Barton Gilman Co-Managing Partner Matthew R. Plain, a respected education, employment and litigation attorney, has been named a “Leader in the Law” by Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly. The award recognizes the current leaders of the Rhode Island bar. Plain will be honored at the publication’s Excellence in the Law event on June 7, 2022.
In practice for more than 15 years, Plain has led the growth of Barton Gilman’s education law group and is at the forefront of the education reform movement. He maintains a thriving practice in labor and employment, public agency, education, and administrative law, and routinely handles matters related to regulatory compliance, workplace and school investigations, professional liability, general liability, and contract disputes. In addition to his executive role with the firm, Plain serves as the firm’s marketing partner, a position he has held for the past six years.
Plain, a former public school teacher, devotes a considerable portion of his practice to advising governing bodies of schools and administrators on a myriad of education law issues, including Title IX, special education, employment, student/staff discipline, government relations, open government, contract law and constitutional law. Notably, Plain serves as outside general counsel to the Rhode Island League of Charter Schools and the Massachusetts Charter Public Schools Association. He is active with the Alliance for Public Charter School Attorneys and served on the National Litigation Council for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
Pro bono and community work play a significant role in Plain’s practice. Approximately 15 years ago, he launched the firm’s pro bono initiative, a Roger Williams University’s Pro Bono Collaborative (PBC) project, to identify and address unmet legal needs in the community. Plain serves as a volunteer flag football, basketball, and baseball coach in the East Greenwich youth sports programs, and also serves as the Committee Chair for the Cub Scouts, East Greenwich Pack 3. He previously served two terms as an elected member of the East Greenwich School Committee. In that capacity, he served on the district’s collective bargaining agreement negotiation team, numerous hiring committees, and the personnel and policy subcommittees. Plain is also a member of the United Way of Rhode Island’s Keel Club and USA 500 Club’s Giving Circle.
Plain has been named a Best Lawyer in America in Education Law from 2018-2022, a Lawyer of Professional Excellence in the Law in Education Law by Rhode Island Monthly from 2019-2021, a Rhode Island Super Lawyer Rising Star from 2011-2015 and Super Lawyer from 2018-2020, and 40 Under Forty by Providence Business News in 2011. Plain was inducted into the East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor in 2018. He received a J.D. from Roger Williams University School of Law, an M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Plain is admitted to practice in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.
About Barton Gilman
Barton Gilman serves clients throughout the Northeast with offices in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, offering legal services in a wide variety of matters, including medical and other professional liability defense, premises liability and business litigation, as well as education law, employment, family law, insurance coverage, trusts and estates, criminal defense, corporate formation and intellectual property. The firm and its attorneys have received numerous awards and accolades, including Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms, Best Places to Work Rhode Island, Outstanding Philanthropic Business, the Common Good Award, and Super Lawyers.