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Matthew G.  Berard

Matthew G. Berard

Associate
Phone:248.205.3348
Fax:248.205.3399
Matthew Berard is an associate practicing product liability litigation with a strong focus on automotive, autonomous vehicles, aviation and drone law. As an FAA certified private pilot, he leverages his flight knowledge and technical training to defend major product manufacturers in complex product-related claims. 

Practicing in both state and federal courts across the country, Matthew represents clients in litigation arising from personal injury, product defect, property damage, premises liability and an assortment of other claims. He defends the design and manufacture of motor vehicles and components such as airbags and seat belts as well as defending autonomous vehicle manufacturers in product liability litigation. Matthew also advises and assists businesses with respect to commercial drone operations, certification processes, and FAA regulations. In his practice, Matthew has experience conducting depositions of critical fact and expert witnesses, as well as developing cost-effective litigation strategies, arguing dispositive motions and attending status and settlement conferences. Matthew has successfully briefed and argued challenges to personal jurisdiction in various state and federal courts on behalf of foreign product manufacturers. His background also includes defending insurance companies in various coverage disputes.

Prior to joining the firm, Matthew was an attorney at one of Michigan's largest law firms. He also served as the Senior Judicial Court Clerk for the Honorable Shalina D. Kumar in Oakland County Circuit Court for nearly five years while earning his undergraduate and law degree. 

When he's not practicing law or flying his Cessna 172, Matthew participates in many aviation-centered legal organizations and authors articles addressing issues with respect to insurance, aviation and drone law.

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 2013
  • Illinois, 2013
  • Indiana, 2014
  • Massachusetts, 2014

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

Education

  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, J.D., 2012

    ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, Fourth Best Brief, 2012

    ABA Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section Law Student Writing Competition, First Place, 2011

    Patrick A. Keenan Memorial Appellate Advocacy Tournament, First Place, 2011

    Book Award; Insurance Law, 2011

  • Oakland University, B.A., 2009

Professional Associations

    • Defense Research Institute
      —Aviation Law Committee, Annual Meeting Chair, 2018
      —Publications Chair, 2015 – 2018; Membership Chair, 2014 – 2015
    • Michigan Business Aviation Association

Recent News, Events and Blogs


Speaking Engagements

  • "The Emerging Law of Drones," Washtenaw County Bar Association Meeting, January 2017
  • "Commercial Drones Take Flight: Preparing and Defending Against Future Litigation," Co-Presenter, Client Webinar, October 2016
  • "Drone Law," The Lawyers, 106.9 FM Wood Radio, November 2015

Publications

  • "A Primer on Key Topics in Drone Law,” DRI The Voice of the Defense Bar, March 2018
  • "A Tough Pill for Plaintiffs to Swallow: Supreme Court Finds No Specific Personal Jurisdiction Over Manufacturer in State Court for Nonresident Claims," Client Alert, Co-Author, June 2017
  • "Product Liability: Aircraft Manufacturers and Federal Field Preemption," DRI Skywritings, Vol  17, Issue 2, December 2016
  • "Asked & Answered: Matthew Berard on Evolution of Drone Law," Detroit Legal News, November 2016
  • "FAA Publishes New "Part 107" Regulating Commercial Unmanned Aircraft," Client Alert, Co-Author, June 2016
  • "The Aircraft Exclusion: How the "Model or Hobby Aircraft" Exception Affects Insurance Coverage for Unmanned Aircraft," DRI For the Defense, Vol. 57, No. 8, August 2015
  • "Asked & Answered: Matthew Berard on Drone Law and Navigable Airspace," Detroit Legal News, March 2016
  • "Asked & Answered: Matthew Berard on Evolving Drone Law," Detroit Legal News, January 2016
  • "Asked & Answered: Matthew Berard on Drone Registration," Detroit Legal News, December 2015
  • "Asked & Answered: Matthew Berard on Evolving Drone Law," Detroit Legal News, November 2015
  • "The Aircraft Exclusion: How the "Model or Hobby Aircraft" Exception Affects Insurance Coverage for Unmanned Aircraft," DRI For the Defense, Vol. 57, No. 8, August 2015
  • "Innovations in Aviation and the Necessity for Innovation in Insurance," DRI Skywritings – Vol. 15, Issue 2, December 2014
  • "Lockheed Martin v. United States: The Effect of Indirect Recovery Under CERCLA," DRI Covered Events – Issue 7, August 2014
  • "Implied Disparagement," Chapter Co-Author, DRI Coverage B: Personal and Advertising Injury Compendium, May 2014
  • "Flying Cars: The Reconciliation of Aircraft and Automobile Insurance Policies," ABA Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Law Journal - Vol. 47, Issue 2, Winter 2012