Matt’s practice focuses on permitting and litigation matters involving federal and state natural resource and environmental law. He has been noted by Chambers & Partners 2019 as "one of the best-regarded natural resources lawyers in the state."
He has over 20 years’ experience representing utilities, ports, owners and operators of hydroelectric projects and other energy projects, and state and local governmental entities on issues pertaining to the Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Federal Power Act, Magnuson-Stevens Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, and Indian law.
Prior to joining Van Ness Feldman, Matt served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice where he defended federal agencies in litigation involving the ESA, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and NEPA. In addition, Matt was an Assistant Attorney General for Washington State where he represented the State of Washington and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in natural resource litigation and other matters involving the ESA, fisheries, water, and Indian law issues.
Matt is a member of Van Ness Feldman’s Executive Committee.
Lewis & Clark College, Northwestern School of Law
J.D., Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law; Cornelius Honor Society, 1995
Evergreen State College
"Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers
Energy Law, 2012-2018
Environmental Law, 2012-2018
Native American Law, 2012-2018
Natural Resources Law, 2012-2018
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Washington State Supreme Court
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
American Bar Association
Chair, Hydro Power Committee, Section of Environment, Energy & Resources (SEER), 2012-2013
Northwest Hydroelectric Association
Board Member, 2018
General Counsel, 2010-2016
Washington State Bar Association
Editorial Board, Environmental & Land Use Section, 2011-present
Fulbright Scholar, Lecturer and Researcher
Natural Resource Law, Ghana, 2005-2006
Washington State Attorney General's Office
Assistant Attorney General, Fish Wildlife & Parks Division, 1995-1999, 2001-2003
U.S. Department of Justice
Trial Attorney, Wildlife & Marine Resources Section, 1999-2001
U.S. Peace Corps
Fisheries/Integrated Agricultural Extension Agent, 1988-1990
Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission
United States Commissioner (Alternative), 2017-present