Matthew T. Evans

Director

mte@hawaiilawyer.com
Phone: (808) 531-8031
Fax: (808) 533-2242

Practice

  • Appeals
  • Construction Law
  • Insurance
  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Real Estate

Education

  • University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D.)
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa (B.A.)

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Matt Evans is a Director of Damon Key and practices in the firm’s Business and Commercial Law, Real Estate, Construction Law, Creditors’ Rights, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, and Appeals practice groups. With a primary focus on commercial disputes, Matt aims to provide legal services in a manner that places his clients’ goals at the center, with a mind toward helping them prevent disputes before they occur and, when necessary, resolve disputes by finding practical, sensible, and efficient solutions that are firmly grounded in the law.

With this approach in mind, Matt has litigated a wide variety of cases on behalf of both businesses and individuals, ranging from relatively minor landlord-tenant issues to multi-million dollar commercial, construction, and real estate disputes. He has provided legal services on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, national and local banks, general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers, real estate holding companies, and local businesses and nonprofit organizations, both large and small.  Matt has experience litigating cases before the Hawaii District Courts, Circuit Courts, Intermediate Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court, as well as the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Matt has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2024 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for his work in Construction Law, Litigation-Construction, Litigation-Insurance, Litigation-Real Estate and Real Estate Law.  He is recognized by Super Lawyers in the practice area of Business Litigation.

Matt has been appointed to the Board of Directors for Meritas, a global alliance of independent law firms that serves the legal needs of companies doing business in multiple markets. Matt was elected to the position from the more than 8,500 attorneys in the Meritas member network and will serve with 20 others from around the world for a three-year term. He has been involved with Meritas for over 10 years, during which time he has held several different roles and served in multiple capacities: initially, as the firm’s designated Young Lawyer Liaison, then later as a member of the Meritas Young Lawyer Advisory Board. Today, in addition to serving on the Meritas Board of Directors, Matt is one of the firm’s Member Contacts and sits on the network’s Real Estate Group Steering Committee, the Finance Committee, and is an active participant in the Meritas Global Firm Management Forum. As a board member, he will participate in strategic planning, member recruitment and development, and the administration of Meritas’ rigorous quality standards, which sets the network apart from other legal organizations. Matt also serves as a member of Damon Key’s Executive Committee, playing a vital role in managing the firm, and chairs the firm’s Hiring Committee.

Matt is also an active member of both the Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) and the American Bar Association (ABA). He was previously chosen as a Fellow of the HSBA’s Leadership Institute (2013), and was instrumental in the formation and success of the Young Lawyers Committee of the ABA’s Section of State and Local Government Law, having served as Secretary and later Co-Chair of the Committee from 2013-2016.  In 2018, he was named by Pacific Business News as a “40 Under 40” honoree and recognized as one of the best and brightest young business leaders in the State of Hawaii.

Born and raised in Kaneohe on the windward side of Oahu, Matt obtained his Bachelor’s degree, with distinction, from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he majored in Communication and minored in Music. He continued on to the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law for law school where he obtained his J.D. and graduated magna cum laude. During law school, Matt was the recipient of several academic and scholarship awards, including the Hawaii State Bar Association C. Jepson Garland Memorial Scholarship Award for authoring the best paper on Real Property and Land Use, the CALI Excellence for the Future Award for achieving the highest grade in Negotiable Instruments, and the Richard S. and Percy K. Mirikitani Memorial Scholarship Award.

When he’s not in the office or courtroom working for his clients, Matt looks forward to spending time with his wife, Taryn, and their daughter, Collins.


Professional and Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association
    • State and Local Government Law Section
      • Young Lawyers Committee: Co-Chair (2014-2016); Secretary (2013-2014)
      • Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee
    • Business Law Section
    • Dispute Resolution Section
    • Forum on Construction Industry
    • Litigation Section
    • Public Contract Law Section
  • Hawaii State Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Business Law Section
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
    • Real Property & Financial Services Section
    • Appellate Section
    • Leadership Institute Fellow (2013)
  • Meritas
    • Board of Directors (2023 – 2026)
    • Member Contact (2016 – present)
    • Finance Committee (2022 – present)
    • Real Estate Group Steering Committee (2019 – present)
    • Young Lawyer Advisory Board (2018 – present)
    • Young Lawyer Liaison (2013 – 2016)
  • King Kamehameha V – Judiciary History Center
    • Board of Directors (2015 – 2021)
  • Hawaii Baptist Academy Alumni Association
    • Treasurer (2016 – 2018)
    • Board of Directors (2013 – 2019)
    • Volunteer coach (Hawaii Baptist Academy: 2014 – 2015)
      • Mock Trial Program
  • Access to Justice Room (Honolulu District Court)
    • Volunteer
  • HSBA Legal Line Hotline
    • Volunteer

Awards and Recognitions

  • Pacific Business News
    • 40 Under 40 Honoree (2018)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2021
  • Listed in Super Lawyers® Rising Stars since 2013

Representative Cases

  • Inoue v. Harbor Legal Grp., 149 Haw. 197, 485 P.3d 91, 2021 Haw. App. LEXIS 127 (Haw. App. Apr. 29, 2021)
  • C & J Coupe Family Limited Partnership v. County of Hawaii; 1250 Oceanside Partners, Supreme Court of the United States, Docket No. 11-75 (On Petition for a Writ of Certiorari)
  • County of Hawaii v. Coupe Family Limited Partnership, 124 Haw. 281, 242 P.3d 1136 (2010)

Publications

  • Co-author, Hawaii Appellate Practice Manual (Hawaii State Bar Association 2012)
  • Co-author, State-By-State Guide to Architect, Engineer, and Contractor Licensing, 2nd ed. (Wolters Kluwer, Cumulative Supplement 2010 – 2023)