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Matthew D. Shaffer

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

3200 Travis Street, 3rd Floor
Houston, TX 77006
Toll Free: 713-364-0723

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Matthew D. Shaffer

In 1992, Matt Shaffer joined Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., the continuation of a firm that has focused on representing injured men and women since 1964. As a managing partner of the firm, Mr. Shaffer has represented thousands of clients across the United States. Most recently, he successfully settled the largest single victim Jones Act case on record for a client with a brain injury.

He has played a significant role in litigation related to several major maritime disasters, including the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Mr. Shaffer takes pride in bringing an experienced and thorough approach to every case. He is dedicated to providing a high level of support for his clients, who are often surprised to get return phone calls and emails from him well after business hours are done.

More than 25 years ago, Mr. Shaffer began his career in law by representing large corporate clients. In 1992, he came to SMSH and began using his experience to help working men and women recover damages for on-the-job injuries.

Mr. Shaffer is among the small percentage of Texas attorneys who are certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial law. He has previously served as chairman of The Texas State Bar’s Grievance Committee for District 4C. He’s also licensed to practice law in Colorado.

Every year since 2006, Mr. Shaffer has been named a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly Magazine, an honor bestowed on only 5% of the state’s attorneys. He’s also been recognized by H Texas magazine as one of Houston’s Top Lawyers for the People and was selected for inclusion in the 22nd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America (2016) in the practice area of Admiralty and Maritime Law.

  • Areas of Practice
    • Jones Act
    • Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act
    • Maintenance and Cure
    • General Maritime Law
    • DOHSA – Death on the High Seas Act
    • Maritime Piracy
    • Public Vessel Act
    • Suits in Admiralty
    • Merchant Mariners Act
    • Admiralty Extension Act
    • OSCLA – Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
    • Military Sealift Command
    • Motor Vehicle Accidents – Plaintiff
    • Texas Trucking Accidents – Plaintiff
    • Houston Motorcycle Accidents – Plaintiff
    • Premises Liability – Plaintiff
    • Railroad Accidents – Plaintiff
    • FELA Claims – Plaintiff
    • Products Liability Law
    • Medical Malpractice
  • Bar Admissions
    • Texas, 1987
    • Colorado, 1989
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1994
    • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, 1998
    • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas, 1993
    • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas, 2006
    • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, 2009
  • Education
    • University of Houston Law Center, Houston, TX, 1987, J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence
    • South Texas College of Law, Houston TX
    • Law Review South Texas Law Review, 1985-1986
    • Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, 1984
    • B.B.A., Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Honors and Awards
    • Texas Super Lawyer – Selected to top 5% of Texas Lawyers in 2005-2014
    • Texas Top Lawyer for the People – Multiple Consecutive Years Including 2010
    • American Jurisprudence Award – Criminal Law
    • Toxic Tort Seminar – Highest Score
    • South Texas College of Law Law Review
    • Listed in 22nd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (2016) for Admiralty and Maritime Law
  • Professional Associations and Memberships
    • Houston Bar Association
    • State Bar of Texas
    • Texas State Bar, Grievance Committee, District 4C, Chairman and Member 2000-2006
    • City of Bellaire Board of Adjustment, 1996-1998
    • Southwest Regional Board of Directors – Anti Defamation League, 1994-1996
    • Colorado Bar Association
    • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
    • Maritime Law Association of the United States
    • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
    • Houston Trial Lawyers Association – Board of Trustees Representative to Houston Lawyer Referral Service
    • Board of Directors, Houston Lawyer Referral Service, 2010-Present
    • Board of Directors, Congregation Beth Israel, 2010-Present
    • Phi Delta Phi

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Jonathan S. Harris and Matthew D. Shaffer are Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Other attorneys are not board certified.  Principal office is located in Houston, Texas.