Matthew A. Hodel

Phone: 949-450-4420

Matt Hodel is a trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience.

Professional Highlights

  • Elected in 2015 as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.
  • 14 years as a litigation partner with a major international law firm, and the Chair of its Orange County office’s litigation practice.  Since 2003 he has practiced litigation as a founding law firm partner, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in diverse industries.
  • Successful jury and bench trials and arbitrations for plaintiffs and defendants, throughout California, outside this state, and in Europe.
  • Representation of other attorneys and law firms in legal malpractice actions and other ethics matters.
  • IP disputes including: a noted trademark infringement decision that he successfully argued to summary judgment to the trial court and then to the Ninth Circuit, resulting in published opinions in both instances; an international software arbitration in London; a valuation trial; and many unfair competition, valuation, software, trade secret and related issues.
  • Lead defense counsel in a 12-0 jury verdict in what was labeled “The Longest Civil Jury Trial in Riverside County History.”
  • Representation of a nationally-known accounting firm what was considered to be the largest bank audit malpractice case ever litigated in Orange County.
  • Complex, high-stakes disputes over virtually every facet of the fields of real estate, banking and lending.
  • Clean-up litigation arising from one of the largest bank failures in the annals of U.S. banking.
  • Argument to the California Supreme Court which helped establish the retroactive application of Proposition 64, the citizen’s ballot initiative which curbed certain abusive business tort lawsuits.
  • Counseling and litigation in the direct-selling industry.
  • Selected as a Super Lawyer and a “Top 50 Orange County Attorney” by Thompson Reuters, the publisher of “Super Lawyers.”

In the Community

  • Member, California State Bar Board of Trustees’ Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC)(develops and issues advisory ethics opinions to assist attorneys in understanding their professional responsibilities under the California Rules of Professional Conduct).
  • Member, Orange County Bar Association’s Professionalism and Ethics Committee (reviews and reports to the OCBA Board of Governors on legal ethics and policy issues; publishes legal ethics opinions).
  • Co-Chair of the Orange County Constitutional Rights Foundation’s high school mock trial program.  He also serves as a scoring judge each year in the program’s county-wide competition and has served as a scoring attorney in the state-wide contests.
  • Previously, member (four years), United States District Court, Central District of California’s Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel (makes recommendations to the Central District judges on re-appointment of sitting magistrates and appointment of new magistrates).
  • Previously, member (six years) of and Chair (two years) of the Orange County Bar Association’s Judiciary Committee (renders evaluations to the Governor’s Office regarding judicial applicants and candidates).
  • Previously, member of the St. Francis School of Law Advisory Council.
  • Previously, Head Coach (for 10 years) of the Tesoro High School Mock Trial Team which competes each year in the Orange County Constitutional Rights Foundation’s mock trial contests. Students from his teams, including his son, have become practicing lawyers, attended law school and/or competed on the collegiate level on mock trial teams.
  • Judge, National Collegiate Mock Trial Championships, Western Regional and University of California, Irvine School of Law, Moot Court Competition.
  • Previously, member of the Board of Directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation (Orange County chapter), Board of Governors of the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana (for nine years), and Board of Governors of the Orange County chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (three years).
  • Publications: Twice in the Hastings Law Journal and on various litigation and legal ethics topics in the California Lawyer, The American Bar Association Journal, The Los Angeles Lawyer, California Real Property Journal, California Law Business, Orange County Lawyer and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
  • Lectures and speeches on legal matters to: California Bankers Association; UCI Irvine Paul Merage School of Business; California Continuing Education of the Bar’s Advanced Federal Practice, California Civil Practice Before Trial, Fundamentals of Civil Trial Practice, Fundamentals of Business Practices Litigation, Recent Developments in California Civil Litigation, Evaluating and Proving Damages in Business Litigation and Effective Jury Voir Dire and Special Rules of Professional Responsibility for In-House Counsel;the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, on Jury Selection; Orange County Bar Association, to its general section, Legal Malpractice, Ethical Limits on Advocacy and Avoiding Malpractice Claims in Business Litigation, and to its corporate counsel section; Whittier Law School, How to Build a Law Practice.

Education and Other Professional

B.A. degree, 1977, with highest honors, from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, J.D. degree, 1980, from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he was a Note and Comment Editor and author on The Hastings Law Journal. Litigation associate with McCutchen, Black, Verleger and Shea (1980-82), associate and partner with Paul Hastings LLP (1983-2003) and a partner with Hodel Briggs Winter LLP (2003-2014).