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Michelle Nicole Mathis

Criminal defense Attorney at Newport News, VA

5.0   17 reviews
This attorney is currently not accepting new clients.
Reason: Government Attorney
This attorney is currently not accepting new clients.
Reason: Government Attorney
  • State Years
    Virginia - VA 12 years
    California - CA 16 years
  • Licensed for 12 years
    State VA
    Acquired 2011
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 16 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2007
    Inactive No misconduct found

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

About Michelle

Learn Michelle’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    State courts: jail visits, bond hearings, juvenile, traffic, general district, circuit, misdemeanors, felonies, drug, property, violent crimes. Military courts-martial.

    10 years

  2. Landlord or tenant
    Lease review, Lease termination, Evictions, Letters, Negotiations, Court Actions and Defense, Military Tenant Rights.

    11 years

  3. Personal injury
    Car accidents.

    7 years

  4. Debt settlement
    Negotiate debt, review credit reports, FDCPA letters, bankruptcy consults, garnishment defense, re-open default judgments

    7 years

  5. Immigration
    Citizenship, Permanent Residence, Asylum

    7 years

  6. General practice
    Guardianship and Conservatorship for Adults, Wills and POAs, Courts-Martials, Administrative Boards, NJP, Military rights and benefits, Military regulations, SCRA.

    16 years

I am currently on active duty with the US Navy, call Cowardin, Kim and Riddle at for your legal needs.

Photos and videos


Cowardin, Kim & Riddle
601 Thimble Shoals Blvd.
Suite 210
Newport News, VA, 23606

