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Kent Richland has practiced appellate law since he graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1971. He has seen the appellate process from almost every angle: He prosecuted criminal appeals as a Supervising Deputy Attorney General, and he represented indigent criminal defendants on appeal as a Supervising Deputy State Public Defender; he served as Senior Staff Attorney to the late Justice Otto M. Kaus; and in 1983, he was a founding partner of Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland, now one of the two largest civil appellate specialty firms in California.
Kent has represented a wide variety of clients, including national manufacturers, national and international banks, small businesses, prominent entertainment figures, major motion picture studios, insurance carriers, hospitals and other healthcare providers, public entities and individuals. He has been counsel of record in over 100 published cases (and hundreds more unpublished ones) in such diverse areas of the law as torts, contracts, constitutional law, antitrust, bankruptcy, criminal law and procedure, probate, insurance coverage, corporate securities, intellectual property, State Bar admissions and family law.
In 2006, Kent gained national prominence for his United States Supreme Court argument in Marshall v. Marshall, in which he represented the late Anna Nicole Smith. The resulting unanimous opinion in favor of his client established important principles of federal jurisdiction. His achievement was recognized by California Lawyer Magazine, which named him a 2007 California Lawyer of the Year.
On April 19, 2010, Kent again argued before the United States Supreme Court, this time representing the City of Ontario in City of Ontario v. Quon, the first case in which the high court has considered the question of privacy rights in digital communications. On June 17, 2010, the Court rendered its opinion—a unanimous victory for Kent’s client. And in September 2010, the Court granted GMSR’s petition for certiorari in Stern v. Marshall, announcing it would decide one of the most important bankruptcy court jurisdiction issues that the Court has considered in decades. Kent argued the case on January 18, 2011. In a decision issued on June 23, 2011, the Court unanimously agreed with GMSR’s argument that the Ninth Circuit had erroneously interpreted the bankruptcy statute at issue, but held 5-4 that the statute was unconstitutional as applied.
Kent is an active participant in the legal community. He is a former President of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers and a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He served as a trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and he has chaired a number of the Association's committees, including the Appellate Courts Committee, the State Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee and the California Judicial Systems Committee. From 2001 to 2003, he chaired the Association's Judicial Appointments Committee, which evaluates and provides input to the office of the Governor of California on potential appointees to the bench in Los Angeles County. He was appointed by the Chief Justice of California to the Appellate Advisory Committee to the California Judicial Council; during his tenure, that committee completed its oversight of a comprehensive revision of the appellate provisions of the California Rules of Court. In 2007, the Chief Justice appointed him to serve as the only civil appellate attorney on the Judicial Council’s Appellate Indigent Defense Oversight Advisory Committee.
Since early in his career, Kent has been interested and involved in legal education. He has served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Southwestern University School of Law, where he taught a class on appellate practice, and he has been a guest lecturer on appellate law topics at UCLA School of Law, University of Southern California Law Center, and the University of West Los Angeles School of Law. He is a frequent continuing legal education lecturer to both lawyer and judicial groups, and from 1989 through 2008, he was a presenter of CEB’s annual program on "Recent Developments in Civil Practice," which summarizes the most important developments in civil law from the previous year. From 1999 until 2005, he served as President of the Board of Directors of the California Supreme Court Historical Society, an organization of more than 9,000 members that is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the history of California's judiciary.
Kent has also been active in legal publication. He is a co-author, with Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline of the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, of West's California Litigation Forms – Civil Appeals and Writs. From 1978 to 1988, he was on the Board of Advisors of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, and he served as Articles Editor and Managing Editor of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine. He has published a number of articles on appellate practice, including an article on California Supreme Court practice that was chosen and reprinted by California Litigation magazine as "one of the best articles of the decade."
Kent's hobbies are skiing, scuba diving, reading, cooking and video game playing. Kent has two children – Justin, a Boalt Hall graduate and UCLA Ph.D. in linguistic anthropology who is an Associate Professor in the University of Chicago Department of Anthropology, and Sara, a graduate of UCLA School of Law.
Teaching & Lecturing
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