Bradley S. Phillips

Bradley S. Phillips

Brad Phillips is a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.

Mr. Phillips’s practice consists principally of complex civil litigation in the trial and appellate courts. He has been lead counsel in jury trials in both state and federal court. He has an extensive appellate practice, having argued in the U.S. Supreme Court, been counsel of record on numerous briefs in that Court and argued on many occasions in the California Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals and the California Courts of Appeal.

Mr. Phillips’s areas of practice include higher education, antitrust, unfair competition, First Amendment, intellectual property and general commercial litigation. He also does extensive litigation involving other constitutional issues, civil rights, election law and other public law issues. Mr. Phillips has represented companies in the entertainment, publishing, newspaper, computer, telecommunications, aerospace, financial, energy and education businesses; and he has also represented public universities and public school districts. Mr. Phillips is consistently ranked as a leading antitrust attorney by Chambers USA. He was also recognized as 2018 Antitrust Lawyer of the Year in Los Angeles by The Best Lawyers in America.

Mr. Phillips is the former co-chair of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where he also served for years as a member of the executive committee and a regional vice chair. Mr. Phillips is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and served as a member of the board of directors of the California Bar Foundation. He served as president of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles in 1992-1993.

Mr. Phillips was the 2018 recipient of the Whitney North Seymour Award from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in recognition of his career-long commitment to equal justice for all. He was the 1996 recipient of MALDEF’s Legal Services Award; and he has received the ACLU of Southern California’s Pro Bono Civil Rights Advocates Award, its Voting Rights Award, and its Equal Justice Award.

Mr. Phillips has done extensive legal and policy work in the areas of ethics in government, campaign finance and election law. He served from 1993-1996 as the chair of California Common Cause and for a dozen years as a member of the National Governing Board of Common Cause.


A few examples of Mr. Phillips’s many significant representations are the following: 

  • Defending the constitutionality of Arizona’s Clean Elections Act in the U.S. Supreme Court, in McComish v. Bennett, No. 10-238, in which he argued for Respondents on March 28, 2011.
  • Defending the University of California against constitutional claims that UC’s high school course requirements for applicants discriminate against the plaintiff schools and students on the basis of their religion. 
  • Defending Shell Oil Co. in numerous antitrust cases, including Texaco Inc. v. Dagher, 547 U.S. 1 (2006); Rick-Mik Enterprises, Inc. v. Equilon Enterprises LLC, 532 F.3d 963 (9th Cir. 2008); and Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 25 Cal.4th 826 (2001). 
  • Defending a major daily legal newspaper at jury trial against claims of unfair competition. 
  • Defending a major California law firm against a claim of malicious prosecution. Hufstedler, Kaus & Ettinger v. Superior Court, 42 Cal.App.4th 555 (1996). 
  • Defending a Los Angeles television network affiliate at jury trial against claims of defamation and invasion of privacy.

Pro Bono

Mr. Phillips devotes a substantial portion of his time to representing clients on a pro bono basis. He has represented classes of homeless individuals, disabled persons, immigrants, prisoners, and voters, as well as numerous non-profit organizations. A few examples of Mr. Phillips’s many pro bono successes are the following:

  • Obtaining extensive court-sanctioned reforms in the treatment of disabled inmates prior to and upon discharge from Los Angeles County jails, as part of the effort to break the skid-row-to-jail-to-skid-row cycle that victimizes disabled homeless individuals.
  • Obtaining an injunction against lethal injections in California based on the Administrative Procedure Act. Morales v. California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitations, 168 Cal.App.4th 729 (2008). 
  • Prosecuting a federal lawsuit that forced immigration officials to end their practice of forcibly administering anti-psychotic drugs to immigration detainees without a medical examination or a court order. 
  • Defending, as co-counsel, the constitutionality of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. McConnell v. Federal Election Comm’n, 540 U.S. 93 (2003). 
  • Obtaining an order requiring California to replace its pre-scored punch card voting machines (of “hanging chad” fame) before the 2004 Presidential election. Common Cause v. Jones, 213 F.Supp.2d 1106 (C.D. Cal. 2001), 235 F.Supp.2d 1076 (C.D. Cal. 2002). 
  • Obtaining reversals of the convictions of two individuals who had been sentenced to death in California. In re Wilson, 3 Cal.4th 945 (1992); People v. Hale, 44 Cal.3d 531 (1988).