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).

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 significant legal principles to complex technologies in a way that distills them for the Court. He has done so for companies in a myriad of industries, including mobile device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, memory manufacturers, movie studios, and software companies.

Brian also briefs and argues cases in the other federal courts of appeals, having argued multiple times in the D.C., Second, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits. His arguments include significant victories in class action appeals and in appeals for leading financial services companies. Brian recently 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.

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 in the areas of 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.

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.

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.

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.

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