Meet the Team at Venardi Zurada, LLP
Martin Zurada, Partner
“I don’t enjoy conflict, but when I see that my client has been wronged, I fight and give it everything I have because justice matters.”
Martin was born in 1974 in Gdynia, Poland. The economic conditions were generally bleak under communist rule and became bleaker in 1981 as the military instituted martial law to crush dissenters. In 1983, when Martin was 9 years old, he and his parents moved to a small desert town in Libya where his father taught at a university and his mother worked as an engineer in a factory to earn dollars and make ends meet. In 1986, after three surreal years of living in a country ruled by Muammar Gaddafi, Martin and his parents immigrated to Germany where Martin attended middle school without knowing any German.
Martin and his parents then immigrated to the US in 1987. However, to keep Martin on his toes, his parents decided that he would skip several grades at his Louisville Kentucky middle school while learning English as a second language. Martin then attended a wealthy private high school on a scholarship driving a beat-up Ford that stood out among other students’ BMWs and Volvos. Starting in 1991, Martin began attending the intensely academic University of Chicago (where one of its presidents is credited with saying “When I get the urge to exercise, I lay down until it goes away”), earning a scholarship along the way, and graduating in 1994 with a BA in English literature and Polish literature in a little over three years.
Martin then attended Cornell University Law School graduating with a J.D. and LLM in in 1998. He earned a scholarship and attended a summer program at the Sorbonne University in Paris. Martin clerked for the Kentucky Supreme Court and two law firms during law school.
During his more than two decades of experience as a lawyer, Martin tried, arbitrated, and mediated many cases often successfully taking on very challenging cases that other attorneys had given up on.
Martin has always felt like the underdog and that is why he strongly prefers to represent the “little guys” and taking the fight to the large corporations and insurance companies. He started his legal career in 1998, at the age of 24, as an associate at Squire Sanders – now one of the ten largest firms in the world – where he practiced corporate law and litigation before moving to California to work in smaller firms and eventually starting his own practice.
By the time he was 28, Martin had tried three cases to judgment, one of which resulted in a defense judgment for his client, and the other two with his clients collecting over $400,000 in damages. Not long after that, he obtained his first $1 million dollars result in a personal injury case in which he was the lead trial attorney. During his more than twenty-five years of experience as a lawyer, Martin tried, arbitrated, and mediated many cases often successfully taking on very challenging matters that other attorneys had given up on. He has tried bench and jury case several of which resulted in his clients recovering more than $1 million (with a recent recovery after jury trial of over $3 million).
Some of the most satisfying moments in my life have come at the end of trials where our firm has righted a wrong for a client by speaking his or her voice.
Martin is a student of advocacy, a former trial skills instructor, and intensely interested in honing his trial skills. He was admitted in Ohio in 1998 and California in 2001. Martin has taught various legal subjects at San Francisco State University and the Academy of Law and Diplomacy in Gdynia, Poland. He also has a five-star AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
When he isn’t working away at the office, Martin enjoys rock climbing, skiing, running, reading history books and, most of all, spending time with his daughter Isabella and wife Unsook.
Areas of Practice
- Personal Injury
- Employment Law
- Whistleblower Protection Cases
- Wage and Hour
- California, 2001
- Ohio, 1998
- All State Courts within California
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
- Cornell Law School
- J.D./LL.M., 1998
- Honors: Top Third of Class, Kosciuszko Scholarship
- University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
- Dual B.A. in English Literature and Polish Literature – 1994
- Honors: Dean’s List and Human Scholarship
- San Francisco State University, Corporations 2009-2012
- Academy of Law and Diplomacy, Gdynia, Poland, US Tort and Contract Law 2008
Past Employment Positions
- Squire Sanders 1998-2000
- Stein & Lubin 2000-2001
- Zurada Law Group 2001-2012
- Venardi Zurada LLP 2012-present