Matthew D. Berkowitz

About Matthew D. Berkowitz

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, and 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.

Mr. Berkowitz regularly authors articles and lectures about emerging and significant class action topics. Most recently Mr. Berkowitz has taken part of AM Best’s podcast discussing the future of class action. In 2018, he authored an article in the NAPBS Journal discussing “How to Protect Yourself From A Cyber Attack.” He also spoke on the topic at NAPBS’ Annual Conference. In 2016 and 2017, he co-authored two ethics articles for the Defense Research Institute (“DRI”): Defense Ethical Issues in Class Action Litigation (2016) and Navigating Ethical Issues in Class Actions: A Defense Perspective. He also served as faculty for DRI’s 2017 Class Action Conference where he gave the ethics presentation. He possesses substantial knowledge and practical experience concerning the ethics rules that are unique to class actions and applicable to both the plaintiff and defense bars.

Mr. Berkowitz co-authored Avoid Significant Exposure, and Attorneys’ Fees: Using Rule 68 Offers of Judgment to End Class Actions Early and Quickly, 11 No. 3 In-House Def. Q. 38 (2016). He also presented at the Perrin Class Action Conference in 2017 and lectured about recent Supreme Court decisions and how these decisions will affect class action litigation and plaintiffs and defendants moving forward.

Mr. Berkowitz’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, he 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, he maintains a Higher Education Law practice and regularly represents accrediting agencies & educational institutions.

Partner, Carr Maloney PC

Essential Businesses Face Potential Class Action Exposure From Employees Over Coronavirus Crisis

Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, state and local governments across the country have ordered almost all businesses to close.  Tens of millions of employees in all fifty states have had to adapt to a new reality of working from home.  But this new reality is not the reality for every business.  Many “essential” businesses, including certain manufacturers and retailers, providers of emergency services, grocery stores, and sanitation companies, have continued their operations during the crisis.  Their employees are expected to report to work. Just because a business qualifies as “essential,” however, does not mean that business [...]

By |2020-04-09T09:42:32-04:00April 2nd, 2020|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: , , |

Steps to Protect Your Business From a COVID-19 Cyber-Attack

In light of COVID-19 and the world’s current climate, it is more important than ever to take additional precautions against cyber-attacks and data breaches.  As more and more employees are working from home, the number of cyber-attacks and data breaches, along with the potential class action lawsuits, have significantly increased over the last several weeks.  Many of these cyber-attacks have come through phishing emails, which result in the compromise of the user’s account and computer.  The following are few red-flags that businesses and employees should be aware of to guard against an attack and a likely [...]

DC Court of Appeals Refuses to Impose Strict Liability Under the TCPA

In a significant decision regarding the applicability of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”), the D.C. Court of Appeals recently held that the TCPA does not impose strict liability on a person or entity whose goods or services are advertised in an unsolicited fax. Instead, the Court ruled that the Act may impose vicarious liability on a person or entity on whose behalf unsolicited fax ads were sent, regardless as to who actually sent the faxes. In FDS Rest., Inc. v. All Plumbing, Inc., No. 16-CV-1009, 2020 D.C. App. LEXIS 111 (Mar. 26, 2020), FDS [...]

Plaintiffs Quickly Filing Class Actions Over COVID-19

As we all know, the world has been dominated by COVID-19 for the last several weeks and tens of thousands of people have already been infected with the virus in the United States. We have seen drastic changes in the economy and our daily lives. We have also seen the first wave of class action lawsuits filed against businesses in connection with COVID-19.  Plaintiffs are alleging that businesses misrepresented their products and services with respect to protecting individuals from illness and that businesses negligently exposed individuals to COVID-19. The following are just a few of such [...]

By |2020-04-09T09:44:35-04:00March 26th, 2020|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: , |

Free Speech and the TCPA: How an Upcoming Supreme Court Decision May Affect the TCPA and Impact Businesses

On January 10, 2020, the Supreme Court agreed to review a Fourth Circuit decision challenging the constitutionality of an exemption to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (the “TCPA”). See Barr v. American Ass’n of Political Consultants, No. 19-631. The TCPA was enacted in 1991 in response to unwanted, automated phone calls that affect many Americans on a daily basis. The TCPA broadly prohibits telephone solicitation through the use of “automatic telephone dialing systems.” See 47 U.S.C. § 227. However, in response to the rapid technological advancements since 1991, Congress has curtailed the provisions of the [...]

