Matthew B. Butler Shareholder
Matthew B. Butler is a seasoned civil litigator and a founding shareholder of the Butler Firm APC. Mr. Butler focuses on complex litigation including employment class actions, business litigation, insurance bad faith, qui tam litigation, construction litigation as well as select individual wrongful termination and personal injury matters.
Mr. Butler has been awarded with the AV® Preeminent™ rating by Martindale-Hubbell©, an honor earned by elite attorneys whose ethical standards and professional ability have been evaluated by their peers and the judiciary to be at the highest level of professional excellence.
SuperLawyers magazine selected Mr. Butler as one of the top attorneys in San Diego and Southern California for 2009 through 2013. Only five percent of the lawyers in the state are named by SuperLawyers. In addition, the San Diego Daily Transcript named him one of the top ten employment lawyers in San Diego in 2013.
Mr. Butler has obtained commendable results prosecuting and defending cases through jury trial, bench trial and arbitration. He has secured and collected more than $20 million on behalf of his clients and defended against multi-million dollar claims. Representative cases handled by Mr. Butler include:
- Cohen v. Robert Bosch Tool where Mr. Butler and his former partner successfully obtained a $5.0 million class action settlement for claims related to saws that were mislabeled as “Made in the USA”;
- Loera v. Akal Security, an employment wage and hour case where Mr. Butler certified a class of approximately 350 guards who did not receive appropriate overtime, breaks, or meal periods in accordance with California law,; tried phase one of trial; and resolved the action for $9.75 million;
- Moyle v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, an Employee Retirement Income Security Act case where Mr. Butler certified a non-opt out class of 1166 employees seeking past service credits resulting from Liberty Mutual’s purchase of Golden Eagle Insurance Company’s assets through the rehabilitation process;
- Fischer v. Symitar, an employment class action where Mr. Butler secured a voluntary payment by the employer of on-call wages for software support personnel as well as a subsequent settlement of employment claims totaling $1.0 million;
- Primetime v. National Union Insurance, The Hartford, et. al., an insurance bad faith case where Mr. Butler represented a contractor whose business and business assets were stolen after a failed attempt to sell the business. Mr. Butler secured $1.25 million in settlement of a bad faith lawsuit from the company’s two insurers who initially denied coverage for the theft;
- John Doe v. J. Peter Block Companies, a real estate fraud case where over the course of 7 years Mr. Butler litigated and settled a claim that a developer defrauded a purchaser of a downtown San Diego penthouse by omitting material facts regarding the condition of the condominium. Mr. Butler obtained more than a $1.0 million settlement secured by commercial property. Mr. Butler’s client eventually collected more than $1.2 million on a judgment;
- Vien Dong v. AMCO Insurance Company, The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, and Alliant Insurance Services, Inc., an insurance bad faith case where Mr. Butler represented a food market that was denied insurance coverage for a fire loss under its Premier Business Owners Policy – including the business income coverage and extra expense coverage. The food market also sued its broker for recommending insufficient insurance coverage. Mr. Butler obtained a settlement in excess of $1.5 million;
- J.C.M. Iavelli Plastering, Inc. v. State Compensation Insurance Fund and Vanorsdale Insurance Services where Mr. Butler represented a construction contractor in an insurance bad faith case where SCIF refused to defend or indemnify the contractor against a claim for injuries by a worker. Mr. Butler obtained a settlement in excess of $700,000, which exceeded the amount that J.C.M. paid to resolve the claim by the worker;
- Giametta v. Bakbone Software, Inc., an individual wrongful termination and breach of contract case in which Mr. Butler successfully arbitrated the breach of contract case over the failure of the company to pay full sales commissions to a Senior Vice President for North America at the time of termination. Mr. Butler obtained and collected in excess of $250,000 including arbitration costs and attorneys fees when the highest offer for settlement pre-arbitration was $58,000;
- Burks v. TSC Restoration, Inc.; Burks v. Hernandez, two individual cases by a single-family homeowner against two contractors for breach of contract, fraud, and negligence in the remodel of their single-family home in the Bay Park neighborhood of San Diego. Mr. Butler resolved the two cases in combination for more than $1.0 million;
- Patriot Scientific Corporation v. Senn, a business litigation case where Mr. Butler defended his clients against a claim of negligent misrepresentation on the projection of future business prospects in the course of a merger. Mr. Butler secured resolution of the case for $160,000 based on the continued cost of defense despite a claim in arbitration in excess of $5.0 million. Mr. Butler is currently pursuing the client’s Directors & Officers insurance carrier for bad faith refusal to defend them in the litigation.
Mr. Butler received his Juris Doctor in 1998 from the University Of San Diego School Of Law. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where he graduated with a BA in 1995. Mr. Butler is admitted to practice before all California state courts and the United States District Courts in the Southern and Central Districts of California. He is a member of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Butler is a leader in the legal profession. He is an alumni of the Louis M. Welsh American Inn of Court. He was elected to the State Bar of California Board of Governors by the California Young Lawyers Association (“CYLA”) for the bar year 2006-2007. His service was recognized, as the CYLA reelected him for the 2007-2008 bar year. He also served as the District 9 representative to the CYLA Board of Directors from 2003-2006, representing San Diego and Imperial counties. From 2003-2008, Mr. Butler held other leadership positions within the California Young Lawyers Association, such as First Vice President and Treasurer. He is also member of the San Diego County Bar Association.
Mr. Butler also held leadership positions on a national level with the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. He began as a member of the Division’s Council, as a District Representative for Southern California from 2005-2007. Mr. Butler was a director with the division from 2007-2009, as a Committee Director and Administrative Director. He currently serves as the Membership Board Chair for the Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Division of the ABA. In addition, he has given seminars on how to depose expert witnesses, expert witness law in California, trial techniques, civil litigation for young lawyers, and opening a law practice.
Mr. Butler values community service as well. Mr. Butler served as a Big Brother with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of San Diego and has coordinated the Young Lawyers for Youth program in San Diego in conjunction with The State Bar of California and the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program.