For more than 25 years, Carl Hartmann has been lead trial and appellate counsel in complex federal cases throughout the nation -- in such diverse areas as commercial defense, corporate law, employment, intellectual property, environmental law, HR, telecommunications and real estate. He has been counsel both for major corporations and individuals, as well as special outside investigative counsel for the
federal government. The U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit described his victory against the City of Albuquerque following a difficult, high-visibility federal trial as a "classic jury case."
It is as clear to us as it was to the trial court that there was a sharp conflict in evidence and the testimony of many witnesses with regard to plaintiff's complaint. This was a classic jury case; the trial court correctly applied the law of this circuit in refusing to disturb the jury verdict.
As lead trial counsel for legal publisher HyperLaw in the Southern District of New York "HyperLaw Trilogy" (Matthew Bender and HyperLaw v. West
Publishing) he won one of the largest federal actions regarding database protection and electronic
publishing. The New York Times reported this as a case "experts [say] will drive down the price of legal research....[stripping] away much of the copyright protection claimed by West Publishing, the nation's dominant publisher of court cases, for its law books." The trial judge, the Hon. John S. Martin Jr., condemned "West's tactics in this litigation, including false statements, belated concessions, delaying tactics, and strained attempts to avoid a judicial resolution of the copyright claims....West decided to do everything in its power to avoid such an adjudication, or, at a minimum, delay the adjudication as long as possible and thereby extend its monopoly."
Hyperlaw's lawsuit resulted in...a demarcation of the boundaries of West's copyright claim and thereby broke West's monopoly grip on thousands of judicial opinions. When David vanquished Goliath, the Israelites rewarded him by making him their King...all [Hyperlaw] asks for its efforts is that it be reimbursed for the substantial legal fees West forced it to incur in order to vindicate the public's right of access to judicial opinions. It prevailed against an adversary that did all that it could to make this litigation as expensive as possible, no doubt hoping that a small company such as Hyperlaw would not stay the course.
He and the late Paul J. Ruskin successfully argued the two appeals against Prof. Arthur R. Miller (Wright and Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure) in winning affirmance in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 2016, he, Joel Holt and Linda Singer were the litigation team for the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands in a $1.5 billion civil action against the Hess Corporation ($4.5 billion with treble damages requested.) They obtained the dismissal of $320 million of Hess subsidiary tax claims and the sale of Hess' HOVENSA Refinery (following a fight in bankruptcy court). The litigation resulted in a 40 year operating agreement with a new buyer of the facility, a $220 cash payment to the the Government plus $800 million in additional long-term value including annual guaranteed payments in lieu of taxes, land and 121 houses.
In 2011, along with attorneys Joel Holt and Kimberly Japinga, he obtained a $28.7 million federal jury verdict under Delaware law against an Alcoa World Alumina subsidiary represented by two large national law firms. This was a vigorously contested fraud and breach of contract action which included more than $6 million in punitive damages. The trial judge later upheld that punitive award, finding that because of the "hidden misrepresentations and the involvement of top officials at the company. . .the fraud was 'outrageous.'" The verdict led to the 2012 entry of a consent decree in a series of associated CERCLA/environmental cases which required the Alcoa subsidiary to fully remediate and restore the disputed areas -- and a 2014 settlement with the remaining defendants, including Lockheed, for more than $50 million.
These and other actions can be reviewed under the "Cases" tab: the 2012 recovery of $12 million in art from Athens, Greece in actions in both New York federal court and Greece, as well as a 2014 summary judgment recovering control of a business with annual sales of more than $100 million and holding $43 million in after-tax cash where the court stated "any delay in achieving final resolution impedes the Court system as the filings of these parties have been prodigious in volume and frequency."
In addition, he has consulted with, and developed programs in litigation, corporate compliance, corporate defense, EEO law and massive document litigation support for corporate and governmental clients -- including Sandia National Laboratories, the
U.S. Justice Department, the U.S. Navy, the Western Area Power Authority, the National Forest Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior. From 1988 to 1990, he was also the supervising counsel for Merrill Lynch
Private Capital’s USVI asset recovery operations.