August J. Matteis

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August J Matteis, Jr.

(202) 499-7910 amatteis@wmclaw.com Download vCard

Education

  • L.L.M., Georgetown University, Labor and Employment, Chetwood Prize (highest average in graduating class) (2002)
  • J.D., Georgetown University, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, John M. Olin Fellowship in Law & Economics (1993)
  • B.A., Yale University, cum laude (1989)

Bar Memberships

  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia

Press Links

Augie Matteis, the Chairman of WMC, is a trial lawyer and one of the premier disaster recovery lawyers in the United States.

Augie’s cases have been featured in major news and media outlets, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, ABC News, The Washington Times, and USA Today. He’s been interviewed on broad-ranging topics, including Hurricane damage, FEMA, flood insurance, recovering Nazi-stolen art, and collecting judgments against Chinese companies.

Augie built his reputation by standing up to insurance companies that profit by systematically underpaying policyholders.

  • He is lead trial counsel for the whistleblowers in U.S. ex rel. Rigsby v. State Farm, 1:06-cv-00433, which was the first case in history in which a jury found that one of FEMA’s insurance companies intentionally defrauded the federal government. The case was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and was affirmed 8-0in favor of the whistleblowing Rigsby sisters.
  • Augie and his partner Josh Katz lead WMC’s team that represents over 1,100 homeowners and business owners in FEMA’s Hurricane Sandy claims review process. After FEMA’s insurance companies were caught committing fraud and underpaying policyholders after Sandy, FEMA agreed to allow all policyholders to reopen their claims. Rather than accepting FEMA’s second round of low-ball offers in the claims review process, WMC took the unprecedented approach of arbitrating over 1,000 individual claims over the past year to ensure that every one of its clients received a fair hearing and an opportunity to recover what was owed to them. WMC’sclients recovered an average of nearly four times what others received through the same review process.
  • Augie is lead counsel for the Attorney General of Mississippi in a series of lawsuits brought against insurance companies for committing systematic fraud and other illegal acts in the claims handling process after HurricaneKatrina that resulted in Mississippi paying hundreds of millions of dollars to homeowners that should have been paid by the insurance companies.

In addition to his disaster recovery practice, Augie also pursues high stakes litigation in a wide variety of practice areas that present novel challenges to plaintiffs.

  • Augie was lead trial counsel in In re Outsidewall Tire Litigation, 09-cv-1217, a case in which he represented a U.S. inventor against two enormous tire conglomerates in China and Dubai. In this case, the foreign tire companies stole the inventor’s intellectual property and business plans related to specialized underground mining tires. Just eight months after meeting the plaintiff, Augie and his team obtained a $26 million jury verdict against the two companies in the Eastern District of Virginia forcopyright and trademark infringement, conversion and civil conspiracy. The verdict was the largest verdict of any kind in Virginia in 2010 and one of the top 100 verdicts in the country. After the defendants refused to pay, Augie, along with his partner Bill Copley and their team, pursued the defendants in enforcement actions around the world and collected over $23 million of the judgment.
  • Augie also represented a Holocaust survivor in a federal lawsuit brought against the Republic of Germany forrefusing to return artwork stolen by Hitler’s art dealer and hidden away by his son, Cornelius Gurlitt, for over 70 years. As a result of WMC’s aggressive representation, WMC’s client was the first to recover artwork from Gurlitt’s stash.

Before beginning his legal career at a large, New York-based law firm, Augie lived in rural Connecticut and spent many summers working with his father, who was a master carpenter. His parents taught him to take pride in his work and not be intimidated by people just because they had more money or power. Those lessons have guided him throughout his life.