Resolution Remedies

Professional Panel - J. Michael Matthews, Esq.

PROFESSIONAL PANEL

JUDGE RICHARD H. BREINER

Justice Dennis A. Cornell

JUDGE MICHAEL B. DUFFICY

JUDGE VERNON F. SMITH

EILEEN BARKER, Esq.

LARRY BASKIN, Esq.

J. MICHAEL MATTHEWS, Esq.

ALAN M. MAYER, Esq.

BARBARA MONTY, Esq.

GARY T. RAGGHIANTI, Esq.

J. RANDOLPH WALLACE, Esq.

MATTHEW N. WHITE, Esq.

W. BRUCE WOLD, Esq.

 

“I have seen Mike’s skills and personality at work. He has the temperament, wealth of background regarding the law, and proficiency to assess the case. Mike has the ability to bring people together to find the linchpin of resolution.”
- Justice James A. Ardaiz (Ret.)

 

Mike Matthews has been an active trial lawyer for over forty years. He has tried more than forty jury and court trials and arbitrated at least fifty cases. He has expertise in a wide variety of practice areas. He says, “I enjoy trial work, and there was a time when people called on me just for trial. That was my calling.”

 

Eventually, however, he came to see his job as conflict resolution. He observes that “It might be tempting to deploy a withering cross-examination, but another approach is usually best for resolution.”

 

Mike brings a trial lawyer’s energy and acuity to the mediation table. “As a trial attorney, I have to pay close attention to how well people are digesting my statements and actions, whether I am being persuasive. Similarly, as a mediator, I must assess people’s needs during the process.”

 

Mike uses a full set to tools to resolve cases: intuition, pragmatism, listening and adapting, patience, and creativity. He works to cultivate openness to the process, establish and maintain credibility and neutrality, and create a solid line of communication between even the most reluctant participants. “The essence of mediation is communication,” he notes. “If the parties or lawyers can’t communicate, the mediator interprets for them.”

 

It is also important to convey the benefit of finality. Mike says, “I often tell my clients to settle for their own reasons, not to hurt or punish the other side, or out of concerns for what other side is getting.” Mike is dedicated to guiding disputants to this point, adding, “I am influenced by the mediators who just don’t quit.”

 

 

PRACTICE AREAS

  • Attorney Fees
  • Business/Commercial
  • Partnership and Corporate disputes/dissolution
  • Construction/Land Development
  • Construction Defect
  • Contracts
  • Fraud
  • Homeowners Associations (HOA)
  • Insurance Coverage (including bad faith)
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability/Malpractice
  • Real Estate

 

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

  • Private mediator 15-20 cases (including complex matters)
  • Steve Rosenberg’s 40-hour mediation training course, 2020
  • Marin Superior Court, Settlement Conference Panelist, 2020
  • San Francisco Superior Court, Settlement Officer, 2012 to present
  • San Francisco Superior Court, Judicial Arbitrator 1990-2002
  • Contra Costa Superior Court ADR services, mediator, case evaluator 1990-2005
  • Attorney participant in more than 50 private mediations

 

EDUCATION

Yale University, B.A. 1973

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1976

 

TEACHING AND PRESENTATIONS

  • Faculty for the Practicing Law Institute’s summer program “Basics of Accounting for Lawyers,” presenting the Ethics section (2009 to present)
  • Lecturer at the national convention of the American Institute of CPAs “Accounting for Partnership Dissolutions” (2003)
  • Faculty, real estate law in the M.B.A. program at Golden Gate University, San Francisco (1980-1988)
  • Presenter of multistate seminars for the construction trade, through Lorman’s California Construction Law, Continuing Education of the Bar courses, National Business Institute Seminars, Federal Publications Seminars, and the Practicing Law Institute (1996 to present)
  • Lecturer on litigation skills, insurance coverage, partnership accounting and dissolution, and other topics, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Presenter of various CLE programs and author of articles on accounting for law firm dissolutions; comparison of the Uniform Partnership Act and Revised Uniform Partnership Act; ethics issues in a real property practice; Rules and Procedures in Federal Court; and the Pitfalls of Boilerplate in Commercial Contracts, and other topics.
  • Expert witness in cases involving attorney malpractice, insurance coverage and other issues

 

PUBLICATION

  • Contributing author for CEB’s Practice Manual “Advising California Partnerships,” all editions
  • Published articles regarding real estate, construction, and partnership issues in CEB, The Recorder

 

MEMBERSHIPS/POSITIONS

  • California State Bar
  • American Bar Association, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Sections
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, member since 2004
  • President, Stinson Beach Village Association

 

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • California State Bar
  • U.S.D.C., Central District of California
  • U.S.D.C., Eastern District of California
  • U.S.D.C., Northern District of California
  • U.S.D.C., Southern District of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

 

PASTIMES

We have a small fishing boat, and my son and I and a few friends go salmon fishing from Stinson Beach.
Fly-fishing has taken me to some amazing spots when my kids invite me.
Avid reader of American history