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Martin Sitler

Shareholder
200 W. Forsyth Street
Suite 1400
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 358-4234
(904) 355-0019 - Fax
mhsitler@mdwcg.com

With more than two decades' experience as a litigator, Marty concentrates his practice in the area of casualty law. His practice is focused on maritime law, shipping litigation, negligent security litigation, premises liability and transportation law. Among his diverse client base, Marty has represented multiple insurance carriers and their insureds in matters involving cargo subrogation, hull recovery, warehouse property damage and recovery, and wrongful death cases involving motor vehicle accidents and apartment shootings. In addition he defends retail liability claims including premises liability and product liability cases as well as professional liability claims. 

Prior to joining Marshall Dennehey, Marty served as a combat engineer and judge advocate from 1984-2004 in the United States Marine Corps. While in this role, he served as a prosecutor; an associate professor in the Criminal Law Department of  The Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army; and as a trial judge in the Piedmont Judicial Circuit, Navy, Marine Corps Trial Judiciary.

Actively involved in the legal community, Marty is a member of the Jacksonville Bar Association, Jacksonville Claims Association, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), Florida Defense Lawyers Association, Maritime Law Association of the United States, and the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI). He is admitted to practice law in Florida, South Dakota, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Significant Representative Matters

  • Successfully navigated a settlement on behalf of our client in a complex cargo loss lawsuit filed in Florida. The client, a vessel carrier, was sued for theft of cargo, comprised mostly of electronic equipment. The plaintiff (consignee) sought damages in excess of $600,000. The case involved issues of liability limitation and the deviation doctrine. Engagement in motion practice on behalf of the client provided leverage to negotiate a settlement of less than $10,000.

  • Successfully tried a week-long recovery case in federal court against a motor carrier for damages to sensitive medical equipment (laser eye machines).  The amount of recovery sought on behalf of the insurer/subrogee was in excess of $500,000. The case included extensive motion practice that involved issues of the preemption doctrine, the Carmack Amendment, limitations of liability and the deviation doctrine.

  • Obtained recovery from a motor carrier for the loss of clothing apparel traveling interstate. The loss occurred when the tractor/trailer transporting the cargo caught fire and destroyed the apparel. The motor carrier initially denied the claim; Marty postured the claim for litigation and was able to settle the matter before filing suit.

  • Successfully recovered 65% of a subrogated loss for damage to contact lenses stored in a warehouse.  The damage resulted from water intrusion into the warehouse from bore holes made by an engineering company that was inspecting the warehouse roof.  Pursued recovery against the engineering company and resolved the claim without filing suit.

  • On numerous occasions, persuaded both state and federals courts in Florida and Ohio to grant summary judgments in favor of retail and restaurant business that faced premises liability claims.

  • Successfully defended an architect in a jury trial against claims of professional negligence.

  • Caldwell v. Petersburg Stone Co., (Mahoning App. No. 05MA12 Dec 16, 2005) *2005 Ohio App. LEXIS 6119 

  • Church v. Fleishour Homes, Inc., (2007), 172 Ohio App. 3d 205 

  • Successfully negotiated a settlement on behalf of our client in a negligent security wrongful death case involving a drive by shooting. The client, an apartment complex, was sued for negligent security. After significant and complex motion practice, Plaintiff agreed to a settlement of less than $50,000.

  • Received a defense verdict from a jury in a premises liability case. Plaintiff, who fell down a flight of stairs and allegedly suffered a traumatic brain injury, sued the client, a condominium management company, for negligent maintenance and failing to warn of a dangerous condition.  After a four day trial, the jury found no liability on the part of the client.

