Education

  • University of Pennsylvania, BA, 2008
    magna cum laude
  • MSt, Oxford University, 2009
    with distinction
  • JD, Harvard University, 2012
    magna cum laude

Clerkships

  • Hon. Anthony M. Kennedy, Supreme Court of the United States
  • Hon. Stephen Reinhardt, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Hon. J. Paul Oetken, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Fellowships, Leaderships & Recognition

  • 2021 Young Lawyer of the Year, The American Lawyer
  • 2021 Leading Plaintiff Employment & Civil Rights Lawyers, Lawdragon 500
  • 40 & Under Hot List, 2020 and 2021, Benchmark Litigation
  • List of Most Influential People in Washington, 2021, Washingtonian Magazine
  • Kentucky Colonel, Commonwealth of Kentucky
  • Future Star, Benchmark Litigation
  • 2021 Elite Trial Lawyers List, Rising Star, The National Law Journal
  • D.C. Rising Star, 2020, The National Law Journal
  • “30 under 30” Law & Policy List, 2014, Forbes Magazine
  • Articles & Book Reviews Chair, Harvard Law Review

Bar and Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • New York
  • District of Columbia

Joshua Matz is a partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP. His practice includes complex commercial disputes, constitutional and civil rights law, and Supreme Court and appellate litigation. In 2021, Joshua was recognized by The American Lawyer as a “Young Lawyer of the Year,” and by Benchmark Litigation as a “Future Star” and member of its “40 & Under Hot List.” In January 2021, Joshua was commissioned by Governor Andy Beshear as a Kentucky Colonel—the Commonwealth’s highest honor—for successfully defending the Governor’s COVID-19 public health measures at the Supreme Court. In February 2021, Joshua took a leave of absence from the firm to serve as Impeachment Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee for the second Senate trial of President Trump; he previously served among counsel to the House Judiciary Committee for the first impeachment and trial of President Trump.

Joshua litigates a wide array of commercial cases, ranging from contract, fraud, and misappropriation disputes to consumer protection and sex discrimination matters. He advises companies on their response to congressional inquiries, participates in sensitive internal investigations, and helps to formulate constitutional challenges to city and state regulation. Along with several of his colleagues at Kaplan Hecker, Joshua has represented Brown and Columbia Universities in Title IX litigation. 

Joshua is also an experienced defamation litigator. He represents E. Jean Carroll in a case against Donald J. Trump for defamatory statements Trump made in response to Ms. Carroll’s public revelation that he had sexually assaulted her. He represents Liz Mair in two Virginia state court defamation cases brought by Rep. Devin Nunes relating to her political criticism. And in 2020, he represented Stanford Medical School faculty who were threatened with a defamation suit for scientific criticism of policies advocated by former White House Coronavirus Advisor Dr. Scott Atlas.

Joshua maintains a substantial civil rights and constitutional practice. His cases have ranged across LGBTQ rights, religious liberty, freedom of speech, privacy, firearm regulation, the separation of powers, the right to counsel, due process, and the scope of constitutional remedies. He has represented individual clients, civil rights organizations, current and former government officials, cities, states, and congressional committees. Joshua’s current and recent representations in this field include:

  • Victims of the Charlottesville attacks in a lawsuit against white supremacists
  • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in defending its certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election at the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky in defending the constitutionality of his COVID-19 public health orders at the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Two New York State legislators in a lawsuit against the NYPD for police misconduct during the May 2020 Black Lives Matter protests
  • The SEIU in opposing a petition for certiorari seeking U.S. Supreme Court review of the constitutionality of a state access to information law
  • Victims of consumer fraud in a federal class action lawsuit against Donald J. Trump, his adult children, and the Trump Organization
  • ICE detainees in a challenge to their confinement amid the pandemic
  • The Federal Defenders of New York in a statutory and constitutional challenge to attorney access policies at the Metropolitan Detention Center
  • Former Judge John Gleeson as court-appointed amicus in proceedings before Judge Emmett Sullivan in United States v. Michael T. Flynn
  • Mayoral candidate India Walton in emergency appellate proceedings that overturned an order invalidating part of New York’s election code
  • The House Judiciary Committee in litigation seeking to compel testimony by former White House Counsel Don McGahn
  • The City of Philadelphia in Fulton v. Philadelphia—a U.S. Supreme Court merits case involving a First Amendment challenge to the City’s contractual non-discrimination requirements for foster care providers.

