Matthew W. Cross is a Co-leader of Plunkett Cooney’s Torts & Litigation Practice Group. He focuses his practice primarily in the areas of insurance defense litigation, municipal law and election law.

Mr. Cross has experience handling an array of claims, including premises liability,  employment disputes, religious institutions liability and personal injury matters. He directly represents a number of clients, including a regional health department, a regional tourism bureau, a marijuana company and several condominium associations.

Mr. Cross defends his public-sector clients in a variety of litigation matters. He has represented municipalities and its personnel in cases involving election law, employment law, civil rights and constitutional issues, as well as claims of excessive force and deliberate indifference against law enforcement and correctional officers. 

A member of the State Bar of Michigan since 2013, Mr. Cross is a member of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, and he serves as the regional chairperson of the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel. He currently serves as Assistant City Attorney for the cities of Boyne City and Petoskey and counsel for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. He also previously served as outside counsel to Otsego and Antrim counties in northern Michigan.

Representative Client Work

  • Successfully obtained dismissal of claims against private clients in northern Michigan arising out of a real property dispute
  • Successfully defended against challenge to candidacy of Congressional candidate

  • Coordinated with Congressional campaign to ensure nominating petition compliance

  • Successfully defended against challenge to local ballot initiative

  • Successfully defended numerous law enforcement officers against claims of excessive force, wrongful arrest and deliberate indifference

  • Successfully defended numerous municipalities in a multitude of civil rights claims

  • Represented municipalities and colleges against claims of employment discrimination

  • Successfully resolved litigation involving religious institutions, including First Amendment claims, land use disputes and claims brought under the Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA)
  • Successfully defended numerous county jails and corrections officers against claims of deliberate indifference and other constitutional claims

  • Served as counsel for northern Michigan county, providing general legal guidance and enforcing local ordinances

  • Obtained dismissal of third-party auto claim against northern Michigan sheriff’s deputy

  • Obtained dismissal of numerous personal injury lawsuits on behalf of clients insured by national insurance carriers

  • Drafted and negotiated several sponsorship agreements with professional athletes on behalf of clothing designer client

  • Drafted and negotiated recording and publishing agreements on behalf of local musicians

  • Secured arbitration award on behalf of event promotion client in dispute with production company

Professional Affiliations

  • Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association
  • Grand Rapids Adjusters Association
  • Central Michigan Adjusters Association
  • Saginaw Valley Adjusters Association
  • State Bar of Michigan (Litigation Section, Prison & Corrections Section, Young Lawyers Section)
  • Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan Chapter
  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (Regional Chairperson)
  • Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys
  • Insurance Alliance of Michigan

Presentations and Publications

  • Corrections Legal Update, Presenter, Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority Training Session, Jan. 15-16, 2019
  • "Calculating the Statute of Limitations in FMLA Cases: Discrete Acts or Continuing Violations?," State Bar of Michigan Litigation Journal, January 2018
  • "The Search for Consistency in the Interpretation of Plea Agreements and Appeal Waivers in the Face of Breach," 15 J.L. Society 119 (2013-2014)



  • Wayne State University Law School, J.D., 2013
  • Ferris State University, magna cum laude, B.S., 2008


  • Michigan, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2014


Honors & Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, 2023
  • Michigan Rising Star in Civil Litigation Defense, Michigan Super Lawyers, a Thompson Reuters publication, 2018 - 2022
  • Up & Coming Lawyer Award, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2023
  • Merit scholarship recipient (Wayne State University Law School)
  • Two-Year Varsity Athletic Award for baseball at Kalamazoo Valley Community College
  • Honorable Mention All-State, National Junior College Athletic Association
  • Academic All-Conference and All-State (2004-2005), National Junior College Athletic Association


Speaking Engagements