By |2020-04-09T09:45:20-04:00February 24th, 2020|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: , |

Federal Court Decertifies FCRA Class Action for Lack of Standing Under Spokeo

On October 18, 2019, a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Central District of California decertified a class of approximately 6.5 million Wal-Mart job applicants, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to satisfy Article III standing requirements under Spokeo v. Robins. The Supreme Court in Spokeo reiterated that a statutory violation by itself and without a concrete injury is insufficient to confer Article III standing. In Pitre v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a class of plaintiffs alleged that Wal-Mart violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to provide job applicants with required and sufficient [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:20:52-05:00October 22nd, 2019|Practice Areas: General|Topics: , |

Junk Faxes – The Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Battle of the “Unsolicited Advertisement”

On June 20, 2019, the Supreme Court issued its decision in PDR Network, LLC, et al. v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic, Inc., Docket No. 17-1705. This case involves the receipt of an unsolicited fax and whether such a fax violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). The Court declined to squarely answer the question, but instead, sent it back to theCourt of Appeals for additional review. Generally, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) anyone can sue if they receive an unsolicited ad by fax. This is exactly what happened in PDR Network. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:19:03-05:00June 27th, 2019|Practice Areas: Consumer Protection|

Students and Parents Respond to College Admission Scandal with a Class Action Lawsuit

On March 12, 2019, the United States Department of Justice charged 50 individuals, including celebrities and well-known professionals, with participating in an elaborate multi-million-dollar college recruitment scheme. Under the scheme, administrators and coaches at numerous prestigious educational institutions, as well as ACT and SAT administrators, were bribed in exchange for admitting children with lackluster credentials into such institutions. In light of these charges, current students have “piggybacked” on the government’s case and filed a civil class action complaint alleging punitive and compensatory damages of at least $5 million, which includes the recoupment of the plaintiffs’ admission [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:16:47-05:00March 26th, 2019|Practice Areas: General|Topics: |

SCOTUS Holds that Rule 23(f) Class Certification Appeal Deadline is not Subject to Equitable Tolling

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23(f), a federal appeals court may hear an appeal from an order granting or denying class certification if the appeal is filed within 14 days after the trial court’s order is entered.  The Supreme Court took up the question as to whether the deadline could be extended under equitable tolling principles. On February 26, 2019, the United States Supreme Court held in Nutraceutical v. Lambert that equitable tolling does not apply to extend the 14-day deadline to appeal an order denying or granting class certification under Federal Rule 23(f). In [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:16:20-05:00March 1st, 2019|Practice Areas: General|Topics: , |

SCOTUS To Review Whether A Third-Party Defendant Can Remove a Class Action to Federal Court

On September 27, 2018, the Supreme Court agreed to review whether, under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), a third-party defendant can remove a class action from state to federal court. Home Depot USA, Inc., U.S. No. 17-1471. CAFA allows “any defendant” to remove actions from state to federal court if certain jurisdictional requirements are met. This case arose when Citibank N.A. brought a debt collection action against George Jackson in state court alleging he failed to pay for a water treatment system he bought using a Citibank credit card. Jackson filed a counterclaim against Citibank and third-party class [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:14:56-05:00November 8th, 2018|Practice Areas: General|Topics: |

SCOTUS Declines to Extend American Pipe Tolling Rule to Successive Class Actions

Recently on June 11, 2018, the Supreme Court, in China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, 138 S.Ct. 1800 (2018), unanimously held that the statute of limitations is not tolled on successive class actions when a putative class action is filed.  Previously in American Pipe & Constr. Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), the Supreme Court ruled that the claims of non-named plaintiffs were not barred by the statute of limitations if the class action of which they were a member failed.  The statute of limitations for the individual claims was tolled while the class action was [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:14:16-05:00July 16th, 2018|Practice Areas: General|Topics: , |

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act: Recent Developments & Best Practices to Protect Your Business

Introduction Receipt of unsolicited phone calls or text messages is not uncommon. These calls are often only moderately inconvenient for the recipient; however, if the unsolicited communication does not strictly follow the mandates of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), consequences for the caller can be catastrophic. The following is a brief overview of the TCPA, recent developments in the law, and best practices to protect your business and to ultimately avoid costly litigation. TCPA Background The TCPA was enacted in 1991, a time when residential landlines were standard and cellular telephones were an exception. Twenty-seven years [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:13:26-05:00May 1st, 2018|Practice Areas: Consumer Protection|