Matt Pawa is a general practice litigator and trial attorney. He has represented governments, citizens, property owners, large corporations, small businesses, environmental groups, non-profit organizations and injured persons in a wide range of cases. He has handled cases involving issues of national importance and cutting-edge legal issues. Mr. Pawa has extensive trial court experience -- including jury trial experience -- and has argued numerous appeals. He argued and prevailed in three appeals in the New Hampshire Supreme Court in the MTBE litigation.
Mr. Pawa is an award-winning legal writer. His legal articles are regularly published in law reviews and journals. He previously served as an adjunct professor of law at Boston College Law School. He has appeared as a guest speaker at Columbia University Law School, Yale Law School and Harvard Law School. He is a regular speaker at legal symposia and bar association meetings, including at the American Law Institute-American Bar Association annual joint presentation in Washington, D.C., the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources' annual meeting, the annual Public Interest Environmental Law conference at the University of Oregon Law School, the Boston Bar Association, and others. Mr. Pawa has been quoted in numerous news outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, Christian Science Monitor, and Jurist. He was featured in the Bar Talk Section of The American Lawyer in November 2007 (PDF). He has appeared on E&E TV regarding the AEP Cases, and on the national talk radio show The Lazy Environmentalist (Sirius Satellite Radio). He was invited by Google to provide comment as a newsmaker on the Pavley Vermont trial. To read a client endorsement of Mr. Pawa, click here. You can follow Mr. Pawa on Twitter here.
Mr. Pawa pioneered the use of common law tort doctrines such as public nuisance in global warming. Mr. Pawa is lead counsel for the non-profit organizations in the AEP cases. In the oral argument in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on these cases, Mr. Pawa shared argument time with Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. He has written two law review articles and a book chapter regarding global warming that expound upon the tort theories from the AEP cases. To read more about global warming tort cases, click here . In 2003 Mr. Pawa filed the first MTBE case on behalf of a state, New Hampshire.
Mr. Pawa began his legal career as a prosecutor in Burlington, Vermont. As a Deputy State's Attorney, he handled a notable case on behalf of the State in 1996, the "Valentine's Day rape" in which the victim had been followed from a bar, severely beaten, left for dead, but somehow survived a night of freezing temperatures while unconscious. A male suspect in his 20s who lived in his parents' home was quickly identified by the police. The parents were called for questioning at an inquest, which is similar to a grand jury but is in front of a judge. At the inquest, however, the parents refused to answer questions and claimed a novel privilege for parent-child conversations. Mr. Pawa defeated their claim of privilege in the trial court and, when they continued to refuse to answer questions, the trial court held them in contempt and jailed them. The parents pursued an emergency appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court. Mr. Pawa briefed and argued the expedited appeal in the Vermont Supreme Court on behalf of the State, and the State prevailed. The parents eventually cooperated and the suspect subsequently pleaded guilty and is serving a lengthy prison term. To read a front-page Los Angeles Times newspaper article on this case and Mr. Pawa's role, click here (PDF).
In law school, Mr. Pawa received the national Scribes Award in 1993 for clarity force and style in legal writing and the University of Pennsylvania Law School's Leebron Prize for excellence in constitutional law writing. He was an Associate Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 1992-1993. He attended Cornell University (B.S. with distinction, 1987) and the University of Pennsylvania (J.D. cum laude, 1993).
Mr. Pawa is a member of the Boston Triathlon Team and competes in triathlons from spring through fall.
Federal Court Bar Memberships: U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeal for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and District of Columbia Circuits, U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Massachusetts, Vermont, the District of Columbia, the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Ms. Pawa is a member of the following bar associations: