Martin Siegel's legal experience has been especially varied, ranging from a large national firm to a small litigation boutique to solo practice. He has worked in all three branches of the federal government.
After completing the University of Texas and Harvard Law School, Siegel clerked for the Hon. Irving R. Kaufman on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. From 1992 to 1994, he was an associate in the Washington office of Jenner & Block, where he worked on appellate, commercial, intellectual property, and environmental matters. He also helped prepare and present a habeas corpus petition to a Maryland trial court for death row inmate Kevin Wiggins. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually vacated Wiggins' sentence and set new standards for counsel in capital cases.
From 1995 to 2000, Siegel served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where his practice focused on bringing civil rights actions, defending statutes from constitutional challenge, and representing federal agencies and officers. His civil rights cases included a complaint under the Voting Rights Act following fraud in a Bronx school board vote, some of the first cases nationally under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, a suit targeting discriminatory zoning in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and an investigation of NYC's Parks Department for employment discrimination. In1999, he received DOJ's Director's Award for his trial defense of Sidney Gottlieb, who devised the CIA's LSD experimentation program in the 1950s.
In 2000-01, Siegel served as Special Counsel on the staff of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where his responsibilities included drafting and analyzing legislation on election reform, campaign finance, criminal justice, immigration, and other issues.
From 2001-06, Siegel was a partner at Watts Law Firm in Houston, where he worked on commercial, product liability, intellectual property, and other litigation. Victories included a substantial confidential settlement in franchise litigation on behalf of Texas beer distributors against Anheuser-Busch, and a significant arbitral award for the founder of a securities firm illegally ejected from his business just before its sale for $150 million.
Siegel established the Law Offices of Martin J. Siegel to focus on appellate advocacy in 2007. In addition to extensive writing on legal topics, Siegel founded and directs the Appellate Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Houston Law Center, where he also teaches American Legal History. He also serves on the board of the Anti-Defamation League, Southwest Region, and has drafted state legislative testimony and amicus briefing for the ADL.