Curtis, Martha Y.
Attorney Martha Y. Curtis
Martha Y. Curtis

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Biography

Martha Y. Curtis is a member (partner) of Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, L.L.C.  Ms. Curtis was one of the founding members of Sher Garner law firm when it opened its doors in January, 1999.  It has since grown into one of the top New Orleans law firms with over 40 attorneys and more than 80 employees.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University and her Juris doctorate, summa cum laude, from Tulane Law School where she served as Senior Managing Editor of the Tulane Law Review.

Ms. Curtis has extensive appellate advocacy experience, having argued before the United States Fifth and Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Louisiana Supreme Court, and numerous appellate courts in Louisiana and Texas.  She also has significant trial experience, serving as first chair for jury trials taken to verdict and bench trials taken to judgment. Ms. Curtis is a FINRA arbitrator.

Before beginning private practice, Ms. Curtis clerked for Honorable W. Eugene Davis on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1990 to 1991.  Ms. Curtis was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve as an assistant Bar Examiner from 1997 to 2000.  She also served as an appointee of the Louisiana Supreme Court on the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Committee on Uniform Judicial Rules Committee.

Ms. Curtis has been involved in numerous other community and legal organizations, including the following: Tulane Law Review, Board of Advisory Editors; Tulane Alumni Association, Board of Directors; Louisiana Bar Foundation, Fellow; Association for Women Attorneys; and Federal Bar Association.  She has received numerous recognitions including: 2015-2017 Louisiana Super Lawyers (Insurance Coverage), 2013-2017 Best Lawyers, 2013 Women of the Year Honoree from New Orleans CityBusiness, “Local Litigation Star” in Louisiana recognition by Benchmark Litigation Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys (2012); New Orleans City Business’s 2010 Leadership in Law Award; New Orleans Magazine’s recognition as one of the Top Lawyers in New Orleans (2009); Martindale-Hubbell A-V rated since 1999; Rittenberg-Weinstein Award, Tulane Law Review (1990); and Harry S. Truman Scholar from Louisiana (1985).  Ms. Curtis also has authored several scholarly articles and has been a faculty member on numerous Continuing Legal Education panels for both the legal profession and the judiciary.

