Matthew Bergman is an attorney, philanthropist and entrepreneur based in Seattle.
After attaining a degree in Sociology from Reed College in 1989, he graduated magna cum laude from Lewis & Clark law school in 1989. Bergman then served as law clerk to Judge Baldock of the United States Court of Appeals – Tenth Circuit. His legal career began at an international corporate law firm Seattle, Washington where his practice focused on environmental litigation, Indian law and insurance coverage. In 1995, Bergman began representing asbestos victims and in 2001 founded his own firm, Bergman Draper Oslund, which has grown to become the Northwest’s premier asbestos litigation firm. He has participated in over 20 jury trials as first or second chair and litigated over 25 appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Washington Court of Appeals and Washington Supreme Court. Bergman Draper Oslund has recovered over $650 million for Pacific Northwest asbestos victims since 2000. Bergman was appointed by the United States Trustee to serve on the Creditors Committee of a dozen major bankruptcy proceedings and currently serves on the advisory committee of several bankruptcy trusts with combined assets over $10 billion
Bergman has been involved in promoting educational reform, professional development and equal access to justice. He serves as a Trustee of Reed College on the Board of Visitors of Lewis & Clark Law School. He chaired the Cardozo Society of the Seattle Jewish Federation and currently serves on the House of Delegates of the Oregon State Bar Association. He is an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark Law School where he teaches litigation strategy. Bergman is a board member of the Mississippi Center for Justice which prosecutes voting rights, fair housing and consumer protection litigation in Mississippi.
Bergman has been active in politics at the state and national level for 40 years. As a disciple of Henry (“Scoop”) Jackson, he worked to promote a close US-Israel relationship and mobilize American political support for the Solidarity movement in Poland, black trade unions in South Africa and anti-totalitarian forces in the developing world. After establishing his law practice, Bergman lead the Bradley, Kerry and Obama primary campaigns in Washington State and served a delegate to the Democratic Conventions in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Bergman has been active in legislative issues involving asbestos compensation and has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and Washington State Legislature.
From his early association with Scoop Jackson, Bergman has maintained a keen interest in international politics, military strategy and third world development. He has travelled extensively in Africa and the Middle East and established relationships with business and political leaders there. Bergman is particularly interested in female literacy as a bridge to economic, social and political development. In 2008, he founded the Masai Children’s Initiative which established two girl’s schools in remote Maasai communities in Southern Kenya. The program included solar powered computer labs, clean drinking water, school feeding programs and cultural programs that served 350 girls and surrounding community.
Bergman is married to Kimberly Bergman, has three adult children and one grandchild.