Matthew R. Hicks

Senior Counsel | Los Angeles

More from Matthew R. Hicks

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More from Matthew R. Hicks

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More from Matthew R. Hicks

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mhicks@lozanosmith.com
Tel: 213.929.1066
Fax: 213.929.1077
Vcard   | Bio

Overview
Matthew R. Hicks is Senior Counsel in Lozano Smith's Los Angeles office. His litigation practice focuses on employment, construction, business and contract disputes on behalf of public agencies and private sector clients. Mr. Hicks has extensive experience with full case management responsibility for a variety of federal and state court cases, including trial, arbitrations, mediations and administrative proceedings. Mr. Hicks has extensive experience with handling trial related tasks, including opening statement, closing argument, direct and cross-examinations of dozens of witnesses including experts, and pre-trial litigation work, including law and motion, depositions and discovery.

Mr. Hicks has handled and advised public and private works owners, contractors, subcontractors and sureties on private and public works construction related issues, including, preventative risk analysis, large dollar breach of contract claims, prosecution and defense of abandonment claims, extra work and/or change order claims, changed conditions and/or cardinal change situations, bid problems, prosecution and defense of delay, disruption and/or acceleration claims, prosecution of claims against design professionals, indemnity provisions, prosecution and defense of mechanic's lien and stop notice claims, prosecution and defense of payment and performance bond claims, prevailing wage claims and related labor issues, False Claims Act and construction defects related to a myriad of trades.

Publications & Presenter Experience

  • Author, "Recent Appellate Court Ruling Provides Guidance on Contractor's Delay Damages and on Challenging a Performance Bond Surety's 'Lack Of Notice' Defense," Lozano Smith Client News Brief, January 15, 2016
  • Author, "Release Me: Beware Broadly Worded Release Provisions," The Daily Journal, June 15, 2015
  • Co-Author, "Termination for Convenience, It's All About 'Good Faith,'" Modern Contractor Solutions, August 2012
  • Author, "Contractors, Be Sure to Maintain Your Workers' Compensation Insurance," The Daily Journal, June 2, 2011
  • Author, "Termination for Convenience: It's All About 'Good Faith,'" Construction Executive, September 2010
  • Author, "No Damages For Delay Clauses In California In the Public and Private Works Settings," Construction Management Association of America Southern California Chapter News, Winter 2010
  • Author, "Cardinal Change and Abandonment: Applications for Contractors, Owners, Sureties," ENR 2008 Surety Market Report, June 16, 2008
  • Guest speaker, UCLA Extension Public Policy Program's Planning Commissioners Training Seminar, 2008
  • Presenter and guest speaker, California CEQA Conference, Legal Ethics and California's Conflicts of Interest and Self-Dealing Laws, 2007

Professional Affiliations

  • Admitted, since December, 1997, to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Central and Eastern Districts of California and the State Courts of California, 2007
  • Previously served on ABC of Southern California's Merit Issues and Strategies Council and ABC of California's Board of Directors
Education
Mr. Hicks received his Juris Doctor in 1997 from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1993 from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Two Cases Demonstrate the Reach of Government Code Section 1090: Criminal and Civil Penalties Await the Unwary Government Official

By: William Curley IIIMatthew HicksRyan Tung-

March 2016 Number 15 Two recent cases involving high profile public officials highlight the reach of Government Code section 1090. Government Code section 1090 prohibits conflicts of interest, self-dealing and corruption among public entity officials. Sweetwater Union School District v. Gilbane Building Company (February 24, 2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 19, sprang from one of the largest political corruption scandals in San Diego County history, in which construction vendors provided gifts to...

Recent Appellate Court Ruling Provides Guidance on Contractor's Delay Damages and on Challenging a Performance Bond Surety's "Lack Of Notice" Defense

By: Harold FreimanMatthew Hicks-

January 2016 Number 3 The appellate court in JMR Construction Corp. v. Environmental Assessment and Remediation Management, Inc. (December 30, 2015, M105497) 2015 Cal.App.Lexis 1172 (JMR Construction), recently affirmed a trial court's six-figure judgment in favor of a general contractor against its subcontractor and the subcontractor's performance bond surety arising from a federal works project. The judgment included an award of damages for, among other things, the subcontractor's delay...

