Celebrating 75 Years of Serving Nevada’s Legal, Business, Government, and Civic Communities

Bar Admissions
  • California
  • Nevada
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • J.D., Santa Clara University, 1991
  • B.A., UCLA, International Relations, 1988
Bar Admissions
  • California
  • Nevada
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • J.D., Santa Clara University, 1991
  • B.A., UCLA, International Relations, 1988

Professional Background

A lifelong resident of Reno, Matt joined McDonald Carano in 1989 as a law clerk, became an Associate in 1991 and a Partner in 1998, and has been serving as Managing Partner of the Reno office since 2018. He is Chair of the Construction Law & Litigation Practice and has a substantial commercial and complex litigation practice. Matt serves the community as Judge Pro Tem for the Reno Municipal Court and an appointed member of the Board of Directors of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Honorary Deputies Association. He is also an active supporter of the Nevada Military Support Alliance, Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern Nevada, and Nevada Women’s Fund.

Construction Law & Litigation

Matt’s comprehensive construction law experience encompasses dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation, litigation, pre-litigation counseling on troubled projects); project planning and advice (selection of project delivery method, bidding strategy and process); contracts and contracting (plan, structure, draft, negotiate construction contract documents); and project execution (compliance, permitting, insurance, bonding, performance, payment). He also serves as an Administrative Law Judge for the Nevada State Contractors Board, which requires him to review and interpret construction contracts and statutes of all types. 

Matt’s clients primarily include contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, engineers, owners, and developers. He has handled claims of all types, including design and construction defects, work performance and quality, changed or unforeseen conditions, delays, disruptions, loss of productivity, acceleration, payment disputes, back charges, and bid protests and disputes. Matt provides realistic assessments of entitlement issues, damages, litigation costs, litigation risks and settlement options.

Commercial & Complex Litigation
Construction projects and disputes are complex and document intensive, involve multiple parties and substantial amounts of money, and have critical timelines – which are also the core components of Matt’s commercial and complex litigation practice. His substantial and diverse commercial litigation background was built primarily by defending major business entities against allegations of significant liability, including personal injury, property damage, breach of contract, shareholder derivative actions and allegations of personal liability for business defaults. He has handled major products liability actions, with significant damage claims, for a propane gas distributor, a tractor trailer manufacturer, and a forklift manufacturer.  

Matt’s commercial and complex litigation clients include local, state, national and international businesses in nearly every sector of Nevada’s economy, including mining. He represents them as primary outside counsel in every phase of litigation, and out-of-state law firms also often rely on Matt to serve as local counsel. He has tried cases to arbiters, judges and juries and successfully argued before the Nevada Supreme Court.

Awards and Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell – AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating (since 2007)
  • The Best Lawyers in America – Commercial Litigation (2008-2024), Construction Litigation (2011-2024), Construction Law (2020-2024), Arbitration (2023, 2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America – “Lawyer of the Year” in Construction Litigation (2024, 2016)
  • Northern Nevada Business Weekly, Best In Business awards – “Influential Leader” 1st Place (2023, 2022)
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers Magazine – “Super Lawyer” (2023)
  • Nevada Business Magazine – “Legal Elite/Top Rank Attorneys” (2011, 2012, 2015-2018, 2020, 2023)

Professional Affiliations

  • Board of Directors, Washoe County Honorary Deputy Sheriff’s Association
  • Nevada Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Member, International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Member, Association of Defense Counsel of Northern Nevada, President (1998)
  • Member, Washoe County Bar Association, President (2001-2002), Board Member, Volunteer Lawyers (1998-2001)
  • Judge Pro Tem, Reno Municipal Court (2004-present)
  • Administrative Law Judge, Nevada State Contractors’ Board (2019-present)
  • Settlement Judge Pro Tem, El Dorado County Superior Court, ADR/Case Management Department (2007-present)
  • Graduate, Truckee Meadows Citizens’ Police Academy (2009)
  • Graduate, FBI Citizens’ Academy (2018)
  • U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, Lawyer Representative (2003-2005) and Northern Division Chair (2005)
  • American Inns of Court, Bruce R. Thompson Chapter, Barrister (1998-2001), Pupil (1991-1993, 1996-1998)


Attorney News

Five Tips to Help New Partners Succeed

January marks the traditional occasion for law firms to announce newly promoted Partners. Matt Addison, Managing Partner of our Reno office, published an article in Of Counsel titled “Five Tips…

1st Place Law Firm and 1st Place Most Philanthropic Company in Best In Business Awards

Northern Nevada Business Weekly announced the results of its 2023 Best In Business Awards and McDonald Carano LLP received the highest number of votes in two categories – Law Firm…

Influential Leader Recognition in Best In Business Awards

McDonald Carano congratulates Matt Addison, Leigh Goddard, and Josh Hicks on being recognized in the “Influential Leader” category in the Best In Business 2023 Awards hosted by Northern Nevada Business…

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