Matthew D. Berkowitz

Partner
Practices
About

Matthew D. Berkowitz is an experienced civil litigator with significant class action experience who represents businesses and professionals in complex disputes. At the trial and appellate levels, he has successfully defended clients in shareholder derivative suits, trademark infringement claims, breach of contract and negligence suits. He also has successfully defended clients accused of violating Federal & State Consumer Protection Acts, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Matt’s clients include construction companies, auto dealerships, and national restaurant and retail chains in complex tort actions. He also defends attorneys, architects, accountants, and other professionals accused of malpractice. In addition, Matt has defended insurance companies in complex coverage disputes involving toxic tort and environmental cases, and has represented clients in disputes involving medical malpractice, contracts, defamation, employment law, and real property. Furthermore, Matt maintains a Higher Education Law practice and regularly represents accrediting agencies & educational institutions.

Matt clerked for the Hon. Michael W. Farrell of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. At law school, where he graduated summa cum laude, Matt served as managing editor of the Thomas Jefferson Law Review and was a member of the school’s moot court team.

Matt has been the lead attorney in many reported court decisions.  Examples include:

Representative Experience
  • Won a six-day jury trial in the District of Columbia representing a commercial building owner and management company. Plaintiff alleged that she suffered significant personal injuries as the result of negligence and code violations.
  • Successfully defended background check companies and Consumer Reporting Agencies in class action lawsuits alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Successfully defended auto dealerships in class action lawsuits that alleged consumer protection violations.
  • Successfully defended a national accreditation company for certain industry professionals in a case with clear liability and significant exposure. Quickly and favorably settled out from under Plaintiff’s counsel prior to class certification, effectively ending the case for sums that equated to a fraction of the claimed damages.
  • Successfully defended a national window manufacturer and supplier in a class action accused of fraud, breach of warranties, and violations of federal and state consumer protection laws.
  • Successfully defended national retailers against claims arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
  • Successfully defended banking institution in a class action shareholder derivative suit.
  • Successfully defended employers in collective action lawsuits.
  • Won summary judgment and subsequent appeal on behalf of attorney-client accused of negligence and conversion in connection with an underlying settlement.  As a matter of first impression, the D.C. Court of Appeals held an alleged ethics violation does not give rise to a private cause of action.
  • Won summary judgment and subsequent appeal in legal malpractice case where client-attorney was accused of failing to appeal constructive discharge claim.
  • Won summary judgment in the Eastern District of Virginia in case where the plaintiff alleged trademark infringement against the non-profit client business.
  • Won motion to dismiss on behalf of security company accused of negligence in connection with the Navy Yard Shooting.
  • Successfully defended an architect sued for indemnity, contribution, professional negligence, and breach of contract. Court held developer’s claims were preempted under the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Successfully defended higher education accreditation agency against claim by school that alleged that the agency improperly withdrew the school’s accreditation.
  • Successfully defended professionals and corporations accused of fraud and RICO violations.
  • Successfully defended construction companies and real estate development companies for claims involving breach of contract, negligence, construction defect, and other claims related to business disputes.
Education

Thomas Jefferson School of Law
JD, summa cum laude

George Washington University
BBA

Recognition
  • Recognized on Super Lawyers Rising Star List in 2014-2016 for Civil Litigation-Defense and Class Action/ Mass Torts
Publications
Speaking Engagements
  • “Leveraging Rule 68 Offers of Judgment in Settlement Negotiations,” Lorman Webinar, September 13, 2019
  • “Heightened Scrutiny in Class Action Settlements,” AM Best Insurance Podcast, August 27, 2019
  • “Construction Law- Negotiating Key Contract Terms,” DC Bar, June 20, 2019
  • “Leveraging Rule 68 Offers of Judgment in Settlement Negotiations,” Strafford Webinar, May 29, 2019
  • “The Future of Class Actions,” AM Best Insurance Podcast, April 8, 2019
  • “Best Practices to Protect Against Cyber Attacks and Liability,” 2018 National Association of Professional Background Screeners, October 2018
  • “The Telephone Consumer Protection Act: Recent Developments & Best Practices to Protect Your Business,” DRI Business Litigation Conference, May 2018
  • “Defense Ethical Issues in Class Action Litigation,” Perrin Class Action Conference, May 2017
  • “Supreme Court Update,” Perrin Class Action Conference, May 2017
  • “Construction Law 101: Contractor and Subcontractors,” DC Bar, May 2017
Admissions

States
District of Columbia
Maryland
Virginia
West Virginia

U.S. District Courts
District of Columbia
District of Maryland
Eastern District of Virginia
Southern District of West Virginia
Western District of Virginia

U.S. Bankruptcy Courts
Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. Court of Appeals
District of Columbia Circuit
Fourth Circuit
Third Circuit

United States Supreme Court

Affiliations
  • Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
  • DC Defense Lawyers’ Association
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Montgomery County