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Matt Wessler is a principal at Gupta Wessler PLLC, where he focuses on public interest and plaintiffs’-side appellate and complex litigation.
Matt handles high-profile cases at all levels of both state and federal court and regularly appears before the U.S. Supreme Court. This past term, in Intel Corp. v. Sulyma, 140 S. Ct. 768 (2020), he argued and won a rare 9-0 victory for a class of workers seeking to hold companies accountable under ERISA for taking imprudent risks with retirement savings. The Wall Street Journal called the decision a “pretty significant” victory for “people’s ability to bring lawsuits over fiduciary breaches” under ERISA.
In the federal appellate courts, Matt’s success in representing plaintiffs is virtually without peer nationally. In just the past year alone, he has argued and won significant class-action, workers-rights, and consumer-protection appeals in multiple federal courts of appeal on issues including arbitration, payday lending, antitrust, civil procedure, class-action practice, and preemption. See Gibbs v. Haynes Inv. LLC, 967 F.3d 332 (4th Cir. 2020); Gibbs v. Sequoia Capital Operations, LLC, 966 F.3d 286 (4th Cir. 2020); Williams v. Medley Opportunity Fund II, LP, 965 F.3d 229 (3d Cir. 2020); In re MDL Genentech Herceptin Marketing & Sale Practice Litig., 960 F.3d 1210 (10th Cir. 2020); Molock v. Whole Foods Group, Inc., 952 F.3d 293 (D.C. Cir. 2020); In re Lantus Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litig., 950 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2020). Matt is frequently sought out by plaintiffs’ firms facing make-or-break appeals and is currently lead appellate counsel in a number of closely watched cases around the country. For his “excellence in appellate advocacy in America,” Matt was awarded the 2020 Pound Civil Justice Institute Appellate Advocacy Award.
In addition to his appellate work, Matt frequently co-counsels with trial firms in complex, ground-up litigation and has been appointed co-lead counsel in class actions that have successfully delivered tens of millions of dollars to consumers.
Matt also actively represents and counsels non-profit organizations. He is outside counsel to the American Association for Justice and has filed briefs on their behalf in the Supreme Court and federal circuits across a range of issues, most recently in Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer and White Sales, Inc. (arbitration), Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Albrecht (preemption), Retirement Plan Comm. of IBM v. Jander (ERISA), and Hardeman v. Monsanto (preemption). He also represents labor unions, and recently argued and won a landmark victory on behalf of SEIU and AFT in a challenge to Wisconsin’s brazen lame-duck legislation, meant to hamstring the incoming Governor and Attorney General.
Before joining the firm, Matt spent six years as a staff attorney at Public Justice, P.C. in Washington, DC, where he spearheaded the firm’s focus on Supreme Court litigation and earned national attention for taking the lead in cases involving ERISA, preemption, arbitration, and health care. Matt previously practiced at the Washington law firm of Williams & Connolly LLP and was a member of Obama for America’s sensitive litigation team, where he handled important election litigation on behalf of the presidential campaign. He clerked for the Honorable Richard L. Nygaard of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Honorable William E. Smith of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Matt is a graduate of Cornell Law School and Williams College.
Matt routinely speaks in front of audiences across the country, and to the media, on issues affecting plaintiffs’ litigation and public interest law. His cases have been profiled in major media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters, Bloomberg News, and Mother Jones. He splits his time between Cambridge, Massachusetts and Washington, DC and, when he can, the mountains.