Criminal Defense lawyers nearby


5.0 / 5.0
  17 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by Christopher | April 14, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very professional and dedicated fighter.
Michelle Mathis has gone above and beyond my expectation as a representative through my legal battles. He knowledge of Military and civilian law is thorough and meticulous. Michelle Mathis was precise and very detail oriented in her delivery and execution of the case. I am forever grateful for your hard word and dedication in my case. Thank you!
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Posted by Jeffrey | August 7, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Facing eviction
My family was facing eviction and had very little time to move. After contacting my legal plan from my employer I was put in contact with Ms Mathis. She went to work on my issue right away. In short she worked things out with the property management and we got to stay in our apartment. My family truly appreciate her knowledge, advice and professionalism on this matter. Definitely 5 star rating.
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Posted by anonymous | July 6, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great work.
Very professional and confident in herself. Ms. Mathis made me feel like my case was the most important case of the day. I would definitely use her services again if I needed an attorney.
Posted by anonymous | June 29, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Collection Settlement
Very helpful with resoving and settling debt that I was being sued for! I would recommend to anyone dealing with portfolio recovery or any other collection agencies.
Posted by Rick | July 4, 2014
Thanks Michelle!
Michelle is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and actually listens to her clients. I don't know what I would do without her as my attorney. I was hesitant at first, to retain a woman to represent me in a child custody/divorce case, but she has done a great job so far. My case is very contentious and complicated, but she has been there when I needed her.
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Posted by Elizabeth | September 17, 2013
A lawyer that really fights for your rights.
After working with two attorneys through my divorce I was ready to give up. I was married for 22 years when I filed for divorce and I have never experienced so much pain. After being ignored by my previous lawyer often in situations where I really need it legal advice I was often ignored. Try this show up to court for an emergency hearing because your house went up for auction and the opposite counsel for the fourth time did not show up to court with some lame excuse. Thanks God someone told me about Michelle Mathis. Ms. Mathis is straight to the point. Ms. Mathis explains why or when and how your case is unfolding. Ms. Mathis will fight for your rights and will stand up for what is right. This is the lawyer you want next to you in court . She is the best.
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Posted by Jason | June 27, 2013
Ms. Mathis helped us, when no one else was willing.
After a year of dealing with the UN-helpful VA, Ms. Mathis was willing to consult with me while all other attorneys had turned me away due to the complex nature of my case and their unwillingness to fight the Federal Government. She is extremely helpful, professional, and will take the time to go the extra mile to help her clients.
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Posted by Rick | June 26, 2013
She Knows Her Stuff!
Michelle did an awesome job for me. She was always there to answer a question or to fill me in on certain things. I would definitely see her again if I was in need of legal help.
Posted by Bobbi | June 24, 2013
Life Saver!
Michelle Mathis has helped me in so many ways. Before I hired her as my attorney I was devastated and confused on how to deal with my divorce but once I met with her she gave me some peace of mind and walked me through the whole process. I am beyond grateful for what she has done, Now I can move on to a happier life and stress free days. Thank you Michelle!!
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Posted by Crystal | April 2, 2013
Michelle Mathis made my life so much easier!
My spouse & I were literally thousands of miles away, I honestly believed the divorce process would be a huge hassle & headache. I was referred to Michelle by someone who had complete faith that she could assist me during this complicated time. Michelle was very knowledgeable about my situation & did everything she could to make the process easier for me. She made it so much more stress free than I thought it would be. She not only made sure to keep me updated on everything but she also took care of everything at one time. I did not have to go back & forth to the courthouse or even talk to my spouse. Michelle took care of the filing fees, name change process, emails, postage mail, notary, & everything else that I would have never been able to do alone. I absolutely loved the fact that I didn't need to worry about anything, I paid a very affordable price that was worth every last penny & I had nothing to worry about once I turned my case over to her. I would recommend her services to everyone I know, especially if you want to go through this process with less frustration & stress.
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Posted by Marc | December 9, 2012
Excellent and Trustworthy Lawyer
I would definitely recommend Michelle Mathis to anyone who is looking for a well informed and dependable lawyer who is extremely fair and an excellent communicator. Michelle kept me well informed via phone and emails and was more than willing to answer all my questions and concerns. I felt very comfortable working with her and I trusted her in her approach. She went way beyond my expectations and was very persistent and
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Posted by anonymous | November 20, 2012
Professional service and reasonable charges
Ms. Mathis came highly recommended to me by a friend who is also an attorney. I have nothing but positive things to say about her. She always kept me informed in a timely and professional manner. She was approachable and knowledgeable. Lastly, her charges were very reasonable. I would not hesitate to use her services again.
Posted by anonymous | July 2, 2012
Obstruction of Justice Charge
Michelle was great! We sat down and talked about the case, and she immediately started pointing out defenses for my case. She worked around my busy schedule and always kept me informed. My case needed a continuence, and she stood in for me while I was out to sea. On the actual day of the case, she had a sound defense, and the charges were dissmissed.
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Posted by Martyn | May 24, 2012
After obtaining a mediated Settlement Agreement I was reffered to Michelle with a view to obtaining a divorce. The timeframe I desired was quite short but Michelle was very understanding and acted in a very professional manner throughout the whole proceedings. There were a few potential issues with jurisdiction, witnesses, and cohabitation surrounding the case but Michelle investigated these issues and provided the answers to my questions. Additionally, she kept me at ease with the Court procedures and I was kept fully informed of what was happening with the case at all times. Michelle provided an excellent service and I'd recommend her as she is very personable, keeps you informed, and is honest with you about all aspects of the case.
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Posted by RLM | May 16, 2012
Traffic Court consult
Ms. Michelle Mathis, J.D., listened attentively to what I had to say; answered all my questions; spoke with a vocabulary I could understand; was very informed regarding Virginia law; and at the end of the consult, I felt like my “feet” were finally back on the ground. I would highly recommend Ms. Mathis to anyone needing prompt, informed legal service.
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Posted by Tyler | April 25, 2012
Administrative Separation Board
Michelle was very attentive to my case and to me. She helped me is so many aspects of the case not just the court room situation. Michelle is and extremely talented and knowledgeable lawyer. If there was something she was un sure of she would immediately do the research and find the answers. If you want a lawyer that will fight their hardest for you and get you the representation you deserve this is the lawyer for you. She sat in my corner for an Administrative Board and helped me prove and win my case. She is a GREAT lawyer and a person you should have to in your corner who will take the case head on for you. She helped me prove my case and win. Definitely a great lawyer and she is only going to get better.
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Posted by Krystal | April 23, 2012
Very helpful and a great listener.
I called her out of the blue and she listened to my troubles even through a very emotional phone call. She was very courteous and treated me like a human. She was never demeaning and talked to me like a person. She handled my issues with the rental company when they did nothing to fix the problems with the house. She is prior military and we are military as well so I felt like she knew where we were coming from since we were new to the area. We were able to get out of the lease and she dealt with the company. It was a great relief to have her on my side. She always kept me up to date and CC'd me in her emails to the company. Because of the great communication we were always on the same page as each other. I felt like she kept a lot of stress and anxiety off my shoulders. She admitted that she did not have much experience with the tenant side of the house, but she was able to study the laws and handle my case without any problems. She was able to find multiple laws from state to federal to back up my case. It was a great experience and I will keep her number close in the future for myself and my friends. Thank you for everything Michelle.
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  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.4 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Associate
  • Cowardin, Kim & Riddle
  • 2018 - Present
  • Military Legal Assistance Attorney
  • Region Legal Services Mid-Atlantic (RLSO)
  • 2015 - 2017
  • Associate
  • The O'Brien Law Firm
  • 2014 - 2015
  • Attorney
  • Law Office of Michelle Mathis, PLC
  • 2011 - 2014
  • Attorney
  • United States Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps
  • 2007 - 2011
View all work experience


