Matthew J. Craig
Matthew Craig is Special Counsel at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP. He is an experienced litigator at both the trial and appellate levels.
Matthew maintains a diverse civil practice. While at the firm, he has litigated cases concerning privacy and technology, and helped obtain a preliminary injunction barring the implementation of a New York City law requiring homesharing platforms to share troves of data about their users. He has argued motions and appeals, including a successful Second Circuit appeal relating to § 1782 foreign discovery subpoenas and the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, as well as a successful motion to dismiss before the D.C. Superior Court in a transnational dispute relating to a series of satellite transactions. He has represented Brown University in multiple lawsuits concerning its athletics program. In one of those suits, he conducted the direct examination and cross-examination of witnesses at a two-day hearing at which Brown defeated an effort to have certain sports reinstated to varsity status. Matthew has defended Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Jennifer Lopez, and Ariana Grande in copyright lawsuits.
Prior to being named special counsel, Matthew was the lead associate on a seven-month investigation into gender disparities at NCAA championships. That investigation resulted in two in-depth reports, which have led to significant changes in Division I men’s and women’s basketball and other NCAA sports.
Matthew has played a lead role in many of the firm’s public interest matters. He represents the Federal Defenders of New York in their ongoing litigation over the right to counsel at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. That litigation resulted in a rare temporary restraining order in early 2019 that restored legal visitation rights at the facility, and a unanimous decision in favor of the Federal Defenders on appeal in which the Second Circuit found that the lawsuit concerned “a course of events that demands the attention of all components of the system that our country relies on for meting out justice.” Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the parties have been in ongoing mediation with former Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch to address Sixth Amendment issues at the MDC as well as the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
Matthew was part of the legal team that successfully represented writer E. Jean Carroll in her sexual battery and defamation suits against Donald Trump, securing two substantial jury verdicts of $5 million and $83.3 million, respectively—both after under three hours of deliberations. He represents a putative class in an action against the Trump family over their fraudulent promotion of a multi-level marketing company. He recently argued the criminal appeal of an individual sentenced to a prison term of 23.5-27 years, and frequently serves as amicus counsel in cases before the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals in cases relating to constitutional rights, discrimination, national security, and administrative law.
Previously, Matthew worked at another cutting-edge litigation boutique, Shapiro Arato LLP, where his practice was split between trial and appellate work. One of his cases resulted in the first-ever New York appellate decision vacating a criminal conviction due to a juror’s improper text messaging. He also represented musical artists and record labels, and the victims of one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history. Matthew clerked on the Second Circuit and the Eastern District of New York, and served as a Presidential Fellow at the Open Society Foundations.
Matthew graduated magna cum laude from the New York University School of Law, where he was both a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar and an Institute for International Law and Justice Scholar. His writing has appeared in the Cardozo Law Review, the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, and the Journal of Conflict Resolution.