Good strategy requires a sort of tactical insight: I have to put myself in the shoes of the opposing counsel and plaintiff and consider their motivations and incentives. In every case, I have to make a prediction about the world, and then see if I was right.
Matthew Knox represents mortgage servicers and lenders in a wide variety of commercial litigation and consumer financial services litigation. His clients include national and state banks, mortgage loan servicers and investors, automobile finance companies, and other providers of consumer financial services. Matt’s primary focus is defending consumer litigation claims in lender liability actions in state and federal courts.
Matt handles matters involving fraud, wrongful foreclosure, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, negligence, and breach of contract. He assists clients with contested foreclosures, real estate and title issues, and claims of federal and state regulatory violations, and adversarial proceedings filed in bankruptcy court. He represents banks and financial institutions in disputes involving state and federal consumer protection, licensing, lending, usury, leasing, and sales laws, and regularly defends claims arising under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), among others. He also represents lenders in litigation relating to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Civil Rights Act, and state counterparts to these statutes.
His work consists of the integration of two markedly different competencies: administrative and operational efficiency, and the development of an overall case strategy. With respect to the administrative element, Matt operates with extensive support from a team of specialized legal assistants and paralegals. This infrastructure means that assembly of documents, preparation of minor pleadings and so on are handled systematically, which allows him to efficiently manage a steady pipeline of fundamentally similar cases and resolve them as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Matt’s time and attention is reserved for more significant pleadings, such as Motions for Summary Judgment, and settlement discussions with opposing counsel.
With respect to the judgment work of assessing the merits of his client’s case, Matt begins by analyzing the pleadings and the borrower’s alleged facts and claims. Based on the analysis of those documents and allegations, he develops a litigation strategy that he communicates to and discusses with the client. Once the client has approved the strategy, he proceeds with the litigation accordingly, periodically updating the client and obtaining further input if necessary.
A key part of strategy development is determining the posture and expectations of opposing counsel, asking questions such as “Is opposing counsel reasonable? Are the plaintiff’s claims grounded in realistic outcomes?” and determining whether they have a deep understanding of the merits of their case, the applicable law, and the judicial process at hand. A student of behavioral economics and game theory, Matt tries to employ the lessons from those subjects in his work. He evaluates what he knows about the law, the opposing counsel, the judge, and other factors to determine whether and how he can apply that information to the case to achieve a good outcome for the client.