Matthew W. Allen
Defamation / First Amendment / Media
Personal Injury, Mass Torts, and Product Liability
White Collar Criminal Defense
Matthew W. Allen
Matt has been recognized for excellence in the practice of law by numerous ratings agencies and publications. He has the highest peer review rating available by Martindale-Hubbell (AV). SuperLawyers 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 product liability – defendants and mass torts litigation / class actions. For four consecutive years until he was 40 (2013 – 2017), the American Society of Legal Advocates recognized him as one of the Top 40 under 40 litigators in the entire State of Mississippi. He was recently recognized by the Mississippi Business Journal as one of Mississippi’s Leading Attorneys for 2018.
Matt’s practice is focused on litigation and public policy. In the litigation arena he has represented clients in commercial litigation, product liability litigation, mass torts, alleged white collar crime, the redistricting of the Mississippi legislature, public records issues, First Amendment litigation, commercial tax assessment contests, and zoning contests. In the public policy arena he has drafted legislation and policies for governmental entities and private persons and organizations. His interest in public policy led him to pursue a PhD in criminal justice while practicing law, and he is now towards the end of that endeavor. He has recently worked on a project through the University of Southern Mississippi to evaluate Mississippi’s recidivism reduction programs.
In November of 2018, Matt advanced to a runoff as a candidate for Hinds County Circuit Court Judge, garnering 46.30% of the vote as a first-time political candidate.
He is an avid runner and has run in numerous marathons and half-marathons in destinations around the country and even in Canada. He and his wife, Megan, are members of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral where he serves on the Vestry. They 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)
- Current Ph.D. student, University of Southern Mississippi
- M.B.A., Millsaps College, Else School of Management, 2001
- 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
- Mississippi Bar Association
- Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Contributing Fellow
- Mississippi Opera, Board of Directors
- Jackson Rotary Club
- Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
- Southern Criminal Justice Association
- Graduate of Leadership Mississippi and Leadership Greater Jackson
- Service in the past on numerous boards of directors: Jackson Rotary Club, New Stage Theatre, Greater Jackson Arts Council, Capital Club, Young Lawyers Division of the Mississippi Bar, Mississippi State University Central Mississippi Alumni Association, and I.S. Sanders (Farish Street) YMCA. Similarly, past Chair of the Torts, Trials, & Insurance Committee of the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association.
General Business Litigation
- Represented a medical services provider in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit against plaintiffs’ claims for breach of contract related to the standard of care. Matt successfully argued 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 federal district court 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. The court granted summary judgment.
- Represented a real estate investment trust in federal district 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.
- 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 federal district court against plaintiff’s claims of toxic inhalation of substances. 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 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 the United States Supreme Court in two phases of litigation concerning the redistricting of the Mississippi legislature. Matt crafted an argument for the Secretary that was different than any of the other parties in the litigation. The argument prevailed before two different three judge panels and both times on appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Matt handled briefings before the Supreme Court, and both appeals were resolved based on the briefs.
- 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 in order to guide his policymaking. The Ethics Commission agreed the records were public records and ordered them produced.
- Represented media reporters, including reporters at the state’s largest newspaper, in successfully resisting subpoenas for information based upon the Reporters’ Privilege found in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Natural Gas Litigation
- Represented a large natural gas provider in federal court 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.
White Collar Crime
- 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.
- 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 recently worked on a project through the University of Southern Mississippi to evaluate Mississippi’s recidivism reduction programs.
Speeches & Publications
- 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.
- “Current issues facing the Hinds County Judiciary.” Presentation to the Phoenix Club, Jackson, Mississippi, November 20, 2018.
- “Breaking In: Preliminary Results from a Program Evaluation of the Mississippi Department of Corrections’ Reentry Program.” Presentation to the Southern Criminal Justice Association Annual Convention, September 14, 2018.
- “Experiences in Civil and Criminal Litigation and Public Records Disputes.” Presentation to the Jackson Legal Professionals Association, June 26, 2018.
- “Current issues facing the Hinds County Judiciary.” Presentation to the Lions Club, Jackson, Mississippi, March 12, 2018.
- “Red Hot Topics in Litigation: Arbitration.” Distributed at the 2008 Mississippi Bar Convention for continuing legal education.
- “Covenants Not to Compete.” Delta Business Journal, November 2007.
- 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.
Honors & Awards
- Named one of Mississippi’s Leading Attorneys during the 2018 Mississippi Business Journal Leadership in Law Awards
- Best Lawyers in America®: 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 and 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 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