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Matt's litigation practice is primarily devoted to products liability cases, catastrophic commercial or industrial accident cases, and attorney malpractice litigation for both the plaintiff and defense bar.  Matt has litigated in multiple jurisdictions concerning a wide variety of commercial and consumer products.  He has also represented clients in catastrophic commercial and industrial accidents, such as serious burn cases, pipeline accidents and explosions, and lead exposure cases.  This practice often requires immediate, on-the-ground response to catastrophic events, accidents, and claims, and assisting clients through associated issues, such as government and agency investigations by OSHA, the Chemical Safety Board, EPA, and other agencies, in-house accident investigations, and navigating insurance coverage disputes attendant to such accidents.

Matt is also a member of the firm's white collar criminal defense practice group.  He has served as lead counsel in dozens of federal felony prosecutions for a variety of purported criminal violations, including alleged mail and wire fraud, money laundering, mortgage fraud, and healthcare fraud.  Many of these representations resulted in lessened or dismissed charges, including acquittal in a multi-week federal criminal trial.  In addition, Matt serves select clients in Mississippi state courts and has obtained numerous acquittals and dismissals.  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 several other jurisdictions.

Honors & Recognitions

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Benchmark Litigation's Under 40 Hot List (August 2016)
  • 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

Presentations

Education

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