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Edith R. Matthai

  Edith R. Matthai

EMatthai@romalaw.com
213-706-8000

Edith Matthai is a trial lawyer who has specialized in the representation of attorneys in malpractice actions for over thirty years. She has handled matters arising from nearly every field of practice including complex business transactions and litigation, probate and complex family law proceedings, securities litigation, intellectual property litigation, entertainment related disputes and bankruptcy proceedings.

Because of her breadth of experience and creativity she has also been asked to defend a wide variety of cases that are complex and unique.

Edith represents judges and commissioners in disciplinary matters pending before the California Commission on Judicial Performance; she has represented over 250 judicial officers over the last fifteen years.

She has been repeatedly recognized for her trial skills and also has significant appellate experience, having handled many cases that have formed the legal principles setting the standards for attorney liability.

Since 2013 she has served on the Board of Directors of American Business Bank, which was founded in 1997 and has grown to be a two billion dollar institution by providing personalized service to its middle market customers.

 
 

Honors

  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel - Hall of Fame Award, 2015
  • LACBA Shattuck-Price Outstanding Lawyer Award, 2014
  • CAL-ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2013
  • Recipient: Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Ernestine Stahlhut Award, 2010
  • Loyola Law School Champion of Justice Award, 2008
  • California State Bar Litigation Section Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, 2008.
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association Outstanding Committee Service Award, 2008
  • Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Distinguished Service Award, 2005
  • Daily Journal Top 100 Lawyers in California, 2006,2007
  • Daily Journal Top Women Lawyers, 2002-2010
  • Super Lawyer, inception of the listing to present
  • Super Lawyers Top 100 in Southern California, 2007-2018

Memberships

  • Chancery Club
    • President (2015)
  • Judicial Council of California (2010-2013)
    • Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee (2010-2011)
    • Executive & Planning Committee (2011-2013)
    • CCMS Internal Committee (2010-2012)
  • American Bar Association
    • Member, Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary (2010-2014)
  • ABA Standing Committee Lawyers Professional Liability Committee 
    • Chair (2007-2010)
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
    • Complex Litigation Committee
    • Ethics Committee, Vice-Chair (2018-present)
  • California Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct, Advisory Member (2015-2017)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Member, Board of Trustees (1998-2000)
    • President (2005)
    • Member Complex Court Committee (2017-present)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
    • Member Executive Committee (2000-present)
    • President, Los Angeles Chapter (2008)
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
    • President (2001)
  • California Defense Counsel
    • President (2004)
  • Judicial Council Task Force on Jury Instructions, The CACI committee (1996-2010)
  • Los Angeles Superior Court Bench-Bar Coalition (2000-present)
  • Ex-Officio Member, CJA, CJP Deposition Rule Committee (2007-2008)
  • Faculty Member, Hastings College of Advocacy (1983-1999)
  • Member, Advisory Board (1991-1994)
  • Faculty Member and Past Co-Chair, Personal Injury Institute, Business Litigation Institute (1993-2000)
  • Faculty, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America Trial College, Hastings College of Law (Summer 2001)
  • Faculty, ABOTA Trial College (1997-2004)
  • Panel of Arbitrators, Los Angeles Superior Court (1983-1995)
  • Los Angeles Court AB 3820 Committee (1995-2002)
  • Los Angeles Superior Court ADR Committee (1999-2002)

