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Matt J. Malone

Partner
mjm@rocklawcal.com
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101 Montgomery St
#1800
San Francisco, California 94104

Matt J. Malone focuses his litigation practice in three areas: 1) construction, real estate, and business litigation; 2) consumer class actions; and 3) appeals. In addition, he has served as corporate counsel to businesses and homeowners associations, in which he has reviewed multi-million dollar construction contracts, negotiated insurance coverage contracts, handled membership disputes, and litigated coverage disputes with carriers.

Construction, Real Estate and Business Litigation

Mr. Malone advocates for single-family owners, homeowners associations, municipalities, and commercial businesses in construction defect litigation at all phases. He has represented clients in commercial and residential lease disputes, as well as mechanic’s lien and delay claims.

Representative cases include:
  • $13.5 million recovery for a new-construction condominium project in Emeryville.
  • $4.5 million recovery for an East Bay condominium conversion, in which Mr. Malone successfully opposed a summary adjudication motion and preserved his client’s attorney’s fee claim.
  • $4.35 million recovery for an East Bay condominium conversion.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for the City of Concord in a dispute with architect concerning repairs to a community pool.
  • Defended tenants from landlord’s claims for damages to a residential unit. After two letters from Mr. Malone, the landlord – a well-known slumlord – dropped his claims.
  • Successfully opposed several summary judgment motions on statute of limitations grounds brought against major southern California commercial landowner in construction defect action involving apartment complex. Eight-figure settlement later achieved.
  • Successfully represented association client in litigation brought by a discharged prior firm seeking to use its attorney’s fee lien to delay settlement of an underlying defect case. Mr. Malone convinced the court to strike the lien and the firm’s claim for contract damages, allowing settlement of the underlying action.
  • Defeated developer’s motion to dismiss San Francisco HOA’s construction defect claim on the grounds that the Board was improperly constituted under the Davis-Stirling Act, failed to obtain member consent, and thus lacked standing to bring the claim. Favorable settlement reached shortly thereafter.
Consumer Class Actions

Mr. Malone is an experienced class action attorney representing consumer plaintiffs. He is intimately familiar with all aspects of the practice, from initial client intake and case evaluation through depositions, mediation, trial and appeal. He has successfully pursued class claims against some of the largest companies in the world, represented by some of the largest law firms in the world. He has specific experience in building product, food product, automotive, and data breach class claims.

Appeals

Mr. Malone also focuses on appellate litigation and complex law and motion work in cases throughout California at all levels. His appeals have resulted in first-of-their-kind rulings. He convinced the Court of Appeal to extend a pro-insured standard of review for insurance contracts to first-party property policies as well as third-party liability policies. (See Villa Los Alamos v. State Farm (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 522.) And he has twice represented the Consumer Attorneys of California and the Educational Community for Homeowners (ECHO) before the California Supreme Court as amici curiae – most recently on behalf of the plaintiff in Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore Owings & Merrill, LLP, et al., (2014) 59 Cal.4th 568, the landmark California Supreme Court case establishing an architect's duty of care to residential purchasers and their homeowners associations.

Articles & Presentations

Mr. Malone is also a frequent author and presenter on current issues in construction/homeowner association law, class actions, and the appellate courts. Examples include:

  • “When Your CC&Rs Hate You, or How Developer Protections In Governing Documents Block Association Defect Claims” – Educational Community of Homeowners (ECHO) Journal, November 2009.
  • “How As Is Isn’t How It Is: The Legal Effect of ‘As-Is’ Clauses in Association Defect Claims” – ECHO Journal, July 2010.
  • “Reaching the Pinnacle: California Supreme Court Rules that CC&R Arbitration Provisions are Enforceable Against HOAs” – ECHO Journal, November 2012.
  • “‘To the Supreme Court, If We Have To!’: ECHO Helps Preserve HOA Claims Against Design Professionals” – ECHO Journal, September 2014.
  • “Expect the Unexpected: Supreme Court’s 2015-2016 Term a Victory for Consumers?” – American Association for Justice Class Action Litigation Group Newsletter, Summer 2016.
  • “Unpleasant Surprises?: The Limits of Public Comment on Proposed Ballot Initiatives” – Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine, September 2016.
  • Presenter: “The United States Supreme Court Review” – Contra Costa County Bar Association, November 2016.

In addition to his litigation practice with our firm, Mr. Malone also serves as a contract legal research attorney for the California Superior Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association and its Council of Appellate Lawyers, as well as the Consumer Attorneys of California and its Amicus Committee.

Mr. Malone received his J.D. from the University of Southern California in 2002, where he received the American Jurisprudence Award for Trial Advocacy, the American Board of Trial Advocates Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy and the Best Brief Award in the Hale Moot Court Honors Program. He received his B.A., summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of California, Davis, where he completed a double major in Political Science and English and a triple minor in Latin, Medieval Studies and Sociology.

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