Matt helps his clients evaluate risk rationally and systematically to create aggressive and innovative litigation strategies that balance business risk and opportunity. He has experience in commercial litigation, class actions, and insurance coverage disputes, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. He has litigated numerous matters to conclusion, both by dispositive motions and through trial or arbitration.
Matt's commercial litigation and class action work includes representing clients in a variety of industries, including the medical, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and e-commerce fields. His insurance practice includes representing and counseling leading insurers on cutting-edge coverage issues. Matt also has substantial experience conducting and managing all facets of discovery. He has represented companies in response to third-party and governmental investigations and subpoenas, including matters involving the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
Commercial Litigation. Matt’s commercial work spans a large range of claims, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, consumer fraud, professional negligence and post-closing disputes. Matt:
- Currently represents a class consisting of approximately 1500 medical providers and their practices in litigation against a large hospital system for breach of contract and other claims allegedly totaling tens of millions of dollars. The trial court's certification of the class was recently affirmed on appeal. Matt argued the appeal before the Court of Appeals of Tennessee. Highlands Physicians, Inc. v. Wellmont Health System, 2017 WL 6623992 (Ct. App. Tenn. 2017).
- Currently represents two prominent Chicago-area foundations in litigation against the foundations' insurance broker, seeking $25 million in damages caused by the broker’s alleged failure to procure an adequate directors and officers liability policy.
- Successfully defended pet food manufacturers in putative consumer class actions involving allegations of false labeling.
- First-chaired an arbitration resulting in a multimillion-dollar award to firm client Groupon. Matt has also represented Groupon in numerous other matters involving breach of contract and intellectual property issues.
- Represented public and private companies in numerous post-closing disputes. Many of those disputes were favorably resolved prior to or early in litigation. Matt also recently represented a Fortune 500 company in a post-closing dispute that proceeded to a two-week arbitration hearing before settling.
- Successfully defended the trustee of a $35 million trust against breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims alleged by one beneficiary of the trust. In that case, Matt obtained dismissal of the plaintiff’s most valuable claims, after which the case was favorably resolved through alternative dispute resolution.
- Served as pro bono counsel to the Chicago nonprofit Housing Choice Partners in two cases alleging racial discrimination in the lease of downtown office space. After Matt’s client defeated multiple motions for summary judgment by the defendants, the cases were resolved.
Insurance Coverage. Matt has represented major insurers in litigation disputing coverage issues for intellectual property, construction defect, mass tort, product liability and other claims. He has also counseled insurers on a variety of issues and advised policyholders on their coverage needs. As part of his insurance coverage work, Matt has:
- Obtained several precedent-setting victories on behalf of a major insurer in coverage litigation relating to the "personal and advertising injury" coverage. E.g., Maids on Call, LLC v. Ohio Security Ins. Co., 2018 WL 264088 (D. Neb. 2018); Unwired Solutions, Inc. v. Ohio Security Ins. Co., 247 F. Supp. 3d 705 (D. Md. 2017). Matt currently represents the same insurer in similar coverage litigation in several other cases across the United States.
- Represented Liberty Mutual in a successful appeal to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals involving additional insured coverage and allegations of bad faith. Kmart Corp. v. Footstar, Inc., 777 F.3d 923 (7th Cir. 2015).
- Defended Liberty Mutual in multi-venue litigation involving insurance coverage for liability relating to the consumption of alcohol beverage “Four Loko.” After Liberty Mutual won an appeal to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals by Four Loko’s manufacturers and moved to enjoin further litigation, the case was favorably resolved.
- Represented several major insurers in cases involving coverage for mass torts, as well as related bankruptcy issues and contribution claims.
- Provided coverage advice on numerous issues, including additional insured issues; commercial general liability, directors and officers, and errors and omissions coverage; and specialty lines coverage for data breach liability. In addition to the cases above, Matt has litigated many coverage cases relating to those issues.
Publications and Presentations
Panelist, "Money for Nothing: Preventing and Defending Class Actions Seeking Statutory Damages for Technical Violations of the Law," Association of Corporate Counsel, Chicago, Illinois, January, 24, 2018 (with Patrick Castle, Camila Tobon, and Anna S. Knight).
Panelist, "Protecting Your Company's Brand: How to Minimize the Risk of a Consumer Class Action Lawsuit and Maximize the Chances of Winning if One is Filed," Association of Corporate Counsel, San Francisco, California, December 4, 2017 (with Tammy Webb, Amir Nassihi, Andrew Chang and Joan Camagong).
Panelist, "Data Discovery, and Decisions: Extending Discovery from Collection to Creation," Chicago Masters Conference, Chicago, Illinois, May 23, 2017.
Data Security: Insurance & Litigation, Midwest Corporate Counsel & Compliance Forum, November 16, 2016.
Does the First Amendment Protect Testimony by Public Employees?, 77 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1473 (2010).