Lawyer, Ocean Advocate, Environmentalist
Matthew Spiegl is dedicated to environmental justice and cetacean rights; particularly issues concerning international wildlife trade regulations and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). As an ocean advocate his work focuses on the health of the ocean, the impact of plastic pollution on marine life and the need for responsible stewardship of the sea. As a Huffington Post contributor, he has been writing about these and other issues of social responsibility and consequence since 2011.
Matthew is a member of the board of directors and serves as legal counsel for the Free Morgan Foundation, a Dutch NGO dedicated to protecting the rights of the wild-born killer whale known as Morgan while she is held in captivity. He is a co-author with Dr. Ingrid Visser of the Foundation’s white paper on whale laundering (November 2015) "CITES and the Marine Mammal Protection Act: Comity and Conflict at Loro Parque". He also serves on the advisory board of The Whale Sanctuary Project whose mission is to establish a model seaside sanctuary for cetaceans (porpoises, dolphins and whales).
Matthew earned the degree of Juris Doctor from Monterey College of Law where he is a founding member of the Heisler Society for Advanced Achievement in Oral Advocacy - honoring the late Francis Heisler, a famed civil liberties lawyer and First Amendment champion. He is licensed to practice law in the State of California and a member of the bar of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Matthew cut his political teeth working for the California Legislature from 1983 through 1988 and he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences (cum laude) with a concentration in Urban and Community Studies.