Michael D. “Matt” Matthews, Jr.

Partner

Phone: (713) 337-8879

Fax: (713) 337-8859

Email: matt.matthews@mhllp.com

Office: HOUSTON

Matt Matthews handles complex commercial trials, appeals, and arbitrations across the country. Matt leads cases involving energy, tech, construction, manufacturing, distribution, financial services, property and mineral rights, international trade, personal injury, products liability, employment law, and many other business and consumer issues. He has litigated state and federal cases filed in thirty different states; and has won arguments before numerous appellate courts and arbitrations before AAA, JAMS, and ICDR panels. He is also MH’s hiring partner.

Matt is particularly experienced in energy litigation and class actions. He represents some of the country’s leading energy companies and handles cases up and down the energy chain—disputes involving retail electricity and natural gas sales, solar services, wholesale trading, power generation, refining, midstream pipeline operations, and oil and gas production. His energy clients have included NRG, Direct Energy, Reliant, Green Mountain, XOOM, Sunnova, Rhythm, Exterran, DNOW, Kinder Morgan, National Oilwell Varco, Calpine, Valero, and World Fuel Services.

Before Matt joined MH, he worked on lawsuits in two other roles: as a federal law clerk in the Eastern District of Texas and as in-house counsel for a publicly traded global manufacturer. These jobs showed him a judge’s perspective and how in-house lawyers at big companies approach cases. He uses that background to help his clients get the results they want.

Outside the office, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife, whom he met in third grade, and three sons. He enjoys running, traveling, reading, playing guitar, and going to sporting events and concerts. Matt is older than he looks.

