Matt Kline


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Matt Kline is a nationally recognized lawyer with a broad litigation practice who also advises on public policy matters.

Matt heads the firm’s Water Industry Group, which helps clients navigate the transactional, regulatory, and litigation issues implicated by this ever-more vital resource. Matt has twice been named California trial lawyer of the year in this area, having served as lead counsel in numerous high-profile California water cases. As a lecturer at Stanford University, Matt co-teaches a “Business of Water” class.


Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Chambers USA in the category of Litigation: General Commercial (2018-2021, 2023)
  • Named Local Litigation Star and California - Litigation Star for Intellectual Property, Environmental, Commercial, Water Rights by Benchmark Litigation (2023)
  • Named to Variety’s Legal Impact Report (2019, 2020, 2023)
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 US for Media and Entertainment: Litigation (2014-2023)
  • Named among “IP Stars” by Managing Intellectual Property (2016-2022)
  • Named Environment/Natural Resources Litigation Attorney of the Year (2019-2021) and Local Litigation Star (2020-2022) for General Commercial by Benchmark Litigation
  • Verdict recognized by The American Lawyer in story naming O’Melveny California Litigation Department of the Year and national runner-up in its 2019 Litigation Departments of the Year contest
  • Named a “Rising Star” or “Super Lawyer” (2005-2019) by “Southern California Super Lawyers,” as published in Los Angeles magazine
  • Appellate win in Superman litigation recognized among the “Top Appellate Reversals” of 2013 by the Daily Journal


Bar Admissions

  • California


  • University of California at Berkeley, J.D., 1999: 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., 1996: College Honors; University Service Award; May Company Award; Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Catalyst: The UCSB Undergraduate Creative Works Publication

Professional Activities


  • Chairman, Warren Christopher Scholarship Committee
  • Past Chairman of the Board, KCRW Foundation, Inc.
  • Board Member, Cancer for College
  • Past Member of the Pacific Council on International Policy
  • Past Staff Member and Counsel, National War Powers Commission
  • Past Trustee of the Center for Early Education


  • “Brace yourself: a flood of water lawsuits is coming,” Water Power Magazine, August 2020
  • Essay in the California Law Review, “The Best Lesson: A Tribute to Eleanor Swift,” April 2017
  • “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)


  • “INSIGHT: California Water Rights—A Conversation About Litigation, Solutions” Bloomberg Law (May 19, 2020)


  • Honorable Edward R. Becker, Chief Judge, US Court of Appeals, Third Circuit


  • Honorable J. Anthony Kline, Presiding Justice, California Court of Appeals


  • Felony I Investigator, District of Columbia Public Defender Service


  • “The Business of Water,” Stanford Law School

Representative entertainment and intellectual property matters:

  • Represented Warner Bros. in a variety of trials, arbitrations, and other matters, including copyright, idea-theft, trademark, film-finance, and contract cases across the country, related to properties like the Conjuring, Matrix, and Lord of the Rings motion picture franchises, and movies like Gravity, War Dogs, Trouble With the Curve, Rush Hour, and Westworld; profit participation matters, including concerning the It movies and Goodfellas and television series Gilmore Girls and Supernatural; and a variety of other matters concerning the Harry Potter franchise, as well as motion pictures like King Richard and A Star Is Born. Matt represents the company in important First Amendment cases, including a lawsuit brought by former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling—whose $2 billion lawsuit the court struck under California's anti-SLAPP statute. 
  • Represented Warner Bros. and DC Comics in long-running copyright and trademark litigation concerning Superman. As reported in the national press, Matt 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); DC Comics v. Pacific Pictures Corp., 545 F. App'x 678 (9th Cir. 2013); and Larson v. Warner Bros. Entm't Inc., 640 Fed. Appx 630 (9th Circ. 2016).
  • Represented videogame developers in various disputes, including helping one secure a nine-figure settlement for plaintiffs in a case involving contract, patent, trade-secret, copyright, and trademark claims. 
  • Represented various clients—including skin care, apparel, and media companies—in trademark, false advertising, and unfair competition cases. This includes defending a major clothing maker against a libel trademark action that not only resulted in victory for our client, but also in its being awarded fees and costs.
  • Defeated at trial trademark advertising claims exceeding $80 million brought against renowned dermatologist and his company by competitor.
  • Counsel on COVID-related productions rules and regulations.