Matthew W. Allen
Banking and Lender Liability
Breach of Contract
Defamation / First Amendment / Media
Personal Injury, Mass Torts, and Product Liability
Technology and Software
White Collar Criminal Defense
Zoning and Land Use Regulation
Matthew W. Allen
Matt began his legal career by clerking for the Honorable William H. Barbour, Jr., a former federal judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, and he remains forever grateful for that experience. Since that time, he has successfully litigated a range of civil and criminal cases through trial and appeal in federal and state courts around the nation. Most of his practice has been dedicated to litigating complex commercial, product liability, and constitutional disputes, but he has also spent a significant amount of time litigating environmental, open meeting/public record, tax, and zoning disputes.
Matt has the highest peer review rating available by Martindale-Hubbell (AV), and in 2018 he was recognized by the Mississippi Business Journal as one of Mississippi’s Leading Attorneys. Super Lawyers has recognized him since 2014 as one of the top business litigators in the Mid-South, and Best Lawyers in America has recognized him since 2016 in the areas of commercial litigation, mass tort litigation / class actions – defendants, personal injury litigation – defendants, and product liability litigation – defendants. In 2012, Benchmark Litigation named him as one of twelve Future Litigation Stars in Mississippi, and for four consecutive years until he was 40, the American Society of Legal Advocates recognized him as one of the Top 40 under 40 litigators in the entire State of Mississippi.
He is a graduate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Leadership Mississippi, and Leadership Greater Jackson. Outside of professional duties, Matt dedicates time to Opera Mississippi and the Mississippi Center for Public Policy as a board member, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral as a parishioner and former member of the Vestry. He is an avid runner and has run in numerous marathons and half-marathons. He and his wife, Megan, an evening news anchor, are the proud parents of a daughter, Hartley, and son, Thatcher.
- J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, 2004 (National Moot Court Team, Review of Litigation)
- Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi, Criminal Justice, 2021
- M.B.A., Millsaps College, Else School of Management, 2001 (European Study Abroad Program)
- B.A., Mississippi State University, 2000 (Student Association President, finalist for Rhodes Scholarship)
- Mississippi (2004)
- United States District Courts of Mississippi (2004)
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2004)
- United States Supreme Court (2011)
Community & Professional Activities
- American Bar Association, Litigation Section (Past Chair of the Tort, Trial, & Insurance Practice Section of the Young Lawyers Division)
- Capital Area Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- Federalist Society, Litigation Practice Group
- Mississippi Bar Association (Past Board of Directors member of the Young Lawyers Division)
- National Institute of Trial Advocacy Graduate
- Opera Mississippi, Board of Directors
- Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Board of Directors
- The Hundred Club (provides financial assistance to dependent widows and children of Jackson Police and Firemen and Hinds County Sheriff’s Officers)
- Graduate of Leadership Mississippi and Leadership Greater Jackson
- Service in the past on numerous boards of directors:
- St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral (Vestry)
- Jackson Rotary Club
- New Stage Theatre
- Greater Jackson Arts Council
- Capital Club
- Mississippi State University Central Mississippi Alumni Association
- I.S. Sanders (Farish Street) YMCA
- Mississippi 30 Day Fund, Advisory Board of Directors (offering forgivable loans financed by private donations to small businesses of three to 30 employees in the wake of Covid-19)
General Business & Complex Commercial Litigation
- Represented a medical services provider in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District for the Southern District of Mississippi and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit against plaintiffs’ claims for breach of contract related to the standard of care. Matt successfully argued before the District Court and Court of Appeals that plaintiffs’ claims were medical malpractice claims cloaked as breach of contract claims, and therefore required dismissal for plaintiffs’ failure to serve a 60-day notice of intent to sue.
- Represented a medical services provider in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi in coverage litigation against an insurance company. Matt successfully argued the insurance company had a duty to defend the provider in an underlying state court lawsuit and the court granted summary judgment, ordering the insurance company to provide coverage.
- Represented a business owner in Florida state court against claims by a former employee for breach of contract, fraudulent transfer of assets, and mere continuation, among others. Matt successfully argued there was no evidence to support any of plaintiff’s claims and the court granted summary judgment, dismissing all of plaintiff’s claims.
- Represented a real estate investment trust in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi court against breach of contract claims brought by a tenant that was a part of a major national restaurant brand. Matt spearheaded discussions with a municipality regarding overlapping zoning issues that permitted the suit to ultimately settle on terms favorable to the client.
