Matt is an experienced litigator and represents companies in all phases of litigation. Matt has successfully represented individuals, small businesses, and multinational companies, as both plaintiffs and defendants, in both product liability and the gamut of business disputes.  He has experience litigating a wide range of matters, including complex product liability cases involving wrongful death and significant personal injury, and complex commercial disputes including contract breaches, deceptive and unfair trade practices and trade secret actions. Matt litigates in both state and federal court in Florida and nationally. He drafts complaints and motions, coordinates discovery, prepares company witnesses for testimony, conducts and defends depositions and prepares and defends his clients for trial. Matt advocates for clients in a range of industries including pharmaceutical, medical devices, ride-sharing, tobacco, commercial real estate, insurance, oil and gas, engineering and construction, alarm services and automotive. On the advisory side, Matt provides clients practical advice targeted to meet their business goals and has provided post-litigation lessons learned training to clients’ business units. In addition to his litigation practice, Matt has also represented a client for a federal criminal grand jury subpoena and negotiated terms with the Department of Justice.

Before joining Shook, Matt served six years on active duty in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, focusing on both trial and appellate litigation, internal investigations and client counseling.
Matt represented the United States as lead counsel in 12 criminal trials, and has substantial experience in trial strategy, jury selection, opening statements and closing arguments, evidentiary disputes and expert witness examination. His pretrial experience includes conducting investigations, discovery, motion practice, settlement negotiations and witness preparation.

As an appellate counsel, Matt represented more than 100 clients appealing their criminal convictions. He researched and drafted briefs and presented oral arguments on constitutional, evidentiary and procedural grounds. Matt argued five appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, including successfully arguing the high-profile interlocutory appeal in United States v. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

In addition, Matt has acted as general counsel to senior military leadership, providing advice and counsel on internal investigations, ethics and fiscal issues, as well as criminal and administrative law matters.

During Matt’s military career, he served a combat tour in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, was awarded a top secret security clearance and was recognized with numerous decorations, including the Bronze Star and two Meritorious Service Medals. Matt is currently a major in the U.S. Army Reserve in the 16th Legal Operations Detachment serving as trial defense counsel. 

Matt maintains an active pro bono practice through Florida’s Governor’s Initiative on Lawyers Assisting Warriors (GI LAW) providing pro bono services to active duty service members in a variety of civil matters across the state and detailed as a Special Assistant Public Defender by the Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office.

Representative Matters

Cavanaugh vs. Stryker Corp. | Part of trial team that obtained defense verdict in a four-week trial related to the design of a surgical suction device that was recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was alleged to cause the decedent’s death. The plaintiff sought more than $40 million in damages. Jury found for client on all counts. St. Lucie County, Florida (2018). 

Miller v. Stryker Corp. | Successful resolution on the heels of trial in a product liability case related to the design of a surgical suction device that was recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was alleged to cause significant personal injury. Kenosha County, Wisconsin (2019).

Olsen v. Philip Morris USA Inc. | Part of trial team that after two-and-a-half weeks of trial, the court granted the defense’s motion for mistrial. Miami-Dade County, Florida (2019).

Alvarez del Real v. Philip Morris USA Inc. | Part of trial team in the defense of a personal injury in a two-week jury trial. Miami-Dade County, Florida (2019).

Martinez v. BP America Production Company & BP Exploration & Production, Inc. | In a toxic tort case alleging that a Deepwater Horizon oil spill response worker sustained medical injuries following his response work, successfully obtained summary judgment on the plaintiff’s claims given the plaintiff’s lack of expert testimony. Southern District of Florida (2020).

Villanueva v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company | Part of trial team in the defense of a wrongful death in a three-week jury trial resulting in a full defense verdict. Miami-Dade County, Florida (2022).

Commercial Litigation

Sunoptic Technologies, LLC v. Linvatec Corporation d/b/a ConMed Linvatec | In a complex commercial case involving breaches of contract and non-disclosure agreements, trade secret misappropriation and violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, a favorable settlement was negotiated on the heels of trial. Duval County, Florida (2022).

Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc. v. Vessel Operating Holdco LLC and Reef Technology, Inc. | In a breach of contract action, a favorable settlement was negotiated less than two months after filing the action. Southern District of Florida (2022).

Flyhopco, LLC v. International Paint, LLC. | In a breach of contract action, obtained dismissal with prejudice at the pleading stage. Southern District of Florida (2022).

Publications

Looking to the Future—Florida’s Emergency Edible Rules Provide an Opportunity for Profits—and Perils, Cannabis Business Executive, January 6, 2021 (with Edd Gaus).

Are Your Company’s Drug Testing Policies About to Go Up In Smoke? FOCUS, ACC South Florida Chapter, Q1, 2021 (with Mihai Vrasmasu and Antar Vaughan).