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Matthew Onest has more than nine years’ experience protecting the interests of manufacturers, businesses of all sizes, property owners, and energy companies in all aspects of civil litigation. He has significant trial experience in many courts in the State of Ohio. Matthew is also a member of the firm’s litigation and appellate practice group and has successfully handled appellate cases before the Ohio Supreme Court, and Ohio’s Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh, and Twelfth District Courts of Appeal. Matthew also practices in several federal courts throughout the United States. Though experienced in a wide variety of legal matters, Matthew focuses his practice mainly in energy litigation, business litigation, and real estate litigation.

Matthew is also a member of the firm’s oil and gas practice group and has successfully represented companies and landowners in many aspects, including civil litigation, arbitration, and administrative proceedings before the Public Utilities Commission and the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission. Matthew has experience negotiating oil and gas contracts and other energy-related agreements, including leases and easements.

Matthew practices out of the Canfield and Canton offices. Matthew lives with his wife, Kelly, and their five children in Hubbard, Ohio.


  • University of Mount Union, B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice, cum laude
    • Received the William H. Porter Award in Sociology
    • Trustee Scholarship recipient
  • University of Akron School of Law, Juris Doctor, magna cum laude
    • Served as assistant editor of the Akron Law Review

Professional Experience

  • Represents individuals and companies in complex business and tort litigation, including handling trials and other dispute resolution proceedings and commercial arbitration, along with appellate practice.
  • Counsels and advises producers, and drillers involved in the oil and gas industry, including litigation before both state and federal courts in Ohio.
  • Begins and defends lawsuits various lawsuits for declaratory judgment, under the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act, under the Ohio Marketable Title Act, for slander of title, for adverse possession, and for oil and gas lease breaches, interpretation, and enforcement of contractual obligations.

Courts and Bar Associations

  • Licensed to practice in Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • Member: The Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member: Stark County Bar Association
  • Member: Akron Bar Association
  • Member: Trumbull County Bar Association

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Member: The Hubbard Rotary Club (2021-present)
  • Member: Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
  • Member: National Association of Royalty Owners
  • Board Member: Spano Foundation
  • Former Board of Directors:  Massillon Museum (2016—2020)
  • Former Board of Directors:  Bluecoats, Inc. (Canton, Ohio, 2017—2019)
  • Former Member: The Jackson Township Rotary Club (2015—2017)
  • Former: Leadership Stark County, The 29th Graduating Class (2015—2016)
  • Former Board of Directors: Golden Key Center for Exceptional Children
  • Former:  The Young Lawyers Section Council and the Young Lawyers Section of the Ohio State Bar Association

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® “Ones To Watch” 2021, 2022
  • Recipient, CALI award for Academic Excellence for Bankruptcy, Evidence, and Health Law
  • Recipient, Board of Trustees Scholarship, University of Mount Union
  • Recipient, ABA-BNA Award for Excellence in the Study of Health Law
  • Recipient, The American Bankruptcy Law Journal Student Prize


  • “Preserving Severed Mineral Interests”– Seminar Presenter, Stark County Bar Association (2014)
  • “2015 Oil and Gas Caselaw Update” – Ohio Bar Association
  • Presenter at the Sterling Education’s 6th Annual Landlord-Tenant Law Conference, Youngstown, Ohio (2015)
  • “Defining Trespass and Adverse Possession” – Seminar Presenter, Half Moon Education, Inc. (2015)
  • Presenter at the Sterling Education’s Landlord-Tenant Law Conference, Youngstown, Ohio (2016)
  • Co-Author of Ohio Survey for Texas A&M Journal of Property Law: 2018, 2019, 2020 Survey on Oil & Gas – Texas A&M University School of Law
  • “Defining Trespass and Adverse Possession and Accommodating the Rights of Mineral Owners and Surface Owners” – Seminar Presenter, Half Moon Education, Inc. (2018)
  • “Identifying, Classifying, and Locating Easements” – Seminar Presenter, Half Moon Education, Inc. (2021)
  • “Participating in the Condemnation Process”  – Seminar Presenter, Half Moon Education, Inc. (2021)

Articles Published by Matthew W. Onest

Legal Alert on Peppertree MTA case

Ohio Supreme Court holds that a filed will that does not devise a severed mineral through either a specific provision or through a residue clause is not preserving event under Section 5301.49(D) of the Ohio Marketable Title Act (“MTA”). By Matthew W. Onest, Esq. On February 15, 2022, the Ohio […]

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Oral Arguments: Zehentbauer Family Land LP et al v Total E and P USA Inc et al

On December 8, 2021, Attorney Scott Zurakowski argued before the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit on behalf of the plaintiff-class of lessors-mineral owners in 20-3469 Zehentbauer Family Land LP et al v Total E and P USA Inc et al. Our firm is seeking to reverse the district […]

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Attorney Matthew W. Onest Presents Oral Arguments in the Ohio Supreme Court

Congratulations to Attorney Matthew Onest for oral arguments in the Ohio Supreme Court on the following cases:  Senterra Ltd. v. Alan T. Winland et al., Case No. 2020-0197 Seventh District Court of Appeals (Belmont County).  Watch video here: Peppertree Farms, L.L.C. v. Thonen, Case No. 2020-0814.  Watch video here:  […]

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Legal Alert: Ohio House Bill No. 152 – Ohio’s Oil & Gas Unitization Process

On February 23, 2021, the Ohio House introduced House Bill No. 152 which would make several significant changes to Ohio’s unitization process. Under Ohio law, an oil and gas operator can seek an order from the State of Ohio (through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources) forcing landowners into oil […]

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Attorneys Gregory W. Watts and Matthew W. Onest Co-Author Texas A&M Journal of Property Law Ohio Update Publications

KWGD Attorneys Gregory W. Watts and Matthew W. Onest have recently co-authored the following publications: Texas A&M Journal of Property Law: Ohio Oil & Gas Survey Volume 6, 2020, (for this publication, click on the PDF below) Past publications are linked below: Texas A&M Journal of Property Law: Ohio Oil & Gas […]

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Ohio Supreme Court Holds That the Ohio Marketable Title Act Applies to All Severed Mineral Interests

Just yesterday, the Ohio Supreme Court finally answered a question that had been making its way through the Ohio Court System — does the Ohio Marketable Title Act apply to severed mineral interests? Well, the Ohio Supreme Court answered in the affirmative. Ever since the Ohio Supreme Court decided in […]

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