Century City:
1999 Avenue of the Stars, 7th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067


Matthew Kline


Matt Kline is a partner in O’Melveny’s Century City office, a member of the Business Trial and Litigation Practice, and head of the Water Industry Practice. Matt's trial, arbitration, and appellate practice is global in scope, and he represents plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of matters—with a focus on intellectual property issues, contract disputes, international cases, government investigations, and the energy, water, high-tech, and private-equity sectors. Matt has extensive experience in cases involving intense public scrutiny, and his work has been featured regularly in the national press. Matt is actively involved in public service. This includes work as counsel on the National War Powers Commission, and board service for the KCRW Foundation, the Center for Early Education, Cancer for College, and the Warren Christopher Scholarship program.

Illustrative Professional Experience

Matt’s work on intellectual property disputes includes:

  • Representing Warner Bros. and DC Comics in long-running copyright and trademark litigation concerning Superman. As reported in the national press, he helped secure a string of “blockbuster” wins in these cases, including In re Pac. Pictures Corp., 679 F.3d 1121 (9th Cir. 2012); DC Comics v. Pacific Pictures Corp., 2013 WL 120807 (9th Cir. 2013); Larson v. Warner Bros. Entm’t, Inc., 2013 WL 1113259 (9th Cir. 2013), and DC Comics v. Pacific Pictures Corp., 545 F. App’x 678 (9th Cir. 2013).
  • Representing Warner Bros. in a variety of other matters, including disputes related to properties like Gravity, Trouble With the Curve, the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and Harry Potter franchises, as well as television productions.
  • Defending one of the major television networks in a copyright class action challenging the use of music cues in thousands of television programs. Matt has also successfully represented various clients—including skin care, apparel, and media companies—in trademark, false advertising, and unfair competition cases.
  • Representing videogame developers in a variety of disputes, including helping secure a nine-figure settlement for plaintiffs in an arbitration involving contract, patent, trade-secret, copyright, and trademark claims.

Matt’s work on international disputes includes:

  • Defending Unocal for several years in a series of lawsuits and investigations arising out of investments in Myanmar (Burma). Matt’s work included briefing before the U.S. and California Supreme Courts, foreign investigations in several countries, and a bench trial in California, in which Unocal defeated plaintiffs’ alter-ego claims.
  • Representing many other companies (including Yahoo! and a variety of energy and natural resources companies) in Alien Tort Statute and related cases—both in litigation and before various branches of government. E.g., Saldana v. Occidental Petroleum Corp., 2014 WL 7012444 (9th Cir. 2014); Zheng v. Yahoo! Inc., 2009 WL 4430297 (N.D. Cal. 2009). These cases involved claims and work in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, and claims asserted under various sources of international and U.S. law, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
  • Handling international arbitrations (including in the International Chamber of Commerce), as well as investigations in Afghanistan, Asia, and the Middle East related to criminal and intellectual property matters. Matt has also advised clients on real-estate disputes in a variety of foreign jurisdictions, including Europe and Africa.

Matt’s trial, appellate, and arbitration work also includes:

  • A five-month jury trial in Houston defending Jeff Skilling, the former CEO of Enron, in his criminal trial. Matt’s work, as a primary brief writer for the team, included Mr. Skilling’s victory in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • An arbitration for a leading consumer electronic company against one of world’s largest telecommunications companies, in which Matt’s client prevailed on its contract claims and defeated fraud and mistake counterclaims.
  • Defending a major clothing maker against a libel action that not only resulted in victory for our client, but in its being awarded its fees. Matt has extensive experience in these and other First Amendment cases, including those involving California’s Anti-SLAPP laws.
  • A state court lawsuit and arbitration in Los Angeles, in which Matt’s cosmetics company client sued a competitor for tortious interference in impeding a major M&A deal.
  • A bench trial in San Francisco defending Barnes & Noble against a Robinson-Patman Act antitrust case challenging the company’s core business model.
  • A month-long jury trial as plaintiff’s counsel in a multi-million dollar products liability case brought by our manufacturer client against a parts supplier.
  • ERISA lawsuits and arbitrations for a major private-equity client accused of seeking to evade pension liabilities.
  • A major energy company challenging a voter initiative seeking to constrain its natural-resources rights.
  • A music video director in a wrongful death plane crash case.
  • A media executive in fraud and breach-of-contract claims against his former business partners.
  • A large non-profit in a dispute with one of its founders and board members.
  • A sports investment bank and a professional sports team in a variety of contract disputes and tort claims.
  • A major motion picture studio in a fraud and breach of contract case brought in Texas. Matt has experience from this and other cases successfully enforcing arbitration agreements.

Pro Bono, Public Policy, and Community Work

Matt has also worked extensively on pro bono matters during his tenure at O’Melveny. His pro bono work has been recognized by the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and includes work for MALDEF, work on housing and immigration matters, and two well-publicized victories in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Outside the office, Matt is Chairman of the Warren Christopher Scholarship committee and devotes hundreds of hours each year to running the 21-year-old scholarship program that serves public high school students from Los Angeles. He serves on a variety of boards, including the Center for Early Education, Cancer for College, and the KCRW Foundation. He spent several years as a staffer and counsel on the National War Powers Commission, and was involved in Eric Garcetti’s campaign for Mayor and Marshall Tuck’s campaign to be State Superintendent of Public Instruction. He is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, served for several years as an Advisory Board Member for the Berkeley Center for Law, Business & the Economy, is an original member of the Contemporary Friends group at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and serves on O’Melveny’s Art Committee. Matt also regularly guest lectures at a variety of law schools and colleges (including UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, Southwestern, and the University of Richmond) as well as at conferences (including at the Northern District of California Judicial Conference).

Before joining O’Melveny, Matt attended law school at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, where he graduated in the top five of his class and served as Editor-in-Chief of the California Law Review. After law school, Matt served as law clerk for the Honorable Edward R. Becker, then-Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Professional Activities

Chairman, Warren Christopher Scholarship Committee
Board Member, KCRW Foundation, Inc.
Advisory Board Member, Center for Early Education; Cancer for College
Member, Pacific Council on International Policy
Staff Member, National War Powers Commission
Author, The Line Item Veto Case and the Separation of Powers, 88 Calif. L. Rev. 181 (2000); Mainstream Loudoun v. Bd. of Trustees of the Loudoun County Library, 14 Berk. Tech. L.J. 347 (1999); Remarks from the Investiture of Judge William A. Fletcher, 87 Calif. L. Rev. 511, 516 (1999)
Representative Speaking Engagements, Northern District of California Judicial Conference (April 2010) (Alien Tort Statute)
Law Clerk, Honorable Edward R. Becker, Chief Judge, US Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
Judicial Extern, Honorable J. Anthony Kline, Presiding Justice, California Court of Appeals
Intern, Felony I Investigator, District of Columbia Public Defender Service
Awards, Named a "Southern California Super Lawyers — Rising Stars" in a survey conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc. and published in Los Angeles magazine (2005–2015); Leading IP Attorney, IP Stars (2015); Legal 500 (2014-2015)

University of California at Berkeley, J.D.:  Order of the Coif; Editor-in-Chief, California Law Review; Moot Court Advocacy Award; Teaching Assistant for Contracts and Constitutional Law

University of California at Santa Barbara, B.A.:  College Honors; University Service Award; May Company Award; Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Catalyst: The UCSB Undergraduate Creative Works Publication