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Matthew A. Moeller

Attorney at law

Matthew’s experience and practice primarily includes the representation of shipyards, vessel owners and operators and contractors as well as other businesses in maritime, construction and commercial disputes. This experience includes the representation of vessel owners and operators in the defense of Jones Act, Longshore Harbor and Worker’s Compensation Act, and maritime personal injury claims, as well as maritime contractual disputes and maritime property damage matters. Matthew represents shipyards in vessel construction and repair disputes and general and sub-contractors in breach of contract, non-payment, defective workmanship, property damage actions, and lien disputes.  Matthew also represents businesses in actions concerning breach of contract, fraud, intentional interference with contract, unfair trade practices and trade secret violations, as well as real estate title and boundary disputes. Matthew has tried numerous cases to verdict, obtaining both bench and jury verdicts in favor of his clients.

In addition to his litigation practice, Matthew regularly counsels shipyards and vessel owners and operators in the formation and negotiation of master service agreements, master time charter agreements, third party access and boarding agreements and vessel construction contracts. Matthew also counsels other businesses and individuals in the preparation and negotiation of non-compete, non-disclosure, non-solicitation,  employment contracts as well as professional services contracts. Matthew serves as outside general counsel for select clients.

Recent Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a regional environmental services company in which the plaintiff sought damages under section 905 (b) of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).

  • Obtained a voluntary dismissal of numerous clients, including the vessel owner, in response to a motion for summary judgment in a case where plaintiff sought damages under the Jones Act, the Longshore Harbor and Worker’s Compensation Act and General Maritime Law.

  • Obtained defense verdict on behalf of the President and Owner of a leading marine design and engineering firm in three-week jury trial on claims of intentional interference with contract and unfair trade practices where damages sought were in excess of $5,000,000.

  • Obtained favorable settlement of maritime property damage claim against a leading marine design and engineering firm where the damages originally sought were in excess of $600,000.

  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of a vessel owner/operator in a Jones Act case based on the development of evidence of a non-work related injury, where damages sought included maintenance and care benefits, general damages, special damages, and punitive damages.

  • Appeared in litigation after default judgment was entered, and successfully set aside the judgment for over $1,000,000 on behalf of a Georgia solar technology company and its principal.

  • Obtained bench verdict on behalf of Texas Industrial equipment fabrication company for breach of contract and defective workmanship in the fabrication of boilers for the federal government.

  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of an Arizona educational services contractor in a breach of contract and commercial collection action.

  • Obtained bench verdict in an action to annul a previous judgment rendered in favor of a Louisiana real estate investor. The verdict included an award of attorneys fees after the action to annul was deemed baseless by the court.


Education

Louisiana State University – E.J. Ourso College of Business

Workboat Strategic Leadership Development Program – September 2014 – December 2015

Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana Juris Doctor – May 2005

Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, Cox School of Business, May 1999

Bachelor of Arts in History, May 1999

Honors and Activities

Loyola Moot Court Staff – Spring 2003 to Spring 2005

Recognized as a Distinguished Moot Court Senior – Spring 2005

Moot Court Teaching Assistant – Spring 2004

Presentations & Publications

In the Wake of Doiron: The New Fifth Circuit Test for Maritime Contracts – The American Institute of Marine Underwriters Presentation, New York City, NY, October 30, 2018

Problem Solved! Effective Strategies for Getting the Most Out of Alternative Dispute Resolution – ABA GP Solo & Small Firm Fall Conference Innovation Lab Presentation, Charleston, SC, October 26, 2018

Navigating Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) and State Workers’ Compensation Claims – ABA TIPS Admiralty & Maritime Law Committee and Workers’ Compensation Committee Presentation, Philadelphia, PA, September 27, 2018

Scare ‘Em or Spare ‘Em? How Aggressive Should We Get in Pleadings? – Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association, Chicago, IL, August 2, 2018

Changes in the Tide: Differing Views on Emerging Issues in Maritime Law – Admiralty Law Committee Meeting for the New Orleans Federal Bar Association, July 18, 2018

Lien In: An Overview of the Current State of Louisiana Construction Lien Law – Louisiana Associated General Contractors Quarterly Meetings, Shreveport and Monroe, LA, June 2018