Presentations

  • Panelist, LMRM, Fee Claims and Counter-Claims: Pouring Gasoline on the Fire, 2019
  • Panelist, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, The New Rules of Ethics
  • American Board of Trial Advocates Masters in Trial Program, Demonstration of Defense Closing Argument, 2018
  • Panelist, Los Angeles Superior Court, “Civil Litigation Walk Through Program,” 2018, 2019
  • Panelist, American Bar Association Lawyers Professional Liability, “Trial Strategy: Playing to Win the Verdict,” 2018
  • Panelist, California Judges Association, "FPPC Form 700 Filing Requirement," 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Panelist, LMRM, “Proximate Causation: How Most Malpractice Cases Are Really Won or Lost,” 2017
  • Panelist, AON Law Firm Symposium, “Preparing for the Inevitable: A DQ Motion Boot Camp,” 2017
  • Panelist, The Rutter Group/California Judges Association, “Ethics – New and Evolving Attorney Disqualification Issues,” 2017
  • Panelist, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, “Beating Bias,” 2017
  • Panelist, California Judges Association, "FPPC Form 700 Filing Requirement," 2017
  • Panelist, American Conference Institute, “Trying a Case and Strategies for Handling Legal Malpractice Cases,” 2016
  • Panelist, California Judges Association, “CJP Defense Counsel Session,” 2016
  • Panelist, Alliance of California Judges, “CJP – Due Process, Legal Update,” 2016
  • Panelist, American Bar Association Lawyers Professional Liability, “Seeking Sanctionary: The Evolving Role of Sanctions and Civility in Litigation,” 2016
  • Panelist, Hinshaw & Culbertson, “Death, Taxes and Malpractice: Grappling with Estates, Trusts & Probate Lawyers' Liability,” 2016
  • Panelist, California Judges Association, "FPPC Form 700 Filing Requirement," 2016
  • Panelist, American Board of Trial Advocates, "A Trial Demonstration from Opening Statement through Jury Deliberations," 2015
  • Panelist, American Bar Association Section of Family Law, "The Ethics of Billing," 2015
  • Panelist, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, "Titans of the Bar Demonstrate the Art of Voir Dire," 2015
  • Panelist, American Bar Association Lawyers Professional Liability, "_______," 2015
  • Panelist, Los Angeles County Bar Association, "The Zealous (But Ethical) Advocate," 2015
  • Panelist, Santa Monica Bar Association, “Being Sued Isn’t Winning,” 2015
  • Panelist, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, “Titans of the Bar Demonstrate the Art of Voir Dire,” 2015
  • Panelist, Hinshaw & Culbertson, “Developments in Litigating Legal Malpractice Claims,” 2015
  • Panelist, Los Angeles Bar Association, “The Zealous (But Ethical) Advocate,” 2015
  • Panelist, California Judges Association, "FPPC Form 700 Filing Requirement," 2015
  • Panelist, DRI Professional Responsibility, "Ask the Trial Experts," 2014
  • Panelist, Judicial Council Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers Court Management Program, “CJP Risk Management for Presiding Judges, 2014
  • Panelist, California Judges Association, “Commissioners, Judges and Discipline: How Proposed Changes to Rule 10.703 Could Affect You,” 2014
  • Panelist, Judicial Council Supervising Judges Institute, “Living Through a Formal CJP Proceeding, 2014
  • Panelist, American Bar Association Lawyers Professional Liability, "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word: When to Admit Liability at Trial," 2014
  • Panelist, Legal Malpractice and Risk Management Conference, "Standing to Sue and Privity," 2014
  • Panelist, AON Law Firm Symposium, "Expert Witnesses in Lawyer Liability Litigation," 2013
  • Panelist, American Bar Association Lawyers Professional Liability, "The Opening Statement and Closing Argument in a High-Stakes Legal Malpractice Case," 2013
  • Panelist, Legal Malpractice and Risk Management Conference, "Developments in Litigating Legal Malpractice Claims 2015," 2013
  • Panelist, LASC Judicial Services, "Preparing Form 700 Disclosures; Avoid the Perils," 2013
  • Panelist, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, "Rethinking Bias in the Firm" and "Ethical Pitfalls in Everyday Practice," 2013
  • Panelist, AIM Risk Management Program, "Co-Counsel, Joint Counsel and Local Counsel Arrangements-Traps for the Unwary," 2013
  • Panelist, California Judges Association, "Interactive CJP Ethics Class," 2012
  • Panelist, CAALA, "Voir Dire Demonstration," Las Vegas Convention," 2011
  • Panelist, CJA Conference "What to do When You Get a Letter From the CJP" 2011
  • Panelist, "Settle and Sue: Is Legal Malpractice a Remedy for an Inappropriate Settlement or for the Settlement That Did Not Happen?" Legal Malpractice and Risk Management Conference, 2011
  • Panelist, "Perspectives on Civil Litigation," Loyola Law School, 2010
  • Panelist, "The Witness Reality Check: Steering Wayward Clients Toward the Truth," American Bar Association Lawyers Professional Liability, 2010
  • Panelist, Masters Session: "My Most Memorable Trial Moments," Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles 28th Las Vegas Annual Convention, 2010
  • Panelist, "How the Courts Failed Germany: Law, Justice, and the Holocaust," Administrative Office of the Courts, 2010
  • Panelist, "Avoiding Legal Malpractice, " Association of Defense Counsel, 2009
  • Panelist, "Conflicts, Screening and Waivers: Are You Really Protected?", U.C. Hastings 2009
