Matthew ClarkeMatthew Clarke is a seasoned trial attorney, who has practiced civil litigation since 1996. He leads the firm’s litigation department. He has expertise in wrongful termination, lender liability, construction defect and complex civil litigation and has achieved more than $100 million in verdicts and settlements for his clients. Additionally, Mr. Clarke has defended his clients in a wide variety of civil disputes.  Mr. Clarke has handled insurance “bad faith” and coverage disputes, construction defect (plaintiffs and defendants), business litigation, lender liability, intellectual property, product liability, and other complex litigation matters.

Mr. Clarke was previously a partner at Cappello & Noel, one of the nation’s foremost complex commercial litigation firms, in Santa Barbara, California.

Mr. Clarke’s longest trial lasted 11 months and resulted in a multi-million dollar judgment in a construction defect case. He has also tried cases for plaintiffs and defendants involving catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, legal malpractice, accounting malpractice, real estate transactions, investments and intellectual property. This includes a jury verdict of more than $40 million against defendants represented by a major international law firm and a wrongful death jury verdict of $16 million in compensatory damages and $2.3 in punitive damages.

Finally, Mr. Clarke has extensive experience advising and counseling businesses, large and small, in the full range of legal issues businesses regularly face. In this regard, the emphasis is always risk management and cost effective solutions to difficult problems.

In 2009 and in 2010, Mr. Clarke was selected a “Super Lawyer Rising Star” – recognized as one of the best attorneys under age 40. Mr. Clarke highly rated on attorney rating website AVVO.

Mr. Clarke has been an active member of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association and served for several years on the Executive Committee.   He was a regular contributor to the Santa Barbara Lawyer Magazine, writing articles on various legal topics.

Education and Experience

  • Willamette University
    B.A., 1992
    Salem, Oregon
  • Lewis & Clark Law School
    J.D., 1996
    Portland, Oregon
  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Santa Barbara County Bar Association
  • Courts of the State of California, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 2005
  • U.S. Court of Appeal, Ninth Circuit, 2008
  • Courts of the State of Texas, 2009
  • U.S. District Court, District of Idaho, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire, 2016
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, 2016
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas, 2016
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, 2016
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 2010

El Escorial Owners’ Association v.  DLC Plastering, Inc., (2007) 154 Cal. App. 4th 1337

Lazy Acres Market, Inc. v. Tseng (2007) 152 Cal. App. 4th 1431

Strauss v. Sheffield Ins. Corp., (2008) 281 Fed.Appx. 656, 2008 WL 2229817 

Gottesman v. Cathedral Oaks Tennis, Swim & Athletic Club, Inc. (2008) 2008 WL 4073392

McDermott v. Ampersand Pub., LLC (9th Cir. 2010) 593 F.3d 950

Willig v. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (2010) 2010 WL 302436, as modified on denial of reh’g

Goldberg v. Coggins Company (2013) 2013 WL 4743104

Colavincenzo v. Aloha Pool & Spa (2014) 2014 WL 6657444

Colavincenzo v. Corby Gould Pools, Inc. (2014) 2014 WL 6657552

Kelley v. Los Angeles Transition Center (2015) 2015 WL 3658153

Roman Catholic Bishop of Monterey v. Cota (9th Cir. 2018) 711 Fed.Appx. 428

Deedle v. Collectors Universe, Inc. (2017) 2017 WL 6379941, review denied

Mueller v. Collectors Universe, Inc. (2017) 2017 WL 6379940, review denied

State Dept. of Social Services v. Marin (2019) 34 Cal.App.5th 328