Roman Martinez is the Deputy Office Managing Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins. As a member of the firm’s Supreme Court & 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 US Supreme Court and the D.C., Second, Sixth, Ninth, and Federal Circuits, and the California and Tennessee appellate courts, among others.
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 nine cases in the Supreme Court, including important cases in the fields of the First Amendment, patent law, criminal law, civil rights, employment, and civil procedure. He has filed more than 75 briefs in the Supreme Court involving a wide range of legal issues, including tax, securities, intellectual property, criminal, environmental, education, civil rights, and First Amendment law.
Over the past two years, Mr. Martinez has led Latham appellate teams in cases involving the First Amendment, Administrative Procedure Act, securities, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), products liability, tort, criminal, and employment law. He persuaded the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in three cases over the past two Terms. Earlier this year, he prevailed 8-1 in Babb v. Wilkie, an important case establishing the rules for federal-sector employer liability under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. He also represented respondents in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, persuading the Court to invalidate a portion of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act under the First Amendment.
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. Although the case became moot after certiorari was granted, Mr. Martinez persuaded the Court to vacate the adverse lower-court precedent and is now litigating the core jurisdictional issue before the en banc Federal Circuit.
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 US 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 serves on the US Chamber of Commerce’s Administrative Law & Government Litigation Advisory Committee, and he is a member of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court. He previously served as a member of the D.C. Circuit’s Advisory Committee on Procedures, and now serves on the US District Court for the District of Columbia’s Committee on Grievances. His commentary has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and other publications, and he has appeared on the PBS NewsHour and other television programs to discuss the Supreme Court.