Matthew Sonne is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's Orange County office. In addition to being one of the state’s leading authorities in defending employers against Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) actions, he is an accomplished litigator and trial attorney. Matthew is also fluent in Spanish and frequently advises employers on Spanish-speaking workforce issues in addition to the below areas of expertise.

Areas of Practice

Matthew concentrates his practice on 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. Matthew 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. Matthew also has experience with the National Labor Relations Board and has represented employers in related investigations. He has experience in civil appeal practice, including briefing and oral argument before the California Court of Appeal and briefing to the California Supreme Court.  Matthew was recently elected to the Executive Board of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (“ABTL”) and currently serves as Secretary of the Board. 

(For more information about Matthew's experience, including his published articles, court decisions, and speeches, please click on the appropriate boxes above).



Published Decisions

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).

Recent Victories

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.



Labor and Employment, Legal 500, 2015

Southern California Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2009-2016


Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • 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.




Member, Orange County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section

Member, American Bar Association


J.D., University of Virginia, 2005

B.A., Claremont McKenna College, 2000, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa


  • California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


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