William O. Martin, Jr.'s (Skip) practice has been national in scope and focuses on the litigation and trial of product liability actions. He has served as National Trial Counsel for APV North America, Inc. and its various divisions, having successfully defended the products for various companies in over 35 states. He has represented other clients on both a regional and national basis.
Mr. Martin's significant experience includes, 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, diesel locomotive bearings, brakes on railroad cars, sporting equipment, automotive parts, plate heat exchangers, refrigeration equipment such as compressors and condensers, valves, freezers, air compressors, construction equipment such as back hoes, front end loaders and skid steer loaders, farm equipment, distillation systems, plastic blowmold machines, homogenizers, ovens, plastic extrusion equipment, traffic signals, asbestos, artificial turf, asphalt, hydrogen embrittlement and the hard facing Stellite placed on the interior of valves located in turbines in power generation facilities.
Mr. Martin has written extensively, presented seminars and webinars and successfully defended cases involving “Warnings,” including issues of causation, the “heeding” presumption, the “uncertainty” principle, the “benign experience” principle. He has written and presented webinars on the use of Daubert to strike opposing experts in pretrial motions and at trial.
Mr. Martin is proactive in reducing or eliminating potential litigation for clients. To that end, he has provided educational seminars to employees at facilities throughout the United States as well as England, Denmark, China 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 were reduced approximately 50% for at least one client. Mr. Martin also helped in designing an “early warning system” for investigation of accidents. He oversaw this program which allowed 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.
Mr. Martin's innate curiosity has earned him a well-deserved reputation for being able to successfully and cost-effectively evaluate and handle the most complicated and sophisticated product liability, as well as medical malpractice matters where he has defended OB-BYNs, neurosurgeons, pathologists, anesthesiologists, radiologists, internists and otolaryngologists.
Prior to joining YOKA | SMITH, Mr. Martin was instrumental in developing and implementing an intensive, in-house six-week advanced trial technique course for colleagues and associates.
After 35 years, Mr. Martin joined YOKA | SMITH where he will continue to share his extensive knowledge, skills and expertise with clients on an Of Counsel basis.
Awards & Recognition
Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated
Professional Associations and Memberships
Orange County Bar Association, 2013 Tort & Trial Section Chair
ALFA International, Practice Group Chairman, Product Liability Practice Group (2004-2006) & Program Chair, Product Liability Practice Group, 2002
Product Liability Advisory Council
Illinois Bar Association Member, Committee on Illinois State Bar, Committee on Civil Practice and Procedure, 1974-1978
Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Member Board of Directors, 1983-1988
- Automotive, Parts and Accessories Liability
- Catastrophic Injury/Wrongful Death Defense
- Commercial Litigation
- Contracts and Commercial Litigation
- Industrial, Heavy Equipment, Construction, Industrial Ovens/Mixers, Railroad Cars
- Medical Device & Pharmaceutical Liability
- Product Liability
- Punch Press Liability
- Toxic Tort Litigation
University of Ilinois College of Law, Champaign, IL
- JD - 1973
Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL
- BA - 1970