Brian R. Matsui

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

Brian Matsui is a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice. For nearly 20 years, Brian has been a go-to appellate advocate for sophisticated clients in complex appeals nationwide. Clients describe Brian as “a ‘terrific’ practitioner with a ‘warm and enthusiastic’ approach to matters” (Chambers USA).

Brian briefs and argues cases in the federal courts of appeals nationwide. He has argued multiple times in the D.C., Second, Ninth, Eleventh, and Federal Circuits. His arguments include significant victories in class action appeals and in appeals for leading financial services companies. For example, Brian argued and won a D.C. Circuit appeal against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about the retroactivity of part of the Dodd-Frank Act. As a result of Brian’s win, the SEC had to change its enforcement practices against certain securities industry professionals.

Clients turn to Brian for his substantial experience in patent appeals in the Federal Circuit. He has argued more than 10 times in that Court, winning appeals from both district courts and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Brian excels at applying legal principles to complex technologies in a clear, compelling way. He has handled appeals in a myriad of industries, including for mobile device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, memory manufacturers, movie studios, and software companies. Brian also is an Editor of Morrison & Foerster’s Federal Circuitry blog, which takes a data-driven approach to analyzing the Federal Circuit and its decisions.

A former law clerk for the United States Supreme Court, Brian has authored dozens of briefs in that Court, including on important constitutional and statutory interpretation issues. He often represents clients’ interests in amicus briefs in significant Supreme Court cases affecting the business community.

Leading publications have recognized Brian for his appellate skills. Chambers USA and Legal 500 US have recommended him for Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation, and the National Law Journal named Brian a “Minority 40 under 40.”

Brian dedicates significant time to pro bono matters. He argued and won two significant appeals—in the Second and Ninth Circuits—obtaining reversals of judgments that had denied private rights of action under the Child Welfare Act. Brian also led the Morrison & Foerster team who co-counseled 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.

For years, Brian chaired the ABA’s seven-person Standing Committee for Amicus Curiae Briefs. He served on the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s amicus committee and co-chaired of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s amicus committee. Brian also served as an Appellate Lawyer Representative for the Ninth Circuit.

Before entering private practice, Brian clerked on the United States Supreme Court for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. He also clerked for Judge Pamela Ann Rymer on the Ninth Circuit and Judge David F. Levi on the Eastern District of California.

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

Representative Oral Arguments

  • C.R. Bard Inc. v. Medline Industries, Inc. (13:25)

    (Fed. Cir.) Won vacatur of three Patent Trial and Appeal Board decisions on obviousness.

  • William Paulus v. Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. (13:25)

    (9th Cir.) Successfully argued and briefed appeal in a putative shareholder class action involving a tender offer.

  • ARCH Development Corp. v. OSI Pharmaceuticals, LLC (12:40)

    (Fed. Cir.) Successfully argued and briefed appeal involving the invalidation of patent claims directed to cancer treatment methods.

  • Neev v. Alcon LenSx, Inc. (13:31)

    (Fed. Cir.) Successfully argued and briefed appeal involving claim construction and non-infringement issues in a suit involving surgical lasers.

  • Kurtz v. Costco Wholesale Corporation (9:23)

    (2d Cir.) Successfully petitioned for review of a class certification decision, then argued and obtained a remand for the district court to reconsider its certification decision, and an eventual reversal on an injunctive class certification decision.

  • Gregory Bartko v. SEC (0:53)

    (D.C. Cir.) Successfully argued and obtained precedential ruling that the Securities and Exchange Commission could not retroactively apply Dodd-Frank’s industry-wide sanctions on securities professionals for certain securities violations.

  • Monkeymedia, Inc. v. Buena Vista Home Entertainment (12:35)

    (Fed. Cir.) Successfully argued and briefed appeal involving the invalidation of patent claims directed to the transmission of video content, including over the Internet.

  • New York State Citizens’ Coalition v. Velez

    (2d Cir.) Successfully argued and briefed appeal in which the Second Circuit recognized an implied private right of action under the Child Welfare Act for parents of children in foster care.

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