Matthew W. McMurtrey
Matthew W. McMurtrey focuses his practice exclusively on probate litigation, with a particular emphasis on trusts and estates. His practice includes litigation at all levels of California's judicial system. He has successfully tried matters before the Probate Department of the Superior Court and has also handled appeals before several districts of the California Court of Appeal, resulting in multiple published appellate decisions.
Mr. McMurtrey serves as an advocate for a spectrum of clients, from high-net-worth institutions and individuals to modest-income clients seeking to defend their claims and enforce their rights. His result-oriented approach offers each client an honest, unbiased, and realistic assessment of his or her case.
Representative examples of Mr. McMurtrey's practice include prosecuting and defending will and trust contests, pursuing creditor's claims in decedents' estates, seeking interpretation of wills and trusts, and prosecuting and defending surcharge claims against trustees. Most recently, Mr. McMurtrey successfully represented a trustee petitioner at trial, and respondent on appeal, in an action to determine that her efforts to reform a trust to correct a drafting error would not be a contest. In another case, he successfully defended a trustee against a surcharge petition and obtained court approval of the trustee's voluminous accounting (approximately 5,000 pages) based on the Uniform Prudent Investor Act.
An active member of the legal community, Mr. McMurtrey is a member of the Executive Committee, a Chair of the Litigation Subcommittee and 2020 - 2021 Vice-Chair of the Trusts and Estates Section of the California Lawyer's Association. He is a prior Chair, and still an active member, of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Trusts and Estates Law Section. Mr. McMurtrey is also a member of the International Network of Boutique and Independent Law Firms (INBLF), a network of highly credentialed single-discipline boutique law firms, across the United States and Canada. He previously served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Trusts and Estates Quarterly, a publication of the Trusts and Estates Section of the California Lawyer's Association, and is a former trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Mr. McMurtrey has been named to the list of Southern California Super Lawyers since 2015 and Best Lawyers in America since 2015 for Litigation - Trusts & Estates.
Mr. McMurtrey obtained his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, and his B.A. from the University of California, Riverside, where he graduated cum laude.
Areas of Practice
- Trust and Estate Litigation
- Conservatorship Litigation
- Estate and Trust Appeals
- California, 1996
- University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, Los Angeles, California
- J.D. - 1996
- University of California, Riverside, California
- B.A. - 1993
- Honors: cum laude
- Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
Honors and Awards
- Southern California Super Lawyers "Rising Stars"
- Southern California Super Lawyers, 2015 - present
- Best Lawyers in America
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Bar Association, Member
- California Lawyers Association, Trusts & Estates Section, 2020-2021 Vice-Chair, Chair of the Litigation Subcommittee, Member of the Executive Committee
- California Lawyer's Association, Trusts & Estates Section, Past Co-Editor-in-Chief of Trusts and Estates Quarterly
- California State Bar, Trusts & Estates section, Past Executive Editor of Trusts and Estates Quarterly
- California State Bar, Trusts & Estates section, Past Managing Editor of Trusts and Estates Quarterly
- International Network of Boutique and Independent Law Firms (INBLF), Member
- Los Angeles County Bar Association, Past Chair, Executive Committee
- Los Angeles County Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Section, Chairperson of Symposium Sub-Committee, Executive Committee, 2007 to 2010
- Los Angeles County Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Section, Member, Executive Committee
- Moot Court Honors Program, UCLA, Member
- “Know Your Role When Representing Clients with Diminished Capacity in Conservatorship Proceedings,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Speaker
- "Preparing witnesses to testify, and preparing for evidentiary hearing that's not a trial: putting on your best case, and possibly coordinating with other side(s) to expedite," Aviva K. Bobb Advanced Probate Volunteer Panel Attorney Training Symposium, 2017, Speaker
- "Pre-Mortem Probate Disputes in the Context of Conservatorship", San Fernando Valley Bar, Probate and Estate Planning Section, Lecturer
- "Death, Debts and Taxes: Creditors’ Claims Against a Decedent", California Continuing Education of the Bar, Lecturer
- "Common Issues to Be Prepared for in Litigation and Probate", National Business Institute, Lecturer