Matthew J. Schaap

Matthew J. Schaap

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Matthew J. Schaap

“For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.” ~ H. L. Mencken

Areas Of Practice

Honors and Awards

  • Minnesota Rising Stars List
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Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota, 2002
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
  • Wisconsin, 2014


  • Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota
    • J.D. – 05/2002
  • Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
    • B.A. – 1999
    • Major: English

Matthew Schaap is a litigation and trial attorney who assists clients with a variety of personal and business disputes.

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 in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.


  • Minnesota Litigation Checklists §§ 1-1 et seq. , Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., 2007
  • From Workaholism to Work-Life Balance: Change Is Within Reach, Law Practice Magazine, (November/December 2014 Issue), 2014
  • Tablet Computing and Your Practice, Richard T. Oakes American Inn of Court
  • Business Contract Disputes: Start to Finish, National Business Institute

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
  • Dakota County Bar Association, Member
  • Richard T. Oakes American Inn of Court, Present

Representative Cases and Appeals

  • Sharp v. Hayloft Prop. Mgmt. Co., 2012 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 13, 2012, Minn. App.
  • Old Reliable Wholesale, Inc. v. Cornell Corp., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 5139, 2011, Fed. Cir.
  • Estate of Anthony Fox v. Fox Compactors, Inc. and Dennis W. Buhl, (Arbitration), 2010, Arbitration
  • Michael L. O’Brien v. Friends of St. Croix Preparatory Academy, 2010, Washington County, Minnesota, 82-CV-08-7482
  • George O. Ensminger et al. v. Timberland Mortgage Services, Inc. et al., 2010 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 341, 2010, Minn. App., A09-1213
  • Old Reliable Wholesale, Inc. v. Cornell Corp., 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 26985, 2009, Fed. Cir.
  • Instant Testing Company, et. al. v. Community Security Bank, et. al., 715 N.W.2d 124 (Minn. App. 2006), 2006, Minn. App.

Judicial Clerkship

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

Community Involvement

  • Secretary, Community Dental Care
    • Community Dental Care is a Minnesota non-profit consisting of 39 dentists who serve patients from clinics in St. Paul, Maplewood, Robbinsdale and Rochester, Minnesota.
    • Community Dental Care is a recipient of the Charities Review Council “Meets Standards” seal based on satisfaction of 27 standards of accountability.
  • 2017 Board Chair, Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Past President, Rotary Club of Rosemount,Minnesota
  • Assistant District Governor, Rotary District 5960