Representative Cases

  • Palermo v. Century Indemnity Company, 248 So.3d 462 , 2018, La. App. 3rd Cir.
  • Texas Brine Company, LLC and Occidental Chemical Corporation, 879 F.3d 1224 , 2018, 10th Circ.
  • Crosstex Energy Services, LP v. Texas Brine Company, LLC, , 240 So.3d 1024 , 2017, La. App. 1st Cir.
  • Claimant ID 100128765 v. BP Exploration & Production, Incorporated, , 2017 WL 4310087 , 2017, 5th Cir.
  • Claimant ID 100247288 v. BP Exploration & Production, Incorporated, 688 Fed.Appx. 265 , 2017, 5th Cir.
  • Florida Gas Transmission Co. v. Texas Brine Co., No. 2015-1331, 2016 WL 7407344, 2016, La. App. 1st Cir.
  • Florida Gas Transmission Co. v. Texas Brine Co., No. 2015-1332, 2016 WL 7407345 , 2016, La. App. 1st Cir.
  • ART Janitorial Services, L.L.C. v. Progressive Waste Solutions of Louisiana, Inc., No. 2016-01292, 2016 WL 7155884, 2016, E.D. La
  • Louapre v. Booher, So.3d, 2016, La. App. 4th Cir.
  • Smith v. Regional Transit Authority, 827 F.3d 412, 2016, La. App. 5th Cir.
  • Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association—West v. Amerada Hess Corp., 2015 WL 12781021, 2015, W.D. La.
  • Morvant v. Maryland Cas. Co., No. 2014-226, 2014 WL 2739423, 2014, E.D.La
  • In re Deepwater Horizon, 744 F.3d 370, 2014, La. App. 5th Cir.
  • In re Deepwater Horizon, 579 Fed.Appx. 256, 2014, 5th Cir.
  • 727 Toulouse, L.L.C. v. Bistro at the Maison De Ville, L.L.C., 122 So.3d 1152, 2013, La. App. 4th Cir.
  • Carmen Group Inc. v. Xavier University of Louisiana, 2014 WL 3015228, 2014, App. D.C. Cir
  • Daigle v. Tallow Creek, LLC, No. 2012-1656, 2013 WL 2487746, 2013, La. App. 1st Cir.
  • Burrus Mortg. Portfolio Partnership III v. Northern Bank Ltd., No. 2012-1445, 2013 WL 2250151, 2013, E.D. La
  • U.S. Fire Ins. Co. v. Housing Authority of New Orleans, 917 F.Supp.2d 581, 2013, E.D. La
  • Brooks v. Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, Inc., 110 So.3d 703, 2013, La. App. 4th Cir.
  • Rain CII Carbon, LLC v. Kurczy, 2012 WL 3577534, 2012, E.D. La.
  • Jefferson Door Co., Inc. v. Cragmar Const., L.L.C., 81 So.3d 1001, 2012, La. App. 4th Cir.
  • Spence v. Cassano, 2011 WL 5419710, 2011, La. App. 1st Cir.
  • Bisso Marine Co., Inc. v. Marine Response Consultants, Inc., 2011 WL 4381576, 2011, E.D. La.
  • Koch v. Lamulle Const., L.L.C., 2009 WL 1270440, 2009, La. App. 1st Cir.
  • Khalil v. Ebrahim, 2008 WL 8921976, 2008, La. App. 4th Cir.
  • Nassar v. Academy Sports and Outdoors, 227 Fed.Appx. 392, 2007, Miss.
  • Touro Infirmary v. Sizeler Architects, 948 So.2d 261, 2006, La.App. 4 Cir.
  • Touro Infirmary v. Sizeler Architects, 947 So.2d 740, 2006, La.App. 4 Cir.
  • Fergusson v. Allstate Property and Cas. Ins. Co., Not reported in F. Supp. 2d., 2006, S.D. Miss.
  • Touro Infirmary v. Sizeler Architects, 900 So.2d 200, 2005, La.App. 4 Cir.
  • Exposition Partner, L.L.P. v. King, LeBlanc & Bland L.L.P., 869 So.2d 934, 2004, La.App. 4 Cir.
  • Ackel v. Academy Louisiana Co., 821 So.2d 109, 2002, La.App. 5 Cir.
  • Estate of Patout v. City of New Iberia, 813 So.2d 1248, 2002, La.App. 3 Cir.
  • Squirrel Run Inv. Group, Inc. v. City of New Iberia, 813 So.2d 1253, 2002, La.App. 3 Cir.
  • Brown v. Manhattan Life Ins. Co., 791 So.2d 74, 2001, La.
  • Squirrel Run Investment Group, Inc. City of New Iberia, 791 So.2d 748, 2001, La.App. 3 Cir.
  • Estate of Patout v. City of New Iberia, 791 So.2d 741, 2001, La.App. 3 Cir.
  • Smith Barney, Inc. v. Henry, 775 So.2d 722, 2001, Miss.
  • Coalition for Good Government v. Louisiana Dept. of Environmental Quality, 772 So.2d 715, 2000, La.App. 1 Cir.
  • M.K.L. Dev., L.L.C. v. City of New Orleans, 772 So.2d 711, 2000, La. App.4 Cir.
  • Specialty Food Systems, Inc. v. Reliance Ins. Co. of Illinois, 45 F Supp.2d 541, 1999, E.D. La.
  • Walls v. American Optical Corp., 740 So.2d 1262, 1999, La. Sup. Ct., 1999207097
  • Estate of Patout v. City of New Iberia, 738 So.2d 544, 1999, La. Sup. Ct., 1999157913
  • Adams v. J.E. Merit Constr., Inc., 712 So.2d 88, 1998, La. Sup. Ct., 1998111127
  • TGX Corp. v. Simmons, 62 F.3d 666, 1995, U.S. 5th Cir., 1995168871
  • Young v. Bichan Partnership, 709 So.2d 794, 1997, La. App. 5 Cir., 1997139712
  • Jones v. Hyatt Corp., 681 So.2d 381, 1995, La. App. 4 Cir., 1995155952
  • Henning Constr. v. First E. Bank & Trust, 635 So.2d 273, 1994, La. App. 4 Cir., 1994065328
  • United States v. 83 Rolex Watches, 992 F.2d 508, 1993, U.S. 5th Cir., 1993109488
  • Cole v. Celotex Corp., 599 So.2d 1086, 1992, La. Sup. Ct., 1992104281

Honors

  • Best Lawyers in America since 2013, with special designations in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, 2013 - 2020
  • American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, 10 Best Personal Injury Female Attorney, 2019
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers - Insurance Coverage
  • Local Litigation Star – Plaintiffs in commercial, insurance and tort litigation, Benchmark Plaintiff Litigation Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys, 2012-2014
  • New Orleans CityBusiness - 2013 Women of the Year Honoree
  • New Orleans CityBusiness - 2010 Leadership in Law Honoree
  • New Orleans Magazine - Named one of the Top Lawyers in New Orleans, 2009.
  • Martindale-Hubbell A-V rated since 1999
  • Senior Managing Editor, Tulane Law Review
  • Rittenberg-Weinstein Award, Tulane Law Review
  • Harry S. Truman Scholar from Louisiana, Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation

