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Martin D. Chitwood, Partner

Martin Chitwood has served as lead or co-lead counsel in more than 40 class actions nationwide and has been instrumental in recovering billions of dollars for investors and other class members. In a lead article in February 2004, the Atlanta Journal/Constitution stated that Mr. Chitwood "is considered the plaintiffs’ lawyer in the state of Georgia."  He has also been recognized as a Georgia “Super Lawyer” by Law and Politics each year since the inception of the award.

Recently, Mr. Chitwood served as counsel in both the BankAmerica securities litigation in the Eastern District of Missouri, in which $490 million was recovered for investors, and in the Oxford Health securities litigation in the Southern District of New York, which resulted in a $300 million recovery for investors. When these cases were resolved in 2003, they were the second and fifth largest recoveries, respectively, since the enactment of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "PSLRA"). Mr. Chitwood has also served as lead trial counsel in approximately 25 jury trials and has written and argued numerous appeals.

Mr. Chitwood has served by appointment as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the state of Georgia to represent Georgia state pension funds in securities class actions and has also served as lead counsel in securities class actions for pension funds of numerous other states.  He is one of a select few attorneys who have served as lead counsel for private mutual funds that have been appointed as lead plaintiffs in securities class action litigation.  Also, Mr. Chitwood has been Vice President, Co-Chair of Securities, and a director of the National Association of Securities and Consumer Law Attorneys (NASCAT) and a director of the Committee to Support the Antitrust Laws (COSAL).  He is recognized as a leader in the field of corporate governance reform.

Mr. Chitwood has participated as a panelist in many professional seminars, and he authored "The Effects of the English Common Law on the Development of Commonwealth West African Legal Systems," published by the University of Georgia Press in 1976.  Mr. Chitwood is also the author of papers on various aspects of securities and antitrust litigation, including:

  • "The Securities Reform Act of 1995:  Its Effects on Litigation and Capital Formation" - published in Calendar Call, Vol. II, Winter 1996, No. 4
  • "Federal Preemption of State Securities Laws:  Uniform Standards or Misguided 'Reform'?" - published in Calendar Call, Vol. III, Spring 1998, No.1
  • "Litigating the Class Action Lawsuit in Georgia" - published by the National Business Institute in 1998

Additionally, he authored multiple articles published by the Institute for Continuing Legal Education ("ICLE") in Georgia and has presented these articles at ICLE seminars, including:

  • "Securities Class Actions: The Plaintiffs' Perspective" - 1997
  • "Class Actions and Antitrust Enforcement" - 1998
  • "The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 - A Synopsis" - 1999
  • 2000 and 2001 Updates to the "Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995"
  • "Investor Communications During Litigation:  Ethical Problems, Procedural Issues and PSLRA Requirements in Communicating with Investors When Litigation Is Pending" - 2001

Mr. Chitwood attended the University of Georgia, where he received his A.B., M.A., and J.D. degrees, the last in 1976.  He is admitted to practice before all Georgia state trial and appellate courts, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Georgia, and the Second and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals.  He is a member of the Atlanta and American Bar Associations, the State Bar of Georgia, the Federal Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and the Lawyers' Club of Atlanta, where he has served on the Rules, Practice, and Judiciary Committee.  He is also a Life Fellow of the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia.  Mr. Chitwood is a member of the Securities Litigation Committee of the Litigation Section of the ABA and the Antitrust and General Practice and Trial Section of the Georgia Bar.

During the Vietnam Conflict, Mr. Chitwood was assigned to the Fifth Special Forces Group (Abn) and served as the commanding officer of a Special Forces A-Team.  He received a Top Secret security clearance with Special Access from the Department of Defense.  In addition, Mr. Chitwood was awarded both the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm by the Government of South Vietnam, and the Air Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge, and Vietnam Jump Wings by the Department of the Army.

Mr. Chitwood co-produced and wrote the story for "Unconquered," a CBS movie of the week that first aired in January 1989.  "Unconquered" was chosen as a Best of Category for 1989 by TV Guide.  Mr. Chitwood is a member of the Writers' Guild of America.

Mr. Chitwood has been selected as a Georgia Super Lawyer in each of the past eight years and is AV® Preeminent ™ Peer Review Rated.