PHONE (760) 346-9310
FAX (760) 346-9031
PHONE (760) 346-9310
FAX (760) 346-9031
Matthew T. Poelstra is a partner with Green Bryant & French, LLP. His practice focuses on representing individual and business clients in all aspects of civil litigation, including bicycle accidents, traumatic brain injury and personal injury claims, landlord/tenant, habitability, and mold/toxic tort litigation, bad faith insurance claims, multi-party construction defect and real estate litigation, homeowners association litigation, golf-club disputes, tribal claims, contract disputes, and government tort claims, among others. He also has experience representing defrauded investors in complex, multi-party securities fraud litigation. He has successfully resolved cases for clients through jury trials, mediation and arbitration. Mr. Poelstra is admitted to practice before all courts in the State of California and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. His memberships include the American Inns of Court – Warren Slaughter/Richard Roemer Chapter, the Riverside County Bar Association, the Desert Bar Association, the San Diego County Bar Association, the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Phi Beta Kappa Society, and the Golden Key National Honor Society.
In 2017, Mr. Poelstra completed advanced trial training at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College regional seminar.
In May 2017, he obtained a $400,000 settlement on behalf of a father and son after a negligent driver ran a red light, causing Mr. Poelstra’s clients significant injuries, including a broken hand, neck and back pain that required epidural injections, and post-traumatic stress.
In October 2016, Mr. Poelstra obtained a $1,575,000.00 settlement on behalf of multiple teachers, staff, and students in a lawsuit filed against a charter school, a building owner, and two remediation and mold testing contractors. The teachers, staff and students became sick after they were exposed to substandard building conditions at the charter school, including chronic water/moisture intrusion and mold.
In December 2015, Mr. Poelstra obtained a $160,000 settlement for three individual tenants against two landlords who leased a substandard building in San Bernardino that was not zoned for residential occupancy. Substandard conditions included mold, cockroaches, inadequate plumbing, roof and ceiling leaks, no accessible stove or other proper kitchen facilities downstairs, and non-permitted construction, among others.
In December 2015, Mr. Poelstra obtained a $138,500 settlement for a skateboarder who was hit by a car in a Ralph’s parking lot. The skateboarder had temporary amnesia and could not remember anything about the accident. The driver claimed the skateboarder ran a stop sign and was at fault for the accident.
In 2012, Mr. Poelstra successfully defended an individual and his wind-farm business after his former attorneys sued him for additional attorneys’ fees. The plaintiff law firm claimed that Mr. Poelstra’s clients owed $2.1 million in unpaid attorneys’ fees. After extensive discovery and law and motion, Mr. Poelstra filed a cross-complaint and a motion for summary judgment, wherein he argued that each and every one of the plaintiff’s seven claims had no merit as a matter of law. The motion for summary judgment was based in large part on an expert declaration that confirmed the plaintiff law firm had committed multiple ethical violations and breached its fiduciary duty to Mr. Poelstra’s clients. Just over one month after filing the motion, the plaintiff law firm agreed to “walk away” from the case completely, dismiss it with prejudice, and execute a full release, without payment of any settlement money by Mr. Poelstra’s clients.
In 2011, Mr. Poelstra successfully completed a multi-week jury trial and obtained a verdict and subsequent judgment in his clients’ favor totaling just over $122,000.00, which included recovered costs and interest. Mr. Poelstra represented a family of four who lived in a rental home that was deemed uninhabitable as a result of asbestos and mold. The landlord’s best offer prior to trial was $10,000.00. He made no other settlement offers.
In 2010, Mr. Poelstra successfully completed a three-week jury trial and obtained a total recovery of $1,008,700.00. Mr. Poelstra represented a family of four tenants against multiple landlords and property managers who failed to provide a habitable residence. The subject building was not permitted for residential dwelling and allowed chronic water intrusion into the interior living spaces, causing mold contamination, rodent and insect infestations, and other substandard conditions. As a result of the substandard conditions, the tenants became sick and their personal property was water and mold damaged. The defendants’ best combined settlement offer was $165,000.00 during trial.
In 2007/2008, Mr. Poelstra successfully defended a homeowners association after a developer sued it for declaratory relief and fraud concerning a surety bond. Mr. Poelstra filed a motion for summary judgment and argued the developer’s claims had no merit as a matter of law, based on an in-depth analysis of California surety law. The Court agreed and granted the motion for summary judgment in favor of Mr. Poelstra’s HOA client. Upon prevailing, Mr. Poelstra filed a motion to recover his HOA client’s attorneys’ fees. Just prior to the hearing on the motion, the parties reached a settlement agreement that required the developer to reimburse Mr. Poelstra’s HOA client over $115,000.00.
In 2006, Mr. Poelstra obtained a settlement in excess of $2,000,000 on behalf of multiple defrauded investors in a securities fraud action.
Mr. Poelstra graduated cum laude from the University of California, San Diego in 2001, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Study of Religion, with minors in Political Science and Pan American Studies. Also in 2001, he graduated from the University of San Diego, ABA Paralegal Program, with honors in General Litigation. In 2004, Mr. Poelstra earned his Juris Doctor degree, graduating cum laude from California Western School of Law in San Diego, California.
Between 2004 and 2014, Mr. Poelstra was an instructor at the University of San Diego, Paralegal Program, where he taught an introductory legal writing and studies course. He also speaks fluent Spanish.