Matt Easton has been a central figure in some of Easton & Easton’s most prominent cases in recent years, including a 2019 mediated settlement for $20,000,000, a 2016 settlement for $3,060,000, a 2013 settlement for $2,750,000, and two 2017 settlements for $1,875,000 and $1,800,000 – all of which were selected as Top Million-Dollar Settlements in California for their respective years, and which contributed to Matt’s lifetime selection to the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum® – The Top Trial Lawyers in America® (an honor given to less than 1% of all attorneys in the United States).
Matt is a partner at Easton & Easton and has been selected each year since 2016 among Super Lawyers’ Up-and-Coming Top 100 (Southern California) and Super Lawyers’ Up-and-Coming Top 25 (Orange County), honors given to less than 1% of attorneys. Matt has also been chosen each year since 2018 as one of the Best Lawyers in America for Plaintiff’s Personal Injury and Product Liability Litigation. Best Lawyers selects attorneys who have earned peer recognition through exemplary legal work that attracts the notice of their colleagues. Lawyers cannot buy their way onto this list. Matt has also been featured among Southern California’s “Best Lawyers” each year since 2017 in the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times Magazine.
Additionally, he has been chosen each year since 2014 for the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 in California and Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars, honors given to less than 2.5% of attorneys in Southern California under the age of 40. Matt has also been selected each year since 2015 for the American Academy of Trial Attorneys’ Premier 100 Trial Attorneys, the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys “10 Best” Attorneys for California, the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys’ Top 10 Under 40, and for the highest AV Preeminent rating offered by Martindale-Hubbell, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious peer rating service for legal ability and ethics.
Based on the significant trial skills and incorporation of trial technology that Matt has brought to bear in his cases over recent years, he was also asked to join the faculty at Whittier Law School as an Adjunct Professor to teach a class on Trial Technology from 2015 – 2017. Additionally, in early 2016, Matt was the youngest litigator asked by NBC to screen test for an upcoming NBC primetime real-life trial series Law & Order: You The Jury – a new reality series created by Dick Wolf to feature high profile real-life litigators trying lawsuits live on primetime television for a voting audience. While very flattered by the interest in his skills and talents, Matt decided to decline the request due to the time commitments of his law practice and teaching schedule.
The recognition Matt is receiving from his peers in the legal community is not surprising, as he first came to our firm (then known as the Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton) with high marks and accomplishments in college and law school. He received his B.A. in 2006 from Brigham Young University, where he majored in English and minored in Philosophy and Editing. Whittier Law School awarded Matt a full academic scholarship, which paid his full tuition for all three years of law school at Whittier. In 2009, Matt received his Juris Doctor magna cum laude from Whittier Law School, graduating in the top 10% of his class. He was admitted to the California Bar in 2009.
While at Whittier Law School, Matt was chosen as the “Best Oral Advocate” of the 3rd Annual Susan E. McGuigan Oral Advocacy Competition and “Best Overall Competitor” of the 2008 Spring Trial Advocacy Competition. He also competed in numerous external oral advocacy competitions on behalf Whittier Law School’s Trial Advocacy Honors Board and Moot Court Honors Board, which took him as far as Vienna, Austria in Competition. In 2008, Matt was selected as the Chief Justice of the Moot Court Honors Board and served in that position from 2008 till his graduation in 2009. Matt also continues to serve as a guest coach and judge for oral advocacy teams competing through Whittier Law School’s Trial Advocacy Honors Board and Moot Court Honors Board.
Matt was also a graduating member of Whittier’s prestigious Law Review, where he assisted in the editing and publication of numerous scholarly legal articles. In addition, Matt’s own article was published in the Whittier Law Review in Fall 2008 (Volume 30, Number 1). Matt’s article, “Disparate Outcomes Among Medical Malpractice Victims: A New Look at an Equal Protection Challenge to MICRA,” allowed him to passionately address the continuing problems that MICRA poses to California medical malpractice victims, which is an issue he has seen the effects of first-hand through his work at Easton & Easton.
