Matt understands the challenges faced by working people first-hand, having worked as a carpenter, woodworker, and picture framer for nearly a decade prior to attending law school. His experience in the trades informs his work as a lawyer, allowing him to connect with his clients’ experiences and giving him a personal motivation to secure positive outcomes for them.
Matt received his undergraduate degree from New York University in 1992. He obtained his J.D., cum laude, from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2003, where he served as a member and Managing Editor of its law review, Environmental Law. Upon graduating, Matt obtained a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resource Law and was inducted into the Cornelius Honor Society. After law school, Matt served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Jack L. Landau on the Oregon Court of Appeals from 2003-05.
Areas Of Practice
Matt’s practice focuses primarily on Employment Law, Labor Law, Defamation and Other Torts, representing employees and unions. These types of cases frequently involve complex legal and factual issues, and Matt uses the research, analytical, and writing skills honed in law school and on the Court of Appeals to ensure that his clients’ cases will be heard. In that regard, he has successfully defeated numerous defense motions against his clients. He has successfully represented clients in wage and hour, discrimination, retaliation, defamation, and other employment-related actions. He has also defended his clients in the exercise of their union rights, and he assists the firm's union clients to advance their members’ interests by drafting legislative and administrative proposals such as prevailing wage policies and project labor agreements.
In Tubra v. Cooke, et al., Matt second-chaired the trial with Christopher Lundberg which secured Mr. Tubra, a former pastor in the Foursquare Church, a $355,000 verdict based on the defendants’ defamation of him. Matt assisted in briefing the appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals on a novel issue of First Amendment Law in Oregon, which resulted in an opinion affirming that verdict. Tubra v. Cooke, 233 Or. App. 339, rev. den., 348 Or. 621 (2010). Before the United States Supreme Court, Matt took the lead in drafting the opposition brief that successfully defeated the defendants’ petition for certiorari. Cooke v. Tubra, No. 10-559, ___ U.S. ___, 131 S. Ct. 1569 (Feb. 28, 2011).
In Leaverton v. 4009 S. Hwy 101, LLC, Matt advocated for a longtime bartender at an Oregon coastal resort. Matt drafted the brief that defeated the defendant’s motion for summary judgment against his client’s age discrimination claims. The defendant ultimately settled the case on confidential terms.
In Barton v. Knife River Corporation, Matt advocated for a female paving-equipment operator on claims of sexual harassment and retaliation that arose in her work on a paving crew in Central Oregon. Matt drafted and argued the opposition brief that successfully defeated the defendants’ summary judgment motion. The defendants ultimately settled on confidential terms.
In Middleton v. City of Sherwood, Matt advocated for a serviceman in his claim under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act based on discrimination that he suffered upon return from military service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The client’s story was featured on 60 Minutes. Matt drafted the brief that defeated the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The defendant ultimately settled the case on confidential terms.
In Bennett and Shippentower v. Saunders, Matt prosecuted civil claims on behalf of his clients for an incident that arose while they were engaged in peaceful informational bannering. The matter was ultimately settled on confidential terms.
In Gray v. Rontra Freight, Matt secured a judgment for $36,000 in favor of his warehouseman client for workers compensation retaliation and unpaid wages. The recalcitrant defendant forced Matt to have the Multnomah County Sherriff impound its delivery trucks in order to satisfy that judgment.
Matt has served as a mentor with the law student mentor program at Lewis & Clark Law School, has volunteered as a judge for the Classroom Law Project's Oregon High School Mock Trial Competition, and has been a volunteer Pen Pal in the imprint program.