E. Martin Estrada is a Los Angeles-based partner with Munger, Tolles & Olson. His practice is focused on trials, complex litigation, internal investigations, and appeals. He represents major corporations before both federal and state courts in a variety of areas, including antitrust, environmental regulation, securities, banking and competition law.
Mr. Estrada, a former federal prosecutor and supervisor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, is an experienced litigator who has tried over 20 federal and state trials, argued a dozen appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals, and handled numerous legal and evidentiary hearings in federal and state courts.
Mr. Estrada is a two-time recipient of the California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) award and has received many other recognitions for his work, including the U.S. Department of Justice’s prestigious Director’s Award for Superior Performance and the Federal Bar Association’s Younger Federal Lawyer Award, awarded to the country’s top government attorneys. Mr. Estrada has also been named one of the Most Influential Minority Lawyers in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal and was recognized as one of California’s Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 by the Daily Journal.
- LG Electronics in federal multidistrict litigation in one of the largest pending antitrust cases in the country, involving claims of foreign price-fixing conduct.
- Norton Simon Museum in obtaining summary judgment in a dispute involving the ownership of two paintings in the museum’s collection. The victory was named among the Daily Journal’s Top Verdicts of 2016.
- Wells Fargo Bank in connection with highly publicized matters alleging that the bank has engaged in unlawful sales practices.
- A Mexico-based company facing criminal and civil liability with regard to regulatory violations.
- A high-level executive in federal litigation raising securities issues regarding corporate disclosures.
- A major utility company in criminal proceedings regarding allegations of environmental violations.
- A major entertainment company with regards to a federal grand jury investigation concerning allegations of fraud and kickbacks.
Mr. Estrada has consistently been involved in public interest work and pro bono representations, including currently helping to lead one of the largest educational-rights cases in the country seeking to establish equal rights to education for Latinos and other minority groups, handling numerous pro bono asylum matters for indigent immigrants, and leading a legal enrichment program for fifth-graders at a Boyle Heights elementary school. He is also an active member of the legal and civic communities, currently serving as a member of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE) of the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association. Mr. Estrada is also a board member of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and past president of the West Coast Region for the National Hispanic Prosecutors Association.
During his over seven years as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Estrada served as the Deputy Chief of the Violent and Organized Crime Section and as the International Organized Crime Coordinator in the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, directed and managed more than a dozen, complex-designated, long-term investigations, and prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases involving a broad spectrum of criminal violations, including bank fraud, access device fraud, identity theft, murder, kidnapping, RICO violations, child-sexual exploitation, drug-trafficking, and firearms offenses.
Among other major cases, Mr. Estrada successfully led and directed the nation’s largest RICO organized crime prosecution targeting members and associates of Eurasian organized crime, one of the country’s largest-ever bank fraud and identity theft prosecutions, a major public corruption matter involving the illegal leaking of sensitive, under-seal information by a federal court clerk and her husband, and a multi-defendant prosecution involving the largest seizure of phencyclidine (PCP) in U.S. history.
For his prosecutorial work, he received numerous commendations from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the City of Los Angeles, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Los Angeles Police Department, and other federal and local agencies.
Mr. Estrada has published numerous articles in law reviews and other publications in the areas of class actions, civil procedure, and criminal procedure. He has taught and lectured in the areas of trial advocacy and evidence, including having taught trial advocacy to Mexican law enforcement officials through the Department of Justice’s Mérida Initiative.
As a former federal prosecutor, Mr. Estrada is frequently interviewed about high-profile criminal matters. In June 2017, he was quoted in an Outside Magazine article about the organized theft of nuts in California. In 2016 and 2017, Mr. Estrada was interviewed by NPR regarding the highly publicized first trial, aftermath and second trial concerning the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation by Ammon Bundy.
Mr. Estrada served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Robert J. Timlin of the Central District of California and Judge Arthur L. Alarcón of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
He graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School in 2002, where he served as executive editor of Stanford Law Review, was active with the East Palo Alto Community Law Project and taught chess at the Boys and Girls Club. He earned his undergraduate degree in history from the University of California, Irvine, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1998 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Mr. Estrada was a 2015 fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and is deeply committed to increasing diversity within the legal profession, having repeatedly spoken to student groups and organized panels to put diverse aspiring lawyers in contact with practitioners and jurists.
Mr. Estrada’s family emigrated from Guatemala, and he is fluent in Spanish.