Robert “Tony” Mata likes a good debate. As a communications studies major in college, he excelled in public speaking on his speech and debate teams at Orange Coast College and California State University, Long Beach. A proven competitor and accomplished public speaker, Tony also knows the value of resolution.
“There are a lot of Roberts in my family. My father, my grandfather, and a couple of my cousins are all Roberts, so I went with a variation of my middle name, which is Anthony.”
Tony grew up in Orange County, California, and enjoyed playing baseball, and participating in school activities such as the marching band (trumpet), and playing video games; but his real passion was participating in debates and public speaking. “Public speaking has always come natural and I’ve also always been interested in how people communicate and interact through various forms of communication.” He actively participated in speech and debate competitions throughout his days at college, which set the course for what was to come. “I actually took a year off after graduating from Long Beach State to reflect on what I wanted to do for a career. As a communications studies major, there were some good options, but I really wanted to find something that would be intellectually challenging, and rewarding as well. My family always encouraged me to go into the law.”
It was good advice. Tony was accepted by law schools in both Los Angeles and Chicago. After a trip to Chicago and working out all the pros and cons, he
decided for the school closer to home. “I really liked the City of Chicago, the sports teams (he’s a Bears fan), the people and the atmosphere, but logistically being closer to my family and living in L.A. just made more sense.” At Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, he continued his interest in communications serving as a member of the International and Comparative Law Review for two years. He ended his tenure at the Law Review as a Production Editor. He also served on Loyola’s Scott Moot Court and represented the school at the regional level in the National Moot Court Tournament.
After finishing law school and joining the California Bar, Tony began his
career as a litigator with an employment law firm in Los Angeles. His ability as a speaker and debater served him well. In his first year of practice he participated in three trials, two by jury and one by bench. He sat second chair in his first jury trial and won, then sat first chair in his second jury trial and won. In the third, a bench trial, he also acted as first chair.
“I’m certainly not apprehensive about taking a case to court and trying it before a jury or a judge. In fact, I find it exciting.” When a position arose at BM&M in L.A., Tony saw an opportunity to further define his talent as an attorney.
“I have been interested in workers compensation law because it’s more about the facts of a case and less about gamesmanship. The area of the law is both intellectually challenging and rewarding, and that’s important to me personally. “He is now at home in the L.A. Office of BM&M and enjoying the industrious atmosphere. “It’s an inspirational environment because everyone works extremely hard, yet at the same time, there’s a friendly atmosphere throughout the office. Everyone takes the time to be nice to each other and help out when needed.” An avid reader when away from the office, Tony enjoys reading the classics. “I just started reading Moby Dick, and just finished the complete works of Sherlock Holmes, and Dracula.” He also enjoys listening to jazz, and photography. Just to keep in “speech shape” he gives back to the community by coaching for Loyola’s Moot Court team, and by judging at selected speech and debate competitions throughout Southern California.
“I feel like I’m always going to be learning something, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s the way this business works.”