Massachusetts, 1992
    New York, 1994

    U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 1996
    U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, 1995


    2017 Super Lawyer

    Boston Globe’s 2015 Top Rated Lawyers of 2015

    Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating

    Highest Mark in February 1993 Ohio Bar Exam

    Clerkship, Hon. David D. Dowd, Jr., U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio (1992-1994)


    Massachusetts Bar Association

    Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association

    Defense Research Institute

    New York Bar Association

Matthew J. Walko, Partner

Matthew Walko has a broad-based civil litigation practice. He is experienced in all aspects of litigation before Massachusetts state and federal courts, ranging from discovery through trial and appeal, including mediation. He represents business, insurance, and individual clients in all aspects of civil litigation and appellate practice. He has more than 20 years of experience in trial practice in state and federal courts. His practice includes products and premises liability litigation, insurance defense and chapter 93A litigation, coverage opinions, construction, business and commercial litigation, and indoor air quality litigation.

Matt has achieved excellent results for product manufacturers and service providers in fire and explosion litigation involving multi-million dollar claims, for public authorities and contractors in defense of insured-risk, personal injury and property damage lawsuits and construction defect claims, for businesses and individuals in civil lawsuits, and for insurance companies, including non-admitted carriers, with respect to insurance coverage disputes, manuscript-policy and surplus-lines CGL coverage issues, subrogation and chapter 93A and 176D litigation.

He has successfully represented business clients at jury trials before the Massachusetts Superior Court, and has argued and won appeals before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. In particular, his appellate advocacy on expert witness and premises liability issues has secured favorable results for clients.

Matt has been a partner of Smith Duggan Buell & Rufo since 2001; he served as Administrative-Managing Partner from 2009 through 2016.

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  • Successfully represented an industrial oven manufacturer against claim that a product defect caused a $14 million factory fire loss, convincing the plaintiff to accept a low five-figure settlement.
  • Obtained numerous procedural and substantive dismissals of lawsuits that wrongfully accused clients of negligence.
  • Achieved numerous favorable compromise settlements of claims against general contractors and subcontractors alleging negligence, fire loss and wrongful death.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a public authority in a case involving a pedestrian struck by a cab in a parking lot.
  • Briefed and argued the successful appeal that helped convince the Commonwealth’s Supreme Judicial Court to apply the federal expert witness admissibility standard from Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) to civil cases. See Canavan's Case, 432 Mass. 304, 733 N.E.2d 1042 (2000)
  • Obtained summary judgment for a public authority in numerous cases involving premises liability claims.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a landowner accused of negligent maintenance of a sidewalk by pursuing the recreational use defense.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a landlord accused of liability for an arm injury caused by a conveyor belt.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a commercial general liability (CGL) non-admitted insurance carrier on the application of manuscript exclusion to nightclub stabbing, and successfully represented the insurer on appeal where the judgment was affirmed.
  • Provided numerous coverage opinions concerning CGL policies under Massachusetts law.
  • Achieved favorable compromise settlement of product liability claims against a sprinkler head manufacturer.
  • Successfully represented a landowner to defeat a motion to dismiss a zoning appeal that wrongfully accused him of lack of standing.
  • Successfully represented a major Boston hospital against employee liability claims by convincing the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to change Massachusetts law concerning expert witness evidence.
  • Assisted as local counsel on the brief and at oral argument in pursuing successful interlocutory appeal of an erroneous Superior Court business litigation decision that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reversed.
  • Provided timely and affordable local counsel services to mid-size New York firms before the Superior Court's Business Litigation Session and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to obtain favorable negotiated settlements on breach of contract claims.
  • Speaker on expert witness issues, including the approach of Massachusetts courts to multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) evidence (Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association)
  • Author of a chapter for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. entitled "Scientific Evidence and the Use of Lanigan and Daubert.