Matthew P. Banks is a Senior Associate at Ward & Berry. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Banks was a JAG in the U.S Marine Corps, achieving the rank of Major. He has experience in virtually all stages of litigation as well as experience in the following practice areas: criminal law, administrative law, environmental law and compliance, international law, government procurement, FOIA, and Privacy Act.
As a junior litigator, he defended clients in over a dozen contested, criminal trials as lead counsel. In this time, he reviewed investigations, conducted discovery, drafted pre- and post-trial motions, examined witnesses (including expert witnesses), and advocated for clients in high-stakes criminal cases. Mr. Banks secured five full acquittals and several other functional acquittals, i.e., cases in which clients were found not guilty of the major offense. He was also recognized as runner-up for east coast defense counsel of the year in 2011. During the same period, he advocated for clients in three dozen employment termination hearings.
While deployed to Afghanistan, Mr. Banks supervised the tracking and handling as well as the transfer, handover, or release of detainees in southwest Afghanistan. He led a team of Marines on monthly missions to inspect Afghan detention facilities to ensure compliance with international human rights and humanitarian rights law. This deployment led to later invitations to provide international human rights and humanitarian rights law training to U.S. allies in Lebanon, Uganda, Kenya, and Iraq.
Mr. Banks spent four years as agency counsel for the Department of the Navy and Department of Defense in cases before federal district and appellate courts as well as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. In this time, he led a team of subject matter experts on a 24-month electronic document review project to review environmental documents in anticipation of litigation. He also drafted and reviewed over a dozen motions and briefs; responded to discovery requests; and participated in a high-profile, short-fuse eDiscovery project for a suit filed against the Department of Defense, among other defendants. In each case, he worked with the Department of Justice to defend agency decisions.
Mr. Banks earned a B.A. in Zoology from Miami (OH) University, a J.D. from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and an LL.M. in Government Procurement and Environmental Law from The George Washington University Law School.
Mr. Banks is licensed to practice in Michigan. His practice is supervised by D.C. bar members pursuant to D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49(c)(8) while his D.C. Bar Application is pending. He has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.