal Walker – that created a new approach to law, one that clients find works best for them because it’s aimed at solving their problems, rather than simply ratcheting up their bills.

The firm’s founding partner, Marty Rose believes that, too often, companies hire attorneys who just don’t have enough courtroom experience. In the courtroom and at the settlement table, these lawyers and their clients are at a serious disadvantage.

In his trial career, spanning more than 39 years, Marty has tried scores of cases in state and federal courts all over the country. His experience has shown that when the opposition knows you are prepared to try the case — and will try it if a favorable settlement is not achieved — that threat works to his clients’ advantage.

Practice Areas

Litigation of complex, high-risk cases encompassing:

  • tort-personal injury and wrongful death cases involving commercial and private aircraft disasters, transportation accidents and product liability claims
  • commercial disputes including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud
  • intellectual property including trade secrets, trademark infringement and patent infringement

The majority of Marty’s experience has been in technical cases requiring in-depth knowledge of the following industries:

  • aerospace
  • chemistry/chemical engineering
  • computer/software
  • metallurgy and forging
  • mechanical engineering

Representative Experience

Marty has tried complex cases in 14 states. He has resolved other complex litigation, short of trial, in 47 states, as well as in Europe, South America and Asia. Marty’s docket reflects his preference for the unique challenges of high-stakes litigation. A significant portion of his work involves cases where the firm has been hired as replacement counsel to turn around a troubled lawsuit. At the same time, he has been involved in numerous cases whose stakes reflected “bet the company” risks to his client.

Recent Trials

  • $7.3 million decision in a breach-of-contract, fraud and tortious interference case in Dallas County, Texas, state court on behalf of a casual game developer and publisher.
  • $9.8 million decision in defamation and breach-of-contract case in Dallas County, Texas, state court on behalf of a doctor who sued his former employer
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  • $96 million judgment in favor of a steel forger in litigation against aircraft engine manufacturer Textron Lycoming, in the largest worldwide recall of aircraft engines in history
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  • Arbitration in a breach-of-contract case on behalf of an aviation integration company.
  • Defense of an air charter operator in 15 wrongful death claims involving the crash of a Gulfstream 3 in Aspen, Colo., tried in Los Angeles superior court.
  • Verdict in excess of $26 million, including more than $11 million in punitive damages, while prosecuting tort and contract claims by aviation integration company Raytheon against a subcontractor, Learjet. This case, eventually settled for a confidential amount, set a new record in Hunt County, Texas, a record already held by Marty in a previous case.
  • Defense verdict in Mississippi state court in a wrongful death case on behalf of national trucking company Yellow Freight against one of the top plaintiff’s lawyers in the state. The jury deliberated less than 11 minutes.
  • Defense of an insurance company director against claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and usurpation of corporate opportunities by carrier.
  • Defense of an aircraft seller against claims of breach of contract and fraud by purchaser.
  • Defense of a joint venture partner against claims of negligence.
  • Defense of a national trucking company against significant brain damage and loss of limb claim (Missouri state court).
  • Directed verdict for a helicopter operator in a wrongful death action by the pilot’s estate, tried in Denver federal court.

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Colorado
  • Past chair, State Bar of Texas Aviation Law Section
  • Advocate, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American Bar Association (Committee on Aviation and Space Law, Insurance, Negligence and Compensation Law Section, Litigation Section)
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation
  • Frequent lecturer on trial tactics and technology in the courtroom
  • Former board member of Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization serving North Texas children and adults with disabilities
  • Board of Trustees, St. Edward’s University (Austin, Texas)
  • Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB)

Admitted to Practice

  • All state courts in Texas, California and Colorado
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Central and Eastern Districts of California
  • U.S. District Court of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Supreme Courts of Texas and California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Education

  • Southwestern University, J.D., 1974
  • University of California at Los Angeles, B.A., 1971

Honors

  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America for 2014 and named “Lawyer of the Year” in Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs (Dallas)
  • Named as “Leaders in Their Field”  in the Chambers USA guide for work in general commercial litigation; 2013-2014
  • Recognized among the Top Rated Lawyers in Mass Torts, Martindale-Hubbell and ALM, 2013
  • Recognized in Texas’ Legal Leaders as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Personal Injury Law
  • Selected to the 2012 and 2013 lists of The Best Lawyers in America
  • Featured Among Dallas’ top corporate trial lawyers in D CEO magazine, May 2008
  • Recognized among nation’s top attorneys for business in Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition, 2008
  • Named to Lawdragon’s 500 leading lawyers in America, 2007
  • Named super lawyer by Texas Monthly, 2003, 2005, 2006
  • Named one of top 15 business defense lawyers by Dallas Business Journal, 2006
  • Named a “go-to” lawyer, as one of the top five personal injury defense lawyers in Texas by Texas Lawyer, 2002
  • Jury verdicts included in National Law Journal top 100 verdicts of the year, 2002, 2006
  • Continental’s Who’s Who

