GETTING TO KNOW: Jonathan M. Martone


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Jonathan M. Martone is a member at Clark Hill PLC and serves as deputy-member-in-charge of the firm’s Birmingham office.  

Since 2009, Martone has focuses his legal practice on a broad range of litigation and transaction-based commercial and personal-legal service matters, including serving as outside general counsel to several privately held companies. Martone has been consistently named a “Rising Star” by Michigan Super Lawyers since 2013 to present; received the OCBA Bonnie Beutler Outstanding New Lawyer Award in 2018, and the Italian American Bar Association of Michigan’s President’s Award in 2022. He is licensed to practice law in both Michigan and Tennessee.

Martone has been an active member of the Oakland County Bar Association for more than a decade, having served on several OCBA committees and initiatives, including as the chair of the OCBA New Lawyers Committee 2017-19. Since 2012, he has been a Fellow of the Oakland County Bar Foundation. He is the immediate past president of the Italian American Bar Association of Michigan (IABAM), having served on the IABAM’s Executive Board since 2015.  

A resident of Rochester, Martone is a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University, with honors, Phi Beta Kappa (2006), and Wayne State University Law School, cum laude (2009).  

What would surprise people about your job?
How many diverse legal topics and challenges I am presented with on a daily basis—there always seems to be something new I am presented with.  

Why did you become a lawyer?
Following my father who was an attorney and later a district court judge. He was wonderful and never pressured me in any way to pursue a legal career but growing up around him solidified my mind at a very early age that I wanted to be an attorney.

Who is your law role model?
My father, the late Hon. Michael A. Martone (52-4 District Court).

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
I would say that while it is undoubtedly a lot of work and there will be daunting moments, it is an incredible education and prepares you with a valuable, and marketable, skillset very few non-lawyers have. Don’t become discouraged by the “negative” talk you might hear about law school or the practice of law.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?
Ten years ago, when I was able to motion in my younger brother to be sworn into the Michigan Bar.

What other career path might you have chosen?
I likely would have pursued a career in business. I have always greatly admired entrepreneurial individuals.

What’s your favorite law-related movie, and/or book?
Movie: “My Cousin Vinny”; book: “A Civil Action.”

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
To slow down and be patient, not everything is a race.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?
I often tease and say my dog, Avi ... she gets to lay around the house in comfort all day and be spoiled with attention when I get back after work. Not a bad deal!

What do you do to relax?
I picked up playing the guitar about five years ago and it has become a favorite hobby and way for me to unwind after a long day.  

What is your most treasured material possession?
A vintage Gibson guitar from Austin, Texas that my wife surprised me with as a wedding gift.

Favorite local hangouts?
Depends on what side of town I am on. I enjoy Paint Creek Tavern in downtown Rochester for a casual burger and beer; I like Hazel’s in Birmingham for happy hour and Wright & Co or Olin in downtown Detroit for an upscale night on the town.

Favorite websites?
Not my retirement/investment account website as of late ...   :)

Favorite app?
Not sure if it’s my favorite but I probably use my WeatherBug app the most.

Favorite music?
Country and Blues.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
Family summer vacations on Elk Lake in Northern Michigan.

What do you wish someone would invent?
Not an invention but I wish someone would build a high-speed train from metro-Detroit to the Traverse City area—would save me hours every time I go up to my cottage!

What has been your favorite year so far and why?
Not 2020 ...  just saying!

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been?
Tie between the Swiss Alps and Big Sky, Montana—both are breathtakingly beautiful!

If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Infinite memory recall.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?
Play the piano.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
My guilty pleasure is traveling throughout the U.S. to concerts and music festivals.

If you could have dinner with three people, past or present, who would they be?
Keith Richards, Peter Sellers, and my father.

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Never give up—the most important things in life are often the ones you have to work the hardest for.

Favorite place to spend money?
Imogen and Willie in Nashville; The Urban Merchant in downtown Rochester.

What is your motto?
“Approach each day as a new day.” Leaving behind unnecessary worry or stress allows me to take on the morning with fresh eyes and openness.

Which living person do you most admire?
My younger brother, Jamie.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Convincing my wife to marry me ... I definitely married “up”!

What is the most unusual thing you have done?
I have no qualms with seeing a movie or going to a local outdoor concert solo. It may seem strange to others but I have always enjoyed the spontaneity of life and seize on the allowance of my time whenever I can to make memorable experiences.



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