Over more than 25 years of practice, Matt has earned a reputation as a tenacious and experienced trial lawyer singularly focused on helping his clients meet or exceed their litigation objectives. Along with his common-sense approach to business litigation, Matt has a unique ability to boil down even the most complicated commercial disputes into their most critical and understandable subparts; this, in turn, has helped him achieve highly favorable results for his clients before courts, arbitration panels and mediators throughout the United States and Canada.
Matters of Note
Commercial Litigation. Matt’s litigation practice encompasses a variety of substantive legal areas. He has extensive experience representing businesses in lawsuits, arbitrations and class actions arising from complex financial transactions and post-closing disputes involving claims for breach of contract, fraud and civil RICO, misappropriation of intellectual property and antitrust, as well matters involving alleged product liability and false advertising.
Representative matters include:
- Successfully defended pet food manufacturers in multiple putative class actions filed throughout the country alleging claims of false labeling.
- Represented a putative class of insurance companies leading to a nine-figure settlement of a federal class action involving allegations of decades-long financial reporting fraud by a leading market insurer on other insurers participating in workers' compensation state residual markets.
- Obtained complete victory at trial and appellate level against a certified TCPA class of 2,000 individuals on behalf of a commercial client sued for sending allegedly unsolicited faxes, after convincing the trial court to vacate a prior summary judgment ruling in favor of the class, and, instead, grant summary judgment to the defendant on all counts. CE Design Ltd. v. Ernida LLC, 2017 Ill. App. 1st, 161129 (Aug. 31, 2017); CE Design Ltd. v. Ernida LLC, No. 08-24965 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty., summary judgment entered March 25, 2016). (See, “Shook Wins Appellate Victory in TCPA Suit Against ‘Professional Class Plaintiff.’”)
- Obtained summary judgment and a highly favorable settlement for a hedge fund in connection with a breach of contract action against leading variable annuity company that had attempted to restrict the client's trading rights.
- Successfully defended a real estate company in antitrust class action involving allegations of bid-rigging in connection with the Cook County Property Tax Sale.
- Won important stay of litigation and change of venue rulings for an East Coast commercial real estate developer engaged in a project-financing dispute with its lender, preventing the lender from suing on multiple contract warranties and providing critical time necessary for the developer to secure alternative financing to complete the project on time.
- Successfully represented a technology services company, including obtaining a favorable verdict after a multiple-week jury trial, in a breach of contract action against a large defense contractor arising from nonpayment for work developing a computerized manufacturing system used to build the B-2 stealth bomber, as well as in a related shareholders' class action in which the plaintiffs alleged false and misleading statements regarding revenue recognition for the project.
Insurance Coverage Litigation. In addition, Matt has represented and advised insurers in some of the most significant environmental, mass tort and complex commercial insurance coverage matters in the country, including those involving cutting-edge issues such as alleged un-aggregated “non-products” coverage for asbestos exposures, potential coverage for clergy sexual abuse and coverage for cyber liability, data breach and privacy claims. Matt also regularly advises and represents insurers in coverage disputes involving intellectual property, cybersecurity and privacy, construction, and in personal and advertising injury claims, including claims involving extra-contractual liability and bad faith issues. In multi-insurer coverage actions, Matt typically assumes a leading role in the insurer joint defense groups.
Representative matters include:
- Obtained summary judgment for insurer and affirmance in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (10 days after oral argument) in cyber liability coverage matter featuring several issues of first impression relating to the “personal advertising injury” coverage and scope of the “recording and distribution” policy exclusion. American Economy Ins. Co., et. al. v. Aspen Way Enterprises, Inc., 2015 WL 5680134 (D. Mt. 2015), affirmed, 2017 WL 2323440 (9th Cir. 2017).
- Obtained a favorable ruling for insurer in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversing the trial court in a case involving a demand for coverage by a purported "additional insured." Kmart Corp. v. Footstar, Inc., 777 F.3d 923 (7th Cir. 2015).
- Obtained summary judgment for insurer in coverage litigation involving issues of first impression regarding the scope of “personal and advertising injury coverage.” Unwired Solutions, Inc. v. Ohio Security Ins. Co., 2017 WL 1165953 (D. Md. 2017).
- Defended insurer in multi-venue litigation involving coverage for underlying product liability claims arising from consumption of the alcoholic beverage, “Four Loko,” and, following successful Seventh Circuit appeal rejecting coverage, enjoined manufacturer from filing additional coverage litigation in alternative forum.
- Successfully represented an insurer in a leading New York class action, bench trial and appeal rejecting claims by the defendant class of entitlement to un-aggregated "non-products" coverage for asbestos bodily injury.
- Represented an insurance company in a two-month California bench trial resulting in a judgment completely disproving the plaintiff policyholder’s allegations that the client had issued multiple insurance contracts in the 1940s covering the plaintiff’s asbestos liabilities.
- Successfully defended an insurance company in a three-month federal jury trial concerning the responsibility for environmental cleanup and remediation costs at dozens of Superfund sites before reaching a comprehensive settlement with the policyholder on favorable terms on the eve of closing arguments.
- Obtained a highly favorable settlement for an insurer in Washington-venued federal coverage litigation involving potential coverage for clergy abuse claims and the associated bankruptcy of the insured diocese.
Matt also has represented clients in a wide variety of arbitrations throughout the United States and Canada. His representation of the National Hockey League Players' Association in connection with several player salary arbitrations produced some of the highest salary awards on record for NHL goaltenders.
Cyber Insurance and Data Breach Coverage, Shook, Hardy & Bacon Third Annual Ethics Conference, April 19, 2016.
Status of Telephone Consumer Protection Act Cases and Related Insurance Issues, LSI Litigating Class Actions Conference, December 9, 2013.
Retaining and Preparing an Expert Witness, CLE Seminar, June 8, 2012.
Strategies for Preparing Focused Written Discovery, CLE Seminar, April 17, 2009 and May 9, 2011.
The Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine, CLE Seminar, May 31, 2010.
Getting in Front of a Changing E-Discovery Rules Landscape, CLE Seminar, November 16, 2005.