Contributing Author, “Recent Developments in Admiralty and Maritime Law” – ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Winter 2018, Vol. 53, Issue 2

Gathering Intelligence: Considering issues posed by Blockchain and Smart Contracts – ABA TIPS Corporate Counsel Committee Newsletter, Winter 2018

Actions Speak Louder than Words: Potential Waiver of Written Contractual Provisions – ABA GP Solo eReport, January 22, 2018

Mandamn! Fifth Circuit Rejects Mandamus Relief for Litigation Costs – What Might the Future Hold? – ABA Section of Litigation Mass Torts Committee Newsletter, Fall 2017

The Ever-Changing Playing Field: Evolving Legislative and Judicial Scrutiny of Non-Compete Agreements – ABA TIPS Corporate Counsel Committee Newsletter, Summer 2017

Contribution Author, “Recent Developments in Admiralty and Maritime Law,” ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Winter 2017, Vol. 52, Issue 2.

Treat Your Solo Practice as a Small Business (Because it is) – New Solo Podcast, April 2017

Specifically General or Statutory: Knowing Your Basis for Jurisdiction – ABA Mass Torts Committee Newsletter, March 2017

Beyond Navigable Waters: A Look at the Concept of an Appurtenance and Jurisdiction Under the Admiralty Extension Act – ABA TIPS Admiralty & Maritime Law Committee Newsletter, February 2017

Threatened or Not? Recent Developments Under The American’s With Disabilities Act’s Direct Threat Doctrine – ABA TIPS Corporate Counsel Committee Newsletter, December 2016

Vessel Boarding Agreements –What Every Owner Should Know – International Workboat Show, New Orleans, LA, December 2016

Engagements, Deficiencies and Fraud: Examining the Scope of La. R.S. 9:2772 – Construction Defect and Dispute Conference, New Orleans, October 2016

A Proportional Response?: Practical Guidance for New Federal Rule 26 – ABA Mass Torts Committee Newsletter, October 2016

Fraud Firepower: An Avenue for Recovering Maintenance and Cure Benefits? – WorkBoat (News for the Commercial Marine Industry), August 25, 2016

Drafting IT Master Services Agreements: Guidance for Purchaser and Vendor Counsel – Strafford CLE, August 16, 2016

Analyze This! Ohio Supreme Court Clarifies Analysis of Liquidated Damages Provisions – American Bar Association GP Solo eReport, Vol. 5, No. 12

Misunderstood Vessel Boarding Agreements Can Cost You – WorkBoat (News for the Commercial Marine Industry), June 21, 2016

Defects Aboard! Defending Defect Claims in Vessel Construction Disputes – Construction Defect and Dispute Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 2016

Failure to Extrapolate! Seventh Circuit Requires Experts Connect Data with Opinions – ABA Mass Torts Committee Newsletter, February 2016

On the Deposition Trail – Achieving the Best Result for Your Client – ABA Mass Torts Committee Newsletter, December 2010

Associations & Memberships

Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA)

New Orleans Bar Association (NOBA)

American Bar Association (ABA):

  • Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS)

    • Corporate Counsel Committee – Vice Chair: 2016 – Present

    • Business Litigation Committee – Vice Chair: 2016 – Present

    • Member – Standing Committee on Ethics & Professionalism: 2016 – Present; Chair-Elect: 2019

  • GP Solo and Small Firm Division (GP Solo)

    • Construction Law Committee – Chair: 2016 – Present

    • Member – Programming Board: 2016 – Present

    • Director – Division 3: Practice Specialty: 2019

    • Member-at-Large – Council: 2019

    • 2019 Spring Conference Committee – Co-Chair

  • Section of Litigation

    • Young Lawyers Subcommittee of the Mass Torts Committee – Co-Chair: 2009 – 2011

    • Experts and Evidence Subcommittee of the Mass Torts Committee – Co-Chair: 2011 – 2017

Federal Bar Association (FBA):

  • Admiralty Law Committee

Southern Methodist University:

  • Cox School of Business Alumni Board: 2016 – Present

Louisiana Associated General Contractors of America (LAGC)

Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI)

Mariner’s Club of the Port of New Orleans

Houston Mariner’s Club (HMC)

American Institute of Marine Underwriters (AIMU)

Marine Insurance Claims Association (MICA)