Matt's litigation practice is primarily devoted to products liability cases, catastrophic commercial or industrial accident cases, and commercial litigation, including attorney-malpractice litigation for both plaintiff and defense lawyers.  Matt has litigated in more than twenty state and federal jurisdictions concerning a wide variety of commercial and personal injury matters, ranging from construction defect matters (and the associated insurance, surety, and indemnity issues that arise) to catastrophic industrial accidents involving process piping, pipelines, explosions, and lead and other toxic exposure.  As part of this practice, Matt leads the firm’s immediate, on-the-ground response to catastrophic events, including assisting clients through state and federal investigations conducted by OSHA, the Chemical Safety Board, EPA, and other agencies.

Matt is also a member of the firm's white collar criminal defense practice group, focusing primarily on federal claims of mail and wire fraud, money laundering, mortgage fraud, and healthcare fraud, and he has tried felony jury trials successfully to defense verdicts as lead and solo defense counsel.  Further, he has defended corporate clients in the closely-related civil area of False Claims Act litigation (commonly known as qui tam suits), including representation of clients in cases involving putative claims exceeding $100 million.

Prior to joining Watkins & Eager PLLC, Matt served as law clerk to the Honorable David C. Bramlette III of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi (2006-07).  He is admitted to practice before all state and federal Courts in Mississippi, Arkansas federal court and has been admitted pro hac vice in many other jurisdictions.

Honors & Recognitions

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2021-24, Commercial Litigation; 2021-2022, Criminal Defense: White-Collar)
  • Benchmark Litigation: (Future Star, 2019; 40 & Under Hot List, 2016-2019)
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers (2012-16, Rising Star, General Litigation)
  • Mississippi Law Journal, Executive Articles Editor
  • Former Hinds County Special Prosecutor Pro Tempore

Community & Professional

  • Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, Member
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Trial Attorneys of America

Articles & Publications

  • Roundtable Discussion at Mississippi Manufacturers Association's 2013 Environmental & Safety Conference:  Emergency Response & Agency Investigations
  • Circuit Court Venue in Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Actions, 31 Mississippi Defense Quarterly 11 (Spring 2007)
  • "The 'Home Grown' Presidency: Empirical Evidence on Localism in Presidential Elections 1972-2000," 36 Applied Economics 1745 (2004) (co-author)
  • "Politics and the Adoption of Legislative Television: An analysis of the U.S. House Vote on C-Span," 16 European Journal of Law and Economics 345 (2003) (co-author)
  • Performed study and report with recommendations on jury selections plans of the various district courts within the Fifth Circuit; presented to the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council in May 2007 by the Honorable David C. Bramlette III, United States District Judge



Juris Doctor: University of Mississippi School of Law, summa cum laude, 2006

Bachelor's Degree: Banking and Finance, University of Southern Mississippi, Highest Honors, 2003