Troy L. Martin, Shareholder at Lurie-Zepeda

Troy L. Martin

Shareholder
Phone:(310) 274-8700 ext. 113
Fax:(310) 274-2798
Email:tmartin@lurie-zepeda.com

Education and Affiliations

Education

  • Loyola Law School, J.D., 1996, cum laude, Order of the Coif
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., Political Science, 1993

Bar & Court Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court (Central District, CA)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Cir., 3rd Cir.)

Honors & Awards 

  •  Southern California Super Lawyers – Rising Star, 2006-2008

Professional Associations/Memberships

  • South Bay Estate Planning Council: Board Member, 2009 to Present; President, 2010-2011
  • Torrance Memorial Medical Center Professional Advisory Committee
  • ProVisors
  • Bruin Professionals
  • Leadership Torrance: Co-Director 2010; Member 2009

 

Troy L. Martin: Professional Profile

Troy Martin is an astute litigator who resolves clients’ complex Trusts, Estates & Probate matters and Business disputes. His focused yet kind demeanor brings clients peace-of-mind during highly-contentious situations. Applying experience gained from handling a wide range of matters in federal and state courts, mediation and arbitration, Mr. Martin carefully reviews the merits of a case to establish a strategy, discussing the benefits of alternative approaches with his client.

Mr. Martin offers clients extensive experience resolving trust and estate disputes and probate litigation, and has achieved successful outcomes in matters ranging from $300,000 to $100 million. His noteworthy cases include taking advantage of favorable estate tax laws in late 2012, prior to the Fiscal Cliff, to negotiate settlements with an aggregate value exceeding $60 million. Upon exploring deficiencies in the conservatorship laws in representing Peter Falk’s and  Casey Kasem’s daughters, Mr. Martin drafted and lobbied for legislation to ensure a child’s right to visit with an ailing parent.  As a result of his efforts, he recently provided expert testimony before theCalifornia State Assembly Committee on Judiciary; has been quoted in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and NBC Los Angeles; and, has appeared on CNN, Larry King Live, Inside Edition, Nancy Grace,  Gurvey’s Law (KABC 790AM), and The Tim Conway, Jr. Show (KFI AM 640).

Mr. Martin’s recent successes resolving business disputes include a verdict in client’s favor after a month-long jury trial over the misappropriation of intellectual property and breach of employment contract for a manufacturer of tactical gear for the military and law enforcement. In a breach of contract case involving a real estate agreement entered in 1924 regarding the establishment of a local cemetery, he achieved a judgment in favor of clients for the total amount of requested damages. Other noteworthy cases involved construction of the Metro Red Line, manufacturing of fire extinguishers for the engine bay of FA-18 fighter jets, and the manufacturer of French fry vending machines.

A frequent speaker on the duties of trustees and conservators, Mr. Martin has presented to Continuing Education and the Bar (CEB), the South Bay Estate Planning Council, the Beverly Hills Estate Planning Council, the Torrance Chamber of Commerce and the Torrance Memorial Medical Center Professional Advisory Committee.

Troy Martin's Results by Practice Area


Appeals

Following a jury verdict in client’s favor, made a post-trial motion for attorney’s fees for willful and malicious misappropriation of trade secrets under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA).  After the trial court denied our motion, the Court of Appeal overturned the trial court’s decision based on our demonstration that the trial court had applied the wrong burden of proof at trial.

Successfully defended Tasty Fries, Inc., in district court and on appeal, against Silver Leaf, LLC regarding a $100 million master sales and marketing agreement.  Silver Leaf filed the lawsuit to prevent Tasty Fries from terminating the agreement and moved for a preliminary injunction, which was denied by the district court

Business Litigation

Successfully represented an insurance brokerage in prosecuting claims of breach of fiduciary duty relating to employee embezzlement and misappropriation of trade secrets.  Employee had stolen  confidential client information.  After two-month jury trial, jury rendered $1.1 million verdict in favor of client.  Obtained judgment against the employee as well as her new employer for misappropriation of trade secrets.  

After one-month jury trial, achieved a verdict in client’s favor for claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract against a former employee.  Client manufactures military tactical gear under government contracts, creating complex issues of ownership of goods.  Former employee had stolen confidential information and used it to open a competing manufacturer.  Following the jury’s verdict, the court issued a permanent injunction against former employee.

On the eve of trial, negotiated a favorable settlement for the manufacturer of fire extinguishers used in the engine bays of FA-18 E/F fighter jets in breach of contract claims against a government contractor.  By understanding complicated chemical and electrical reactions, successfully demonstrated that the alleged failure of client’s product was caused by unspecified conditions in the aircraft, not by faulty design.

