High-energy, personable, and tenacious, Chuck Matison has emerged in the last 25 years as one of southern New Jersey's leading matrimonial attorneys, particularly in Atlantic and Cape May counties, where his practice is located and focused. His ascent in the field is hardly surprising: Matison brings to divorce law some of the strongest courtroom skills in the state with a unique background as a one-time assistant District Attorney in New York City and a trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Trenton native actually studied marketing and advertising at the University of Wisconsin. (His mother, an alumna, had urged him to attend.) Initially attending Fordham Law School in New York City, he was drafted into the Army. While stationed in Washington, D.C., he continued his legal studies by attending law school at night at The George Washington University, The National Law Center, and by 1973 he had his law degree.
Returning to the New York City area, Matison, married for only several years and soon to become a father, awaited results of his bar exam and still "wasn't sure what I was going to do." A pal in the bar-exam study group pointed him to an opening in the DA's office, where he found his calling in trial work. Matison in short order developed strong courtroom skills, and the world of quick-thinking litigators suited him perfectly. He built a reputation as an effective prosecutor in the State and Federal Courts.
As the casino referendum was passing in New Jersey, Ramada Inns Corp. wooed the bright litigator. As a corporate attorney, Matison held positions in Ramada's Phoenix, Arizona headquarters and at the Tropicana Hotel Casino in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. After practicing corporate and business law, he left and joined a well-established Atlantic City firm where, in the early 80s, he undertook his first divorce cases. "They were handed to me," he recalls. "Pretty soon it was my only focus." It was then he realized that all those college and law school tax and business courses would be "a big part of my work today."
Matison, long with sound business instincts, launched his own practice in 1997 and has continued to build on a reputation as a shrewd negotiator and able trial attorney - a strength, which, notably, has a way of keeping his clients out of court. "But," he adds, "If someone wants to take us to trial, I say, 'Bring 'em on!'"