Matt Richardson is a trial lawyer who deftly represents MDK’s clients in complex litigation matters. He has hands-on experience in all stages of litigation in both state and federal court, including taking and defending depositions, arguing motions, managing trial teams, and defending appeals.
We recently chatted with Matt about his career trajectory, MDK's culture and the intersection of law and technology. Keep reading to learn more about this amazing member of Team MDK!
MDK: Tell us a little bit about your career trajectory. How did you get started in the legal field?
Matt Richardson: I trained as a litigator. After law school I was a clerk for a federal judge in Texas and that set me on a path to litigation. After that, I ended up practicing at a large firm for three years doing general commercial litigation. What I discovered was that I didn't necessarily enjoy the culture of a big firm, it wasn't conducive to my happiness. At the same time, though, I was acquiring quite a few skills working there.
MDK: Once you got to MDK, where did you start? How did your career grow?
MR: I started at MDK with a portfolio of foreclosure cases, and I learned a whole new area of practice. Along the way, I started applying the litigation skills I acquired practicing in a big firm to a new context, the context of default litigation. What I discovered was that there were a lot of areas where we could serve a client's interests better by applying litigation skills in a strategic way.
MDK: How would you describe the culture at MDK?
MR: I think the culture is wonderful. It doesn't feel like a very staid, very traditional law firm at all. I remember when I started in 2007, MDK felt like a startup and that was a great relief and a breath of fresh air. I thought that this is a place, this is a culture, where I'll be comfortable. And I certainly have been.
MDK: Tell me about the kinds of people who do well at MDK.
MR: The people who do well at MDK are different from the people who do well in a traditional law firm. The people who do well in a traditional law firm tend to have certain personality characteristics. Oftentimes, it's hard work, drive, being detail-orientated, that sort of thing.
We have plenty of that at MDK, no question about it. But at MDK people succeed by having those qualities as well as being open-minded, creative, and committed to refining processes.
MDK: What keeps you motivated?
MR: I think what keeps me motivated is knowing that I can apply leadership skills to a case. Your job as an officer of the court is not simply to present a good case or a good defense. Your job is to be a leader and show the court the way. Make the court’s job as easy as it can possibly be. The attorneys who can do that are leaders. That is the sort of standard that I seek in my own practice, and I hope that others seek in theirs.
MDK: What do you value most about this company?
MR: What I value most is the firm's commitment to innovation and its flexibility. I think that MDK has done a wonderful job growing into and through certain crises, like the great financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the pandemic. I think it has done that well because challenges are met with an open mind, a sense of curiosity and a desire to apply different methods to solve problems without judgment.
Mission and Values
MDK: MDK’s mission statement is “we create uncommon paths to success for our clients and ourselves”. What does this mean to you?
MR: It means that MDK is capable of finding solutions to problems that clients face in ways they might be surprised about. If you haven't talked to MDK about how to solve a problem, then you haven't really looked at it as seriously as you might have.
MDK: How do you think the staff responds to the mission statement?
MR: I think it inspires the staff. I think it inspires the attorneys. I think it inspires all of us in such a way that we feel empowered in ways that staff at other firms don't necessarily experience.
Innovation and Technology
MDK: What do you think MDK does really well?
MR: I appreciate what MDK does in terms of innovation. I really appreciate the way the firm has an open mind to approaching work in an innovative and new way. The goal, of course, is to provide our clients with better service, saving both time and money.
On the litigation side, what I discovered is that sometimes cases get stuck. One of my favorite things to do is to find ways to get them unstuck. The skills that I learned practicing at a big firm were very well suited to keeping a case moving.
MDK: Tell me about the technology factor that MDK brings with innovations like Casee.
MR: I think Casee is a wonderful tool and I think that there's nothing like it in the industry. Casee has made it possible for ordinary cases to proceed more quickly and more accurately than they would otherwise.
All of the staff, including the attorneys, are integrated into Casee and working through Casee. As a result, the attorneys have become more efficient and the staff has become more knowledgeable about the legal profession and the legal process.
MDK: Thank you for speaking with us, Matt! It was great to hear from you.
MR: Of course! Thank you for having me.
To learn more about Matt, please click here.
This publication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an opinion of Manley Deas Kochalski LLC.
Do not rely on this publication without seeking legal counsel.