Successfully defended Tasty Fries, Inc., in district court and on appeal, against Silver Leaf, LLC regarding a $100 million master sales and marketing agreement.  Silver Leaf filed the lawsuit to prevent Tasty Fries from terminating the agreement and moved for a preliminary injunction, which was denied by the district court

Prevailed in a jury trial representing subcontractor on the Metro Red Line project, achieving enforcement of an oral settlement agreement with prime contractor-defendant over a contractual dispute. Defendant had reneged on the oral settlement agreement achieved at deposition by counsel. Tried declaratory relief action to a jury after judge was openly dubious that the oral settlement agreement was authorized and enforceable.  At trial, impeached the credibility of defendant’s CEO, who claimed he never authorized the oral settlement agreement, and persuaded jurors to answer every question of lengthy special verdict form in plaintiff’s favor. Also obtained award of 100% of client’s attorney’s fees.

Employment Litigation

Successfully represented an insurance brokerage in prosecuting claims of breach of fiduciary duty relating to employee embezzlement and misappropriation of trade secrets.  Employee had stolen  confidential client information.  After two-month jury trial, jury rendered $1.1 million verdict in favor of client.  Obtained judgment against the employee as well as her new employer for misappropriation of trade secrets.  

Intellectual Property Disputes

Successfully represented an insurance brokerage in prosecuting claims of breach of fiduciary duty relating to employee embezzlement and misappropriation of trade secrets.  Employee had stolen  confidential client information.  After two-month jury trial, jury rendered $1.1 million verdict in favor of client.  Obtained judgment against the employee as well as her new employer for misappropriation of trade secrets.  

After one-month jury trial, achieved a verdict in client’s favor for claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract against a former employee.  Client manufactures military tactical gear under government contracts, creating complex issues of ownership of goods.  Former employee had stolen confidential information and used it to open a competing manufacturer.  Following the jury’s verdict, the court issued a permanent injunction against former employee.

Successfully defended a manufacturer of French fry vending machines against claims of misappropriation of trade secrets  in a $100 million lawsuit  brought by a competitor.  By demonstrating the technological differences between product designs, convinced plaintiff to dismiss the case against client for no payment of money.  

Real Estate Litigation

Prevailing over one of the largest law firms in California, successfully defended property owner against claim for breach of contract relating to a failed agreement to sell 40 acres of land.  After a three month jury trial, the jury rendered verdict in client’s favor on ground that the sales contract was procured through fraud in the inducement.  

Successfully represented three clients in breach of agreement claims against a cemetery corporation regarding an agreement entered in 1924.  After one-month bench trial, during which we thoroughly discredited defendant’s complex financial models as inaccurate and inconsistent, court issued judgment in favor of clients for the full amount of requested damages.  

After convincing the court to conduct a one-day bench trial on the defense of “sham guaranty,” obtained a ruling by the court that the client was not liable to pay on a guaranty of a $24 million loan on a commercial property in Beverly Hills’ “Golden Triangle” because the guaranty was subject to California’s anti-deficiency statutes.  

Trust, Estate & Probate Litigation

Successfully represented the daughter of Columbo star Peter Falk in a highly-contested conservatorship proceeding to secure visitation rights.  Conservatorship was granted and visitation was ordered by the Court, despite the fact that the law does not specifically grant the Court such power. 

Successfully represented beneficiaries in an elder abuse and trust administration dispute against their aunt’s caregivers for exerting undue influence in inducing the elderly lady to amend her trust.   Negotiated a settlement in beneficiaries’ favor.  Caregivers acknowledged that the amended trust was invalid and relinquished all remaining trust assets to clients.  

After an elderly man was induced to modify his will to leave his house to his gardener, defended the trustee against claims of elder abuse asserted by the gardener and prosecuted cross-claims for elder abuse and undue influence against gardener.  Successfully settled the entire matter before trial.  

In a heated family battle over the care and control of Casey Kasem, successfully represented his daughter, Kerri Kasem, in obtaining a judge’s order for the temporary conservatorship of Kasem.  

In trust administration litigation between two siblings/co-trustees, successfully represented client/co-trustee in his claim that his co-trustee/sister had unduly influenced their surviving parent to include her as a joint account holder on all bank accounts and subsequently looted the accounts before the death of their parent/trustee.  The Court found that respondent/co-trustee had wrongfully taken $253,930, entering an order holding the respondent liable for twice the value of the property wrongfully taken in bad faith and awarding our client his full attorney’s fees.  

Represented the adult children of a supermarket founder in a trust contest against their stepmother.  Clients alleged stepmother importuned their father to substantially disinherit them, claiming lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence and coercion. The case settled on confidential terms after two lengthy mediation sessions.

After a son abducted his mother, successfully obtained conservatorship of the mother and prosecuted an action for elder abuse against the son.  The son was ordered to return his mother to her home.  The judgment for elder abuse was granted and the son was disinherited as a result of the financial elder abuse.  

Negotiated a multi-million dollar settlement for plaintiff in a breach of trust claim relating to mismanagement of a $40 million estate.  Strategically used the threat of the “Fiscal Cliff” to negotiate lifetime gifts to achieve settlement

Negotiated a multi-million dollar settlement in a highly-contentious breach of trust and elder abuse case relating to management of a $20 million trust.  Settlement was achieved by demonstrating the tax advantages of an immediate lifetime gift of real estate and the certainty of agreeing to future after-death gifts.  

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