Laura W. Brill
Certified Appellate Specialist

With a focus on complex civil litigation and appeals relating to media, communications, and the arts, founding partner Laura Brill has secured precedent-setting victories in numerous appearances before state and federal courts.

She handles disputes concerning a broad range of subjects, including intellectual property licensing, ownership, and infringement, business disputes involving contract issues, torts, and partnership and LLC governance, fine art restitution, first amendment and other constitutional issues, government contracting, and challenges to municipal regulation.

Recognized as among the top appellate and intellectual property litigators in California, Ms. Brill served as a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with whom she has co-authored several articles and has been a guest lecturer at Yale Law School and UCLA.

She has appeared numerous times as a public radio commentator on constitutional law issues and has published in the Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Orange County Register, San Francisco Chronicle, and San Diego Union-Tribune.

Ms. Brill maintains an active pro bono docket, with a focus on equal rights, freedom of expression, and challenges to the use of the initiative process.

Representative Matters

Media, Entertainment, and Intellectual Property

Advertising and Entertainment Industry Litigation and Advice

Represent leading advertising companies in a range of complex litigation matters. These include First Amendment and other constitutional issues, regulatory compliance issues, disputes among competitors, challenges to fees, and taxes on advertising, and privacy, intellectual property, and advertising-related disputes in connection with online information services.

Represent heirs of creator of Hawaii Five-0 in bench trial, jury trial, and appellate proceedings involving rights dispute with creator’s former talent agent. The widely-publicized case involved one of the first efforts in California to dissociate an LLC member under California’s Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act.

Provide advice and counseling on municipal and statewide legislation affecting media companies. Registered lobbyist in City of Los Angeles.

Represent cable television stations, television production companies, radio broadcasters, individuals, and high-tech companies in disputes concerning licensing, partnership and LLC obligations, royalty audits, finders’ fees, rights of first refusal, copyright termination, idea submission, defamation, and other business disputes.

Represent leading outdoor advertising company in opposing competitor’s challenge to award of major mass transit agency contract.

Copyright and First Amendment Appeals

Metro Lights LLC v. City of Los Angeles: Argued successfully against constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe, in Ninth Circuit appeal that preserved the authority of cities to support mass transit infrastructure through agreements involving advertising.

Viacom v. YouTube: Filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of a group of legal and economics scholars from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, the University of Texas, and Fordham University in this Digital Millennium Copyright Act case.

Kelly v. Arriba Soft: Filed an amicus brief on behalf of Google, Yahoo!, and AltaVista to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in this fair use doctrine case.

Fine Art Restitution

Represent heirs of holocaust survivor in federal court action against Spanish state-owned museum for restitution of fine art looted by Nazis. The action involves complex issues relating to foreign law, choice of law, foreign sovereign immunity, U.S. Constitutional challenges, and competing ownership rights.

Patent Litigation and Appeals

Represented a leading DVR manufacturer in defending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit a $94 million judgment for patent infringement, followed by further proceedings to enforce an injunction before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Represented non-profit research organization in complex patent licensing dispute before U.S. Supreme Court and district court concerning use of a declaratory judgment proceeding to challenge the validity of a licensed patent and on remand, the right to jury trial in such challenges.

Defended a leading computer manufacturer in patent litigation relating to ink-jet and battery management technology.

Represented a leading innovator of semiconductor assembly packaging before the U.S. International Trade Commission in connection with novel remedies issues.

Quanta v. LG Electronics: Filed amicus brief in U.S. Supreme Court concerning exhaustion of method patent claims.

eBay v. MercExchange: Filed amicus brief on behalf of the American Association of Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges in U.S. Supreme Court.

Additional Constitutional Litigation And Appeals

First Amendment Litigation and Appeals

Represents clients in a range of First Amendment matters at the trial and appellate levels, including constitutional challenges to governmental speech restrictions, defamation, slander of title, right of access to public records, and anti-SLAPP challenges.

Voting Rights and Initiative Challenges

Defended the California State Senate in an action under the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution challenging district lines for Congress and California State Senate that were enacted in the wake of the 2000 census. A three-judge district court, composed of Reinhardt, C.J., and Morrow and Snyder, D.J.J., granted summary judgment in favor of the State Senate, and the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed. Cano v. Davis, 211 F. Supp. 2d 1208 (C.D. Cal. 2002), affirmed, 113 S. Ct. 851 (2003).

Advises and represents clients in connection with redistricting and challenges to state and local initiative measures.

