Kalas, Matthew J.

Matthew J. Kalas

Senior Counsel



Matthew J. Kalas is an attorney in Locke Lord's litigation department focused on defending product designers, manufacturers, owners, sellers, lessors, operators and service providers. From pressure switches, turbines and railroad tank cars to general and commercial aircraft, Matthew has defended against mass tort, product liability and negligence claims in wrongful death, personal injury and property damage actions across multiple jurisdictions in trial and appellate courts throughout the U.S. and abroad. Matthew's experience includes defending cases implicating ITAR and OFAC regulatory schemes and involving requests under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties. He also advises U.S. and London Market based insurers and reinsurers as to existing and emerging risks and assists in coverage determinations related to same.

A member of Locke Lord’s Aviation & Defense practice group, he actively counsels existing participants in and new entrants to the UAS market (drones, UAVs, RPAS) on regulatory compliance, licensing and insurance issues. Prior to entering the legal profession, he served as an engineering consultant on both government and privately funded ventures focusing on the analysis, design and manufacture of complex aircraft structures, component parts and systems for aircraft operated throughout North America, Europe, the Middle and Far East. Matthew's experience includes working with FAA Certification Offices and Flight Standards District Offices in support of securing type certificate, production certificate and supplemental type certificate approvals.

Representative Experience

Matthew has been actively involved in the defense of claims arising out of a number of commercial aviation disasters, most recently including:

  • Adam Air Flight 292
  • Adam Air Flight 574
  • Airblue Flight 202
  • Flash Airlines Flight 604
  • Garuda Flight 200
  • Sudan Airways Flight 109
  • Yemenia Airways Flight 626

Matthew also assisted in the defense of the security company that conducted pre-board passenger screening for American Airlines Flight 11 concerning claims arising out of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Matthew also has experience:

  • Defending OEM manufacturer and lessor of railroad tanker cars against cross-border product defect claims
  • Defending OEM autopilot product manufacturer and supplier in subrogation action based on alleged design and manufacturing defects
  • Defending OEM supplier of engine component parts against wrongful death litigation arising from alleged design and manufacturing defects
  • Defending owner and operator of OTR trucking company in personal injury litigation arising from crash of tractor trailer
  • Representing insurers of satellite manufacturer in declaratory judgment actions concerning coverage for on-orbit failures of commercial satellites
  • Defending Canadian owner and operator of float plane in personal injury action arising from crash in Canadian wilderness
  • Defending owner and operator of aircraft refueling station in property damage and business interruption action arising from alleged supplying of wrong fuel type
  • Defending supplier of aircraft and runway deicing compound in property damage action arising from alleged foreign object damage to commercial aircraft turbofan

Professional Affiliations and Recognitions

  • Named, Illinois Rising Star, Super Lawyers magazine (2012-2015)
  • Member, Aviation Insurance Association
  • Member, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association
  • Member, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
  • 2009 Recipient, Center for Disability & Elder Law's Eamon Shannon Special Education Award