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Matthew A. Lopes Jr. - Johnston, RI

1301 Atwood Ave. Suite 215 N Johnston, RI 02919

Super Lawyers®

1

Updated: 11/29/2022

Johnston Special Masterships and Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyer

Overview

Matthew “Matty” A. Lopes Jr. is a Principal with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC. For most of his 35-year legal career, he has been actively involved in the court oversight of correctional systems and is a nationally recognized Special Master in correctional reform litigation.

For the past 26 years, he has served as the Special Master for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in the matter of Coleman v. Newsom...

Matthew “Matty” A. Lopes Jr. is a Principal with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC. For most of his 35-year legal career, he has been actively involved in the court oversight of correctional systems and is a nationally recognized Special Master in correctional reform litigation.

For the past 26 years, he has served as the Special Master for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in the matter of Coleman v. Newsom. As Special Master in this case, Mr. Lopes leads a team of experts and monitors in overseeing the care provided to more than 30,000 seriously mentally ill inmates throughout the 34 institutions within the California prison system.

Prior to his current role, Mr. Lopes served as a court monitor, deputy Special Master and Special Master, respectively, in three additional major remedial correctional cases under the supervision of the United States District Courts of Georgia, Texas and Rhode Island.

In Alberti v. Sheriff of Harris County (Texas), he led negotiations to achieve an effective remedy for an overcrowded detention system built for 4,500 that had swelled to 14,000.

In Fambro v. Fulton County (Georgia), he successfully oversaw the implementation of remedial plans approved by the court regarding overcrowding, medical services, and sanitation.

Inmates of the Youth Training School v. Affleck (Rhode Island) was filed against the original Boys Training School. The court found that the defendants had been handicapped by lack of adequate facilities and trained personnel. As Special Master, he oversaw remediation activities and successfully worked with the Rhode Island General Assembly to approve construction funding for the modernized present-day facility that opened in 2009.

In addition to his current practice as a Special Master in the Coleman v. Newsom case, Mr. Lopes also leads the firm’s Alternative Dispute Resolution practice, as well as PLDO Strategies LLC, the government relations and communications subsidiary of the law firm, representing organizations ranging from Fortune 100 companies to nonprofit businesses, including organizations within the transportation, pharmaceutical, education, food service, health care, and insurance industries, among others.

Along with his distinguished work in prison reform and oversight, he successfully advocated for the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative to improve Rhode Island’s criminal justice system through the enactment of legislation supporting rehabilitation and informed decision-making in sentencing, probation, and parole.

He is also proud to have been intimately involved in the successful Rhode Island 2020 ballot initiative to remove the centuries-old word “plantations” from the official name of the State of Rhode Island.

Having once interned for former Chief Justice of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., Mr. Lopes has also been inspired to promote and advocate for increased minority representation and diversity in the selection and appointment of Rhode Island’s judiciary.

Mr. Lopes earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Rhode Island.

About Matthew A. Lopes Jr.

Practice Areas

  • Special Masterships and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Government & Legislative Strategies

Current Employment Position(s)

  • Principal

Representative Clients

  • Special Master for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, in the matter of Coleman v. Newsom, overseeing prison reform and compliance with orders of the Court concerning care of seriously mentally ill inmates. As Special Master, Mr. Lopes heads a team of deputy special masters, mental health clinical experts, mental health management/custodial experts, and monitors. Mr. Lopes’ work as Special Master involves addressing complex constitutional law issues relating to the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He assists the Coleman parties and the court in the design and implementation of mandatory mental health screening, diagnosis, and treatment of the approximately 30,000 mentally ill prisoners throughout the 34 institutions within the California prison system. He also reports extensively to the Coleman court on his findings in the California prisons, as well as on other issues as ordered by the court.

Qualifications

Bar Admissions

  • Rhode Island, 1988

Specialties and Certifications

  • Center for Dispute Settlement, Advanced Mediation Techniques – 1999
  • Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mediation – 1988

Other Affiliations

  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Rhode Island Bar Association/Committee on Minority Involvement (Past Member)
  • American Bar Association
  • NAACP Lifetime Member
  • Top 100 National Black Lawyers
  • Potomac Coalition
  • Thurgood Marshall Law Society of Rhode Island
  • State Law Resources, Inc. (Board Member, Past Chairman)
  • National Museum of African American History & Culture

Education

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1987
    J.D.
  • Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1984
    A.B.

Fraternities and Sororities

  • Alpha Phi Alpha

Pro Bono Activities

  • Harmony Hill School (Former Board Member)
  • Ronald McDonald House Providence
  • Boys & Girls Club of East Providence
  • Jeffrey Osborne Foundation
  • East Providence Heritage Days Committee
  • Friends of Townie Athletics

Achievements

Other Sources of Feedback About Matthew A. Lopes Jr.

Included on the 2023 Rhode Island list


Past Lists

  • 2022 Rhode Island Super Lawyers list

View the profile for Matthew A. Lopes Jr. on Super Lawyers

Honors

  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers
  • East Providence Hall of Fame
  • Rhode Island International Athlete Scholar Hall of Fame
  • Providence Gridiron Hall of Fame
  • Cape Verdean Gala Hall of Fame
  • Casque and Gauntlet Sr. Honor Society
  • Clay Osborne Achievement Award, Music One

Photo

Office Information

Address

1301 Atwood Ave. Suite 215 N Johnston, RI 02919

Fax

  • (401) 824-5123

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Firm Address

Fax:
(401) 824-5123
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1301 Atwood Ave. Suite 215 N Johnston, RI 02919

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