Mat is an experienced litigator who handles cases from initiation through trial and appeal. Mat has significant experience defending complex and class action matters in state and federal courts around the country. Over the past decade, his practice has focused primarily on defending companies in toxic tort, environmental, and product liability cases. His experience in complex, technical cases allows him to develop successful case strategies, including strategies for developing and combating expert testimony.

He recently defended a national healthcare company in a class action against twelve of their nursing homes, employees, and affiliated companies. The class action involved contractual, deceptive trade practices, and state statutory claims based on allegations that they failed to provide sufficient direct-care staff to meet the needs of the residents.

Mat has represented chemical, energy, pipeline and engineering companies in claims involving chemical exposure, groundwater and soil contamination. He is experienced defending statutory claims brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Clean Water Act (CWA), state environmental statutes, as well as common law claims such as nuisance, negligence and trespass. Mat’s experience includes:

  • defending a national energy company against alleged responsibility for and cleanup of groundwater in a case involving environmental, contractual, and common law claims; 
  • defending a sand-mining company against alleged property devaluation and personal injury claims in a case attracting national media attention;
  • defending an international engineering firm against soil contamination allegations and environmental, personal-injury, and property-devaluation claims in a high-profile litigation attracting national media attention;
  • arguing before the Missouri Air Conservation Commission and defeating class certification in in an odor nuisance case for a renewable fuels company;
  • defending the rights of a city to expand its sewer and water services, where he secured positive outcomes in a federal district court trial and on appeal to the Eighth Circuit. Pub. Water Supply Dist. No. 3 of Laclede County, Mo. v. City of Lebanon, Mo., 605 F.3d 511 (8th Cir. 2010); and
  • defending an international pet care provider in litigation brought by former employees claiming injury due to harmful chemical exposure.

Mat has also defended retailers and energy companies against consumer lawsuits. He assisted with the preparation and jury trial of a Kansas multidistrict litigation proceeding where plaintiffs alleged violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act for failure to disclose the temperatures of gasoline and diesel fuel. The jury returned a defense verdict, and the claims against Shook’s clients in the remaining states were subsequently dismissed.

Mat has also assisted clients with environmental audits and regulatory compliance, air and water permitting issues before state and federal agencies. He helps clients navigate open records and open meetings laws, and he has worked with government agencies conducting endangered species and cultural resource surveys for major public construction projects.

Presentations

Corporate Counsel Program:  Environmental Law Update, Kansas City, Mo., April 2012.

American Meat Institute: Environmental Regulatory Update, Kansas City, Mo., March 2012.

Defending a City’s Right to Expand Water and Sewer Services in Missouri, Jefferson City, Mo., November 2009.

Accessing Public Information: FOIA Requests and Open Records Laws, Kansas City, Mo., November 2009.

Climate Change and Sustainability: The Next Wave of Business Regulation and Litigation, Kansas City, Mo., June 2008.