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TOP 100 WOMEN LITIGATORS IN 2010-Edith R. Matthai
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Edith Matthai
Los Angeles
Law Firm: Robie & Matthai
Practice Area: Professional liability and general business litigation
Years in Practice: 35
Law School: UC Hastings College of the Law

With a client list that consists of judges and lawyers, Edith Matthai is known as the go-to attorney for professional malpractice litigation. Recognized for her legal acumen and discretion, she never divulges names and her cases rarely make headlines. Over the past year, Matthai argued before a state court of appeal on behalf Milberg Weiss in an ongoing claim involving an agreement regarding referrals. And she successfully represented a client who went into arbitration facing a $10 million claim involving allegations arising from the division of assets in a closely held corporation. Matthai’s client not only won but also was awarded $1 million. She refused to settle a case involving an attorney who was sued by a convicted child molester who alleged the lawyer overcharged him and improperly put a lien on his home. Matthai relies on knowing every fact and detail of the case to persuade a jury that an attorney’s actions were reasonable given what they knew at the time they knew it.

Pretrial Ritual: She prepares for trial by working more, sleeping less, and becoming familiar with every fact in the case.

Biggest Career Break: Sometimes trouble can bring opportunity. At least, that is the case with Matthai, who decided to strike out on her own after a disagreement with her former fi rm that arose out of a boys’ weekend. Matthai describes her former employer as good bunch of people who made a mistake. Matthai admits she and her husband took a huge leap of faith when they formed Robie & Matthai, but said the gamble has paid off.