Kent L. Richland - Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland LLP

Kent L. Richland

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006
Phone: 310-859-7811

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 He has been counsel of record in over 100 published cases (and hundreds more unpublished ones) in such diverse areas of the law as torts, contracts, constitutional law, antitrust, bankruptcy, criminal law and procedure, probate, insurance coverage,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.

University of California BerkeleyAB 1968University of California Los AngelesJ.D. 1971
American Academy of Appellate LawyersCalifornia Academy of Appellate Lawyers California Supreme Court Historical SocietyChancery Club of Los AngelesLos Angeles County Bar Association: Appellate Courts CommitteeLos Angeles County Bar Association: Judicial Evaluation CommitteeLos Angeles County Bar Association: State Appellate Judicial Evaluation CommitteeAppellate Indigent Defense Oversight Advisory Committee to the California Judicial CouncilHastings Constitutional Law Quarterly California Judicial Council

Case History

Aguilar v. Goldstein (2012) 207 Cal.App.4th 1152 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four) [published] — Breach of fiduciary duty claim not barred by anti-SLAPP statute, because it did not “arise from” earlier lawsuit filed by defendants
Stern v. Marshall (2011) 564 U.S. ____; 131 S.Ct. 2594 (United States Supreme Court) — The Supreme Court held that a bankruptcy court has statutory authority to enter final judgment on a debtor’s state-law counterclaims against a creditor, but that Article III of the United States Constitution makes the statutory grant unconstitutional. It also held that 28 U.S.C. section 157(b)(5), which specifies that district courts must order that “personal injury tort and wrongful death claims” be tried in district court, is not jurisdictional and creditors can consent, through their conduct, to a bankruptcy court resolving such claims
City of Ontario v. Quon (2010) __U.S.___, 130 S.Ct. 2619, 177 L.Ed.2d 216 (United States Supreme Court) — For the third time in four years, the Supreme Court of the United States has issued a unanimous ruling in favor of GMSR. In City of Ontario v. Quon, U.S. Sup. Ct. No. 08-1332, the Court ruled that the Ontario Police Department’s review of text messages sent and received by a SWAT team officer on his department-issued pager did not violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures. This is the first case in more than two decades in which the Court has considered how the Fourth Amendment applies in a government workplace. GMSR lawyers Kent Richland (who argued the case in April 2010) and Kent Bullard represented the Department, the City of Ontario, and the Chief of Police. GMSR previously achieved unanimous victories for its clients in Marshall v. Marshall, 547 U.S. 293 (2006) and Van de Kamp v. Goldstein, 555 U.S. ___ (2009).
Blanks v. Seyfarth Shaw LLP (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 336 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three) [published] — In a suit charging attorney malpractice and related intentional torts, a celebrity plaintiff claimed that GMSR’s client, a major law firm, had deprived him of an automatic $10 million recovery from his former business manager/agent under the Talent Agencies Act. The jury awarded the plaintiff over $30 million, including $15 million punitive damages. In a published decision, the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment in its entirety and remanded the case for retrial, finding prejudicial instructional and other errors and with specific directions for the trial court to consider a potentially dispositive defense it had previously rejected.
Marshall v. Marshall (2006) 547 U.S. 293, 126 S.Ct. 1735,164 L.Ed.2d 480 (United States Supreme Court) — The Supreme Court reversed a judgment against GMSR's client, Anna Nicole Smith, rejecting arguments that claims based on interference with inter vivos trust were subject to the so-called "probate exception" to federal jurisdiction.

Office Location

5900 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90036
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2015 Lawyer of the Year in Appellate Practice of the Los Angeles Metro Area
Kent L. Richland has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2015!

Practice Areas

Appellate Practice
Bet-the-Company Litigation