Here to help.
Matthew Melewski helps entities and individuals throughout the country with a wide range of legal needs, from contracts to corporate law, from regulation to litigation. Current clients include a major league sports team, a solar energy developer, two national historic landmarks, environmental organizations, nonprofit organizations in a variety of fields, international shipping corporations, the largest water treatment companies in the world, philanthropists, well known authors, and some of the most prominent civil rights leaders in the country.
Most of his work is never made public, and involves managing legal risks, negotiating agreements, and proactively avoiding or resolving disputes. For intractable problems, Matthew has successfully litigated throughout the United States, including against state and federal governments, winning several cases most lawyers deem impossible:
- won a preliminary injunction against a federal regulation after the statute of limitations expired;
- awarded attorneys’ fees from the opposing law firm;
- reversed a child custody determination on appeal;
- defeated a motion to intervene in a federal environmental case;
- won a motion to dismiss a case against the state of New York without the support of the attorney general’s office
Matthew also counsels clients on regulatory and environmental matters – he is the most experienced ballast water attorney in the country, and pioneered the use of intervention in Minnesota environmental appeals. Finally, Matthew spends at least 25% of his time on civil rights, non-profit work, and socially important causes, almost entirely on a pro bono basis.
Matthew was previously an attorney at two of the largest and most respected law firms in the country, Hunton & Williams LLP (now Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP) and Leonard, Street and Deinard (now Stinson LLP). Matthew has won awards for writing, speaking and pro bono representations. While in law school, he was a judicial extern to the Honorable Franklin L. Noel, Magistrate Judge at the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.
JD, University of Minnesota Law School
BA, New York University
- New York
- Washington, DC
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Writing, Speaking & Press
Ex-cop charged with making false 911 call about Black youths, Associated Press (December 10, 2020)
Probe reopened in off-duty cop’s 911 call about Black youths, San Francisco Chronicle (September 2, 2020)
Off-duty cop’s case reopened by State Police, Press-Republican (September 2, 2020)
State Police reopen probe into Cohoes cop incident in Adirondacks, Times Union (September 1, 2020)
Off-Duty Upstate NY Cop’s 911 Call About Black Youth, Gunshots Sparks Concerns, WNBC NY (August 14, 2020)
Ex-cop’s 911 call about menacing Black youths unravels to reveal lie, The Philadelphia Tribune (August 14, 2020)
Off Duty Cop’s 911 Call About Black Youths Raises Questions, New York Times, (August 13, 2020)
Off Duty Cop’s 911 Call About Black Youths Raises Questions, Washington Post, (August 13, 2020)
700+ call for more investigation of cop who made false report, Adirondack Daily Enterprise (August 7, 2020)
Activists ask Essex County DA to probe Cohoes cop incident, Times Union (August 6, 2020)
Stakeholders express concerns about USCG VIDA draft policy letter, Riviera (October 2019)
Judge denies request to delay Mpls 2040 vote, The Wedge Times-Picayune (December 6, 2018)
Lawsuit attempting to stall Minneapolis 2040 plan is ridiculous, Minnesota Daily (December 5, 2018)
Jeanine Pirro Called Out in Major Way by Judge in Black Lives Matter Activist’s Defamation Lawsuit, Law & Crime (October 23, 2018)
Fox News Host Jeanine Pirro Scolded by Sitting Judge in Defamation Lawsuit, The Hollywood Reporter (October 23, 2018)
Conference Chairman, 15th Ballast Water Management Summit, Singapore (July 13-14, 2016)
Speaker on Regulatory Discontinuity and Enforcement, BWMTech, London, England (December 8-9, 2015)
Stream Chair and Speaker, Green Ship Technology North America, Washington, DC (November 17-18, 2015)
Moderator and Speaker on U.S. Compliance and Enforcement, BWMTech North America, Miami, FL (September 24, 2015)
Speaker, “Risk, Non-Complaince and Enforcement,” BWMTech North America, Miami, FL (September 25, 2014)
Alumni Profile, Perspectives Magazine (Spring 2014) Download
Multiple Presentations to U.S. and Canadian Agencies Regarding Implementation of, and Litigation Concerning, the U.S.E.P.A.’s Vessel General Permit (2012-2014)
Interview regarding Guantanamo Bay Representations, The Talking Dog (April 3, 2013)
Speaker, Checks and Balances: Implementation of Federally Delegated Environmental Programs in Virginia, Virginia CLE, Lexington, VA (April 5, 2011)
Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards: Recent Changes in Security Affect Pharma Facilities, Contract Pharma (June 6, 2009) (co-author)
The Malign Effects of Drug and Crime Control Policies on Black Americans, 37 Crime and Justice 1-44 (2008), reprinted in Thinking about Punishment: Penal Policy Across Space, Time and Discipline (Ashgate, 2009) (with Michael Tonry) Download
What Went Wrong?, CBS News (August 14, 2003)
An estimated 50 million people impacted by power outage stretching from New York to Michigan, Associated Press (August 14, 2003)
Millions lose power across U.S., Canada, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (August 14, 2003)
Bernard Melewski has practiced environmental law for more than thirty years. A regular presence at the New York Capitol and the nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C., Bernard has also represented regional and statewide environmental organizations as a lobbyist and was instrumental in the adoption of significant legislative policy.
His environmental and energy legal practice over the last ten years has included mining issues, solid and hazardous waste issues, pipeline siting, wind farm development, and a variety of land use developments especially with regard to the environmental impact of proposed projects.
His clients appreciate that Bernard, with his extensive experience, can counsel them on what to expect in the often long administrative and legal path to success, whether they are seeking a permit or opposing a project. Most importantly he is a strategist, who can guide his clients on how to get from the starting gate to the finish line.
Bernard was previously a named partner in a law firm with offices in Lake Placid and Saratoga Springs, Counsel and Lobbyist to a prominent Adirondack advocacy organization, and Counsel to the New York Legislative Commissions on Solid and Hazardous Waste Management.
JD, Syracuse University School of Law
BA, Siena College
- New York