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Matthew Reilly Plain

Employment and labor Attorney at Providence, RI

5.0   3 reviews
  • State Years
    New York - NY 4 years
    Connecticut - CT 16 years
    Massachusetts - MA 17 years
    Rhode Island - RI 17 years
  • Licensed for 4 years
    State NY
    Acquired 2019
    Currently Registered No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 16 years
    State CT
    Acquired 2006
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 17 years
    State MA
    Acquired 2005
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 17 years
    State RI
    Acquired 2005
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Matthew

Learn Matthew’s areas of practice.

Matt concentrates his practice in labor and employment, professional liability, general liability, contract drafting and disputes, and administrative law. He devotes a considerable portion of his practice to serving clients in the nonprofit and education communities.

Serving as general counsel for several nonprofits, Matt provides advice on incorporation, governance, employment, contracts and contract disputes, liability, and regulatory compliance, as well as representation before state administrative agencies and state/federal courts.

Matt also maintains a significant education law practice, advising school boards and administrators on a myriad of education law issues, including special education, employment, student/staff discipline, government relations, contract law and constitutional law. In addition to representing numerous schools in a variety of matters before state administrative agencies and state/federal courts, Matt also serves as outside general counsel to the Massachusetts Charter Public Schools Association and the Rhode Island League of Charter Schools. He serves on the National Litigation Council for the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools and regularly presents substantive seminars on legal issues affecting charter schools.

Prior to law school, Matt taught 7th and 8th Grade in the North Carolina public schools for four years and has an Advanced Competencies Teaching License for Social Studies Education (Grades 6–12).

Representative Accomplishments
Persuaded the Rhode Island Supreme Court to order a local school district to reimburse the firm’s client, a local independent public charter school, for tuition payments the district had wrongfully withheld under a mistaken interpretation of state law.
Obtained a Superior Court Judgment in favor of a career and technical school regarding school funding.
Successfully defended in administrative appeals two schools facing closure by the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Successfully defended a local education agency in an administrative hearing regarding school choice.
Successfully defended a local education agency in an administrative hearing regarding school funding.
Successfully defended local education agencies in special education due process hearings.
Successfully defended local education agencies and nonprofits before the Department of Labor and Training.
Successfully defended schools and nonprofit organizations in administrative hearings before the Commission for Human Rights.
He served as one of the primary drafters of the current Rhode Island Charter Public Schools Act.
Contributed to revisions to the Rhode Island Regulations Governing the Education of Children with Disabilities, current technical education.
Contributed to the RI regulations governing career and technical education.
Obtained a $1.2 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered catastrophic spinal cord injuries while being transported in a wheelchair van to a medical appointment.
Obtained a $200,000 settlement for Plaintiff in a case involving bad faith insurance practices.
Obtained a $1,300,000 jury verdict for Plaintiffs in a wrongful death case against a municipality.
Roger Williams University School of Law (J.D., 2005) Roger Williams University Law Review; Notes and Comments Editor, 2004–2005; Staff Member 2003–2004
University of North Carolina at Greensboro (M.Ed., 2002)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A., 1998)
Bar Admissions
Rhode Island
U.S. District Court, Massachusetts
U.S. District Court, Rhode Island

Contact Matthew

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Barton Gilman LLP
One Financial Plaza 18th Floor
Providence, RI, 02903-2023