JUDICIAL CLERKSHIP
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable Thad Heartfield (then Chief Judge), U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (2007-2009)
HONORS
  • Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • “Texas Super Lawyer” (Business Litigation), Thomson Reuters, 2017-2022
  • “Texas Rising Star” (Business Litigation), Thomson Reuters, 2015
  • Certificate, The Hague Academy of International Law, 2007
  • “Rookie of the Year” Finalist, Dallas Business Journal Best Corporate Counsel Awards, 2006
  • Phi Beta Kappa
REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS
CLASS ACTION
  • Won summary judgment for a retail energy company in a putative class action filed in Connecticut related to variable-rate electricity pricing then argued the appeal, which was affirmed by the Second Circuit in Richards v. Direct Energy Servs., LLC, 915 F.3d 88 (2d Cir. 2019).
  • Won dismissal of a variable-rate electricity class action filed in Illinois federal court and then argued the appeal, which was affirmed by the Seventh Circuit in Sevugan v. Direct Energy Servs., LLC, 931 F.3d 610 (7th Cir. 2019).
  • Defeated a class certification motion that asked a Texas federal court to certify a class in which the alleged Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violations could have resulted in statutory damages of up to $5 billion.
  • Won dismissal of two variable-rate electricity and natural gas class actions filed in New York and Illinois federal courts.
  • Won dismissal of a class action in Texas that accused an energy provider of over collecting sales tax for the state comptroller.
  • Convinced plaintiff’s counsel to dismiss a class action with prejudice in Ohio federal court related to an energy company’s marketing practices after arguing a motion to dismiss that showed the case to be meritless.
  • Lead counsel for an energy company in a putative consumer class action in New York federal court related to price-setting practices.
  • Lead counsel in appeals (following trial court wins) currently pending before the Second and Sixth Circuits.
ENERGY LITIGATION
  • Argued the bellwether motion to dismiss filed by all retail electric providers in the Texas Winter Storm Uri MDL.
  • Won a seven-day jury trial in Houston for an energy company and one of its employees, who were sued by a former contractor for nearly $10,000,000. The jury returned a no-liability verdict on all five of the plaintiff’s causes of action.
  • Lead trial counsel for an energy company in a multimillion-dollar commission dispute with an energy broker, which settled on favorable terms after two days of trial in New Jersey.
  • Won summary judgment in a Maryland federal court case about retail energy marketing, and then won the Fourth Circuit appeal.
  • Represented a major pipeline company in a complex fraud action involving shell companies created by former employees and vendors, resulting in $2.8 million judgment against the defendants.
  • Convinced the plaintiff to drop its claims against a leading E&P company in a suit alleging cessation and expiration of certain oil and gas leases.
  • Won dismissal of a New Jersey lawsuit over the installation and performance of a large solar energy system.
  • Represented a leading oil and gas company in a dispute related to frac sand transloading services.
  • Defended an electricity company in a case involving alleged tortious interference with a commercial energy supply agreement. Filed a summary judgment that prompted the plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss all claims against the client.
  • Represented a British engineering company in an international trade dispute related to heat‑transfer technology.
BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL DISPUTES
  • Litigation counsel for Major League Pickleball and DUPR, Pickleball’s global rating system.
  • Won summary judgment on vicarious liability in Maryland federal court case about retail energy marketing, and then won the Fourth Circuit appeal.
  • Represents a software company in commercial disputes across the country.
  • Represents an industrial parts distributor in a case against a contractor that negligently modified certain equipment.
  • Represented a global defense, security, and aerospace company in several complex commercial disputes in Texas.
  • Represented a leading pipeline company in a multi-million dollar case filed against a valve manufacturer and supplier based on valve leaks.
  • Represented a litigation support services company in a theft of trade secrets dispute against a competitor.
  • Represented a large energy company in a multi-million dollar dispute with a logistics company, which settled favorably just days before trial.
  • Represented a construction company and its individual owners in a dispute alleging theft of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duties, and tortious interference.
  • Represented certain guarantors in a dispute related to the alleged breach of oilfield service equipment leases.
ARBITRATION
  • Won a multi-day arbitration about construction and production issues related to several large solar energy systems, then confirmed the award, then won the appeal of that confirmation before Texas’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals.
  • Won a complete victory for a leading solar energy company following an arbitration hearing concerning dozens of solar energy systems installed in four states.
  • Won arbitral award as lead counsel for a Mexican chemical company following a hearing on the merits in an international dispute based on a manufacturing agreement, then collected the award.
  • Represented a petrochemical company in an international arbitration related to hydrocracker reactors purchased in Italy for installation in refineries in Texas and Louisiana.
  • Represented international trading company through the final arbitration hearing in a dispute over a multi-million-dollar contract related to polymer sales in India.
  • Represented a leading home warranty company through the final arbitration hearing in a contract dispute that resulted in a take-nothing judgment for the plaintiff and an award of attorney’s fees for the client.
  • Represents a leading solar energy company in several commercial arbitrations.
CONSTRUCTION, PROPERTY, AND REAL ESTATE
  • Represented a country music legend in a property rights dispute with an electricity cooperative.
  • Represented a concrete and materials supply company in a case involving alleged construction defects. Filed motion to dismiss within a week after being retained that resulted in the plaintiff dropping all claims.
  • Represented a City of Houston agency in a multi-million-dollar eminent domain dispute that settled the day before jury selection.
  • Represented a real estate investment company in numerous property and real estate related disputes, including one in which the client obtained a substantial judgment for fraud in a real estate transaction against an investor.
  • Represents a home services company in construction defect disputes in Texas.
  • Represented a private landowner in a mineral rights dispute in East Texas.
  • Represents private landowners in eminent domain disputes with utilities and transportation authorities.
PERSONAL INJURY/PRODUCTS LIABILITY
  • Represented a power generation company in a personal injury case; successfully argued the summary judgment motion, then authored the brief upheld on appeal.
  • Represented a commodity trading company in a products liability action involving refinery feedstock that allegedly caused millions in damage to a refinery.
  • Represented an energy infrastructure company in a personal injury case related to a pipeline explosion in Mississippi.
  • Represented a global chemical distributor in personal injury cases in Texas and Louisiana federal court.
  • Represents an international oilfield parts distribution company in personal injury cases in Texas and Oklahoma.
  • Represented a home services company in personal injury cases in Texas and Nevada.
ADMISSIONS
  • Texas
  • New York
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. District Court of the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
EDUCATION
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 2005
  • The University of Texas at Austin, B.A., English and History, with honors, 2000