Roman Martinez is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins. As a member of the firm’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice, he focuses primarily on appeals in the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Courts of Appeals, and state appellate courts. Mr. Martinez has handled civil and criminal matters involving a wide range of constitutional, statutory, and administrative law issues, and he has argued cases in the Supreme Court and the D.C., Sixth, Ninth, and Federal Circuits, among other courts.
Mr. Martinez’s appellate practice encompasses civil and criminal matters spanning virtually all areas of law. He recently rejoined Latham after serving as an Assistant to the Solicitor General at the US Department of Justice. In that role, he represented the United States in litigation before the Supreme Court and advised the Solicitor General on the government’s appellate litigation throughout the country.
Mr. Martinez has personally argued seven cases in the Supreme Court, including important cases in the fields of patent law, criminal law, civil rights, and civil procedure. He has filed over 75 briefs in the Supreme Court involving a wide range of legal issues, including administrative, tax, securities, intellectual property, criminal, environmental, education, civil rights, immigration, and First Amendment law.
Over the past year, Mr. Martinez has led Latham appellate teams in cases involving the Administrative Procedure Act, securities, ERISA, products liability, and employment law. Earlier this year, he successfully persuaded the Supreme Court to reject the State of Connecticut’s high-profile effort to reinstate the murder conviction of Michael Skakel. He frequently consults with clients to develop creative approaches to difficult legal questions that arise in and out of litigation.
Mr. Martinez’s extensive pro bono practice focuses chiefly on administrative law challenges to unlawful agency action by the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as on criminal defense appeals. In 2018, he persuaded the Supreme Court to grant certiorari on behalf of a veteran seeking judicial review of an unlawful regulation promulgated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Before joining Latham, Mr. Martinez served as a law clerk to Chief Justice John G. Roberts of the Supreme Court of the United States and to then Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit.
From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Martinez served as an advisor on the Iraqi political and constitutional process, in various roles at the White House, at the US Embassy and Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and at the Department of Defense. He received the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism and the US Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award for his service in Iraq.
Mr. Martinez is a member of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, and he serves on the US Chamber of Commerce's Administrative Law & Government Litigation Advisory Committee. He previously served as a member of the D.C. Circuit’s Advisory Committee on Procedures, and he now serves on the US District Court for the District of Columbia’s Committee on Grievances. His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and other publications. He has appeared as a guest on the PBS NewsHour and other television programs to discuss the Supreme Court.
Mr. Martinez's representative matters include:
- Fry v. Napoleon County Schools, 137 S. Ct. 743 (2017) (exhaustion under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) (argued)*
- Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1923 (2016) (Patent Act enhanced damages) (argued)*
- Simmons v. Himmelreich, 136 S. Ct. 1843 (2016) (liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act) (argued)*
- Musacchio v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 709 (2016) (criminal jury instructions and statute-of-limitations defenses) (argued)*
- United States v. Kwai Fun Wong, 135 S. Ct. 1625 (2015) (equitable tolling of claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act) (argued)*
- Yates v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 1074 (2015) (Sarbanes-Oxley Act obstruction of justice provision) (argued)*
- Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1749 (2014) (Patent Act attorney fees) (argued)*
- Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1, S. Ct. No. 15-827 (substantive standard of liability under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) (briefed)*
- Michigan v. EPA, 136 S. Ct. 2463 (2016) (Administrative Procedure Act challenge to regulatory action under the Clean Air Act) (briefed)*
- United States v. Marlene June, 135 S. Ct. 1625 (2015) (equitable tolling of claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act) (briefed)*
- West Virginia, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, 136 S. Ct. 1000 (2016) (statutory and constitutional validity of Clean Power Plan (opposition to application for stay))*
- Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management System, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1744 (2014) (standard of appellate review for Patent Act attorney fees) (briefed)*
- Moores v. Hildes, 135 S. Ct. 46 (2014) (Section 11 liability under Securities Act) (certiorari-stage amicus brief)*
- Ridley School District v. M.R., J.R., as parents of E.R., 135 S. Ct. 2309 (2015) (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act “stay-put” provision) (certiorari-stage amicus brief)*
- Vance v. Ball State University, 133 S. Ct. 2434 (2013) (Title VII retaliation) (briefed)
- National Organization of Veterans Advocates v. Department of Veterans Affairs, 710 F.3d 1328 (Fed. Cir. 2013) (validity of regulation governing due-process protections in veterans benefit proceedings) (argued)
- Ramirez v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., 414 S.W. 3d 707 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2013) (forum non conveniens) (argued)
- Walgreen Co. v. Drug Enforcement Agency, D.C. Cir. No. 12-1397 (Administrative Procedure Act challenge to agency enforcement action) (briefed)
*Matter handled prior to rejoining Latham
Mr. Martinez's recent publications include:
- "Supreme Court: SLUSA Does Not Prohibit State Court Jurisdiction Over Securities Class Actions," Latham & Watkins Client Alert (March 2018)
- “Octane Fitness and Highmark Decisions Turn Three,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (May 2017)