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Brian R. Matsui

Matsui, Brian R.


Washington D.C., (202) 887-8784


Stanford University (A.B., 1995)
Stanford Law School (J.D., 1999)

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, U.S. Supreme Court (2002-2003)
Hon. Pamela A. Rymer, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (2000-2001)
Hon. David F. Levi, U.S. District Court, E.D. California (1999-2000)

Brian Matsui is a partner in the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice Group. He represents clients from a diverse set of industries in appellate litigation in both federal and state appellate courts in appeals involving the Patent Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Securities Exchange Act, and the preemption of state laws under federal banking statutes and regulations, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994. He also has substantial experience in cases involving the negative implications of the Commerce Clause with regard to state taxation and the interstate delivery of goods.

In addition to arguing cases in both federal and state appellate courts, Mr. Matsui has been involved in more than 35 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. He has substantial experience in the federal courts of appeals, having represented clients in appeals in almost every federal appellate court. In particular, he has briefed and argued a number of cases in the Ninth Circuit on a wide range of issues, and in the Federal Circuit on issues involving intellectual property. Additionally, he has represented clients in federal district courts and administrative proceedings by contributing his appellate expertise to case strategy and dispositive motions involving complex issues of law.

In the Supreme Court, Mr. Matsui is well versed in the certiorari process. He has been counsel of record or the primary author of a number of petitions, briefs in opposition, and amicus briefs at the certiorari stage for some of the nation’s most significant businesses.

Mr. Matsui maintains an active pro bono practice. He led the Morrison & Foerster team that was co-counsel for petitioner Terrance Graham in Graham v. Florida, 130 S. Ct. 2011 (2010)—a successful Eighth Amendment challenge to Florida’s imposition of a “life without the possibility of parole” sentence to a juvenile offender convicted of a non-homicide crime. He also recently successfully represented a putative class of foster care children in a high-profile abuse and neglect case in the Ninth Circuit in Henry A. v. Willden, 678 F.3d 991 (9th Cir. 2012).

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Matsui clerked for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States, Judge Pamela Ann Rymer of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Judge David F. Levi of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.

The National Law Journal named Mr. Matsui a "Minority 40 under 40" (2011), and he is currently recommended by Chambers USA and Legal 500 U.S. in the areas of Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation.

Mr. Matsui is the chair of the ABA's seven-member Standing Committee for Amicus Curiae Briefs, which oversees preparation of ABA briefs for filing before the Supreme Court and other courts. He is currently co-chair of the amicus curiae brief committee for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and is currently serving a three-year term as an Appellate Lawyer Representative for the Ninth Circuit, having been selected by the Court of Appeals for that position. Mr. Matsui also serves as a board member for the D.C. Circuit Historical Society.

While in law school, Mr. Matsui served as managing editor of Volume 51 of the Stanford Law Review, and was elected to the Order of the Coif.

"Clients and market sources consider Brian Matsui a ‘terrific’ practitioner with a ‘warm and enthusiastic’ approach to matters.”
(Chambers USA 2015)