Mr. Matise’s legal experience includes all aspects of general civil practice with an emphasis on complex commercial litigation, mass tort product liability litigation, special district and homeowner association law, and insurance coverage litigation. Mr. Matise has successfully tried over a dozen cases to a jury verdict or judgment, and obtained several million dollars in settlements for clients.
Mr. Matise has represented special districts and homeowners associations both as general counsel and in litigation against developers. Mr. Matise obtained a jury verdict and judgment against the former developer and President of two Colorado metropolitan districts, invalidating several million dollars of contracts and a personal liability judgment against the developer. The judgment was upheld on appeal, which Mr. Matise argued. Mr. Matise also successfully brought a quo warranto action on behalf of approximately 50 homeowners to replace an illegal Board of Directors of a metropolitan district with residents lawfully appointed by the Elbert County Board of County Commissioners. Mr. Matise was successful in that action despite the refusal of the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s office to bring the action.
Mr. Matise was appointed by the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado to serve as plaintiffs’ liaison counsel in class action securities litigation related to the Madoff scandal. Mr. Matise also served as plaintiffs’ co-liaison counsel in Qwest securities class action litigation. Mr. Matise has also obtained recovery for numerous investors that have been defrauded in ponzi schemes and related securities scandals, including the Sunwest Management securities action and the National Consumer Mortgage ponzi scheme.
Mr. Matise has represented condominium associations and homeowners in protracted litigation against developers and affiliated construction entities, obtaining turnover of common elements and recovery for construction defects. Mr. Matise has also represented candidates for homeowner association boards in successful proxy contests against recalcitrant incumbent boards, ousting the former board members.
Mr. Matise has represented small businesses engaged in virtually all areas of litigation, including defending against preliminary injunctions, challenging anti-compete clauses, both bringing and defending against actions by minority shareholders in “small business divorces, ” and representing small businesses in challenging government agency actions.
In 2011, Mr. Matise successfully represented a homeowners’ association in defending against trespass and related easement claims that threatened the HOA’s access and common elements. Mr. Matise tried the case to a jury verdict in favor of his client. Mr. Matise has also represented homeowner associations, metropolitan districts, and commercial clients in negotiating and closing complex real estate and easement transactions.
In the area of mass tort product liability litigation, Mr. Matise has participated in pharmaceutical product liability multidistrict litigation, including briefing key Daubert motions for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the In re: Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agent Product Liability Litigation, MDL 1909, and briefing several issues in the In re: Yasmin and Yaz litigation, MDL 2100.
Mr. Matise also has represented several plaintiffs in catastrophic personal injury and property damage litigation arising out of gas explosions and oilfield accidents.
Mr. Matise has briefed and argued approximately a dozen appeals before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court, and the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Mr. Matise has also represented numerous employees in successful Title VII disparate treatment, sexual harassment, ADA, and ADEA employment litigation. In one ADA action, Mr. Matise obtained a settlement with the Nineteenth Judicial District.
Mr. Matise is a volunteer public elected official, serving as a board member, secretary-treasurer and past president of the Tollgate Crossing Metropolitan District No. 2. In 2006, the voters of that district elected Mr. Matise as the first homeowner to serve on the Board of Directors in a contested election, defeating an incumbent director that had been appointed by the developer. Mr. Matise has served on the board since then, overseeing the successful transition from developer control to homeowner control.
Mr. Matise is admitted to practice in the states of Colorado and New Mexico, as well as the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and United States District Courts for the Districts of Colorado, New Mexico, Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Prior to joining Burg Simpson in 2004, Mr. Matise was involved in commercial trial work, civil rights litigation involving governmental entities, commercial/product defect litigation, and employment law. Mr. Matise served as the judicial law clerk for Hon. John Edwards Conway, Chief District Judge for the District of New Mexico, and United States Magistrate Judge Leslie C. Smith.
Honors & Accolades
Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year 2016, ” Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Plaintiffs, Denver
Selected to Best Lawyers in America, 2013 - 2016
Selected to Colorado Super Lawyers, 2013-2016
Order of the Coif
Phi Alpha Delta
New Mexico Law Review Editor-in-chief, 1997-1998
Jessup Moot Court Team, 1996-1998
NACDL Mock Trial Team, 1996
New Mexico Court of Appeals Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Champion, 1996
Publications & Media
Implied Employment Contracts Based on Written Policy Statement Are Not Subject to Governmental Immunity, New Mexico Law Review, Vol. 27, No. 3
Editorial Board Member, The Corporate Observer