McDermott, Matthew C.

  Des Moines, Iowa, USA
 +1 515-283-4643
 +1 515-558-0643
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Matt McDermott is a partner in the firm focusing on civil and criminal trials and appeals.  He has a broad range of experience in complex commercial matters and white collar criminal defense.  In his commercial litigation practice, he frequently represents clients in contract disputes, product liability suits, bankruptcy litigation, employment and restrictive covenant suits, and banking and lending litigation.

In his criminal practice, Matt has represented individuals and companies at the state, federal, and administrative levels on matters involving allegations of complex financial crimes, health care fraud, consumer fraud, environmental crimes, securities fraud, corporate immigration fraud, and professional licensure matters. 

Matt has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in four litigation categories, including Commercial Litigation, White-Collar Criminal Defense, Banking & Finance Litigation, and Bankruptcy Litigation.  He has also been recognized in Chambers USA in the category Litigation: General Commercial.

As part of his practice, Matt is devoted to providing pro bono assistance to indigent persons.  He has served as counsel to immigrants, homeless individuals, and indigent criminal defendants in state and federal court.  He received the Volunteer Lawyers Project’s Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2009.  He is a regular volunteer at the Volunteer Lawyers Project’s Latino Outreach Clinic, and previously worked in homeless legal clinics through the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, California. 

In addition to his professional practice, Mr. McDermott is past-president of the Iowa State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division.  He is a former member of Iowa State Bar Association's Board of Governors, and currently chairs the Judicial Administration Committee and serves on the Fair and Impartial Courts Task Force.  He formerly chaired the Task Force on Supreme Court Ethics Opinions, and is a frequent speaker on legal ethics. He is a board member and past-president of the board at Central Iowa Shelter & Services, the largest homeless shelter in Iowa. He is a member of both the United Way’s Tocqueville Society and Education Leadership Initiative, and previously served on the United Way of Central Iowa’s Campaign Cabinet.  He recently was appointed by Iowa’s Governor to serve on the board of directors for the Iowa Lottery Authority. 

Matt received his B.A. with distinction and with honors from the University of Iowa in 2000.  He earned his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law in 2003, where he served as executive editor of the California Law Review.  During law school, Matt taught as a graduate student instructor in the Political Science Department at the University of California, Berkeley.  Before joining the firm, Matt worked as a summer associate attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York. 

Publications and Presentations

Presenter, Effective Opening Statements, Lincoln Inn of Court, April 2012

Presenter, Understanding the Ethics Complaint Process in Iowa, Iowa Association of Corporate Counsel Seminar, October 2011

Presenter, Understanding the Ethics Complaint Process in Iowa, Lincoln Inn of Court, December 2010

Presenter, Understanding the Ethics Complaint Process in Iowa, Iowa State Bar Association YLD Summer Seminar, July 2010

Presenter, Cross-Examinations, Iowa State Bar Association "Bridge The Gap" CLE, May 2010

Presenter, Understanding the Ethics Complaint Process in Iowa, Polk County Bar Association General Practice CLE, November 2009

Presenter, Understanding the Ethics Complaint Process in Iowa, Iowa Association for Justice Annual Convention CLE, November 2009

Presenter (with Mark E. Weinhardt and Holly M. Logan), The Criminal Trial From Start to Finish, National Business Institute Seminar, October 2009

Presenter, Ethics: Avoiding The Danger Zones, Iowa State Bar Association YLD Summer Seminar, July 2009

Presenter, Legal Ethics, Federal Public Defender Spring Seminar, May 2009

Presenter (with Mark E. Weinhardt and Holly M. Logan), White Collar Crime, Criminal Justice Act Federal Criminal Law Seminar, November 2008

Presenter, Legal Ethics for Criminal Law Attorneys, Iowa State Bar Association Criminal Law Section Seminar, May 2008

Presenter, Judicial Ethics, Iowa Judicial Branch Civil Law Seminar for Judges, April 2008

Presenter, Legal Ethics, Lorman Education Services Seminar, November 2007

Presenter, Legal Ethics, Iowa Defense Counsel Association Annual Meeting & Seminar, September 2007

Presenter, Legal Ethics, Lorman Education Services Seminar, August 2006

Editor and author, attorney disciplinary summaries appearing in The Iowa Lawyer magazine

Community & Professional Activities

Iowa State Bar Association

Board of Governors, 2006–2009
President, Young Lawyers Division, 2008–09

Chair, Task Force on Supreme Court Ethics Opinions, 2007–2012

Chair, Judicial Administration Committee, 2010–present

President-Elect, Young Lawyers Division, 2007–08
Secretary, Young Lawyers Division, 2006–07

Administrative Committee, 2008–09

Public Relations Committee, 2007–08

Disaster Task Force, 2008–09

Special Task Force on Public Image, 2005–07

Executive Council Representative, YLD, 2004–06

Law-Related Education Committee, YLD, 2004–07

Chair, Long Range Planning Committee, YLD, 2008

Litigation Section

Criminal Law Section

Iowa State Bar Foundation

Fellow, 2011–present

American Bar Association

National Assembly Delegate, Young Lawyers Division, 2006–2009

Litigation section

Polk County Bar Association

Chair, Bench & Bar Committee, 2009
Executive Committee, Young Lawyers Division, 2004–09

Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Member, 2005–present

Blackstone Inn of Court

Member, 2005–present

Central Iowa Shelter & Services (formerly Churches United Homeless Shelter)

Board of Directors, 2005–present
President, Board of Directors, 200607

Chair, Building Committee, 2006–present

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Iowa

Mentor, 2004–09

Bowl for Kids’ Sake planning committee, 2004–07

Polk County Volunteer Lawyers Project

Attorney volunteer, 2004–present

Latino Outreach Clinic volunteer, 2004–present

Outstanding Volunteer Award, 2009

HOLA Center (Hispanic Outreach and Legal Assistance)

Member, Board of Directors, 2006–2011

United Way of Central Iowa
Campaign Cabinet, 2010-2011
Tocqueville Society Advisory Committee, 2010–present
Tocqueville Society, 2010–present
Education Leadership Initiative, 2006–present
Campaign Awards Selection Committee, 2008

Iowa Legal Aid
Advisory Council, 2011–present
Intake volunteer, 2006–present
Equal Justice After Hours planning committee, 2008–10 

Bull Moose Club
President, 2007
Vice-Chair of Programs, 2006
Secretary, 2005

Leadership Iowa

Class of 2005–06


Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines

Young Leaders Advisory Council, 2009–10

Des Moines Business Record “Forty Under 40” Award, 2008