Additional Information

Marty is a pilot with ratings in helicopters and light fixed-wing aircraft.
Click here to watch a video where Marty addresses graduates at St. Edward's University

Memorable Trials and Cases

Interstate Southwest LTD v. Avco Corporation, et al. - When a number of small airplanes experienced engine crankshaft failure and crashed, engine-maker Lycoming blamed a small Texas company that made the crankshaft forgings, and the FAA agreed. In the midst of a worldwide recall of Lycoming engines, Lycoming threatened suit and demanded damages for the cost of the recall of $186,000,000.   When Interstate asked us to get involved we started buying and testing Lycoming engines; becoming the second largest owner of Lycoming engines in the world.  We then won a race to the courthouse, suing Avco Lycoming in Navasota Texas.   Our technical investigation demonstrated that the problem was a defective design of the crankshaft, not poor quality control in the forging factory.   Following 8 weeks of trial, the jury agreed, finding design defects to be the sole cause of the failures and awarding Interstate punitive damages for fraud of $96,000,000.  While the appellate court nullified the punitive damage award, the liability findings were upheld by the Supreme Court of Texas; the verdict nullified Lycoming $186 million counterclaim.

L-3 Communications v. Lockheed Martin Corporation - Aerospace giants L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, and Lockheed Martin squared off in courts in Texas and Georgia over trade secret and anti-trust claims involving the military P-3 sub-chaser program.  Lockheed Martin alleged that L-3 misappropriated its technical information and data in its modification and refurbishment of nine P-3 antisubmarine warfare airplanes for the Republic of Korea.  It sought damages in excess of $320 million.  At the same time L-3 filed an anti-trust suit in federal court in Dallas, Texas for Lockheeds alleged anit-competitive business conduct in the pursuit of foreign military refurbishment contracts in competition with L-3.   Lockheed ‘s case went to trial first and In May 2009, a federal jury in Atlanta found in favor of Lockheed and awarded $37 million; the company then sought $17 million in fees.  But in early 2010, U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell set aside the verdict and ordered a new trial, based on information Rose Walker found when going through documents Lockheed withheld in the Atlanta trial, but produced in the Texas case.  The documents showed that Lockheed planned to allow a third company to use its trade secrets, eliminating Lockheed’s trade secret protection claims.  Following the grant of a new trial in favor of L-3 for the misconduct of Lockheed, both cases was resolved in settlement.

Fisher v. Pinnacle – $9.8 million decision in defamation and breach of contract case in Dallas County, Texas state court on behalf of a doctor who sued his former employer.

SwissAir crash – In the hours following the tragic crash of a Swissair MD-11 off the coast of Nova Scotia, our firm was retained to represent the interests of the STC holder and certifier of the In-Flight Entertainment System, which was alleged to have been source of the in-flight fire, which brought down the MD-ll. Litigation resulted in Europe and a MDL case in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A separate contribution action was filed on behalf of the airline, Swissair, and aircraft manufacturer, Boeing (successor of McDonnell Douglas). The MDL panel judge prohibited any liability discovery by our client, Santa Barbara Aerospace. Nonetheless, we were able to conduct extensive investigation and testing which attacked the over $600 million case against SBA on two fronts: whether SBA’s role had anything to do with the wiring problems; and whether, in fact, the In-Flight Entertainment System was the source of the in-flight fire. While the specific terms of the resolution are confidential, it was an overwhelming victory for our client.

Alaska Airlines crash – Rose•Walker was retained on behalf of the manufacturer of the failed elevator jackscrew in the litigation arising from this commercial aircraft disaster. Our intensive early investigation effort demonstrated that the jackscrew failure was due to maintenance, not design or overhaul. We extricated our client from the mass disaster litigation without payment of any monies.

Payne Stewart, et al. v. Sun Jet Aviation, et al. - We represented the aircraft operator and owner, Sun Jet, in product liability litigation arising from the crash of a charter Learjet which was carrying noted golfer, Payne Stewart. Retained as replacement counsel after case bogged down in protracted litigation. Achieved an innovative and novel settlement, which preserved substantial insurance assets and averted client bankruptcy in cases with damages and demands far in excess of available insurance and assets.

Garrettson v. KLLM Trucking - Nashville, Tennessee federal court, 2002. We represented the family of a teenager hit by a tractor-trailer resulting in the death of the teenaged girl. We asserted claims of negligence and negligent hiring, retention and entrustment based upon the driver’s poor driving history and also sought punitive damages. Defense claimed the young driver was the sole cause. The jury returned a verdict that consisted of compensatory damages and punitive damages. Defendant’s appealed. Verdict affirmed by 6th Circuit. Click here to view the 6th Circuit’s opinion.

