Skip to main content

Martin Wayne Lester

also known as Martin W. Lester, Marty Lester

About me

I practice immigration law and criminal defense.  My main office in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with branch offices in Cleveland, Tennessee and Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  In addition to representing immigration clients clients in visa and citizenship issues, I maintain an active practice defending deportation cases in immigration court.  I also have a particular interest in helping foreign entrepreneurs seeking E-2 visas to start or purchase businesses in the United States. My criminal defense practice includes the defense of death penalty cases and other serious felony matters.



Languages spoken: Spanish

Practice areas


  1. Immigration: 80%
    11 years
  2. Criminal Defense: 20%
    23 years



Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (sometimes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

11 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Aaron B Wentz

    I would strongly endorse this lawyer. I have worked with Mr. Lester on multiple immigration matters. He is very knowledgeable on the issues and was very responsive and helpful for our mutual clients. I will use Mr. Lester's services anytime in the future that the need arises.


    Aaron Wentz Family Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Tim Michael Flaherty

    I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Lester is a very talented attorney. I have personally witnessed his skill and preparedness in court and it is very impressive. I would not hesitate to refer a client to Mr. Lester.


    Tim Flaherty Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Lester Law

3731 Hixson Pike
Chattanooga, TN, 37415

Lester Law

140 N. Ocoee Street
Suite 100
Cleveland, TN, 37311

Lester Law

906 D Mar Walt Drive
Suite 100
Fort Walton Beach, FL, 32547



FLMember in Good Standing200306/19/2016
VAAuthorized to practice law199003/31/2016
DCInactive 199107/10/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
International Community Leader AwardInternational Business Council, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce2015
Susan Colver Rosenberger Prize (International Relations)Brown University1987
Magna Cum LaudeBrown University1987
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyLester Law2013 - Present
AttorneySouthern Star Immigration, P.A.2011 - 2013
AttorneyFleet, Spencer & Kilpatrick, P.A.2006 - 2011
AttorneyKetchel & Lester, LLP2005 - 2006
N/AVirginia Public Defender Commission1995 - 2003
Staff AttorneyVirginia Capital Representation Resource Center1995 - 1995
AssociateBrownstein, Zeidman & Lore1993 - 1995
Assistant Public DefenderVirginia Public Defender Commission1991 - 1993
AssociateZuckerman Spaeder, LLP1990 - 1991
Association namePosition nameDuration
International Business Council, Chattanooga Area Chamber of CommercePresident2016 - Present
Bridge Refugee ServicesBoard of Directors2015 - Present
Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense LawyersN/A2014 - Present
American Immigration Lawyers AssociationMilitary Assistance Program (MAP) Committee2014 - Present
American Immigration Lawyers Association (MidSouth chapter)N/A2013 - Present
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersN/AN/A
Florida Association of Criminal Defense LawyersPast President, Okaloosa-Walton ChapterN/A
Chattanooga Area Chamber of CommerceBoard of Directors2015 - 2016
International Business Council, Chattanooga Area Chamber of CommercePresident-Elect2015 - 2016
Chattanooga Bar AssociationN/A2014 - 2015
International Business Council, Chattanooga Area Chamber of CommerceTreasurer2013 - 2015
American Immigration Lawyers Association (Central Florida chapter)Chair, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee2012 - 2014
American Immigration Lawyers Association (MidSouth chapter)Committee Member, Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) Committee2012 - 2013
American Immigration Lawyers AssociationCommittee Member: Consumer Protection & UPL Action Committee2011 - 2012
Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar AssociationChair, American Citizenship Committee2011 - 2013
Okaloosa-Walton Bar AssociationPast President2007 - 2008
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Cancellation of RemovalCancellation of Removal Granted
EB-2 with National Interest WaiverVisa granted
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Articles section of websitePreparing for the Trumpocalypse: What Happens to DACA?2016
Articles section of website2016 ICE Raids: How to Protect Yourself2016
Articles section of websitePreparing for the Trumpocalypse: Could President Trump Really Deport the "11 Million"?2016
Articles section of websiteThe President's Executive Action on Immigration2014
Noticias LibresWhat is an Immigration Bond?2013
Noticias LibresWhy Can't I Get A Work Permit?2013
Noticias LibresImmigration Reform: Haven't We Been Here Before?2013
Noticias LibresDACA and Military Service2013
Noticias LibresWhat's in a Name?2013
Noticias LibresThe New ICE Detainer Policy: Something That Makes Sense2013
Noticias LibresKeeping Families Together: The New Stateside Waiver Rule2013
Noticias LibresProtecting Yourself -- Avoiding Immigration Scams2013
Noticias Libres"Yes, I Am"2013
Noticias LibresThe new DREAM Act Announcement: What Does It Really Mean?2012
Noticias LibresFIve Myths of Immigration Law2012
La Costa LatinaThe New ICE Detainer Form2012
La Costa LatinaThe "New" Obama Enforcement Policy: Rumor and Reality2011
La Costa LatinaNavigating the Waiver Process2011
La Costa LatinaAlabama's Anti-Immigration Law: Where Do We Stand?2011
Employing International Workers, 2011 Edition (Aspatore Books, Inside the Minds series)Advising the Small Business Client: Needs, Expectations, and Reality2011
La Costa LatinaThe "New" Obama Enforcement Policy: Rumor and Reality2009
La Voz Del LatinoRecognizing and Combating Human Trafficking2008
La Voz Del LatinoFamily-Based Immigration, Part 1: Marriage to a U.S. Citizen2007
La Voz Del LatinoFamily-Based Immigration, Part 2: Petitioning for Family Members2007
La Voz Del LatinoWhat is an I-94, and Why Is It Important?2006
La Voz Del LatinoThe J Visa2006
La Voz Del LatinoWhat is an "H" Visa?2006
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Yale Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1990
Brown UniversityInternational RelationsBA - Bachelor of Arts1987
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
PresentationKnow Your Rights2016
28th Annual Central Florida Chapter Conference: Basics and Beyond at the BeachAsk the Experts: Family-Based Immigration2014
28th Annual Central Florida Chapter Conference: Basics and Beyond at the BeachCitizenship and Naturalization2014
IBC Monthly MeetingBusiness Immigration: Navigating the Basics2013
CLE PresentationOn from Padilla: Ethical Considerations in the Criminal Defense of Non-Citizens2013
CLE PresentationCrimmigration: Ethical Considerations In Representing the Non-Citizen2012
Seminar, St. Sylvester's Catholic Church, Gulf Breeze, FLState-Sponsored Immigration Laws2011
Seminar, Hispanic Resource Center, Pensacola, FLState-Sponsored Immigration Laws2011
SeminarCurrent Topics in Immigration Law2011
Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Okaloosa-Walton Chapter) Monthly MeetingEffective Assistance of Counsel after Padilla v. Kentucky2011
CLE presentationCrimmigration: Ethical Considerations in Representing the Non-Citizen2011
Swedish Trade MissionE-2 Visas2010
ECAR International Section MeetingEB-5 Visas2010
ECAR International LuncheonE-2 Visas2010
Rotary Club of Destin MeetingImmigration Basics for Emerald Coast Businesses2009
Info ExpoImmigration and Criminal Law2009
Fundamentals of Employment LawImmigration Law Update2009
District 9 International SummitVisa Options for International Buyers2009
2 & 4 @ 12Hiring Foreign Workers2009
Monthly MeetingConstitutional Law2008
International Real Estate and Business ConferenceImmigration Issues for Realtors2008