Product Liability / Mass Torts
- Represented welding rod manufacturers in a federal multi-district litigation court in Cleveland, Ohio, in a case that was scheduled to be the second bellwether trial in the national welding fume exposure litigation. Matt uncovered evidence through investigation that led to the dismissal of the case, an outcome that was covered by The Wall Street Journal and other national news outlets.
- Represented welding rod manufacturers in the first welding fume exposure cases tried in state courts in Arkansas and West Virginia. The juries in both cases returned verdicts for the manufacturers.
- Represented product manufacturers in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi against plaintiff’s claims of toxic inhalation of silica. Matt successfully argued the statute of limitations barred plaintiff’s claims in a way that extended the logic of prior Mississippi courts’ holdings on the issue. The court granted summary judgment and dismissed plaintiff’s claims.
- Represented the manufacturer of a thermometer in Mississippi state court against the wrongful death claims of multiple plaintiffs against multiple defendants. The suit involved a large industrial plant explosion. Matt successfully argued the manufacturer was entitled to summary judgment because of plaintiffs’ failure to produce any evidence supporting their claims against his client.
- Represented the Mississippi Secretary of State before a three-judge federal panel in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi and then on direct appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in two phases of litigation concerning the redistricting of the Mississippi legislature. Plaintiffs claimed the redistricting plan violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Matt briefed the arguments for the Secretary that prevailed before the three-judge panel and both times on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Represented media reporters, including reporters at the state’s largest newspaper, in various actions to successfully resist subpoenas for information based upon the Reporter’s Privilege found in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, including in a state court criminal trial that received substantial media and public attention.
- Currently represents the Mississippi Secretary of State in litigation before a three-judge federal panel in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi concerning the redistricting of U.S. Congressional districts in Mississippi. Plaintiffs claim the redistricting plan violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- Currently represents a county government in litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi concerning the use of the phrase “In God We Trust” on state license tags. Plaintiffs claim the phrase compels speech and the free exercise of religion in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- Currently represents a county government in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi concerning the state’s statutory plan to change the governance model for the largest airport in the state. Plaintiffs have asserted numerous constitutional claims, including violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- Represented the largest privately owned wireless communications provider in state court in its effort to obtain a copy of a state contract between a competing communications provider and the State of Mississippi. The lower court denied the petition to obtain a copy of the contract, but Matt successfully argued to the Mississippi Supreme Court the contract was a public record and it overruled the lower court.
- Represented the state’s largest newspaper in the litigation of numerous public records requests, one of which led to the unsealing of records showing Mississippi lost $75M on a failed development project and resulted in a lead news story.
- Represented a state legislator before the Mississippi Ethics Commission in his effort to obtain documents from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. The records discussed drug policy enforcement and effectiveness and the legislator sought them to guide his policymaking. The Ethics Commission agreed the records were public records and ordered them produced.
Government Investigations & White Collar Crime
- Represented a health care entity under investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights for compliance with HIPAA regulations following a large data breach caused by a foreign infiltration and ransom demand. Matt guided the health care entity through the process, and the investigation concluded with the file closed by the Office of Civil Rights and no penalty assessed against his client.
- Defended a non-profit director in state court against a ten-count felony indictment carrying the potential for 165 years in prison. The jury returned a not guilty verdict on nine of ten counts but a guilty verdict on one. The Mississippi Court of Appeals overturned the one guilty count for lack of evidence.
Natural Gas Litigation
- Represented a large natural gas provider in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi against plaintiff’s claims for the wrongful death of his father. Plaintiff alleged the natural gas provider’s negligence resulted in a residential natural gas explosion. Matt successfully argued the plaintiff failed to demonstrate the provider breached any legal duty, and the court granted summary judgment to dismiss the claims.
- Represented a large natural gas provider in state court in multiple suits against multiple plaintiffs for personal injury claims arising from a major natural gas explosion. Matt conducted extensive fact investigation and discovery that ultimately led to the multiple suits settling on terms favorable to the client.
- Matt has represented and worked with private parties and governmental entities to draft and propose legislation related to Mississippi’s public records laws.
- Matt has worked on a project through the University of Southern Mississippi to evaluate Mississippi’s recidivism reduction programs. This was part of Matt’s doctoral studies towards a PhD in criminal justice.
