Carla Martin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Carla J. Martin is an American lawyer.


Martin graduated cum laude from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville[1] '. Martin earned her law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University in Washington D.C. in 1989[2]

Martin was admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania in 1990.[1] She began working at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) during law school.[2]

Martin's case, Public Citizen, Aviation Consumer Action Project, and Families of Pan Am 103 v. FAA, 988 F.2d 186 (D.C.Cir. 1993) is one of the seminal federal cases cited for FOIA Exemption 3, and for the protection and non-disclosure of sensitive security information (SSI).[citation needed] Martin was also responsible, as FAA counsel, for the Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie bombing case for several years, both the civil litigation trial in 1992 against Pan American World Airways in New York, as well as the criminal prosecution of the Lockerbie bomber defendants Megrahi and Fhimah in the Scottish court at Zeist, Netherlands in 2000. Ms. Martin's work in the civil litigation case is chronicled in the book by aviation security expert Rodney Wallis, Lockerbie: The Story and the Lessons.[verification needed]

Moussaoui trial[edit]

While working for the Federal Aviation Administration, Martin was assigned to the case of United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui and continued her work on that case after transferring to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in 2002. In June 2002, Martin assisted in drafting a motion and protective order to protect sensitive security information from being disclosed to defendant Moussaoui. See, Motion by USA as to Zacharias Moussaoui for Protective Order Prohibiting Disclosure of Sensitive Aviation Security Information to Defendant.[citation needed]

At the same time as her ongoing work in the Moussaoui case, Martin was also representing FAA/TSA interests in the case of United States v. Richard C. Reid, aka "the shoe bomber." On January 30, 2003, Martin was present in Judge Young's courtroom in Boston during Reid's sentencing, as she was responsible for the matter of classified materials that the court ruled during Reid's sentencing that he would not be allowed to see.[3]

During the sentencing trial in March 2006, Judge Leonie Brinkema learned that Martin contacted seven FAA witnesses in an apparent violation of a court order.[4] Martin denied any wrongdoing in connection with her work on the Moussaoui trial. There was no one in the courtroom during the 2006 hearings of March 13, 14, and 21 to represent her interests, to cross-examine the witnesses, or otherwise proffer other evidence and other email threads never seen by the court between Carla Martin and Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Novak, evidence that would have rebutted the pervasive misrepresentations and mischaracterizations of her work made by the prosecutors and the court.

Roscoe Howard, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and Martin's attorney after the March 14th hearing had taken place, stated that "only her accusers' stories have been told, and those stories have been accepted as the whole truth." "They are not."[5] The federal investigation concerning Martin's work in the case was dropped, without public comment or elaboration, in September 2006.[6]

In April 2009, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) of the Department of Justice, (DOJ) the office which investigates professional and ethical misconduct of lawyers within the Department, issued its final sanctions on the misconduct complaint filed with OPR against Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Novak, prosecutor in the Moussaoui sentencing trial. The sanctions were the result of an over one year long investigation into the events surrounding the Moussaoui prosecutors' failure of accountability in this matter, as well as the many misrepresentations that were made to the court concerning Carla Martin's work in the case. OPR's finding was upheld that AUSA David Novak exercised "poor judgment"-a sanctionable offense- for failure to inform his witnesses and Ms. Martin- agency counsel working with AUSA Novak for 4 years on the case-at any time regarding the court's sequestration order which had been issued weeks before the trial started. The judge had ordered the prosecutors both orally and through a written order issued on February 22, 2006, to inform their witnesses of the order. The sequestration order was different from Federal Rule of Evidence 615, the Rule Against Witnesses, as it went further than the generic Rule, as the court took pains to point out to the prosecutors in the March 13, 2006 hearing. See, Moussaoui Trial Transcript, March 13, 2006.

Further, OPR determined that AUSA Novak exercised poor judgment by mischaracterizing Carla Martin's work in the prosecutors' filing to the court on March 15, 2006.

See also[edit]


  • Lockerbie: The Story and the Lessons. Rodney Wallis. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger/Greenwood, 2000. ISBN 0-275-96493-0.
  • Markon, Jerry. (2006) "Investigations, Lawsuits Still Dogging 9/11 Lawyer". The Washington Post. July 10, 2006. Found at [1] - Accessed January 8, 2008
  • Letter from Office of Professional Responsibility United States Justice Department dated April 15, 2009, to attorney Larry J. Stein o/b/o Carla Martin; indicates findings of OPR and Office of Deputy Attorney General with regard to David J. Novak, Assistant U.S. Attorney; United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui.
  1. ^ a b Sniffen, Michael J. (2006) "Prosecutor Used Transcript to Aid Witness". Associated Press. March 13, 2006. Found at [2] - Accessed January 8, 2008
  2. ^ a b Labaton, Stephen and Matthew L. Wald. (2006) "Lawyer Thrust Into Spotlight After Misstep in Terror Case". New York Times, March 14, 2006. Found at [3] - Accessed January 8, 2008
  3. ^ -Accessed May 1, 2010
  4. ^ Hirschkorn, Phil (2006) "Who is Carla Martin and why is she in trouble?" CNN, March 17, 2006. Found at [4] - Accessed January 8, 2008
  5. ^ Miller, Leslie. (2006) "Lawyer in Moussaoui Case Placed on Leave," March 16, 2006, Found at [] - Accessed January 8, 2008
  6. ^ "Feds Decline to Prosecute Government Lawyer Who Coached Moussaoui Witnesses." Associated Press. October 4, 2006. [5] - Accessed January, 2008