Significant Cases

  • Demoted Administrator v. Community College District - Prosecuted and first-chaired a demotion hearing before the Office of Administrative Hearings for a community college district client against an administrator who challenged her demotion to a faculty position. Conducted opening statement and examined 12 of the 16 live witnesses. The administrative law judge found in the community college district's favor on all issues and upheld the demotion.

  • Employee v. School District - successfully represented school district before the DIR/DLSE arising from part-time employee's claim for alleged unpaid wages, unpaid over-time and unauthorized payroll deductions. After providing the DLSE's labor commissioner with a detailed brief and evidence as to why the claimant's allegations had no legal or factual merit, the parties attended the initial settlement conference and successfully convinced the employee to drop claims altogether.

  • Teacher Union v. School District - negotiated favorable settlement on school district's behalf against a teacher's union and teachers who alleged they were not properly paid for three years following a step and column salary freeze with potential exposure to the school district in the high six-figures. After months of back and forth negotiations with claimants' counsel and highlighting the strength of the school district's defense, a settlement was reached for roughly 1/3 of the total amount demanded.

  • Insured Commercial Business v. Claims Adjuster - in highly contentious business litigation matter, defended individual claims adjuster against health care facility for the elderly's multi-million dollar contract and fraud claims arising from rain damage to its facility and alleged relating mold damage. Obtained full dismissal through demurrer on grounds client was an agent for a disclosed principal and thus had no personal liability as a matter of law. Court also granted motion to strike punitive damage allegations, which was deemed moot on complete dismissal of client after demurrer ruling.

  • DIR/DLSE v. Contractor/Surety - Represented contractor and its surety in the DLSE's $ 3 million wage and penalty assessment. Minutes before opening statements were to be delivered in the administrative hearing, the DLSE approached Mr. Hicks regarding settlement, and the matter settled for $96,000, a small fraction of the total claim.

  • DIR/DLSE v. Contractor/Surety - Represented contract and its surety in the DLSE's $800,000 wage and penalty assessment for Inland Empire contractor's alleged failure to pay appropriate prevailing wage. Successfully demonstrated that the prevailing wage claims had no merit, and settled for roughly $3,000, or less than one-half of 1% of the claim.

  • Metropolitan Water District v. EOP-Two California Plaza, LLC (Equity Office Properties), LA Superior Court Case No. BC200673 . Prosecuted and defended claims arising from water district's tenancy in downtown LA office building and landlord's alleged improper charges of common area maintenance expenses. Prosecuted fraud and contract claims against landlord and defended breach of lease claims. Deposed dozens of percipient and expert witnesses. Matter settled through informal negotiations.

  • Morgan Hill Unified School District v. Minter & Fahy Construction Company, Inc. et al., Santa Clara County Superior Court, Case No. CV772368. Represented school district in jury trial against contractor and pipe manufacturer arising from underground fuel storage tank that leaked; conducted opening statement and closing argument and questioned several percipient and expert witnesses; obtained judgment in excess of $ 2 million including interest and attorney's fees.

  • Lewis Jorge Construction v. Los Angeles Unified School District - Prosecuted and defended competing multi-million dollar contract claims arising from the building of the Queen Ann Elementary School project. Contractor brought extra work, differing site conditions and delay/impact claims. Conducted law and motion and deposed dozens of percipient and expert witnesses. Matter settled through mediation before trial.

  • Huntington Beach City School District v. Hardy & Harper et al., Orange County Superior Court, Case No. 05CC03340. Prosecuted claims on behalf of school district against general contractor, contactor's surety, architect and design engineer arising from defective construction of a kindergarten playground. Conducted multiple percipient and expert depositions. Case settled through negotiations.