College of Law

Susan R. Martyn

Susan Martyn

Distinguished University Professor and
John W. Stoepler Professor of Law and Values Emeritus

Office:  LC2009D
Campus Phone: 419.530.4212
Fax Number: 419.530.2864  


Professor Susan R. Martyn, a faculty member since 1980, is a graduate of St. Olaf College and Marquette University Law School. She teaches Torts, Legal Ethics, Health Care Provider Liability and Bioethics. She also serves as Professor of Medicine at the University of Toledo College of Medicine. Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Martyn was Assistant Dean and Associate Professor at Wayne State University Law School.

Professor Martyn is a national authority on issues of legal ethics and has served on two of the most important national bodies to shape the law governing lawyers in the past twenty years. She is a life member of the American Law Institute and was an advisor to the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers from 1987 until its publication in 2000.  She is a fellow in the American Bar Foundation and she served on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility from 2007-2010 as well as the American Bar Association’s Ethics 2000 Commission from 1997 through 2002. She also has contributed as a member of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Task Force on the Rules of Professional Conduct from 2003-1006.

Professor Martyn is a member of the Ohio, Michigan and Supreme Court Bars. She is a frequent speaker on issues of legal ethics, and co-chairs ALI-ABA’s annual Legal Ethics Update.

With coauthor Lawrence J. Fox, Professor Martyn seeks to make legal ethics accessible to all audiences. Together, they have authored notable amicus briefs in Holland v. Florida, 130 S. Ct. 2549 (2010) and Maples v. Thomas 132 S. Ct. 912 (2012).

Her publications include five books about legal ethics intended for clients, practicing lawyers, and law students, and numerous articles about both legal and bioethics:



For Clients:

How to Deal With Your Lawyer: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions (Oceana's Legal Almanac Series Law for the Layperson) (2008)
[Originally published as Your Lawyer: A User’s Guide (Lexis-Nexis 2006)]

For Practicing Lawyers:

The Ethics of Representing Organizations [with Lawrence J. Fox] (Oxford University Press 2009)

Red Flags: A Lawyer’s Handbook on Legal Ethics [with Lawrence J. Fox] (ALI-ABA 2005)

For Law Students:

The Law Governing Lawyers: National Rules, Standards, Statutes and State Lawyer Codes [with Lawrence J. Fox and W. Bradley Wendel] (Aspen Yearly Editions)

Traversing the Ethical Minefield: Problems, Law and Professional Responsibility [with Lawrence J. Fox] (Aspen 3d. ed. 2013)


Articles and Book Chapters:

Can Luther Help Modern Lawyers Understand Fiduciary Duty?  Book Chapter in SO MUCH GOOD FRUIT: LUTHERAN INTERPRETATION OF CONTEMPORARY LEGAL ISSUES, Marie A. Failinger & Ronald W. Duty Editors (Wm. B. Eerdmans forthcoming 2015)

How to Help Yourself: Researching the Law Governing Lawyers, 56 Prac. Law. (Oct. 2010)

Back to the Future: Fiduciary Duty Then and Now, in a Century of Legal Ethics, 3 Lawrence J. Fox, Susan R. Martyn & Andrew S. Pollis, Eds., (ABA Litigation Section 2009)

Judicial Ethics: Disqualification and Recusal, 54 Prac. Lawyer 9 (December 2008).

Competence: Why You Were Hired in the First Place (September 5). Practical Litigator, Vol. 16, No. 5, 2008

Screening? Consider the Clients, July 2008 The Practical Litigator

The Integrated Law School Practicum: Synergizing Theory and Practice, 68 Louisiana L. Rev. 715 (2008) (With Robert S. Salem)

Commentary, The Lawyer in the Religious Traditions: A Lutheran Finds Commonality, 21 J. L. & Religion 299 (2005-2006)

Accidental Clients, 33 Hofstra L. Rev. 913 (2005). Reprinted in 55 Defense L. J. (Mar. 2006)

Ten Remedies You Must Understand (2005). Practical Litigator, Vol. 16, No. 6, p. 41, 2005

In Defense of Client-Lawyer Confidentiality . . . And Its Exceptions . . ., 81 Neb. L. Rev. 101 (2003)

“Formation of the Client-Lawyer Relationship,” Competence and Diligence,” and “Communications and Shared Decision-Making,” in Maya G. Bolocan, Ed., Professional Legal Ethics: A Comparative Perspective (CEELI 2002)

Book Review, Rhode’s Reforms, 15 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 143 (2001)

Human Cloning: The Role of Law, 31 U. Tol. L. Rev. 375 (2001)

Charting a New Direction: Why Ohio Should Study The Revised Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Ohio Lawyer September/October 2001 14

Justice and Lawyers: Revising the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, 12 The Professional Lawyer (2001)