Commercial Litigation

Telecommunications Litigation and Appeals

Represented leading cell phone service provider in appellate matter regarding private rights of action to enforce compensation provisions of the Federal Communications Act. Published opinion North County Communications Corp. v. California Catalog & Technology, 594 F.3d 1149 (2010), cert. denied __ U.S. __ (2010).

Represented leading publishing company in defending text messaging class action brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Complex Business Disputes, Class Actions,
and Appeals

Represent and advise companies in a wide range of complex commercial disputes, including claims for fraud, breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and claims involving patent or other technology licensing agreements.

Served as lead counsel and argued pro bono before the United States Supreme Court in Pasquantino v. United States. Following the Court’s ruling, Ms. Brill’s client’s 21-month sentence was vacated.

Argued successfully before the California Court of Appeal to uphold dismissal of tort claims in an appeal arising from a suit alleging that defendants had sold plaintiff semiconductor processing equipment that was the source of a patent infringement claim against plaintiff by a third party.

Represents attorneys and law firms in actions raising professional liability and business tort claims.

Litigated allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets during representation of online content network in its claims against a competing company. After taking over this matter from another firm weeks before trial, reached a mutually beneficial resolution of this matter.

Represent clients in land use disputes under the California Coastal Act and Los Angeles zoning regulations.

Represented a French high-tech company in obtaining forum non conveniens dismissal in technology licensing dispute.

Represented leading securities industry trade groups in the filing of an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit in a case concerning third-party liability for securities violations in civil litigation arising out of the Enron scandal.

Pro Bono Litigation

Student Free Speech

Served as co-counsel with Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund and People for the American Way Foundation in representing plaintiffs in a landmark case concerning the rights of students, at a public high school in Orange County, California, to receive equal treatment for a gay-straight alliance. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California imposed the first ever preliminary injunction requiring that the school permit such a club to meet on terms equal with those of other student groups.

Colin v. Orange Unified School District, 83 F. Supp. 2d 1135 (C.D. Cal. 2000)

Equal Marriage Rights and Protection of Privacy

Represented national and local women’s rights organizations in amicus briefs in numerous state appellate courts, including the California Supreme Court, concerning the constitutional right to marry for same-sex couples, and the invalidity of California’s Proposition 8, which restricted the right to marry.

Perry v. Schwarzengger: Authored amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit supporting federal challenge to California’s Proposition 8, arguing in favor of certification of questions of state constitutional law to the California Supreme Court.

Lawrence v. Texas: Represented the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund as amicus curiae in support of the petitioner in the U.S. Supreme Court case challenging Texas’s criminal law punishing same-sex sexual conduct. The Supreme Court struck down the Texas statute in June 2003.

Publications, Presentations and Appearances

Ruth Bader Ginsburg & Laura W. Brill, Remembering Great Ladies: Supreme Court Wives’ Stories, 24 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 255 (1999).

Ruth Bader Ginsburg & Laura W. Brill, Address, Women in the Federal Judiciary: Three Way Pavers and the Exhilarating Change President Carter Wrought, 64 Fordham L. Rev. 281 (1995).

Note, The First Amendment and the Power of Suggestion: Protecting “Negligent” Speakers in Cases of Imitative Harm, 94 Colum. L. Rev. 984 (1994).

Yale Law School, Guest lecturer

UCLA School of Law, Guest lecturer

Authored pieces published in the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Sacramento Bee, San Diego Union Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Daily Journal, and Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Frequent speaker at bar association and industry conferences

Broadcast and media commentator, featured in the National Law Journal


Columbia Law School
  • Board of Visitors
Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • State Appellate Judicial Evaluations Committee Member
Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund
  • Board of directors
California State Bar Committee
on Appellate Courts
  • Past member

Prior to Kendall Brill Kelly

Ms. Brill’s experience leading up to the founding of KBK in 2009 includes practicing with the law firm of Irell & Manella LLP from 1997-2009.


Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal
  • Named among top women lawyers in California,
    most years, 2006-present
The Best Lawyers in America
  • Appellate Law, 2007-present
Southern California “Super Lawyers,” 2006–present
  • Top 100, 2014, 2015
  • Top 50 Women, 2008, 2013-2015
People for the American Way Foundation
  • Defenders of Democracy Award, Recipient
  • Award honors leadership in protecting free speech and equal rights

Bar and Court Admissions

California, 1997
New York, 1995
U.S. District Courts
  • Central, Northern and Southern Districts of California
  • Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
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