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • Casino Royale, Moderator - Marshall Dennehey Florida Claims Symposium, Tampa, FL, September 20, 2018

  • The Best Defense is a Good Offense, Moderator - Marshall Dennehey Florida Claims Symposium - Orlando, FL, September 17, 2014

  • Associate Professor, Criminal Law Department, The Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army, Charlottesville, VA, 1997-2000 

Published Works

  • "Profile of Our Jacksonvilee Office," Defense Digest, Vol. 22, No. 1, March 2016

  • "The 'Citadel of Privity'—A Fortress in Ohio for a Claim of Breach of Implied Warranty Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act," Defense Digest, Vol. 13, No. 4, December 2007

  • "A Hole in the Make-Whole Doctrine: The Ohio Supreme Court Approves an Insurance Contract that Avoids the Make-Whole Doctrine," Defense Digest, Vol. 11, No. 1, March, 2005 

  • "The Advocacy Trainer: A Manual For Supervisors," CRIMINAL LAW DEPARTMENT, THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL'S SCHOOL, U.S. ARMY, Co-Author, 1997-2000 

  • "The Art of Trial Advocacy Note, The Art of Storytelling," THE ARMY LAWYER, October 1999 

  • "1999 the Art of Trial Advocacy Note, an Approach to Cross Examination," THE ARMY LAWYER, July 1998 

Past Employment Positions

  • U.S. Marine Corps, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), 1984-2004 

Education

  • Judge Advocate General School, U.S. Army, Charlottesville, VA (LL.M., 1997)

  • University of South Dakota School of Law, Vermillion, SD (J.D., 1992)

    Honors: Sterling Honor Graduate (Top 5%) 

  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (B.S., 1983)

    Major:  Geology 

Law Alerts May 12, 2017
On February 16, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court declined to adopt §90.702 “to the extent that it is procedural, due to constitutional concerns, which must be left for a proper case or controversy.”  In light of this limited and...,   The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a...
Defense Digest Article March 1, 2016
By Martin H. Sitler, Esq.* I often boast to anyone who will listen that the Jacksonville, Florida office has the most beautiful view of any of our offices. Our fourteenth floor space is nestled in the center of downtown Jacksonville and overlooks..., Defense Digest, Vol 22, No. 1, March 2016 Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal...
Defense Digest Article March 1, 2011
Jacksonville, which is centered on the banks of the St. Johns River in northeast Florida, is the largest city in area in the continental United States and is a rapidly growing metropolitan city with approximately 850,000 residents. The city's..., Defense Digest, Vol. 17, No. 1, March 2011
Aug 25, 2016
Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a Jacksonville apartment complex following a three-day jury trial. The plaintiff alleged that on a rainy day, when exiting the apartment complex’s leasing office, she slipped on the top step of the...
Seminar Sep 17, 2014
*Complimentary breakfast begins at 8:00am and lunch will be provided. Join the attorneys of Marshall Dennehey for a comprehensive review of the latest legal trends in Medicare, Bad Faith, Social Media Discovery and more..... Topics include:...
Seminar Sep 20, 2018
Florida Casualty Claims Symposium 2018 – Casino Royale Join the Marshall Dennehey attorneys for a complimentary seminar discussing trending topics in Casualty in the state of Florida. Agenda Topics: Negligent Tenants Expose Negligent...

Education

  • Judge Advocate General School, U.S. Army (LL.M. 1997)
  • University of South Dakota School of Law (J.D., with honors, 1992)
  • The Ohio State University (B.S., 1983)

Bar Admissions

  • South Dakota, 1992
  • Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1996
  • Ohio, 2004
  • Pennsylvania, 2004
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Pennsylvania, 2004
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 2005
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio, 2005
  • Florida, 2010
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 2010
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, 2010
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 2012

Associations & Memberships

  • Florida Defense Lawyer’s Association
  • Jacksonville Bar Association
  • Jacksonville Claims Association
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI), 2013

Honors & Awards

  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
  • Named an "Ultimate Attorney" by the Jacksonville Business Journal, February 2016
  • Three Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medals, 1987, 1989, 1995
  • Two Meritorious Service Medals, 1996, 2004
  • Legion of Merit, 2004

Year Joined Organization: 2004

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