Matthew Dirkes

Matthew Dirkes represents individuals, executives, and companies in complex criminal and civil proceedings in federal and state court as well as in investigations by government enforcement authorities.  Matt has helped steer clients through grand jury investigations and has defended those charged with federal crimes at all stages, from pre-trial proceedings through trial, at sentencing, on appeal, and in post-conviction collateral attacks.  He also has represented clients in post-trial criminal proceedings in California state court, including on new trial motions, direct appeals, and habeas petitions.  

In his federal criminal practice, Matt has defended clients charged with a broad array of crimes, including securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, economic espionage, bank fraud, false statements, obstruction of justice, racketeering, and drug and gun possession. Matt serves on the San Francisco and Oakland Trial Panel under the Criminal Justice Act. In his state practice, he has defended clients convicted of murder, real estate and securities fraud, and filing false documents.   

In addition to his criminal practice, Matt has extensive experience in a wide range of complex civil litigation, including civil discovery techniques, motion tactics, settlement strategies, and appeals.  He has worked on consumer class actions, multi-district mass tort litigation, and cases involving high-stakes business disputes.  

Matt’s practice includes both trial and appellate work and he has argued in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and in the California Court of Appeal.

Before becoming a partner with Illovsky Gates & Calia LLP, Matt was a partner at the white collar defense boutique Boersch Shapiro LLP and had previously spent four years at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, where his practice consisted primarily of complex commercial litigation.

Representative Client Matters

  • Obtained pretrial dismissal of federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Stored Communications Act claims against Swiss client brought by sovereign nation
  • Obtained dismissal of felony conviction of San Francisco police officer charged with filing false documents
  • Obtained jury verdict of acquittal of a gun possession charge for client charged in federal court of gun and drug possession
  • Member of appellate team that obtained reduction of client’s felony child abduction conviction to a misdemeanor for fleeing child’s abusive father
  • Member of appellate team that obtained reversal on appeal of federal obstruction charges  
  • Representation of Swiss client seeking subpoena from internet search engine under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 for information to be used in proceedings in England  
  • Representation of individual charged with RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute and possess marijuana, and murder
  • Representation of individual on direct appeal of convictions arising out of alleged real estate and securities fraud
  • Representation of individual in federal habeas proceedings challenging conviction for murder in state court
  • Representation of individual charged with RICO conspiracy and attempted murder in aid of the conspiracy
  • Representation of individual in federal habeas proceedings challenging state-court conviction for second-degree murder
  • Representation of individual on direct appeal of murder conviction
  • Representation of Fortune 500 company defending against various consumer class-action lawsuits
  • Representation of individuals in two separate matters in connection with petitions for findings of factual innocence


University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 2007

               Moot Court Honors Program

University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1997

               Phi Beta Kappa


Law Clerk to the Honorable Samuel Conti
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 2007-2009