  • Panelist, "Handling Litigation," Superior Court Judges CJA Midyear Conference, 2008
  • Speaker, "Elimination of Bias," Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Annual Las Vegas Convention; 2008
  • Panelist, "Masters on Jury Selection," American Board of Trial Advocates, 2008
  • Panelist, "Let's Arbitrate! It's Fast, Cheap and Fair.. Right?", PLUS 20th Annual International Conference. 2007
  • Panelist, "Litigating the Legal Malpractice Claim," Legal Malpractice and Risk Management Conference, 2007
  • Panelist, "A Closer Look at the CJP: 'With All Due Respect' is Not the Correct Response," California Judges Association Mid-Year Conference 2007
  • Panelist, "The Importance of the Civil Justice System," Loyola Journalist Law School Presentation 2007
  • Panelist, "Professional Negligence Legal Malpractice Cases," Consumers Attorneys of Los Angeles 25th Annual Las Vegas Convention 2007
  • Panelist, "Just When You Thought It Was Settled," discussion of Settle and Sue cases, ABA National Legal Malpractice Conference, 2007
  • Panelist, Risk Management for Attorneys, 2007, Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles Annual Seminar.
  • Speaker, Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference: "Proving or Disproving Causation in a Transaction Legal Malpractice Claim - Examining the Trial", 2006
  • Panelist, "When Things Go Wrong," Panel on Expert Witness Selection, Preparation and Presentation, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, 2006
  • Supervising Judge's Management Conference, Los Angeles Superior Court, 2006
  • Panelist, Effective Trial Presentation, 2006
  • Panelist: Case Law Updates, Legal Malpractice Risk Management Conference, 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Defense Counsel for Mock Trial, 2005,
  • Member, Defense Trial Team, American Board of Trial Lawyers Annual Seminar, 2005
  • Keynote Speaker, Legal Tech, 2005
  • "Secrets of Highly Effective Litigators," Annual Conference on Legal Malpractice and Risk Management, Chicago, 2004
  • "The Habits of Highly Effective Litigators," American Bar Association National Legal Malpractice Conference, Miami 2004
  • "Commission on Judicial Performance: Lessons and Recent Trends," California Judge's Association Mid-Year Conference, 2004
  • "Insurance Litigation, 2004," California Judges Association and the Rutter Group Insurance Litigation Seminar, 2004
  • "When Things go Wrong," Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, 2003
  • "Ethics and Professional Responsibility for the Employment Law Attorney," Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2003
  • ABOTA Masters in Trial, 2003, 2002
  • Lead Trial Counsel, ABA Mock Trial of a Legal Malpractice Case, Chicago 2002
  • "The New Civil Jury Instructions: Are You Ready?" Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and the Association of Southern Defense Counsel, 2002
  • "The Shernoff Bad Faith Seminar," The Rutter Group, 2002
  • Fall Judges Conference, Judicial Council of California and the Administrative Offices of the Courts, 2002
  • Moderator on the Tri-Partite Relationship, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel and DRI Northwest/Pacific Regional Defense Leaders Conference, 2002
  • "The Tri-Partite Relationship," Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, 2002
  • "CAALA Trial Demonstration," Las Vegas 2001
  • "Audits of Legal Costs," Association of California Insurance Companies Annual General Counsel Seminar, 1999
  • "The Nuts and Bolts in Litigation: How to Plan and Shape a Coherent Civil Case," Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1999
  • "Products Liability from Air Bags to Zippers," Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, 1999
  • "Do's and Don'ts in Mediation," California Judges Association Conference for Retired Judges, 1998
  • "Ethics for Litigators," CEB, 1998
  • Judicial Training Session, Los Angeles Superior Court, 1997
  • "National Women Defense Attorney Seminar," DRI, 1996
  • Bad Faith and Punitive Damages in Insurance Claims," American Conference Institute, 1995, 1998
  • "Ethics for Litigators," CEB, 1995-1998
  • "Trial: The Law and the Art," Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles, 1995
  • "Handling Products Liability Cases," CEB, 1994
  • "Arguments by the Masters," Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association and California Trial Lawyers Association, 1994
  • "Litigation, Theory Through Trial," Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, 1993
  • "Deposition Skills," CEB, 1993;
  • "The Quintessential Trial," UCLA, 1993;
  • "Law and Motion Practice," The Rutter Group, 1987, 1997

Publications

Co-Author: Matthew Bender Practice Guides,
California Civil Discovery, Vol. 1 and 2,
California Pretrial Procedure, Vol. 1-3
Co-Author: CEB California Civil Discovery Practice Vol. 1 and 2

Education

  • University of California, Hastings College of Law, J.D., 1975
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A., cum laude, 1971

Admissions

  • California, 1975
  • U.S. District Court: Northern, 1975, Southern, 1997, Eastern, 1997 and Central Districts of California, 1977;
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1975
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1976
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1989
 

American College of Trial Lawyers Edith R. Matthai Best Lawyers 2019

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