Gonzalo C. Martinez is an experienced appellate lawyer representing institutional and individual clients nationwide. He previously served as Deputy Solicitor General for the State of California.


    Gonzalo is certified as an Appellate Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He has successfully represented clients in the US Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court, as well as federal and state appellate courts nationwide. Gonzalo works with clients and trial counsel to reverse trial court error, defend hard-fought victories, and help shape the law. As an appellate lawyer, he brings a fresh perspective, and rigorous analysis and writing designed to persuade courts to rule in his clients’ favor. He has spoken on national and statewide panels regarding effective amicus advocacy.

    Class Actions

    Gonzalo has substantial class action experience representing foreign manufacturers, technology companies, utilities, and banks. This includes aggressive defense at the pleading stage, class certification briefing, exclusion of experts, and standing/mootness challenges, and Rule 23(f) petitions involving appellate review of class certification rulings.

    Litigation and Trial Strategy

    Gonzalo has advised trial counsel on strategic trial issues (experts, jury instructions, preserving issues for appeal), and prepared significant pre- and post-trial briefs (motions to dismiss, anti-SLAPP, summary judgment, directed verdict, new trial). He has also prepared writ petitions seeking immediate appellate review of adverse orders that are not directly appealable.

    Government Service

    Gonzalo’s experience as a government lawyer involved advising and representing the State of California, its agencies, and its officers in the most sensitive and complex matters, often against the federal government. That experience informs his approach to trial and appellate litigation involving public entities or issues that may prompt interest from government regulators.


    Previously, Gonzalo served as the Federal Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Maxine M. Chesney, Senior Judge, Northern District of California, and to the Honorable Anthony W. Ishii, Chief Judge, Eastern District of California.

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    US and California Supreme Courts

    • Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger, 137 S. Ct. 1178 (2017) –Federal courts’ inherent powers to impose monetary sanctions are limited by causation requirement; reversing discovery sanctions against client.
    • Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 20 (2014) – Foreign corporation not subject to general jurisdiction based on subsidiary’s contacts; setting new standard for general jurisdiction; dismissing Alien Tort Statute claims.
    • Plata v. Brown, 563 U.S. 493 (2011) – Secured affirmance of lower court order in decades­long prison overcrowding litigation, highlighting client’s unique perspective.
    • City of Los Angeles v. Sup. Ct. (Engineers & Architects Ass’n), 56 Cal.4th 1086 (2013) – Affirming public sector contract arbitration is not unlawful delegation of government power.
    • O’Neil v. Crane Co., 53 Cal.4th 335 (2012); 177 Cal.App.4th 1019 (2009) – Establishing that manufacturer was not liable for component parts manufactured by others.
    • Represented clients in numerous successful oppositions to cert. petitions and petitions for review or rehearing.

    Federal Circuit Courts and California Court of Appeal

    • Schnitzer Steel, Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co., 2016 WL 3059067 (9th Cir. May 31, 2016) – Represented insurer regarding application of state fees statute in federal court under Erie.
    • Boyd v. Warren Pumps, LLC, 654 F. App’x 875 (9th Cir. 2016) – Representing Navy supplier in toxic tort claims.
    • Luppino v. MBUSA, No. 16-8001 (3d Cir. Mar. 7, 2016), aff’g, No. 09-5582 (D.N.J. Dec. 22, 2015) – Victory for client at class certification stage, and subsequent affirmance on appeal denying Rule 23(f) petition.
    • Lannes v. Flowserve U.S., Inc., 628 F. App’x 957 (9th Cir. Oct. 14, 2015) – Affirming summary judgment for Navy supplier in toxic tort claims.
    • In re LA Times, no. 13-73467 (9th Cir. 2013) – Urging affirmance of protective order against First Amendment challenge to preserve client confidential information.
    • Terrace Garden v. County of Alameda, No. A139308 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2016) – Trial court authority to relieve default in commercial property tax dispute.


    • Harvard Law School, J.D., 2003
    • Stanford University, AM, 2000
    • Harvard University, A.B., magna cum laude, 1998


    • California


    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Ct. of App., Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of California
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., C. Dist. of California
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. of California

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • American Bar Association – Appellate Practice Committee
    • Hispanic National Bar Association – Appointed to Board of Governors; Amicus Committee; Deputy Regional President
    • Bar Association of San Francisco – Judiciary Committee (2016-2018); Board of Directors for Justice and Diversity Center (2019-2021); Appellate Practice Section
    • Lawyer Representative to 9th Circuit Judicial Council – Appointed by judges of N.D. Cal. (2017-2020)
    • Harvard Alumni Association – Harvard College Interviewer


    • English
    • Spanish
    • Certified Appellate Specialist – State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
    • California Attorney General’s Award for DACA Team Litigation 2019
    • 2016 and 2017 Super Lawyer – Appellate – Northern California
    • 2016 Top Lawyers Under 40 Award – Hispanic National Bar Association

    • Panelist, “Amicus Briefs: Influence and Impact,” Hispanic National Bar Association Corporate Counsel Conference (discussing strategy for effective amicus advocacy), Albuquerque, March 2019.
    • Presenter, “Being a Friend to the Court: Effective Amicus Curiae Briefs,” Presentations to Attorney General’s Offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, August-September 2018.
    • Panelist, “The United States Supreme Court at Standstill/Dysfunctional?” NPR’s “Your Legal Rights” Radio Program (KALW) (discussing effect of eight-member court on pending high-profile cases), April 2016.
    • Panelist, “What’s Next After Obergefell?” Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Conference (discussing unresolved constitutional issues), Boston, September 2015.
    • Presenter, “Products Liability and the US Legal System,” Mexico City, Mexico (discussing US and Mexican approaches to products liability law, including class actions), May 2014.

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