Speeches & Publications
Speeches, Presentations, & Publications on Legal Topics
- Allen, M. (2020, September 20). Presidential Platforms for Environmental Law. Mississippi Business Journal. Located at https://msbusiness.com/2020/09/matt-allen-presidential-platforms-for-environmental-law/
- Allen, M. (2020, August 24). A Circuit Split on Title V Permits under the Clean Air Act. Located at https://www.brunini.com/a-circuit-split-on-title-v-permits-under-the-clean-air-act/
- Allen, M. (2020, April 2). Statewide Shelter-in-Place Order in Plain English. Located at https://www.brunini.com/statewide-shelter-in-place-order-in-plain-english/
- Allen, M., & Rice, A. (2019, February 15). Current cases pending before the United States Supreme Court, a presentation to Mississippi Center for Public Policy Liberty Luncheon.
- Allen, M. (2019, January 30). U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on civil asset forfeiture. The Mississippi Center for Public Policy. Located at https://www.mspolicy.org/u-s-supreme-court-to-weigh-in-on-civil-asset-forfeiture/
- Allen, M. (2018). Approximately fifteen radio appearances to discuss “Current issues facing the Hinds County Judiciary” in the summer and fall of 2018 on numerous shows hosted on 90.1 FM, 97.3 FM, 97.7 FM, and 103.5 FM.
- Allen, M. (2018, November 20). Current issues facing the Hinds County Judiciary, a presentation to the Phoenix Club, Jackson, Mississippi, November 20, 2018.
- Allen, M. (2018, June 26). Experiences in Civil and Criminal Litigation and Public Records Disputes, a presentation to the Jackson Legal Professionals Association.
- Allen, M. (2018, March 12). Current issues facing the Hinds County Judiciary, a presentation to the Lions Club of Jackson, Mississippi.
- Allen, M, & Howell, K. (2018, July). Red Hot Topics in Litigation: Arbitration, distributed at the 2008 Mississippi Bar Convention for continuing legal education.
- Allen, M. (2007, November). Covenants Not to Compete. Delta Business Journal.
- Assisted teaching Introduction to Criminal Justice Theory at the University of Southern Mississippi through numerous classes, 2017-2018.
- Adjunct Professor of Appellate Advocacy, Mississippi College School of Law, 2014.
- Former high school mock trial coach for several years.
Honors & Awards
- Martindale-Hubbell AV (Preeminent) Rating
- Named one of Mississippi’s Leading Attorneys during the 2018 Mississippi Business Journal Leadership in Law Awards
- Best Lawyers in America®: Commercial Litigation, Product Liability – Defendants/Mass Torts Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants (2016–present)
- Super Lawyers®: designated Top Rated in Business Litigation in the Mid-South (2014–present)
- Super Lawyers®: named a Rising Star in Business Litigation in the Mid-South (2012–2013)
- The American Society of Legal Advocates: for five consecutive years recognized as one of the Top 40 under 40 litigation lawyers in the entire state of Mississippi (2013–2017)
- Benchmark Litigation: named one of twelve Future Litigation Stars in Mississippi (2012)
- Portico Jackson: named one of ten up-and-coming lawyers in metro Jackson (2011)
- Mississippi Business Journal: recognized as a Top 40 Under 40 in business professional (2011)
- Brunini Named Best Law Firm in Mississippi for Third Year in a Row
- Attorney Matt Allen Receives Ph.D from The University of Southern Mississippi
- Brunini Attorneys Recognized in the 2022 Edition of Best Lawyers
- Brunini’s Matt Allen was a contribution author to the American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) recently released publication
- Brunini Law Firm Attorney Matt Allen presenting at the 29th Annual Southeastern Environmental Law and Regulation Conference
- Mississippi Environmental Quality Permit Board
- 17 Brunini Attorneys Named to 2020 Mid-South Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- Matt Allen was recently published in the Mississippi Business Journal
- Statewide Shelter-in-Place Order in Plain English
- Brunini Recognized by Super Lawyers
- Brunini Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers
- MATT ALLEN RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF MISSISSIPPI’S LEADING ATTORNEYS BY THE MISSISSIPPI BUSINESS JOURNAL
- Brunini Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers
- 2016 Mid-South Super Lawyers
- Twenty- seven honored by Best Lawyers® 2017, Four attorneys named “Lawyer of the Year”
- Brunini’s 2014 Super Lawyers
- Kaufman and Allen Obtain Summary Judgment in Fire Death Case