Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Matthew J. Larkin

Matthew J. Larkin


p: 315.425.2805

f: 315.703.6247

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Syracuse Office

Barclay Damon Tower
125 East Jefferson Street
Syracuse, New York 13202

Matt focuses his practice on the defense of complex tort, products liability, and professional malpractice litigation. He is retained both directly by individuals, businesses, and insurance carriers to defend various high-value litigation matters. He often represents property owners, contractors, and construction managers in construction site accident cases and New York State Labor Law suits and frequently appears as counsel for manufacturers and distributors in products liability matters. In addition, he regularly defends attorneys, real estate agents, engineers, and other professionals in malpractice actions. His experience includes trucking and transportation cases, catastrophic personal injury litigation, professional liability claims, and white collar criminal defense matters. In addition to his practice, Matt is Chair of the firm's Torts & Products Liability Defense Practice Area.

Matt started his career as a prosecutor in Long Island, New York, where he gained significant jury trial experience. In 2001, he left government service and spent the next five years trying Labor Law, negligence, and products liability cases throughout New York City. He returned to his native Syracuse in 2006 and has continued his practice as a defense trial attorney with Barclay Damon. He has tried numerous cases to verdict in New York State and federal courts, briefed and argued scores of appeals, and appeared on behalf of licensed professionals before administrative and professional disciplinary bodies.

Matt is a frequent lecturer and author on topics involving trial techniques and substantive legal issues surrounding the insurance defense industry. He has also published several articles unrelated to his legal practice. He has presented at approved CLE seminars and his writings have appeared in publications of the Defense Research Institute, New York State Bar Association, and Defense Association of New York.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained dismissal on summary judgment of professional malpractice and intentional tort claims against a university client related to student health services.
  • Obtained favorable settlement of claims against a fire alarm manufacturer in a construction defect case involving a multi-million new hotel construction.
  • Obtained dismissal on summary judgment, and affirmed on appeal, of negligence claims against a horse owner surrounding an automobile accident.
  • Obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a ready-mix concrete supplier following a five-day jury trial in New York State Supreme Court.
  • Obtained a significant jury trial victory in an alleged traumatic brain injury case, where the jury returned a $45,000 verdict in the face of the plaintiff’s request for $3.6 million in damages.
  • Achieved trial victory for an insulation manufacturer in a personal injury suit based on claims that its cargo was inadequately secured.
  • Obtained dismissal of professional liability claims in a bridge design engineering firm.
  • Achieved dismissal of inadequate security and negligence suit for a university client, which was affirmed by the Appellate Division. 
  • Obtained dismissal of claims of fraud and negligent misrepresentation against law firm client, which was affirmed on appeal.
  • Defends individuals, businesses, and educational institutions in high-value personal injury litigation and complex tort cases.
  • Represents manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in product liability suits.   
  • Defends attorneys, real estate professionals, and engineers in malpractice and professional liability cases. 
  • Represents contractors and property owners in New York State Labor Law cases.
  • Represents carriers in trucking and transportation matters.
  • Represents individuals in white collar criminal defense, government investigations, professional disciplinary proceedings, and related criminal matters.

Practice Areas


  • St. John's University School of Law, J.D., Associate Editor, St. John’s Law Review, University Law Scholar, 1996
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, B.S., 1993

Admitted To Practice

  • New York, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Onondaga County Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Defense Association of New York
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance

Civic Activities

  • Willow Bank Yacht Club, Former Executive Board Member and Commodore

Speaking & Publications

  • Panelist, AIG Excess Casualty and Employment Practices Symposium, Syracuse, New York, May 16, 2018
  • “Seventy Years On, de Valera’s Message Resonates,” Irish Echo, March 14, 2018
  • "The ABCs of Malpractice Insurance" Onondaga County Bar Association CLE, September 23, 2017
  • Panelist, “St. John’s Marks 75th Anniversary of the American Friends of Irish Neutrality,” St. John’s University, November 12, 2015
  • "Rando v. Barney & Dickerson, Inc.,"  And the Defense Wins, The Voice: Defense Research Institute Newsletter, January 28, 2015
  • "90 Years On, Remembering the Martyrs of Mountjoy," Irish Echo, December 5, 2012
  • "Defining Duty: Another Look at Social Host Liability and the Duty to Protect Against Hazards on Adjoining Property," Defendant: Journal of the Defense Association of New York, Summer 2012
  • “What Happened to US POW’s Taken from Korea?," Irish Echo, March 28, 2012
  • "How Sean P. Keating Set His Stamp on the World," Irish Echo, July 13, 2011
  • "Employees, Trespassers & Volunteers: Who is Protected by the Labor Law After Morton v. State of New York?" Defendant: Journal of the Defense Association of New York, Fall 2010 
  • Co-Author, "The Defense Attorney's Guide to Effective Cross-Examination of Plaintiff's Treating Physician," New York State Bar Association's Torts, Insurance & Compensation Law Journal, Summer 2010, Vol. 39, No. 2
  • "Blauvelt v. Applegate Holdings, LLC," And the Defense Wins, The Voice: Defense Research Institute Newsletter, August 18, 2010
  • "O'Connor v. Syracuse University," And the Defense Wins, The Voice: Defense Research Institute Newsletter, April 28, 2010
  • "D.A. Dillon, Most Non-Political of Elected Officials, Had Quiet Dignity," Irish Echo, September 22, 2010
  • Co-Author, "First Do No Harm, Second Do Some Good: Tips for Effective Cross-Examination of the Plaintiff's Treating Physician," Trials and Tribulations: Defense Research Institute Trial Tactics Newsletter, April 29, 2010
  • "May It Please the Court: Effective Case Presentation at Trial," National Business Institute CLE, March 2010
  • "That’s the Ticket: A Discussion of How Traffic Infractions Impact on a Subsequent Civil Suit Arising From the Same Incident," Defendant: The Journal of the Defense Association of New York, Spring 2005
  • "Direct and Cross-Examination and Use of Exhibits and Depositions at Trial," Defense Association of New York CLE, January 2004
  • Both Sides, Former Trial Commentator and Legal Analyst


  • Selected to Super Lawyers Upstate New York: Professional Liability: Defense, 2018
  • Martindale-Hubbell “AV Preeminent” Peer Review Rated for Very High to Preeminent Ethical Standards and Legal Ability

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Partner
  • Cozen O’Connor, Partner
  • Leahey & Johnson, Associate
  • Office of the Nassau County District Attorney, Assistant District Attorney