Martin E. “Marty” Golden

martin-golden

Partner
701 Main Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

M 225 383 3796

F 225 343 9612

Martin E. Golden is highly regarded for his casualty insurance defense experience and for his handling of professional malpractice liability claims – especially in the real estate and legal industries.  In addition, Marty represents businesses, individuals and commercial entities involved in bad faith, subrogation, product defect, premises liability, personal injury, catastrophic injury, wrongful death and other complex litigation claims in Louisiana's state and federal courts.

These are typically difficult, costly matters, with exposures ranging from $500,000 to $2 million, and as high as $200 million.  Marty's experience has included disputes occurring at construction sites, factories and other worksites and places of business.  Marty often represents clients headquartered in Louisiana and elsewhere in the U.S. in multi-party trials and appeals held throughout the State of Louisiana.

As the region and national economies recover post-recession and post-Katrina, Marty has seen an uptick in professional liability claims, along with high-level monetary exposure as the market heats up, particularly involving speculative real estate.  So, too, have the number and complexity of disputes that eventually go to trial, where clients seek Marty's confident, senior-level courtroom experience, responsiveness and down-to-earth demeanor.

Representative Experience

  • Defense Verdict in Kaiser Plant Litigation
    • Where we started:  Marty defended the manufacturer of a complex microprocessor based industrial relay, which the plaintiffs and Kaiser alleged malfunctioned, triggering a catastrophic explosion of the Kaiser alumina plant in Gramercy, Louisiana. Property damage and lost revenue claims were estimated at nearly $500 million.
    • Our roadmap:  The damage claims were consolidated with personal injury claims by severely injured workers and a class action on behalf of the citizens of the two parishes surrounding the plant. Due to the enormous exposure in excess of available insurance, multiple defendants settled before trial, leaving only Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Thomas & Betts as defendants for the six-week jury trial.
    • And finally: The jury verdict for the defendants was named the defense verdict of the year by the National Law Journal.  In re Gramercy Plant Explosion At Kaiser, Master Docket No. 25,975, 23rd Judicial District Court, St. James Parish, Louisiana.
  • James Wayne matter – Marty represented an indigent legal services agency sued by its terminated Executive Director for alleged violations of Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law. The suit was dismissed on summary judgment based on our argument that the law does not apply to non-governmental entities, not even quasi-public corporations.  The decision affirming the dismissal is the first Louisiana appellate decision holding that the law does not apply to corporations.  James A. Wayne v. Capital Area Legal Services Corporation, 2013-2036 (La. App. 1 Cir. 5/2/14), 145 So. 3d 427.
  • First American Title Insurance Company matter, 30th Judicial District Court, Vernon Parish – Marty represented a closing attorney sued by the title insurer for a title defect missed in his title search.  The suit was dismissed as untimely based on proof that the lending institution, which retained the closing attorney, had constructive knowledge of the title defect more than one year before the suit was filed.
  • William Trotter matter, 19th Judicial District Court, East Baton Rouge Parish – Marty represented an attorney who had represented a plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit dismissed as untimely.  The suit against the attorney was dismissed based on proof that the plaintiff’s injury arose from custodial rather than medical care, such that the original suit was timely as a general negligence suit.
  • Herbert Witty matter, 19th Judicial District Court, East Baton Rouge Parish – Marty represented an attorney sued for intentional tort by the defendant in a separate suit in which the attorney represented the plaintiffs. The intentional tort suit was initially dismissed on an exception of no cause of action, which was reversed on appeal, and then later dismissed again at trial.
  • Evanston Insurance Company matter, 19th Judicial District Court, East Baton Rouge Parish – Marty represented a trial attorney sued by a liability insurer the attorney had defended at a trial which resulted in a substantial adverse judgment. The suit against the attorney was dismissed by summary judgment based on the insurance company’s failure to appeal the adverse judgment before pursuing a professional liability claim against its attorney.
  • Client Story:  A Suit against an Appraiser Dismissed
    • Where we started:  An appraiser was sued by a property purchaser for an acknowledged zoning error in the appraisal report prepared for a lending institution.
    • Our roadmap:  Marty determined that the appraiser’s duty of care was owed to the lending institution rather than the purchaser, who had not seen the appraisal report prior to the closing.
    • And finally:  The suit was dismissed by summary judgment. Earl Dufrene matter, 22nd Judicial District Court, St. Tammany Parish.
  • Client Story: A Listing Agent Sued for Unfair Trade Practices
    • Where we started:  Our client was a listing agent, who was sued for unfair trade practices based on an allegation that he deliberately misled the homebuyer about known hidden defects in the home, and discouraged a pre-closing inspection. 
    • Our roadmap:  Marty filed an exception of peremption, contending that the one year period for filing an unfair trade practices claim was preemptive, and therefore, not subject to any form of interruption or suspension. 
    • And finally:  The suit was dismissed.  Shawn Doyle matter, 22nd Judicial District Court, St. Tammany Parish.
  • Client Story: Misrepresentation of Real Estate Listing Data
    • Where we started:  A national real estate agency franchisor was sued by homebuyers, who alleged negligence, fraud and unfair trade practices.  The lawsuit was based on claimed misrepresentations in the property description of the lot the homebuyers purchased, which they allegedly viewed on the franchisor’s website.
    • Our roadmap: Marty filed a motion for summary judgment that demonstrated the untimeliness of the suit, and that the franchisor neither knew nor should have known of the claimed misrepresentation in the property description.
    • And finally:  The suit was voluntarily dismissed.  Lisa and Daniel Lambert matter, 21st Judicial District Court, Tangipahoa Parish.
  • Client Story:  Negligence alleged in the Purchase of Property
    • Where we started:  A property buyer’s real estate agent was sued, alleging negligence because the property purchased by the plaintiff was a different lot than intended.
    • Our roadmap:  Marty prepared and filed a motion for summary judgment, demonstrating that the agent’s duty of care does not extend to the client’s failure to have the property surveyed.
    • And finally: The suit was voluntarily dismissed.  Christine Renee Redmond matter, 23rd Judicial District Court, Ascension Parish.

Professional Affiliations

  • Louisiana State Bar Association, Member
  • Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, Member
  • Defense Research Institute, Member
  • Baton Rouge Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member 

Honors Awards

  • Served as a law clerk for the Honorable James L. Dennis, Louisiana Supreme Court, 1984 – 1985.

Education

  • J.D., Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, 1984
    – Honors: Order of the Coif
    – Law Review: Louisiana Law Review, Associate Editor
  • B.A., Louisiana State University, 1981
    – Major: English Literature

Admissions

  • Louisiana, 1984
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, 1985
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, 1986
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, 1986
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1992

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