J. Matt Thornton is a seasoned litigator in the firm’s Litigation Group, who has a demonstrated track record of helping clients achieve favorable outcomes in high-stake cases. In addition to handling everyday business disputes, Matt has litigated individual and class action claims related to privacy and cybersecurity matters, mass torts, and product liability. Matt also has experience advising media clients on (and, when necessary, litigating) issues arising under the First Amendment, defamation law, and state and federal open record statutes. Whatever the area of law, Matt prides himself on providing comprehensive representation, tailored to each client’s needs. Whether that’s finding a business-oriented solution to a complex legal challenge or escalating a dispute in litigation, Matt is a skilled and strategic litigator you can count on.
Matt is currently licensed to practice law in two states, Colorado and Minnesota, and has been admitted to practice in no fewer than ten federal courts across the country. Since joining the firm, he has first-chaired trials and hearings; taken and defended numerous fact and expert witness depositions; submitted winning dispositive motions; negotiated settlements; filed for injunctive relief; argued cases on appeal; defended against class certification; provided pre-publication review for media clients; among many other things. Matt also does a considerable amount of pro bono work each year. The incredible outcomes he’s obtained for the underserved or oppressed, including, among other things, a grant of clemency, fuel Matt’s private practice. In addition, to give back to his community, Matt sits on the Board of a non-profit organization, and he contributes to the firm through mentorship and by serving on multiple committees, including as co-lead of the firm’s Work-Life Integration Group.
- Secured early dismissal of privacy-related claims brought against film producer.
- Negotiated pre-motion dismissal of defamation claims brought against local blogger.
- Prevailed on summary judgment in a high-profile quasi contract dispute involving more than a billion dollars in alleged damages.
In law school, Matt served as a Judicial Intern for Justice Gregory Hobbs, Jr. of the Colorado Supreme Court.
American Bar Association
Colorado Bar Association
Denver Bar Association
Recognition & Accomplishments
Named to Minnesota Lawyer's Up and Coming Attorney List, 2022
Legal 500, Dispute resolution - Product liability, mass tort and class action - automotive/transport - defense, 2022
The Best Lawyers in America, "Ones to Watch," Appellate (Denver), Commercial Litigation (Denver), 2022-2024
Board Memberships & Community Service
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
Co-author, "Inadvertent Disclosure of FOIA-Exempt Material Cannot Justify Prior Restraint," MLRC MediaLawLetter, September 2023
Co-author, "Exploring the Rise in State Wiretap Claims," JD Supra, March 4, 2021
Co-author, "Government Attorneys—Tell Your Clients They Can't Censor People on Social Media," Bloomberg Law Insight, September 3, 2019
Co-author, "Oregon, New York, Alabama, and Rhode Island Join List of States Considering Data Breach Legislation Post-Equifax," Pratt's Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Report, May 2018
Co-author, "Flooring It into the Future with Self-Driving Cars," ColoradoBiz Magazine, July 13, 2017
Co-author, "Overview of the Association of Corporate Counsel Model Information Protection and Security Controls for Outside Counsel Possessing Company Confidential Information," Ballard Spahr memo, April 2017
University of Denver, Sturm College of Law (J.D. 2015; Order of St. Ives)
Denver University Law Review, Staff Editor; Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, Staff Editor
Jessup International Moot Court Team, Captain
Virginia Commonwealth University (M.A. Economics, magna cum laude)
Virginia Commonwealth University (B.S. Economics, magna cum laude)
U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit