Man wearing Grey suit with a Red blue striped tie.

Matthew G. Kiernan, Esq.

Matthew G. Kiernan’s distinguished legal career includes time in private practice, public service, the court system, and academia. He is now bringing that experience to Mediation Solutions to aid clients in resolving their cases.

Matt is the former Public Administrator for the County of Suffolk, appointed by order of the Surrogate of Suffolk County. He held that position on two separate occasions, from 1998-2002, and again from 2018-2023, where he served as the fiduciary in hundreds of estates and guardianships, marshaling estate assets, paying creditors, searching for heirs, and making distributions to beneficiaries, and coordinating estate administration and litigation with outside counsel.

From 2016-2018 he held several different positions at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. He served as the Associate Dean of Academic Operations, where his responsibilities included fundraising; the development of new programs and interdisciplinary efforts, including the medical-legal partnership; approval of the academic calendar; appointment of adjunct faculty; and supervision of the faculty assistant staff.

While at Hofstra Law, he also served as the Faculty Administrative Editor of the Family Court Review, published in conjunction with the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and as an adjunct professor, teaching the Family Court Review Seminar and the Guardianship 17A Practicum.

Matt also served as Hofstra Law’s Director of Policy and Planning for the Center for Children, Families, and the Law, and as a member of its Executive Board assisting the Center’s Executive Director in all phases of the operation, structure, and development of the Center, including the launching of its two demonstration projects: Guardianship for Indigent and Developmentally Delayed Youth and a mediation project for separating and divorcing parents.

From 2016-2017 he served as Special Counsel to the Executive Director for the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children. He was Special Counsel to the Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York from 2011-2016, advising the Chief Administrative Judge issues involved with the administration and operation of a court system with 3,500 Judges, over 15,000 personnel and a budget in excess of two billion dollars. He assisted the Chief Administrative Judge in working collaboratively with the executive and legislative branches of government to enhance the administration of justice.

Prior to that, served as Deputy Clerk of the Court and Director of Professional Services, and then Clerk of the Court for the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department. As Director of Professional Services, he was responsible for the oversight of fiduciary appointments, the designation of Court Examiners, the supervision of the Assigned Counsel Advisory Committee and the Civil Appeals Management Program (CAMP), and coordinating the in-house continuing legal education program for court attorneys.

As Clerk of the Court, he was the highest ranking non-judicial employee in one of the busiest appellate courts in the United States, processing over 4,000 appeals and 14,000 motions/applications annually. Appointed unanimously as Clerk of the Court by the 21 Associate Justices of the court, upon the recommendation of the Presiding Justice, Matt assisted the Presiding Justice in all aspects of the day-to- day operation of the court and the management of its caseload and personnel.

Matt also served as the Director of the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission, he implemented the procedures employed by the Commission and developed the forms used in evaluating the qualifications of candidates for judicial office.

Prior to serving the Commission, Matt was Principal Law Clerk to the Surrogate of Suffolk County, supervising the discovery phase of contested proceedings and the preparation of those proceedings for trial, as well as supervising the Probate Department and drafting decisions on uncontested applications and post-trial and post-hearing matters.

For four years, he served concurrently as an Assistant Town Attorney for the Town of Southold and as Special Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County. As Town Attorney, he provided legal counsel to all departments within the town, attended and participated in public meetings, drafting local ordinances, preparing, and reviewing contracts and defending the Town in civil litigation. He also prosecuted violations of the Southold Town Code in the Southold Town Justice Court.

Prior to his career in public service, Matt practiced law as an associate at two different law firms handling cases involving civil negligence, municipality defense, and professional malpractice litigation.

He has been a frequent lecturer at both the New York State Bar Association and the Suffolk County Bar Association on a variety of subjects, as well as to prospective guardians ad litem in the Suffolk County Surrogate’s Court and prospective Court Examiners in the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department.

Matt is available to mediate or arbitrate cases virtually or in person.

Mediating/Arbitrating Cases In:

  • Surrogate’s Court matters
  • Municipal law
  • Personal injury and negligence

Professional Experience

Office of the Public Administrator (1998-2002, 2018-2023)

Associate Dean of Academic Operations, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University (2017-2018)

Director of Policy and Planning, The Center for Children, Families and The Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University (2016-2017)

Special Counsel to the Executive Director, New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, NYS Unified Court System Office of Court Administration (2016-2017)

Special Counsel to the Chief Administrative Judge, Office of Court Administration (2011-2016)

Clerk of the Court, Supreme Court of The State Of New York Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department (2010-2011)

Director of Professional Services and Associate Deputy Clerk of the Court, Supreme Court of The State Of New York Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department (2002-2010)

Director, Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission (2007)

Principal Law Clerk, Surrogate’s Court, Suffolk County (1994-1998)

Assistant Town Attorney, Town of Southold (1989-1993)

Special Assistant District Attorney, Suffolk County (1989-1993)

Associate, Newman Schlau Fitch & Burns P.C. (1988-1989)

Associate, Connor and Weber P.C. (1986-1987)


Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 1986

The Johns Hopkins University, B.A., 1982

Memberships and Professional Activities

New York State Bar Association Committee on Fiduciary Appointments

Co-Chair, Second Judicial Department’s Guardianship Task Force

New York State Bar Association

Suffolk County Bar Association

  • Co-Chair Surrogate’s Court Committee 2000-2001
  • Appellate Court Committee

Huntington Lawyers Club

Cold Spring Hills Civic Association

National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks

Friendly Sons of St. Patrick