Matt Nguyen

Associate
Full contact info

About Matt

Matt represents innovative clients in high-stakes disputes, with a focus on government investigations and enforcement, and appellate advocacy up to the California and US Supreme Courts. Drawing on his diverse federal and state experience, including as a judge advocate captain in the US Army Reserve, Matt strategically advances client objectives in government-facing matters. As the son of war refugees, Matt centers his pro bono practice on strengthening civil rights, racial justice and the rule of law.

Matt’s recent representative matters:

Supreme Court & appellate litigation

  • Represented a director of one of California’s largest charitable foundations in an eight-figure enforcement action, securing a landmark California Supreme Court ruling that reinforces whistleblower protections for 110,000 California charities
  • Represented a real estate company and its CEO in preserving a total defense judgment against a former business partner in the California Supreme Court
  • Represented a unicorn startup in reversing lower courts’ dispositive order and summary writ denial via a grant-and-transfer by the California Supreme Court
  • Represented a Fortune 500 fintech company in affirming dismissal with prejudice of contract claims brought by high-risk vendors in the California Supreme Court
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company seeking affirmance of a district court victory on summary judgment in the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Government Investigations & Enforcement

  • Represented a Fortune 500 airline in multibillion-dollar enforcement actions by DOJ, state attorneys general, and private plaintiffs
  • Represented a Fortune 10 technology company in a cross-border regulatory investigation
  • Represented a former DOJ senior official, third-party witness in a high-profile U.S. Special Counsel prosecution and in a DOJ investigation with national security implications
  • Represented the second-largest U.S. television broadcaster in a nationwide, industrywide, follow-on private enforcement action following successful resolution of a DOJ investigation
  • Represented a unicorn enterprise AI startup in resolving a cross-border investigation involving the FCA, FCPA, and OFAC
  • Represented an individual white collar client in a DOJ investigation and prosecution that resulted in a highly favorable one-day sentence
  • Represented a public videoconferencing company in resolving a cross-border regulatory investigation concerning data security and privacy
  • Counseled a major news publisher on minimizing national security and legal risk related to its viral article on domestic election integrity, foreign espionage, and U.S. counterintelligence
  • Represented several public cloud-computing and social networking companies in response to DOJ subpoenas involving the SCA and FISA

Other Disputes

  • Represented an edtech startup in resolving an eight-figure contract dispute with one of the largest U.S. public universities
  • Represented a startup founder and entrepreneur in a trade secrets and contract dispute, securing dismissal with prejudice of all counterclaims by her startup’s cofounder
  • Represented a public edtech company in resolving a data breach mass arbitration

Matt’s recent impact pro bono matters include:

Supreme Court & Appellate Litigation

  • Represented the ACLU and 14 ACLU state affiliates in a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief seeking to protect the fundamental rights of Native children, families, and tribes
  • Represented two dozen leading neuroscience and psychology scholars, the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology, Juvenile Law Center, Pacific Juvenile Defender Center, and The Sentencing Project in several amicus briefs before state supreme courts (California, Massachusetts, and Michigan) challenging the constitutionality of condemning late adolescents to mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, culminating in sweeping victories through precedential rulings that repeatedly cited the amicus briefs
  • Represented California ACLU affiliates, the First Amendment Coalition, JusticeLA Coalition, and Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles in a California Supreme Court amicus brief challenging a statute that chills free speech and petitioning activity concerning police misconduct
  • Represented March For Our Lives, Everytown for Gun Safety and Brady: United Against Gun Violence in amicus briefs to stem the proliferation of unregulated ghost guns for criminal activity
  • Represented Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and other leading federal courts scholars in a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief supporting the NAACP’s constitutional challenge to North Carolina’s voter suppression laws

Other Matters

  • Counseled a top federal elected official on extraordinary constitutional issues involving former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election
  • Represented certified classes of medically-vulnerable detained persons in constitutional litigation against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) private prisons across California, contributing to the first major pandemic-related facility settlement with ICE
  • Defended voting rights and voter access to mail-in ballots in battleground states including Florida, Georgia, and Michigan during the 2020 presidential election
  • Represented a diverse musician in resolving a trademark dispute involving racial justice
  • Advised Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) advocacy groups on nonprofit formation in response to a nationwide surge in anti-AAPI violence and discrimination

Fiercely committed to public service, Matt concurrently serves as a U.S. Army Reserve Captain Judge Advocate assigned to the 304th Combat Sustainment Brigade. Over the past decade, he has advised senior government leaders—the Biden-Harris campaign and transition; then-Senator Kamala Harris; then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Secretary Jennifer Granholm; California Governors Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown; and the USAID Representative to the European Union—on novel legal and policy issues.  And following law school, Matt clerked for Justice Goodwin Liu on the California Supreme Court. 

With the support of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship, Matt graduated from Yale Law School as a Coker Fellow teaching torts and legal writing, notes & comments editor of the Yale Law Journal, and managing editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review. During this time, Matt directed the Education Adequacy Project Clinic, litigating constitutional challenges to school segregation, funding disparities, and the school-to-prison pipeline in the Connecticut Supreme Court and federal district courts. He also coauthored a book chapter with the Solomon Center for Health Law & Policy, and was a founding member of the We Care Coalition and the Immigration Policy Tracking Project.  Matt graduated salutatorian from UC Berkeley.

In addition to military service and pro bono advocacy, Matt has served on public and nonprofit boards, including as co-chair of the Coast Community College District Oversight Committee, where he stewarded $700 million in long-term education investments on behalf of students, faculty, and local stakeholders. In 2020, Matt was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the Law & Policy category. During his free time, Matt enjoys global travel, snowboarding, volleyball, golfing, and exploring with his Shiba Inu.

Education

The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School
OBC, Superior Academic Performance

Yale Law School
JD, Coker Fellow, Yale Law Journal

University of California, Berkeley
BA, Political Science, salutatorian, summa cum laude

Admissions & credentials

California

District of Columbia

Rankings & accolades

Forbes 30 Under 30 (Law & Policy)

CAFE 100 Changemaker, Preet Bharara

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship

Exemplary Legal Writing, The Green Bag

Captain, U.S. Army Reserve