Matthew Bergman JD’89
Matthew P. “Matt” Bergman JD’89 and his former spouse, Rebecca Peterson, are the parents of Madeline “Maddie” Bergman JD’19.
Mr. Bergman received a BA in sociology from Reed College and a JD from Lewis & Clark Law School. Following law school, he spent two years as a law clerk to Judge Baldock of the United States Court of Appeals - Tenth Circuit. His legal career began at the firm Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe in Seattle, Washington. His practice at this time primarily focused on environmental litigation, Indian law and insurance coverage litigation.
In 1995, Mr. Bergman left Heller Ehrman and began representing asbestos victims with Brian Weinstein, at Weinstein & Bergman, P.S. He then founded his own firm, Bergman Draper Oslund Udo, which has grown to become the Northwest’s premier asbestos litigation firm. In 2009, he became involved with Neural IQ, a high-tech startup marketing antihacking software to government agencies and private industry, serving as board chair until the company was dissolved in early 2012.
Mr. Bergman is nationally known for his work on behalf of asbestos victims. He has spoken at national and international seminars on asbestos litigation. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on asbestos legislative issues, as well as served on numerous creditors’ committees and trust advisory committees. He also fights for the rights of individuals and continues to work closely with local and international unions throughout the northwest.
Mr. Bergman has remained active in community service and legal advocacy. He was a long-time trustee of Reed College and a member of the board of alumni at Lewis & Clark Law School. He has served on the Lewis & Clark Law School’s board of visitors since 2007. He is a board member of the Mississippi Center for Justice, which prosecutes civil rights and consumer protection action cases in Mississippi. He also serves on the board of the American Security Project, a bi-partisan foreign and defense policy organization focused on security issues involving global warming and international development and military security.
Mr. Bergman is personally and sincerely involved with the Maasai Children’s Initiative (MCI). MCI’s objectives include providing education opportunities, increased school enrollment, empowering Maasai women, promoting computer literacy and promoting the maintenance and preservation of the Maasai culture in southern Kenya. He is the chair and principal funder of MCI. He first traveled to Kenya in 2004 and was overwhelmed with the opportunities to improve educational enrollment in the Maasai communities. He began funding MCI in 2007 and has been directly involved in every stage of the organization’s expansion and development. A frequent visitor to Kenya, Mr. Bergman has published numerous articles on African policy and narratives describing his experiences.