Overview

Matt works closely with clients to solve a broad scope of business problems – often through litigation, sometimes through alternative dispute resolution – but always creatively, cost-effectively, and in alignment with clients’ needs and goals.

He focuses his practice on:

  • Energy and environmental litigation
  • Complex commercial litigation
  • White collar criminal defense and internal investigations
  • Antitrust litigation and counseling

Matt has tried numerous cases to verdict around the country involving alleged environmental regulatory violations, environmental crimes, criminal fraud and conspiracy, price fixing, monopolization, breach of contract, Lanham Act violations, and various other complex matters.

His trial victories include a $17 million jury verdict on behalf of BernzOmatic, a business unit of Newell Rubbermaid. BernzOmatic sued its former supplier for trade dress infringement, breach of contract, and false advertising. After Matt’s closing argument, the jury returned a verdict for BernzOmatic on all counts. The case was a double win: Matt also argued the successful motion for summary judgment that disposed of the supplier’s $22 million counterclaim.

He also represented former Hollinger International General Counsel Mark Kipnis in the highly publicized United States v. Conrad Black honest services fraud case. The Schiff Hardin trial team won an acquittal at trial on nine of 11 counts, and then appealed his conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court on the remaining two counts. The Supreme Court reversed his conviction, securing a complete victory for Mr. Kipnis.

Matt is lead trial counsel for a public utility in a Clean Air Act (CAA) enforcement matter brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, with over $1 billion at stake. He successfully defended a similar CAA citizen enforcement action seeking over $2 billion in injunctive relief and penalties, and achieved a settlement for nuisance value.

In addition, Matt has litigated dozens of complex commercial litigation matters across a diverse range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, banking, commodity trading, private equity, consumer packaged goods, insurance, foodservice, food and beverage distribution, telecommunications, transportation, and renewable energy. He has extensive experience spanning varied subject matters such as fraud, contract, fiduciary duty litigation, patent infringement, government contract bidding disputes, commodity price manipulation, civil rights, employment discrimination, and more.

  • Experience

    • Achieved trial victory and $17 million verdict in a breach of contract, trade dress infringement, and Lanham Act case involving the marketing of propane cylinders. Irwin Indus. Tool Co. v. Worthington Cylinders Wisconsin, LLC, 2010 WL 565251 (W.D.N.C. 2010).
    • Won summary judgment dismissal of a $22 million fraudulent inducement claim. Irwin Indus. Tool Co. v. Worthington Cylinders Wisconsin, LLC, 2010 WL 565251 (W.D.N.C. 2010).
    • Won dismissal of claims seeking over $500 million in civil penalties in a Clean Air Act lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. United States v. Ameren Missouri, 2012 WL 262655 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 27, 2012).
    • Settled, for nuisance value, a billion-dollar-plus Clean Air Act citizen enforcement suit brought by a non-governmental organization after expert reports were exchanged. 
    • Won dismissal of a more than $200 million defamation and Lanham Act false advertising claim brought against a market leader in food service equipment.
    • Secured trial victory for the defense in a $400 million antitrust price-fixing class action in the retail grocery industry. Baker v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., 355 Ill. App. 3d 62, 823 N.E. 2d 93 (2005).
    • Achieved trial victory for the plaintiff and a $4 million award in a fraud claim over the sale of a private equity fund’s portfolio company in the agriculture industry.
    • Won summary judgment dismissal of a $76 million business interruption breach of contract claim over the explosion of one of the world's largest ice cream plants.
    • Won summary judgment dismissal of a putative statewide class action against a major insurer, challenging the inclusion of Medicare as a payee on settlement checks.
  • Credentials

    Education

    • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 2000, cum laude
      Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Notes Editor
    • Binghamton University, B.A., 1994

    Bar Admissions

    • California
    • Illinois
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
    • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
      • Insights

        TITLE
        News Release

        Super Lawyers Names 39 Schiff Attorneys to 2019 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists

        Two partners were recognized among “best of the best” on 2019 Illinois Top Lists

        News Release

        40 Attorneys Named to 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, and Top Women Lists

        Forty Schiff Hardin attorneys have been recognized on the 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

        News Release

        39 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists, and Two Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to Top 50 Women Lawyers

        Thirty-nine Schiff Hardin attorneys have been selected for inclusion on the 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

        News Release

        40 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists

        The Super Lawyers selection methodology includes a statewide nomination process, peer review by practice area, and independent research on candidates.

        Speeches & Presentations

        • "Dual Distribution: Antitrust Implications," (co-presenter) National Association of Wholesalers' Billion Dollar Company Legal Roundtable, Chicago, Ill. (Nov. 13, 2008)
      • Citizenship

        Pro Bono Activities

        • Matt was appointed pro bono counsel by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for a plaintiff in a reverse employment discrimination action. Matt and the Schiff Hardin team defeated the defendant’s motion for summary judgment and achieved a favorable settlement.
        • He also headed up a successful pro bono criminal appeal to the Seventh Circuit, resulting in the defendant’s sentence first being vacated and then commuted at re-sentencing.