Ernest Martin has spent his career serving as a close ally to companies, helping them maximize recoveries when their insurance carriers refuse to pay claims and defense costs. With decades of experience handling complex insurance litigation, Martin knows how insurance companies operate and puts that knowledge to use exclusively on behalf of corporate policyholders.
His success at helping corporate clients has earned him a Band 1 rating every year since 2004 as one of the top-ranked insurance lawyers in Texas in the Chambers USA directory. (Chambers and Partners.)
“Ernest Martin is ‘probably the best policyholder lawyer in Texas,’ according to one source, with another going as far to say: ‘He is the best litigator I ever saw.’” (Chambers USA 2016.) “One impressed client comments: ‘He is one of the best attorneys I have ever worked with. He is devoted to his clients’ interests, extremely knowledgeable and very responsive.’” (Chambers USA 2018.) “The ‘superb’ Ernest Martin is widely considered a leading policyholder-side practitioner and offers broad experience across coverage disputes relating to a variety of major claims.” Chambers USA 2020. “He is a real leader in this field.” Chambers USA 2021.
The head of Haynes Boone’s Insurance Recovery Group, Ernest has represented private and public policyholders, including many prominent public companies, in coverage disputes before state and federal courts in Texas and across the nation. His practice spans the gamut of industries and coverage disputes, including property damage and business interruption claims, general liability claims, professional liability claims, director and officer liability claims, cyber liability claims and other claims arising from natural and workplace disasters, personal injury suits, and other catastrophic events, such as the recent, widespread disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, Ernest consults with clients on the purchase and renewal of policies, as well as leveraging coverage in the defense and settlement of claims.
Ernest has served in a leadership role for the insurance bar at a local, state and national level for many years. He is the co-founder of the State Bar of Texas Insurance Section. He currently co-chairs the American Bar Association’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, comprised of 2,400 members nationwide. He also speaks and writes frequently about cutting-edge legal topics and serves as adjunct professor of insurance law at the SMU Dedman School of Law.
Ernest has similarly served in many leadership roles within Haynes Boone, including as a board member and managing partner of the Dallas office. He is currently serving again as a board member of the firm’s managing board of directors.
- Representing clients in litigation involving coverage related to: directors and officers litigation; securities claims; environmental superfund clean-up and property damage claims; toxic tort and lead poisoning claims; construction defect claims; product liability claims; intellectual property claims; business interruption claims; employment-related claims; sexual abuse claims; nursing home wrongful death claims; and malicious prosecution claims.
- Representing clients in disputes concerning coverage for major property damage claims.
- Representing clients in connection with claims for coverage for professional liability claims, including legal malpractice.
- Representing clients in connection with bad faith claims related to alleged mishandling of coverage disputes.
- American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel; Fellow
- Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Board of Directors, 2010
- Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas; Co-founder, 1998; Chair, 1998 to 2000
- Dallas Bar Association; Chair, Tort and Insurance Practice Section, 2003; Council Member, Secretary, and Chair-Elect of the Tort and Insurance Practice Section, 1998-2003
- Texas State Bar's Advanced Insurance Law Seminar; Course Director, (multiple years)
- University of Texas Insurance Law Symposium; Chair, 2003; Co-Chair, 1999, 2000 and 2001
- American Bar Association; Co-Chair, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee ("ICLC"); Co-Chair, In-House Counsel Subcommittee, 2011-2012; Co-Chair, D&O Insurance Subcommittee, 2002-2004; Co-Vice Chair and Co-Chair, Insurance Subcommittee's Annual Insurance Seminar, 2009 and 2010
- Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Law - Insurance, Fall 2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011; Spring 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
- State Bar of Texas
