As a criminal defense lawyer, Matthew Ness sees a link through history between himself and the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights as an “heir of the American Revolution.”
The rights of criminal defendants to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, to fair and speedy trials, to just punishment, and to not be coerced into self-incrimination, are among the most sacred in the U.S. Constitution — and in the Pennsylvania Bill of Rights that predates the federal version.
Ness believes passionately that the basic principles the Founders set forth regarding the rights of people accused of crimes are worth upholding and fighting for in court — and that’s what he does every day as a trial lawyer on behalf of clients facing what he describes as the “crushing power of the state.”
- Clarion University of Pennsylvania
- Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Political Science
- Duquesne University School of Law
- Juris Doctor
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
- Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
- United States Supreme Court
Professional Associations & Memberships
- Allegheny County Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Ness grew up in suburban Pittsburgh in a blue collar family with connections to the region’s rich history of steel mills and construction. He was instilled with working class ethics and values that he continues to embody today — and that he recognizes and appreciates in many of the people he represents in the court system.
He attended Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh because he was attracted to the school’s dedication to teaching that the “welfare of the people is the highest law.” Ness wanted to put his skills and knowledge to work on behalf of good, ordinary people facing the overwhelming experience of a criminal charge by the state, and to be their voice and their advocate in the justice system.
Ness spent six years working in the Allegheny County Public Defender’s Office defending primarily adults, but also some juveniles encountering the justice system. He tried numerous cases, including complex felonies such as attempted homicide, rape, child sexual abuse, robbery, drug trafficking, and firearms charges.
He chose to work with Worgul Law Firm because he valued an atmosphere that allows him to give each client the attention and compassion they deserve, and help guide them through the process in a way that allows clients to make informed decisions about their own cases and their own futures.
Outside of the Office
Outside of work, Ness values spending time with family and giving back to his church and community through volunteer work, including coaching basketball in the winter and working with a local animal rescue group. He’s also an avid Pittsburgh sports fan and enjoys taking in Pirates games or hitting the golf course.