- J.D., University of Virginia, 2005
- B.A., Claremont McKenna College, 2000, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
- U.S. District Court for the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of California
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Matthew Sonne is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's Orange County office. He is fluent in Spanish, and frequently advises employers on Spanish-speaking workforce issues in addition to the below areas of expertise.
Areas of Practice
Mr. Sonne specializes in labor and employment law representing employers. He litigates in multiple areas of employment law and defends against individual and class action lawsuits alleging violations of wage and hour laws, discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, breach of contract, labor code section 132a claims, and other related matters. Mr. Sonne represents employers in state and federal courts, as well as before the DLSE, EDD, and other administrative bodies. He also advises employers on handbook preparation, employment contracts and applications, and personnel policies. Mr. Sonne also has experience with the National Labor Relations Board and has represented employers in related investigations. He also has experience in civil appeal practice, including briefing and oral argument before the California Court of Appeal and briefing to the California Supreme Court.
Prior to attending law school, Mr. Sonne worked in the White House as a writer, and also was a member of the Clinton-Bush Transition Team in 2000. He also worked in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
While attending the University of Virginia Law School, Mr. Sonne was a member of the Virginia Journal of International Law and also taught undergraduate Spanish at the university. He also participated in clinical work for the Charlottesville Public Defender's office and successfully defended criminal cases in general district court. Mr. Sonne was elected president of the Rex E. Lee Law Society.
(For more information about Mr. Sonne's experience, including his published articles, court decisions, and speeches, please click on the appropriate boxes above).
- Labor and Employment, Legal 500, 2015
- Southern California Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2009-2016
Corder v. Houston's Restaurants, Inc., 424 F. Supp. 2d 1205 (C.D. Cal. 2006) (held meal and rest periods violations were penalties subject to a one-year, rather than a four-year, statute of limitations).
Successfully defended a national clothing retailer in a jury trial before Orange County Superior Court. The Plaintiff alleged wrongful termination and retaliation in violation of public policy. Won a complete defense verdict.
Achieved what may be the first trial court ruling in California enforcing a class action waiver after the California Supreme Court's Gentry decision made such waivers difficult to enforce.
Defeated class certification for a retail service company on all counts in a wage and hour class action before the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
- Orange County Business Journal, August 18, 2014
- ABTL Report, Summer 2014
- Mr. Sonne is a member of the Editorial Board of the California Labor & Employment Alert (Castle Publications Ltd.)
Labor & Employment Law Blog Posts
- "U.S. Supreme Court Requires Litigants To Prove "But-For Causation" In Workplace Retaliation Lawsuits," June 27, 2013
- "Title VII's Anti-Retaliation Provisions Protect Employee's Answers To Sexual Harassment Investigator's Questions," February 3, 2009
- "Case Reminds California Employers That Handbook Language Cannot Compensate For A Missing Signature On An Employment Arbitration Agreement," December 21, 2007
- "Ninth Circuit Recognizes Claim for Reverse Religious Discrimination and Highlights Pitfall of 'Consensus of Management' Employment Actions," May 30, 2007
- Case to Watch: California Supreme Court weighs employment arbitrationThomson Reuters, June 11, 2013
- Defense Wants More Class-y PAGA SuitsThe Recorder, August 15, 2007
- Mr. Sonne was the keynote speaker on "Case Law Updates" at the Employers Group's Workplace and Employment Law Update in Orange County.
- Mr. Sonne lectured managers and owners in the food service/restaurant industry in a presentation entitled "Wage & Hour Crisis In The Food Service Industry."
- Mr. Sonne was a presenter at a recent "Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer" series.
- Mr. Sonne delivered a lecture in Spanish to managers at a major construction and design firm in southern California entitled "How to Prevent Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation in the Workplace."
- Mr. Sonne lectures for Castle Publications, Ltd. on Wage and Hour Laws.
- Mr. Sonne has presented lectures for employer's organizations such as Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA).
- Mr. Sonne frequently conducts seminars in sexual harassment prevention/training to supervisors and employees, in both English and Spanish. He also lectures at corporate retreats and annual meetings on employment law issues.
- Fall 2016 Seminar SeriesOctober 26, 2016
- Castle Publications, Ltd. Labor & Employment SeminarsFall 2016
- Spring 2016 Seminar SeriesMay 4, 2016
- Fall 2015 Seminar SeriesSeptember 16, 2015
- Spring 2015 Seminar SeriesMay 20, 2015
- Castle Publications, Ltd. Labor & Employment SeminarsWinter 2015
- American Conference Institute’s 22nd National ForumThe Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles, September 30, 2014
- Summer 2014: August 12 and 20
- Spring 2014 Seminar SeriesApril 9, 2014
- Winter 2014: February 19, March 4 and 20
- Fall 2013 Seminar SeriesWestin South Coast Plaza, October 8, 2013
- Summer 2013: July 31, August 15
- Summer 2013: July 30, August 7, August 14
- Spring 2013 Seminar SeriesWestin South Coast Plaza, Orange County, March 27, 2013
- Westin South Coast Plaza, October 10, 2012
- WebEx, April 18, 2012
- Westin South Coast Plaza, March 28, 2012
- Winter 2012: February 6, February 15, February 22 and February 29
- Cypress Community Center, February 23, 2012
- Labor & Employment Law Update Fall 2011Westin South Coast Plaza, October 5, 2011
- Labor & Employment Law WebinarWebEx, May 26, 2011
- Westin South Coast Plaza - Orange County, March 10, 2011
- Winter 2011: February 7, February 15, February 23, and March 2
- Our New, Improved, and FREE Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer (in the Evening!)Westin South Coast Plaza - Costa Mesa, September 14, 2010
- Breakfast With Your Labor LawyerWestin South Coast Plaza, September 23, 2009
- Breakfast With Your Labor LawyerWestin South Coast Plaza, February 12, 2009
- Breakfast With Your Labor LawyerWestin South Coast Plaza, September 10, 2008
- The Westin South Coast Plaza, February 5, 2008
- Member, Orange County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
- Member, American Bar Association