Martin has worked in the law since he was 18, first as a law clerk, then a solicitor, and finally as a sole practitioner. Martin: Some people think a life in the law means you don’t have experience about the outside world. Trust me, as a lawyer you get to see it all.
” Martin has conducted litigation as far away as the Superior Court of California, as well as most courts along the East Coast of Australia, from the Supreme Court of Queensland, to the Federal Court of Australia, Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia. Martin says of his experience at the High Court:
“I was a buzz that day. We won the case at trial in the Supreme Court (of NSW), lost in the Court of Appeal, and were making an application for Special Leave. We needed leave for the case to be sent to Canberra. Unfortunately, when my silk sat down after making his submission, the Chief Justice said to the opposing barrister, ‘We do not need to hear from you Mr Cole’, which is the legal equivalent of the justices pulling out a fire hose and spraying you in the face”.
Martin says of the Campbell and McGrath case: “I learnt a lot running that case. To be honest, it was crazy. It was a case between once close friends about a driveway at Toronto. They despised one another, and neither was going to back down. My clients won and then lost and lost again. Ever since, (and during the course of that case, to be honest), I say to clients, ‘Only involve yourself in litigation if you absolutely have to, if you have to, go hard and then try to settle it, and if the case won’t go away, go harder again until you force the other side to settle or you win at trial.”
Martin’s interests include cricket, which he played from the age of 5 to 32, and then tried to play at the age of 48. He is an obsessive fan of the Red Sox baseball team, having taken up baseball at the age of 12 to improve his fielding at cricket: “I had a million-dollar arm and a two-cent radar. Frustrating for me; frustrating and dangerous for my teammates.”
Martin also enjoys American Legal History, reading many books about Capital Punishment and the 2nd Amendment, (‘by which Americans have the right to murder each other’, as Martin says) and spends time riding on his bike listening to podcasts about decisions of the United States Supreme Court. “Look, I know I’m a legal nerd, but I guess if I was after a lawyer, I’d prefer someone who loves the law rather than someone who doesn’t.”
Martin: “My father was a lawyer, and he said to me on the day I was admitted as a solicitor: “Always try to be the lawyer you’d want to instruct: ruthless, efficient, very, very discreet, brave, energetic, compassionate for your clients, but most certainly not your client’s opponent. It’s not a nice thing to say, but you need to make the bloke on the other side’s life hell, so your client’s life isn’t. And never, ever, judge anyone for anything.”