- Dallas Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- College of the State Bar of Texas
- W.M. "Mac" Taylor, Jr. American Inn of Court
- Recognized by Best Lawyers, Woodward/White, Inc., as a "2019 Lawyer of the Year"
- The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., Insurance Law, 2006-2024; Litigation - Insurance, 2016-2024
- D Magazine's "Best Lawyers" list, D Magazine Partners - Insurance Law, 2013-2023
- Chambers USA, Chambers and Partners, top insurance lawyer in Texas, Band 1, 2004-2023
- Recognized by The Legal 500 U.S., Legalese, 2022
- Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, Insurance Law, 2003-2023
- Recognized as a Standout Lawyer, Acritas Stars, 2018-2021
- Best Lawyers, Woodward/White, Inc., "2017 Lawyer of the Year" in Litigation - Insurance, 2017
- Best Lawyers, Woodward/White, Inc., "2016 Lawyer of the Year" in Insurance Law, 2016
- A finalist for Texas Lawyer's Go-To Guide, ALM Media Properties, LLC - Insurance, 2012
- Best Lawyers, Woodward/White, Inc., "2012 Lawyer of the Year" in Dallas Insurance Law, 2012
- Who's Who Legal: Texas, Law Business Research, Ltd. - Insurance & Reinsurance, 2007-2012
- LexisNexis Insurance Law Center Person of the Year Awards 2008, Policyholder Attorney category, finalist nominee
- "True Texas Legend in Insurance Law," TexasBarCLE and the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, 2008
- "Go-To" Lawyer in Insurance in Texas Lawyer's Go-To Guide, ALM Media Properties, LLC, 2007
- Top Notch Lawyer in Insurance in Texas Lawyer's Go-To-Guide, ALM Media Properties, LLC, 2002
- Martindale Hubbell Law Directory with a Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent
- “Insurance Coverage for COVID-19 Losses: Where We've Been and Where We're Headed,” speaker, ABA Section of Litigation 2021 Virtual Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, March 11, 2021.
- “Part II COVID-19: Preparing for a Potential Business Interruption (BI) Loss Claim/Recovery,” panelist, AssurexGlobal Webinar, May 19, 2020.
- “Current Coverage Challenges with Sexual Abuse Claims,” presenter, ABA Section of Litigation 2019 Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, March 1, 2019.
- "Insurance Essentials for Business Litigators," speaker, Business Litigation Section, Dallas Bar Association, Tuesday, February 13, 2018.
- “When the Cloud Bursts, Will There Be Coverage for Your Dependent Network Business Interruption Loss?” speaker, American Bar Association Women in Litigation Joint Conference, November 17, 2017.
- “Navigating an SEC Accounting Investigation,” panelist, American Bar Association webinar, June 8, 2017.
- “Is Talc the New Asbestos? Will the History of Asbestos and Silica Impact the Answer to That Question?” panelist; Committee Vice-Chair- Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, March 1 - 4, 2017.
- “Insurance Toolkit: Important Tools Every Lawyer Should Have in Representing Clients,” presentation, State Bar of Texas’ 8th Annual Course Business Disputes CLE, September 22, 2016.
- “Insurance Toolkit: Important Tools Every Lawyer Should Have in Representing Clients,” presentation, State Bar of Texas, Advanced Trial Strategies, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 18-19, 2016.
- “D&O Insurance Protection of Governing Persons” The University of Texas School of Law, 38th Annual Conference on Securities and Business Law, Dallas, TX, February 11-12, 2016.
- “How to Get Dough Out of Insurance Companies: Tactics and Tricks of the Trade,” UT Law 20th Annual Insurance Law Institute, Dallas, Texas, November 12-13, 2015.
- “The Science of the Apology,” Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, Tucson, Arizona, March 5-7, 2015.
- “Insurance Recovery for Cyber Security Disasters,” Texas State Bar Webcast, Austin, Texas, April 29, 2015.
- “Insuring Cyber Liability and Cyber-Related Risks,” Dallas Tort and Insurance Practice Section, Dallas, Texas, May 5, 2015.
- “Restatement of the Law Liability Insurance,” State Bar of Texas, Advanced Insurance Law Seminar, June 11-12, 2015.
J.D., University of California Berkeley School of Law, 1987, Associate Editor, International Tax & Business Lawyer
B.A., Psychology and Legal Studies, Rice University, 1984
Law360 covered a Haynes and Boone, LLP victory on Feb. 9 involving client Lundberg LLC. A legal team led by Partner Ernest Martin and Associates Greg Van Houten and S. Benjamin Schindler persuaded a Washington federal judge to rule that an insurance company must defend Lundberg in an underlying suit alleging that mechanical devices it installed were defective. Here is an excerpt: U.S. District [...]