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Matthew Nis Leerberg

Matthew Nis Leerberg

Partner in Charge, Appellate Practice Leader

T (919) 755-8759
F (919) 838-3132

Matt Leerberg is the partner in charge of our Raleigh office, focusing his practice on helping businesses navigate state and federal litigation and appeals.

Matt has helped a variety of businesses, law firms, cities, and counties with their business disputes, whether in court, by arbitration, or through negotiation. Matt’s clients often call upon him to protect them in bet-the-company class-action, antitrust, trade-secret, and non-competition litigation. Matt also regularly appears on behalf of clients in North Carolina's specialized Business Court, and serves on the Business Court's inaugural Rules Advisory Committee.

Matt has been recognized by Triangle Business Journal for its "40 Under 40" Leadership Award, by Benchmark Litigation, and by Business North Carolina magazine's Legal Elite. In 2018, Matt was the top vote recipient in North Carolina in the magazine's new Appellate category, becoming the first attorney in the state to be inducted into its Legal Elite "Hall of Fame" for appellate practice.

Matt also leads the firm's appellate practice team, where his wealth of appellate experience has earned him a designation as a North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice. Every day, Matt works with clients whose cases are before the Supreme Court of North Carolina, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, or in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has argued cases in all three courts. In addition, Matt has served as a consultant for appeals before the North Carolina appellate courts, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Matt is a founder and regular writer for the North Carolina Appellate Practice Blog,, which provides news, information, tips, and resources for practicing law in North Carolina's state and federal appellate courts.

As part of his appellate practice, Matt serves on the North Carolina Bar Association's Appellate Rules Committee. Matt also serves as Chair for the Section Council for the Appellate Practice Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, as Chair of the Appellate Practice Committee of the Eastern District of North Carolina Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and as a member of the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina Supreme Court Historical Society.

Matt has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University, teaching Federal Courts.

Listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers
Listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America® (Woodward/White, Inc.), Appellate Practice (2018, 2019), Commercial Litigation (2018, 2019)
  • North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society 2017
  • McNeill Smith Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, 2012
  • Triangle Business Journal's "40 Under 40" (2017)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Edition, Listed Business Litigation (2012-2017), Appellate (2018)
  • Business North Carolina's Legal Elite, Young Guns (2012-2015, 2018), Litigation (2017), Appellate (Overall Winner 2018)
  • Benchmark Litigation, North Carolina Future Star (2016-2018)
  • Finalist for North Carolina Lawyers Weekly 2010 Emerging Legal Leaders Award
  • United Way of the Greater Triangle; Campaign Leader of the Year 2009
  • Directed Duke University School of Law's Guardian ad Litem Program to the 2005 North Carolina Bar Association's Law Students Pro Bono Project Award

Representative Work

Matt focuses his trial level work on representing businesses in contract and other disputes, especially cases brought in the specialized North Carolina Business Court.  Matt's litigation work includes:

  • Representing a law firm in a multi-million dollar arbitration dispute with a financier and another law firm
  • Defending businesses, hospitals, and law firms against purported class action lawsuits
  • Representing businesses and executives in disputes over covenants not-to-compete
  • Representing minority owners in shareholder derivative litigation
  • Defending a life insurance company in federal court against an interstate fraud scheme perpetrated by one of its agents

Matt works with his appellate clients every day to strategize and protect their interests in the state and federal appellate courtswhether by protecting a favorable outcome in the trial court or seeking to have an unfavorable outcome overturned.  Matt's appellate work includes:

  • Representing a software company in a licensing dispute before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Representing a state agency in a landmark constitutional case before the Supreme Court of North Carolina
  • Defending a corporate director against securities violations before the Supreme Court of North Carolina
  • Representing a private equity firm in a business defamation suit before the North Carolina Court of Appeals

Matt also works closely with health care clients across North Carolina to pursue their strategic goals in business litigation, including:

  • Defending hospitals in patient billing purported class action lawsuits
  • Representing health care providers and pharmacy benefit management companies in multi-million dollar contract disputes
  • Defending health care providers in patient confidentiality litigation
  • Representing health-care-related businesses in litigation arising from mergers and acquisitions

Reported Cases


  • Adjunct Professor of Federal Courts at the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University
  • Clerkship, United States Court of Appeals Judge Allyson Kay Duncan, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Raleigh, NC

* Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future legal representation.

Thought Leadership

Published Works

Matt enthusiastically follows the decisions and trends in the appellate courts in North Carolina and beyond, and frequently publishes thought-provoking pieces on the blog he helped found, the North Carolina Appellate Practice Blog.  NCAPB has become the leading blog on appellate law in North Carolina, with frequently updated content and an engaged readership.

Matt also publishes articles in more formal settings, including:

  • Co-author, "Planning to Pursue An Appeal From A Business Court Decision? It's A Jungle Out There," appears in The Litigator, NCBA's Litigation Section Newsletter, and North Carolina Appellate Practice Blog,  2016
  • "Dismissing a Tortious Interference Claim—With or Without Twombly", DRI's The Voice, March 31, 2010
  • Co-author, "Know your Audience(s):  How to Write Appellate Briefs for Both Judges and Clerks", The Litigator, Vol. 29, No. 2, February 2009
  • Incentivizing Prizes:  How Foundations Can Utilize Prizes to Generate Solutions to the Most Intractable Social Problems, Duke Foundation Research Program, 2006
  • Takings and Statutory Entitlements: Does the Tobacco Buyout Take Quota Rights Without Just Compensation?, 55 Duke L.J. 865, 2006.


  • Faculty for “Emerging Issues of Appellate Practice and Procedure,” North Carolina’s Inaugural CLE Program for the Appellate Division and the Administrative Office of the Courts–August 201
  • Co-presenter, "State Court Appeal Crash Course," CLE Presentation for North Carolina Bar Association’s Annual Year In Review Course—October 2016
  • Co-presenter, "Don’t Let this Happen to YOU – Fatal Mistakes in Preserving Error and Prosecuting Appeals," N.C. Bar Association's 2015 Appellate Practice Section CLE and Annual Meeting (October 2, 2015)



Matt serves the needs of those without means to hire an attorney by representing the indigent through his membership on the Criminal Justice Act appellate panel for the Fourth Circuit.  Matt has also represented needy clients on a pro bono, or free, basis, including arguing an appeal to the Supreme Court of North Carolina on behalf of a single mother wrongly accused of bigamy after having procured a religious divorce.

Matt also works with the Wake County Bar Association’s "Bar Awards Committee" to raise money every year for Legal Aid of North Carolina.

  • Harvard University, B.A., Chemistry and Physics, magna cum laude, 2000
  • Duke University School of Law, J.D., High Honors, 2006
  • North Carolina
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
  • United States District Court, Middle District of North Carolina
  • United States District Court, Western District of North Carolina
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Chair, CLE Committee of the Appellate Practice Section
    • Member, Appellate Rules Committee
  • Federal Bar Association
    • Chair, Appellate Practice Committee, Eastern District of North Carolina Chapter
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Member, Appellate Advocacy Committee
  • Wake County Bar Association
    • Member, Bar Awards Committee
  • North Carolina Business Court
    • Member, Rules Advisory Committee
Academic Honors
  • Order of the Coif
  • Duke University Mordecai Scholar
  • Spanish

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