Now is the Moment to Reflect: Two Years of Experience with Oregon’s Physician-Assisted Suicide Law, 8 University of Illinois Elder Law Journal 1 (2000) [with Henry J. Bourguignon]

Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Supreme Court's Wary Rejection, 31 U. Tol. L. Rev. 253 (2000) [with Henry J. Bourguignon]

Physician’s Decisions About Patient Capacity: The Trojan Horse of Physician-Assisted Suicide, 6 Psychology, Public Policy and Law 388 (2000) [with Henry J. Bourguignon]

Justice Stewart G. Pollock: Catcher in the Rye, 30 Seton Hall L. Rev. 435 (2000)

Are We Moving in the Right Dimension? Sadducees, Two Kingdoms, Lawyers, and The Model Rules of Professional Conduct, 34 Valparaiso L. Rev. 121 (1999)

The Restatement (Third) of The Law Governing Lawyers and The Courts, 1997 Symposium, The Professional Lawyer 115

Book Chapter, “Legal Ethics” in Looking at Law School (Society of American Law Teachers, 4th ed. 1997)

Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Lethal Flaws of the Ninth and Second Circuit Decisions, 85 Cal. L. Rev. 371 (1997) [with Henry J. Bourguignon]

Developing the Judicial Role in Litigation Conflicts, 65 Fordham L. Rev. 131 (1996)

Lawyers As Directors: Who Serves and Why? 1996 Symposium, The Professional Lawyer 107. Reprinted in The Lawyer-Director: Implications for Independence; Report of the Task Force on the Independent Lawyer (American Bar Association Section of Litigation 1998)

Judicial Reliance on the Restatement (3d) of the Law Governing Lawyers, 6 The Professional Lawyer 8 (1995)

Visions of the Eternal Law Firm: The Future of Law Firm Screens, 45 S. C. L. Rev. 1 (1994)

Implementing A Conflicts Control System, 40 The Practical Lawyer 15 (1994)

Substituted Judgment, Best Interests and the Need for Best Respect, 3 Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 194 (1994)

Conflict About Conflicts: The Controversy Concerning Screens, 46 Okla. L. Rev. 53 (1993)

Essay, Professionalism: Behind the Veil of Ignorance, 24 U. Tol. L. Rev. 189 (1992)

Redrafting Ohio's Advance Directives Laws, 26 Akron L. Rev. 229 (1992) [with others]

Coming to Terms with Death--The Cruzan Case, 42 Hastings L.J. 817 (1991) [with Henry J. Bourguignon]

Peer Review and Quality Assurance for Lawyers, 20 U. Tol. L. Rev. 295 (1989)

Book Chapter, “Standards of Quality: Past Efforts and Future Options” in The Quality Pursuit (ABA Section of Law Practice Management 1989)

Reporter, Law Practice Quality Evaluation: An Appraisal of Peer Review and Other Measures to Enhance Professional Performance: The Report on the Williamsburg Peer Review Conference (1988) reprinted in part in 35 C.L.E. J. and Reg. 8 (1989)

Required Request for Organ Donation: Moral, Clinical and Legal Problems, 18 Hastings Center Rep. 27 (April/May 1988) (with Richard Wright, Ph.D. and Leo Clark, M.D.). Reply: Required Request Revisited, 19 Hastings Center Report 44 (March/April 1989).

Book Review, The Ethic of Modern Legal Ethics, 1 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 267 (1987)

Using the Brain Dead for Medical Research, 1986 Utah L. Rev. 1

Legislating Advanced Directives for the Terminally Ill: The Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney, 63 Neb. L. Rev. 776 (1984) (with L. Jacobs)

Book Review, Hiller, Medical Ethics and the Law: Implications for Public Policy, 33 J. Legal Educ. 164 (1983)

Lawyer Competence and Lawyer Discipline: Beyond the Bar?, 69 Geo. L. J. 705 (1981)

Informed Consent in the Practice of Law, 48 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 307 (1980)

Lawyer Advertising: The Unique Relationship Between First Amendment and Antitrust Protections, 23 Wayne L. Rev. 167 (1976)


Briefs Amicus Curiae:

Maples v. Thomas, 132 S. Ct. 912 (2012)

Holland v. Florida, 130 S. Ct. 2549 (2010)

Quill v. Vacco , 521 U. S. 793 (1997) and Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U. S. 702(1997)
reprinted in Landmark Briefs & Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States:
Constitutional Law, Vacco v. Quill (1997) Part 2, 190 (Gerald Gunther and Gerhard Casper eds.

Cruzan v. Director , 497 U.S. 261 (1990) reprinted at Vol. 193 Landmark Briefs & Arguments of
the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law, 110 and 570 (Philip B. Kurland and
Gerhard Casper eds. 1991)


Last Updated: 6/27/22