It was the late ‘80s, and Matt Danielson – then a young police officer – was sitting in a courtroom waiting for a defendant’s case to be called. He watched as attorneys ran through the docket, and took interest in the legal process. At one point, he turned to a fellow officer sitting next to him and made an offhand remark about how easy it looked to be a lawyer. “I could do this,” Matt told him. The police officer laughed him off.
And that was all it took: Matt took the entrance exam to law school, left his job in law enforcement, and enrolled at the University of Dayton School of Law. He’s been practicing since 1993, first as a prosecutor in the Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, where he tried thousands of cases and eventually became the Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney, leading all three of the office’s trial teams.
In 2003, Matt joined Tom McGrath’s Motorcycle Law Group, allowing him to combine his enthusiasm for the law and, at that time, a newfound passion for motorcycles. He has successfully represented motorcyclists in matters ranging from simple property damage trials to complex multi-million dollar injury cases. He also represents victims of auto and tractor-trailer accidents, as well as medical malpractice. In addition to his duties as a trial attorney, Matt is a registered lobbyist who works to protect the rights of motorcyclists at both the state and federal level. He often lectures throughout the country in regard to laws affecting riders, and serves as an adjunct professor at Saint Leo University.
“I truly enjoy practicing law,” the retired Virginia Army National Guard soldier says. “But beyond that, when people tell you that you helped them through a scary time and made life easier and better, it makes you feel good knowing that what you have chosen to do for a living is helping people.”
Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America
- Virginia Coalition of Motorcyclists (VCOM)
- Motorcycle Riders Foundation
- Concerned Bikers Association/ABATE of North Carolina
- ABATE of South Carolina
- ABATE of Virginia
- Virginia Biker’s Association
- B.A., George Mason University, History
- J.D., University of Dayton School of Law
Unlike many of his clients, Matt didn’t grow up riding motorcycles. He developed a passion for motorcycling in 2000 when he took the basic rider course on a whim. He bought his first bike, a 2001 Harley-Davidson Low Rider, in April 2001 and rode to Myrtle Beach Bike Week the following month. He has since ridden through all of the lower 48 states, and once, he and a small group of friends rode from coast-to-coast in under 44 hours.
“My wife was cool with me buying my first bike because she figured I’d get bored with riding and move onto something else,” Matt says. “Little did she know it would become a career.”
Matt splits his riding between his Harley Road Glide and his Triumph Bonneville Bobber.
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