Raytheon E-Systems, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc. - Greenville, Texas state court, 2001. Represented Raytheon Integration Systems in breach of contract and fraud case versus Learjet and Bombardier involving the FAA flight inspection aircraft monitorization program. Learjet provided six Lear 60s, and Bombardier provided three Challengers, to be completed by Raytheon to FAA specifications. Cases tried separately. Learjet case tried to verdict. Jury awarded damages for breach of contract, fraud and punitive damages against Learjet in the largest verdict in the history of the county. Marty held the pre-existing record for the largest verdict in that county in the Alexander v. Jet Fleet case. The case was settled while on appeal. The Bombardier case subsequently settled for near full value.

Hyler v Roberts Aircraft Company, et al. - Denver, Colorado federal court, 2001. Judge: Walker D. Miller. Wrongful death case involving seismic helicopter operations in Bolivia. Plaintiffs contended that the aircraft was operated within a joint venture and that it either experienced tail rotor failure shortly following take-off or that the defendants owed the plaintiffs a duty to provide a loadmaster. Defense theory was that the pilot took off with an external load attached, which snagged on the terrain causing the accident and that there was no joint venture. Plaintiffs’ accident reconstruction expert was excluded during trial on Daubert grounds. Court granted a directed verdict for the defendants at the close of plaintiff’s case. Plaintiffs appealed the ruling to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the trial court’s granting of a directed verdict in a published opinion.

White v. Yellow Freight Systems, Inc. - Magnolia, Mississippi state court, 2000. Wrongful death suit regarding the death of a gentleman found walking on the interstate that was attributed to two Yellow Freight drivers. The evidence at trial established that the plaintiff could not have been hit by the Yellow Freight drivers under the medical and scientific evidence. Tried first time with flawed defense verdict. New trial granted on re-trial, defense verdict after a two-week trial in 11 minutes. Affirmed on appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Maxfly Aviation, Inc. v. Flyaway, Inc., et al. - Fort Worth, Texas federal court, 2000. Breach of contract and fraud case brought by disgruntled aircraft broker. Represented Defendant seller. Defense verdict for client and award of attorneys’ fees and costs. No appeal was taken.

Fiore v. Yellow Freight Systems, Inc. - St. Louis, Missouri state court, 2000. Personal injury lawsuit brought against national trucking chain for collision between tractor-trailer and plaintiff, which resulted in plaintiff suffering serious neurological deficits and an amputated limb. We asserted that the plaintiff substantially contributed to the accident. We entered into a high-low agreement with the plaintiff that capped the defendant’s damages at a favorable level. Combined with a favorable contributory negligence finding, plaintiff failed to receive a substantial portion of plaintiff’s verdict.

Lee, Dietrich, Bowden, et al. v. DuPont - Houston, Texas state court, Fall 1994. Opposing counsel: Michael Gallagher; Graham Hill. Trial of six wrongful death cases involving the most significant loss of inheritance claim known in the state of Texas. Three top Conoco executives and their wives were killed in a G-2 aircraft crash. Plaintiffs claimed loss of inheritance in excess of $300 million for three executives, each of whom were earning millions of dollars per year, plus stock options. Plaintiffs were 13 surviving children and parents. The case tried for 7 weeks. During the defense case, Plaintiffs accepted settlement offer tendered prior to trial, which represented less than 25% of original demands during trial.

Parsons v. DuPont - Houston, Texas federal court, July 1994. Opposing counsel: Windle Turley. Trial of aviation wrongful death case. Deceased female executive was 38 years of age, already making in excess of $200,000/year and earmarked by management to be the next president of Conoco. Defendant offered to admit liability, but Plaintiffs sought punitive damages and compensatory damages in excess of $30 million. The court found no gross negligence as a matter of law, and jury found compensatory damages of $5.7 million. Plaintiff appealed, verdict affirmed.

Cappello, et al. v. Duncan Aircraft Sales of Florida, Inc. - Nashville, Tennessee federal court, January-February, 1994. High profile wrongful death suit involving country music star Reba McEntire’s eight-member band. Plaintiff sought damages of $10 million and alleged Defendant was sole cause of accident. Defendant claimed damages of no more than $750,000, and that federal government was at least partially at fault for accident. Offered $850,000 before trial. Tried to verdict. Jury found government 55% at fault, and Defendant 45% at fault, and damages of $750,000. Tennessee has no joint and several liability and so net verdict against client was $329,000. Appeal for inadequate damages; reversed and settled.

