Judge Martin R. Banks was born in 1961 in Columbia, South Carolina. He is the son of the late David H. Banks, Jr., who was a local small-businessman and former mayor of St. Matthews. Judge Banks' mother is Marthanna Banks Phillips who is retired from the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Medical Center. He is one of six siblings, all residing in South Carolina. He married Kathy (Newman) Banks of Sumter in 1994, and they have one beautiful daughter.
Judge Banks attended Calhoun County public schools and graduated in 1979 from Calhoun Academy as a starter on 2 state championship teams (baseball and football). He then attended Clemson University from 1979 to 1980, transferring to the University of S. Carolina where he graduated in 1983 with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. After travelling extensively and working several years in both public and private accounting, he received his Master of Arts in Christian Education degree from Columbia International University in 1989. He then attended the University of South Carolina School of Law from 1989 to 1992, where he received his Juris Doctorate.
After admission to the South Carolina Bar that same year, Judge Banks has continuously served the community as a sole practitioner and public defender in his hometown of St. Matthews. He is a member of the Calhoun County Bar Association. He is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. He also has many years of dedicated service on the South Carolina Bar Fee Disputes Board.
Judge Banks' hobbies include coin collecting, travel and sports.