Classes & Seminars

  • Louisiana Coverage Issues, Perrin Conferences, 06/14/2016 to 06/14/2016
  • Construction CPM Conference EnProMaC Construction CPM Conference in New Orleans, 02/01/2016 to 02/01/2016
  • A City Below Sea Level Rises Above: Exploring the Legal Impacts of Katrina Over the Last Decade Loyola University, College of Law in New Orleans, 10/16/2015 to 10/16/2015
  • Martinet End of Year CLE, Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, New Orleans Chapter, 12/04/2012 to 12/04/2012
  • Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit Southern Methodist University/Appellate Judges Education Institute in New Orleans, 11/15/2012 to 11/15/2012
  • Procrastinators' Programs, New Orleans Bar Association , 12/15/2011 to 12/15/2011
  • An Ethical Christmas Carol: Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come, New Orleans Bar Association, Procrastinators Program , 2011
  • Civil Court Judicial Forum: Advanced Discovery and Trial Practice, NBI, 2011
  • Appeals, Appeals, Appeals, Expert of the Bar & Bench, LA State Bar Association, 2010
  • “May it Please the Court”, Effective Case Presentation at Trial, NBI, 2010
  • Trying the Bad Faith Insurance Case, A Requiem on Hurricane Cases, Coverage Litigation Committee, American Bar Association , 2009
  • Drafting the Key Documents in Insurance Coverage Litigation, California Coverage Dreaming on a Winter’s Day, 17th Annual Tort and Insurance Practice Section, Insurance Coverage Litigation Meeting, American Bar Association , 2009
  • Bench Bar Conference, 2008 is NOBA's License to Practice, NOBA, 2008
  • Third Party Coverage, NBI, 2007
  • Trial Academy, Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, 2006
  • Police Indiscretion Litigation and Claims Avoidance Strategies, Lorman Business Center Inc., 2005
  • Insurance Law: Third Party Coverage in LA, NBI, 2003
  • Insurance Bad Faith Claims in LA, NBI, 2003
  • D & O Liability and Insurance in the New World, Loyola University School of Law, 2002
  • Adjusting the Automobile Injury Claim in LA, NBI, 2001
  • Insurance Coverage Law in Louisiana, National Business Institute, 1999
  • Defending Hotel/Motel Negligent Security Claims, Defense Research Institute, 1997

Professional Associations

  • FINRA Arbitrator, 2019 - Present
  • GNO Federal Credit Union, Member of the Board of Directors, 2016
  • Tulane Law Review, Board of Advisory Editors, Member, 1992 to Present
  • Tulane Alumni Association, Board of Directors Representing Law School, Member, 1995 to 1997
  • Louisiana Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2008 to Present
  • Association for Women Attorneys
  • New Orleans Association of Defense Counsel
  • Federal Bar Association

Past Positions

  • McGlinchey Stafford, Associate, 1991 to 1997
  • McGlinchey Stafford, Partner, 1998 to 1999
  • U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge W. Eugene Davis, Law Clerk, 1990 to 1991

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Tulane Law School Alumni, Chair of Class of 1990 Reunions for 5th (1995), 10th (2000), 15th (2005) and 20th (2010) years
  • New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association, Legal Advisor on Advisory Board, 2012 to Present, 2012 to Present
  • Corresponding Secretary, Society of the Founders of the City of New Orleans, 2011 to Present, 2011 to Present
  • New Orleans Vanderbilt Club, President, 1998–2000; Alumni Recruiting Chairperson, 1992–1995; Member of Reunion Committee Class for 25th Reunion, 2012
  • Active member of the Mercy Academy Alumnae Association, former President and Board Member
  • Jefferson Dollars for Scholars, Vice Chair, Scholarships, 06/2003 to 06/2005
  • Catholic Charities New Orleans, Former Member of Advisory Board
  • Former Board Member, Spirit of ’76 Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Volunteer at her children’s past and present schools, St. Catherine of Siena; St. George’s Episcopal School; St. Mary’s Dominican High School

Published Works

  • The Status and Evolution of First-Party Property Insurance Bad Faith Claims After Hurricane Katrina, 62, Loy. L. Rev. 25, 2016
  • Tort Law Desk Reference: A Fifty-State Compendium, Contributing Editor, 2015
  • The Salem Witch Trials 300 Years Later, 64 Tul. L. Rev. 235, 1989
  • Giepert v. Wingerter: Mandatory Retirement Delayed for Incumbent Louisiana Judges, 63 Tul. L. Rev. 1197, 1989
  • Two Recent 5th Circuit Cases Liberally Apply Sherman Antitrust Act, 40 La. B.J. 130, 1992
  • Western District Finds Illegal Tying Agreement in Sugar Cane Leases, 40 La. B.J. 242, 1992

Fraternities or Sororities

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
Martha Y. Curtis, rated by Super Lawyers
Best Lawyers

Practice Areas

  • Bad Faith Insurance
  • Business & Commercial Law
  • Insurance Defense
  • Insurance Law
  • Litigation & Appeals
  • COVID-19 Legal Issues

Education

  • Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • J.D. - 1990
    • Honors: summa cum laude
    • Honors: Order of the Coif
    • Honors: John Minor Wisdom Award
  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville
    • B.A. - 1987
    • Honors: summa cum laude
    • Honors: History Honors
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
    • Major: English
    • Major: History

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana, 1990
  • Texas, 2000
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1991
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 2017
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 2006
  • U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, 2013
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana, 1991
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana, 1991
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana, 1991
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, 1992
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 1992
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas, 1992
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas, 1993