  • Pepperdine University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2007
  • University of California - Irvine
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 2004

Sample of Legal Cases

  • SW v. Suntrust
  • Avoided Bankruptcy
  • Commonwealth vs. Grant
  • Not guilty of Reckless
  • Commonwealth v. Newman
  • Bond Granted
View all legal cases


  • Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2011 - Present
  • Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2012 - 2018

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Top 40 Under 40
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • 2014
  • ABA Military Pro Bono Project Outstanding Services Award
  • American Bar Association
  • 2013
  • Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
  • Navy-Marine Corps Appellate Review Activity
  • 2011

Speaking Engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (11)
Given (14)
Endorse Michelle
Debt settlement Attorney | Nov 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Michelle Mathis is a well-grounded attorney with a common-sense approach to the practice of law. As a reservist in the Navy, Michelle has experience and knowledge about legal issues specific to the military - which lends itself to her practice in Hampton Roads. Michelle takes her cases to heart, and looks at all angles to see how she can best help her clients."
Unknown Attorney | May 22
Relationship: Other
"Top-notch attorney. I endorse this lawyer."
Landlord or tenant Attorney | Oct 31
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Michelle knows her stuff in all the areas of law she practices in. I ask for her help when I have a question about the law."
Uncontested divorce Attorney | Aug 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Michelle is an excellent lawyer who woks diligently to get her clients the results they desire. She does excellent research to prepare for her cases and is not afraid to think outside of the box. I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 03
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Tenacious, ethical and client oriented. I wholeheartedly endorse Michelle Mathis."
Unknown Attorney | Oct 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Military law Attorney | Jun 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Michelle has served in the JAG Corps and understands how the military works. She has her client's best interest in mind and has represented military members as a defense counsel, focusing on non-judicial punishment, administrative board hearings and courts-martial. Michelle is the first person I think of to handle military law matters."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Michelle is a hard-working, smart lawyer who will do a great job for her clients. She meticulously researches every issue and is always prepared to win her case. I endorse this lawyer."
Military law Attorney | Oct 18
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I worked with Michelle Mathis when she was a clerk for the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. She was a very studious and hard working attorney who was routinely assigned challenging research projects and provided excellent and timely advice to the Court. I recommend her as a competent Military Justice practitioner."
Unknown Attorney | Sep 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
View more endorsements
Military law
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Personal injury
Estate planning
Divorce and separation
Military law
Personal injury
Divorce and separation
Criminal defense
Military law