An abiding concern — that people who have been wronged but who can’t afford top legal representation won’t receive justice in the courts — drove Peter Marketos to become a plaintiffs-side commercial trial attorney.
Marketos says he takes cases almost solely on a contingent-fee basis because most, if not all, of his clients couldn’t afford his hourly fees and wouldn’t get adequate representation.
"I wanted to make sure I could give a voice to those people," he says.
After receiving his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1999, Marketos began his legal career at Haynes and Boone in Dallas, making partner in 2008. He says he left the firm to join in founding Reese Gordon Marketos in February 2011 so he could do solely plaintiffs work in complex business disputes.
Marketos says he was 29 years old when he served as lead counsel and won his first multimillion-dollar jury trial verdict. It came for the plaintiffs in Alexander, et al. v. Rogers, et al., a dispute over a failed partnership in a home health-care company. In 2007, the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas affirmed the 116th District Court’s judgment, which awarded about $5 million to the plaintiffs.
Winstead shareholder David Brown of Dallas, head of the firm’s litigation department, says he faced off against Marketos in Alexander.
"He gave me a pretty severe beating," Brown says.
Brown describes Marketos as "the smartest young lawyer I’ve ever seen" and says he was "very, very well prepared" in Alexander.
Since his victory in Alexander, Marketos has won eight- and nine-figure verdicts for clients. On Feb. 15, after a two-week trial, a unanimous jury in Cameron County’s 445th District Court awarded $136 million to Marketos’ client in Carduco Inc. d/b/a Cardenas Metroplex v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, et al., a suit involving the client’s purchase of a car dealership. Marketos serves as the plaintiff’s lead counsel.
One of the things Marketos is proudest of, however, is a Sept. 18, 2007, letter that U.S. District Judge Samuel H. Mays Jr. of the Western District of Tennessee wrote to Haynes and Boone’s partnership admission committee after Marketos appeared before Mays as attorney for the plaintiff/counter-defendant in Inventory Locator Service LLC v. PartsBase Inc. In his letter, Mays wrote that Marketos "is one of the finest trial lawyers to appear in my court. Given his age and experience, I expect him to become one of the best in the country."
"I carry his letter in my briefcase," Marketos says.