Avvo Rating | 10.0 | Matthew John Schaap | Top Attorney

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Washington, D.C.
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit


  • Hamline University School of Law, J.D.
    • Law Review: Hamline Law Review, Managing Editor
    • Dean's List
    • CALI Award: Legal Research and Writing
    • Department Award: Best Appellate Brief in First Year Law School Class
  • Calvin College, B.A., English

Matthew Schaap is a shareholder with the firm. He regularly assists clients with a variety of personal and business litigation matters.

  • Expand Bio
    • Matthew began his legal career as a Judicial Law Clerk to Elizabeth Hayden, a Minnesota District Court Judge. As a Law Clerk, he played an active supporting role in the process of judicial decision-making. He provided judges with the legal research, writing and analysis that they used to decide the legal questions and issues before them. As a Law Clerk, Matthew also assisted in numerous jury trials in both the criminal and civil context. This practical experience gave him first-hand exposure to winning trial techniques as he observed highly-effective trial lawyers both in the courtroom and also in chambers.

      Matthew joined Dougherty Molenda in 2004 after completing his judicial clerkship. At Dougherty Molenda, Matthew focuses on litigation and trial practice. Matthew's primary goal in any litigation is to serve as a zealous advocate for his clients by thoroughly researching all issues (both legal and technical) that are important to presenting the case in court. However, Matthew also focuses on helping clients to understand the legal process so that they can actively participate in the case and make informed decisions about its resolution. To accomplish this goal, Matthew has developed a variety of practical guides to assist clients in understanding critical aspects of the legal process, such as discovery. Like all litigation attorneys at Dougherty Molenda, Matthew provides his clients with early case analysis designed to 1) evaluate the risks of litigation and 2) develop successful trial strategies that maximize the likelihood of favorable trial or settlement outcomes.

      At times, litigation involves an appeal to a higher court. During law school, Matthew's appellate brief was selected by the Legal Writing Department faculty as the "Best Appellate Brief in the First Year Law School Class." As an attorney, Matthew has continued his commitment to excellence in legal writing: He has authored or co-written numerous appellate briefs that led to affirmance of favorable outcomes for clients. Matthew has also presented oral arguments in appeals before the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (Washington, D.C.), receiving favorable decisions of affirmance from both courts.

In addition to his civil jury trial and appellate experience, Matthew has successfully represented the firm's clients at numerous mediations, arbitrations, court trials and motion hearings. He has been recognized in Minnesota Law and Politics as a top young attorney and was named to the Minnesota Rising Stars® List for 10 consecutive years while eligible for the award.



  • Webinar: Mitigating Business Risk (Apr. 6, 2020)
  • Webinar: Employee Legal Considerations and Management (Apr. 8, 2020)
  • How to Get Your Social Media, Email and Text Evidence Admitted (and Keep Theirs Out), NBI, Minneapolis (May 23, 2018).
  • Fundamentals of Landlord-Tenant Law, Sterling Educations Services (Apr. 2016)
  • Business Contract Disputes: Start to Finish, NBI National Webinar (Jan. 2015)
  • Tablet Computing and Your Practice, Richard T. Oakes American Inn of Court

Professional Associations and Memberships

Representative Cases and Appeals

  • Cambria Company LLC v. M&M Creative Laminants Inc., A18-1978 (Minn. App. Aug. 5, 2019) (Minnesota Franchise Act and certified questions)
  • Sames v. Scott County, A18-0753 (Minn. App. April 8, 2019) (defamation per se and qualified immunity)
  • Souter v. Fastenal Company, Inc., A17-0103 (Minn. App. Nov. 13, 2017) (unemployment benefits)
  • Guminiak v. Sowokinos, A16-1796 (Minn. App. May 1, 2017) (landlord/tenant law)
  • Ride Auto Co. v. Ibanez, A14-1690, 2015 WL 4507991, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. July 27, 2015) (default judgment)
  • Icenhower v. Total Auto., Inc., 845 N.W.2d 849 (Minn. App. 2014), rev. denied (July 15, 2014) (unemployment benefits)
  • Sharp v. Hayloft Prop. Mgmt. Co., 2012 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 13 (Minn. App. 2012) (unemployment benefits)
  • Old Reliable Wholesale, Inc. v. Cornell Corp., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 5139 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (attorneys' fees in patent litigation)
  • Estate of Anthony Fox v. Fox Compactors, Inc. and Dennis W. Buhl, (Arbitration) (Arbitration 2010) (patent royalties and money damages)
  • Michael L. O'Brien v. Friends of St. Croix Preparatory Academy (Washington County, Minnesota 2010) (summary judgment)
  • George O. Ensminger et al. v. Timberland Mortgage Services, Inc. et al., 2010 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 341 (Minn. App. 2010) (class action claims dismissal)
  • Old Reliable Wholesale, Inc. v. Cornell Corp., 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 26985 (Fed. Cir. 2009) (invalidating patent at summary judgment)
  • Instant Testing Company, et. al. v. Community Security Bank, et. al., 715 N.W.2d 124 (Minn. App. 2006) (Minn. App. 2006) (relocation benefits)

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. Elizabeth A. Hayden, Minnesota's Seventh Judicial District, Judicial Law Clerk

Community Involvement