Wallace v. Duncan Aircraft Sales of Florida, Inc. - Dallas, Texas state court, 1992. High profile wrongful death case involving the deaths of country music star Reba McEntire’s eight-member band in an air crash tried for three and one-half weeks before Judge Mark Whittington. The case settled during defense-case-in-chief when Plaintiff counsel dropped his demands into the range of settlement discussed prior to trial.

Coggeshall v. International Total Service - Houston, Texas state court, 1992. False arrest and intentional infliction of emotional distress case. Airport security guard falsely accused airport passenger of concealing a grenade in purse as a prank. Grenade was a test object used for x-ray inspection testing. Passenger was paranoid schizophrenic who had spent many years in mental institutions and was afraid of being reinstitutionalized. As a result of prank and arrest incident, plaintiff was rehospitalized for an extended length of time in a mental institution. Defendant was also investigated for failing to properly perform background-checks and licensing of airport security guards, including the subject security guard. Defendant was fined by state shortly prior to trial for over $60,000. Admitted liability and tried on damages and punitive damages. During trial, Judge entered directed verdict on intentional infliction of emotional distress. Offer prior to trial: $125,000, demand: $4 million. Jury verdict: $1,200.

Norma Gonzalez v. Southern Air Transport - San Antonio, Texas state court, 1990. Judge: Rose Spector. Opposing counsel: Branton and Hall. Mental injury and post-traumatic stress disorder claims brought by young Hispanic woman who was trapped in an airport building into which client's C-130 aircraft crashed, killing crew. Building was destroyed by fire and plaintiff was trapped for ten minutes and feared for her life. Admitted liability and case was tried only on damages. Defense claimed that she was emotionally ill before accident. Proof was that plaintiff had normal life before accident, but afterwards was institutionalized in a mental ward for two years, wherein she attempted suicide seven times and gave up children for adoption to parents. Jury awarded zero damages, finding no relationship between the accident and the plaintiff’s emotional problems.

Alexander v. Jet Fleet - Greenville, Texas state court, 1988. Opposing counsel James Cowles, Cowles and Thompson. Three wrongful death cases arising from mid-air collision of two aircraft. Our position was that the opposing aircraft was sole cause of accident. Tried to verdict and obtained sole cause verdict against adverse aircraft. Obtained largest verdict in history of the county for the client. Upheld on appeal.

Mendlelsohn v. Metro Express II, Inc. - Dallas, Texas federal court, 1987. Wrongful discharge case involving airline captain and union organizer. Plaintiffs contended pilot was discharged because of union organizing activities rather than claimed safety concerns for pilot. Defense verdict.

Wilson, et al. v. Houston Helicopters and The Kelly Springfield Tire Company, et al. - Marshall, Texas state court, 1987. Represented helicopter operator in wrongful death case involving external load operations on the roof of a tire plant in East Texas. Defense verdict.

Lee, et al. v. Hughes Helicopters - Texarkana, Texas federal court, 1984, 1985. Judge: Joe Fisher. Product liability case involving paraplegia suffered by two police officers that crashed during a search and rescue mission. Defense was maintenance-caused product failure. Product had adverse failure history in military use. Tried first time and received defense verdict. Plaintiff obtained reversal on appeal and case was tried a second time. Again, a defense verdict was obtained.

Reese and Smith, et al. v. Hughes Helicopters - Washington state court, 1983. Product liability case involving complete paraplegia following helicopter crash, of forty-one-year-old business owner, earning over $100,000 per year before accident and unable to work afterwards. Defense verdict: Sole cause of accident was pilot error.

The Twilight Zone movie case - 1983. Defended producer, George Folsey, in civil litigation arising from the crash of the helicopter during the filming of the movie, The Twilight Zone. The crash killed veteran actor, Vic Morrow, and two small children. Plaintiffs’ counsel, Ned Good, and others. Extricated Mr. Folsey from the case prior to trial without payment of any sums on his behalf.

Beutal, et al. v. Hughes Helicopters - Houston, Texas state court, 1978. Opposing counsel: Joe Jamail and Bob Carsey (Fulbright & Jaworski). Tried to verdict. Product liability case involving two wrongful death cases as a result of a helicopter crash. Jamail's decedent was earning more than $1 million/year and left a wife and two small children. Plaintiff's case involved several product liability issues and defense centered on pilot error. Jamail asked for $37 million. The jury awarded $225,000 and found ninety-five percent (95%) pilot error and five percent (5%) failure of manufacturer to warn for net verdict of $12,500.

Martin v. PSA [Pacific Southwest Airlines] - California state court, San Diego, 1978. Wrongful death action arising from crash of PSA jetliner. Plaintiff was a 36-year-old land developer allegedly worth millions, leaving wife and three small children. Admitted liability and tried on damages only. Plaintiff claimed earnings of $3 million/year. Defense based on claim that deceased was going bankrupt in real estate business. Verdict: $695,000.