5.0 / 5.0
  3 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by Julian Nicholas | January 5, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Diligent, Thoughtfully Strategic and Highly Ethical
Matt Plain is an outstanding attorney who is well-versed in the political and relational complexities of the workplace, allowing him to constructively engage employers and employees in achieving desired results through measured, considerate and careful analysis of the perspectives of all parties involved. He is a highly-skilled advocate and mediator, with a panoramic view of the issues and problems at hand. One cannot do better than this in an attorney.
Read less
Posted by Jessica | December 2, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Steadfast Advocate
I hired Matt to help me with my wrongful termination case against my former employer. He strategically communicated with my former employer and their lawyer in a way that facilitated positive action and conversation. From this he negotiated a successful settlement for me — which gave me some cushion and peace of mind for the next step in my career and life. Matt was very generous, responsive, and flexible with his time and fees. He was truly a steadfast advocate for me in what could have been stressful experience — it felt like I was working with a good friend!
Read less
Posted by Jonathan | August 27, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very grateful client
Matt Plain is a knowledgeable, thorough, and fierce advocate who represented me while I dealt with my former employer. After three years of service and consistently positive reviews, I was given a negative review and encouraged to move on due to school house politics. Mr. Plain knew the laws and my rights and was thus able to fight for my best interests. Thanks to Matt, I was able to leave with my dignity and the means to provide for my family during a difficult transition. I cannot thank him enough for his work.
Read less


We have not found any cost information for this lawyer


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Barton Gilman LLP
  • 2006 - Present
  • Judicial Law Clerk
  • Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Court
  • 2005 - 2006
  • Teacher
  • Randolph County Schools
  • 1999 - 2002


  • Roger Williams University, Ralph R. Papitto School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2005
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • Master of Education
  • 2002
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1998


  • National Litigation Council - National Alliance of Public Charter Schools
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Defense Counsel of Rhode Island
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • Rhode Island Bar Journal
  • Editorial Board
  • 2012 - Present
  • Alliance of Public Charter Schools Attorneys
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2020
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2019
  • Best Lawyers in America - Education Law
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2018
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2018
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2015
  • Mortar Board Award
  • Segue Institute for Learning
  • 2014
  • Rising Star
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2014
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2013
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2012
  • 40 Under Forty
  • Providence Business News
  • 2011
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2011
View all awards


  • Rhode Island Small Business Journal
  • Personnel Practices
  • 2013
  • Rhode Island Bar Journal
  • Lunch with Legends
  • 2011
  • Roger Williams University Law Review
  • Results of Above Rights - The No Child Left Behind Act's Insidious Effects on Students with Disabilities
  • 2003

Speaking Engagements

  • Trends in Employment Law
  • Employment Law
  • 2014
  • Charter School Boards - Professional Development Series
  • Legal Issues Affecting Charter School Boards
  • 2014

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (5)
Endorse Matthew
Education Attorney | Aug 04
Relationship: Friend
"I have know Matt for nearly 20 years now and he I have turned to him for advice for my own personal issues with my daughter and her school. Bright, thorough and very well respected by everyone who knows him. Highly recommend!"
Education Attorney | Jan 22
Relationship: Co-worker
"Matt is an excellent lawyer, and someone I trust to represent my family and friends. He is knowledgeable, thoughtful, and tough, as well as an excellent listener and problem solver. He takes the time to understand each of his client's concerns and then works diligently to find a resolution that is right for their circumstances, and not just generally. I highly recommend Matt."
Education Attorney | Jan 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Matt is one of the leading education lawyers in the state. As a former teacher, he has a unique and compassionate perspective in protecting the rights of both administrators, teachers and students alike."
Employment and labor Attorney | Jan 27
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Matt is a skilled lawyer as well as a nice guy."
Litigation Attorney | Jun 15
Relationship: Co-worker
"It a pleasure to endorse Matt enthusiastically. Matt and I have worked together for more than a decade, and he is one of the most effective, hard working and thoughtful advocates that I have ever encountered. I regularly refer clients to Matt because I know they will get an outstanding lawyer who will always put their interests first."
Litigation Attorney | Jun 23
Relationship: Other
"I have known Matt since law school. He is an incredibly bright and hard working individual. I do not hesitate in recommending his services. Indeed, I have referred clients of my own to him when they need assistance back in the New England area."
View more endorsements

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Providence Employment and labor Lawyer Matthew Reilly Plain
Matthew Reilly Plain
Employment and labor Attorney
Providence, RI
Licensed for 17 years