Matthew focuses on commercial litigation, product liability and class action defense. Matthew’s commercial litigation experience includes prosecution and defense of unfair competition, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secret and antitrust matters, as well as providing counsel to clients in areas of litigation avoidance, best practices, risk assessment and potential liability exposure.

Matthew’s product liability practice includes representation of manufacturers in repetitive, multiplaintiff pharmaceutical and medical device claims as well as single plaintiff injury cases in state, federal and multidistrict litigation.

Matthew works on all aspects of trial and trial preparation, including preparing company witnesses and experts for deposition and trial testimony. He also counsels clients on strategies and best practices for cost-effective management of litigation and resolution of cases. Matthew is also heavily committed to pro bono work, representing clients in military discharge, personal injury and civil rights cases.


Representative Matters

Represented Sprint PCS in a consumer class action alleging misrepresentation of cellular telephone rates. Sprint initially moved to compel arbitration, which was denied by the trial court in 2006 based upon finding that the provisions in the underlying customer contracts requiring bilateral arbitration and waiver of a class action are unconscionable under California law. Following the U.S. Supreme Court nullification of the California rule and upholding the validity of class action waivers in consumer contracts in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011) 131 S.Ct. 1740, 179 L.Ed.2d 742, Sprint renewed the motion to compel arbitration. The trial court granted the motion after revisiting its prior order based on the intervening change of law. The plaintiff appealed contending that the initial order denying arbitration was res judicata and prevented a renewed motion and reconsideration. The First District Court of Appeal in Phillips v. Sprint PCS, 209 Cal.App.4th 758 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) concluded that the renewal of the motion was proper and affirmed the trial court’s order compelling arbitration.

Represented a software technology company in a medical malpractice/ product liability matter defending allegations that because of a malfunction with hospital and laboratory software, an order was delayed by several days causing permanent and debilitating injuries to the plaintiff. 

Represented a leading food and beverage supply chain management software company in enforcing the terms of a contract against a Fortune 500 beverage company that sought to first rescind, then breach the contract.  

Represented a leading commercial real estate provider involving a dispute with a former broker that claimed entitlement to commissions based on services provided. The matter was resolved on very favorable terms. 

Represented a multinational toll provider in defeating disclosure of confidential trade secret information under the California Public Records Acts sought by its competitors. 


John M. Barkett & Matthew J. Vanis, Break Up or Stay Together? E-Mail Strands and the Attorney-Client Privilege, e-Discovery Connection (Defense Research Institute), Feb. 2008.


Trusted Advisor: Keys for Preserving the Outside Counsel and In-House Counsel Client Relationship, Interview with General Counsel for SkyRyse William Goodwin, Sound Bites, American Bar Association, May 2019. 

California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act, Update of the Law, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Kansas City, Missouri, June 2012.