Retired Senior District Court Judge A. Howard Matz to Rejoin Bird Marella

09 Sep, 2013

The Los Angeles-based litigation firm Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks & Lincenberg, P.C., announced that one of its founding partners, former Senior District Judge A. Howard Matz, will rejoin Bird Marella as its Senior Counsel.  This appointment follows Judge Matz’s 15-year tenure on the United States District Court in the Central District of California. 


Judge Matz, who retired from the bench in April 2013, was an original partner of Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert & Matz P.C., which he co-founded in 1983.  From its inception through today, Bird Marella has focused on complex civil litigation and white collar criminal matters. 


“We are thrilled that Judge Matz chose to rejoin us after serving with great distinction on the federal bench,” said Bird Marella co-managing partner Mitchell A. Kamin. “He is coming on board at a dynamic time for the firm, and his plans to develop a practice that includes high-level investigations and representation of lawyers and law firms, coupled with work as a neutral and in the community are very exciting to us all,” he continued. Co-managing partner Paul S. Chan added, “Our clients will benefit from the breadth of his legal experience and keen understanding of both sides of the bench.  Judge Matz is not just going to be among colleagues; he will be among friends.”


Fifteen years after founding Bird Marella, Howard Matz was nominated to the federal bench by President Clinton.  He received his commission in June 1998.  “I’ve watched Bird Marella evolve and develop while maintaining continuity,” said Judge Matz.  “The steady hand of its leadership over the decades has enabled the firm to remain cohesive and independent. It is deeply gratifying to see those who were associates now spearheading major trials, as well as taking on significant management roles in the firm.” 


As Senior Counsel, Judge Matz will be involved in representing clients in areas such as federal investigations, serving as neutral in arbitrations and mediations, as well as serving as a Special Master, and sharing his rich experiences as guidance to the firm’s younger attorneys. Judge Matz also intends to contribute to the practice of law by advocating for the judiciary, and offering pro bono and community services in the interest of civic betterment.


During his tenure on the federal bench, Judge Matz presided over numerous noteworthy cases and several of his decisions were ultimately adjudicated by the Supreme Court.  In many of his precedent-setting decisions, he construed various provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit, e.g., Universal Music Group v. Veoh, 665 F. Supp. 2d 1099 (2009), affirmed UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Shelter Capital Partners LLC, 718 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2013).  In United States v. Aguilar, 783 F. Supp. 2d 1108 (C.D. Cal. 2011), Judge Matz was the first District Court Judge to hold that the term “foreign official” in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act encompasses high-ranking executives of state-owned enterprises.


He was the first recipient of the “Vanguard Award” bestowed by the California State Bar for his contributions to intellectual property jurisprudence.  He served on many judicial committees including the Ninth Circuit Model Jury Instructions Committee.  He also chaired the District Court’s Pro Bono/Pro Se Committee from 2003 – 2012.


Born in New York, Judge Matz earned his Juris Doctor at Harvard University in 1968. He assumed senior status in the District Court in 2011.  

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