William O. Martin, Jr. (known as Skip) is the leader of the Elder Care Practice Group. He is also a member of the Product Liability Practice Group. His practice is national in scope and focuses on the litigation and trial of product liability actions. He serves as national trial counsel for APV North America, Inc. and its various divisions, having successfully defended the company's products in over 30 states, and has represented other clients on both a regional and national basis.
"Haight has taken the time to truly understand our products, how we go to the market, and the technical issues involved in a very complicated industry. This experience is invaluable in effectively and economically handling cases," Vice President and Director of Legal Affairs, APV Limited
Products in which Mr. Martin has significant experience include, but not limited to: all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, conveyors, pneumatic conveyors, turbo expanders, nitrogen generators, film winders, wire winders, rotary cutters, rotary molders, packaging equipment, mixers, fabric-treating machines, printing presses, gear cutters, saws, locomotive bearings, sporting equipment, automotive parts, plate heat exchangers, valves, freezers, air compressors, construction equipment such as back hoes, front loaders and skid steer loaders, farm equipment, distillation systems, plastic blowmold machines, homogenizers, ovens, and plastic extrusion equipment.
"Throughout this case I felt confident that all issues and angles were examined and re-examined by you and your staff, to our benefit and I believe the end result bears this out," Director, Risk Managment, Harris Chemical Group, Inc.
Mr. Martin has also successfully represented clients in fire cases, serious motor vehicle accidents, including automobiles, motorcycles and semi-tractor trailers, construction accidents, railroad crossing collision cases, FELA and Safety Appliance Act cases, asbestos cases and some commercial litigation involving his clients’ products.
"You did an exceptional job on this case. Presenting a client's position to a jury is about finding the appropriate words and educating them on the merits of our case. You did that perfectly...," Legal Counsel, Bombardier Recreational Products
Mr. Martin has also been proactive in reducing or eliminating potential litigation for APV and other clients. He has provided numerous educational seminars to employees at facilities throughout the United States as well as England, Denmark and Germany in an effort to educate sales engineers, design engineers and field service technicians regarding the legal process, the differences between American standards such as OSHA and ANSI and European standards requiring a CE mark, design obligations created for manufacturers as a result of ISO 9001 certification, and preventing liability. As a result of his efforts, serious accidents resulting in litigation have been reduced approximately 50% for at least one client. Mr. Martin has also helped in designing an "early warning system" for investigation accidents. He oversees this program which allows the company to learn of a serious accident within 48 hours of the occurrence. Finally, he has helped develop risk/benefit analysis programs for manufacturers.
"Skip Martin, on his own has come to learn and educate himself, not only on the many products, but the company and its resources as well. He has delivered timely and cost effective services," Vice President Administration and General Counsel, BBDP, Inc.
In order to help young associates improve courtroom skills, in 1991 Mr. Martin developed and implemented at Haight Brown & Bonesteel an intensive six‑week trial technique course. Taught by Mr. Martin every two years, the course covers voir dire, opening statement, evidence, direct examination, cross-examination and closing argument. Classes are two evenings per week, with the first session each week consisting of a lecture on the techniques to be used and the second session each week requiring the participants to demonstrate before a video camera and the other participants the techniques taught several days before.