Joshua has also filed amicus briefs on behalf of legal scholars, civil rights organizations, public officials, and medical experts. These briefs have addressed issues including:

  • The legality of emergency public health measures issued amid the pandemic
  • The history of self-defense law and its implications for firearms regulation
  • The availability of compassionate release in light of the First Step Act
  • Judicial power to release detainees facing a substantial risk of harm in custody
  • The application of Title VII to anti-LGBT discrimination
  • The addition of a citizenship question to the census
  • The denial of service to same-sex couples based on religious objections
  • The exclusion of transgender persons from the military
  • The imposition of broad religious exemptions from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement
  • The need for due process limits on suggestive in-court eyewitness identifications
  • The illegality of denying Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming surgeries
  • The lawfulness of election administration grant programs.

In 2017 and 2018, Joshua filed an amicus brief on behalf of constitutional law scholars opposing President Trump’s travel ban. In its en banc opinion upholding an injunction against that policy, the Fourth Circuit cited and quoted his brief. The Economist called this filing a “persuasive and skillfully targeted argument,” and Slate described the opinion as “a striking vindication of the constitutional theory put forth in an amicus brief by a group of scholars led by . . . Joshua Matz.” When the travel ban cases reached the Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor quoted from Joshua’s brief in her dissent.

Alongside his litigation experience, Joshua has written for diverse audiences about legal issues. His articles have appeared in The Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalThe Harvard Law Review ForumThe University of Chicago Law Review, The Fordham Law Review, The Daily JournalThe Guardian, The Atlantic, and Wired, and he has been invited to speak at Harvard Law School, the 92nd Street Y, the ABA LGBT+ Forum, the National Constitution Center, and Politics & Prose. Joshua also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown Law School, where he co-teaches “Constitutional Litigation and the Executive Branch.” Additionally, Joshua serves on the Board of Directors for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

In March 2012, Joshua and Larry Tribe of Harvard Law School published “The Constitutional Inevitability of Same-Sex Marriage,” 71 Md. L. Rev. 471 (2012). In June 2014, they published an award-winning book, Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution (Henry Holt). In May 2018, they published their second book together, To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment (Basic Books). The Economist proclaimed this book “the definitive treatment of a vital subject.” 

Joshua holds a BA (magna cum laude) from the University of Pennsylvania, an MSt (with distinction) from Oxford University, and a JD (magna cum laude) from Harvard Law School. While in law school, he interned at the Public Citizen Litigation Group and the Federal Defenders of New York. He also served as Articles & Book Reviews Chair of the Harvard Law Review and president of the American Constitution Society. Following law school, Joshua clerked for Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York, Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court. In 2014, Forbes named Joshua to its “30 under 30” Law & Policy List—and in 2016 it named him an “Alumni All-Star” of past honorees.

Read about Joshua Matz in our Newsroom

Published on: January 11, 2022

Opinion: Trump wants the Jan. 6 suits against him dismissed. Why he's on shaky ground.

In their new op-ed, founding partner Roberta (“Robbie”) Kaplan, partner Joshua Matz, and partner Ray Tolentino explain how former President Trump has sought to avoid legal responsibility for his role... Read More
Published on: December 6, 2021

Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP Named The American Lawyer’s 2021 Inaugural “Best Diversity Initiative” Award Recipient

NEW YORK, NY, December 6, 2021 – Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP is honored to announce that the firm has been recognized as The American Lawyer’s “Best Diversity Initiative” award recipient.
Published on: October 1, 2021

Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP Named a “Top Boutique”; Individual Lawyers Honored in Benchmark Litigation 2022 Guide

NEW YORK, NY, September 30, 2021 – Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP is pleased to announce that Benchmark Litigation has recognized Kaplan Hecker as one of the “Top Boutiques” in the country for 2022.... Read More