Since joining Easton & Easton, Matt has litigated hundreds of cases for meritorious plaintiffs, including important cases against the State of California, numerous cities, numerous school districts, and countless large corporate entities and other defendants. In 2019, Matt acquired $20,000,000 in a hotly disputed matter for a client injured on the Defendant’s premises. In 2016, Matt single-handedly litigated and ultimately orchestrated the mediated settlement of a difficult lane-splitting motorcycle accident for $3,060,000 (10 times the medical bills). In 2017, Matt acquired $1,875,000 and $1,800,000 for two auto accident pre-litigation cases where the plaintiff’s medical bills were less than $200,000 in each case. In 2013, Matt was instrumental in securing a negotiated settlement of $2.75 Million for the wrongful death of an unmarried 55-year-old man whose only surviving heirs were his 80-year-old parents, such that he received a Commendation from the City of Lancaster for his work in that case. In 2014, Matt represented a breast cancer survivor whose healed breast reconstruction incision ruptured after a T-bone collision. After litigating the case for more than a year, Matt negotiated an exceptional settlement of $1,240,000 one month before trial.
Over the past three years, Matt has acquired countless other impressive awards for his clients, including $2,000,000 for a client who fell from a ladder that he placed of his own volition on top of an unsafe scaffolding; a $1,300,000 pre-litigation settlement for a car accident caused by a drunk driver evading the police; a $1,250,000 settlement for a car accident victim whose post-accident cervical fusion failed and required a revision surgery; a confidential mediated settlement of $350,000 for a slip and fall case against a big box chain store; a mediated settlement of $325,000 that was more than 6 times the medical bills for a dog attack case where no bite had occurred; a confidential settlement of $250,000 for a client who was struck by a wooden stick by an actor in a Halloween maze; $185,000 against Walnut Valley Unified School District in a difficult premises liability case wherein the medical bills were only $25,000; a mediated settlement of $175,000 against the State of California for an extremely difficult and hard fought bicycle roadway defect accident; and a pre-litigation settlement of $80,000 for an elderly couple who experienced food poisoning from room service during their Christmas vacation at a local hotel.
Apart from the verdict and settlement funds Matt has acquired for his clients as a part of his cases, he has also been able to affect lasting change in how corporations, cities, and the state of California conduct themselves in order to prevent similar future injuries. For example, as part of Matt’s handling of the above-mentioned roadway defect bicycle case against the state of California (which resolved for $175,000), the state of California later coordinated with the cities of Costa Mesa and Irvine to correct the dangerous condition at the location of the incident. When the case began, the State vehemently contended that it was not negligent. But after Matt had deposed the State’s experts and illustrated their untenable position, the State asked for a mediation where the case ultimately settled. Even more telling, however, the State later coordinated very complex efforts with the two neighboring cities in order to rectify the condition that Matt had contended was dangerous and caused his client’s accident.
Similarly, Matt negotiated a significant settlement in a product liability case where a Disney watch had burned the wrist of Matt’s 4-year-old client. As part of that matter, Disney recalled the watch, which investigation later determined had burned 4 other children in a similar manner as well. Because of the early recall, countless other children were saved from the unfortunate burns that Matt’s client had suffered. While the amount of that settlement remains confidential, it can be said that the total settlement amount was more than 50 times the medical bills in that case.
Matt has also experienced great trial success in recent years, receiving several verdicts in excess of the Section 998 Pre-Trial Offers (meaning the jury paid his client more than Matt’s client had offered to settle the case for before trial, such that the Defendants in each of those cases were required to pay many of the Plaintiff’s trial costs and expert witness fees). These are but a few examples of the type of success that Matt has brought to his client’s cases over the past several years with Easton & Easton. In recognition of these remarkable results on behalf of his clients, his growing respect and recognition among his peers, and his importance to our firm, Matt became a full partner at Easton & Easton, LLP in 2014.
Matt is the second youngest son of Doug and Rae Easton and grew up most of his life with the strong desire to work with his father and brothers in providing passionate service to the legal community. Matt spent almost every summer since High School working for the law firm in various capacities and, in doing so, he saw how lawyers like his father could really help the ordinary person achieve extraordinary and needed aid in their individual lives. This inspired Matt to become a lawyer and continue the Easton’s legacy of helping the ordinary man achieve justice, no matter how big of a goliath he may be facing off against.
While Matt grew up in Orange County and has a strong love for the community here, he also spent two years abroad in Mexico City on a mission for his church. There he sincerely fell in love with the Hispanic culture and the people that so warmly welcomed him into their lives. He also became fluent in Spanish, which has allowed him to help clients in Southern California that do not speak English.
Matt is also an Eagle Scout and continues to enjoy many outdoor activities including camping, mountain biking, snow skiing, rock climbing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, golf, and tennis. Matt has a strong sense of family commitment, much like his parents, and truly feels blessed to work alongside his family at Easton & Easton. In addition, Matt and his beautiful wife Rachel have two wonderful sons, Ronan and Liam.