Bryan H. Heckenlively

Bryan H. Heckenlively

Bryan H. Heckenlively is a partner in the San Francisco office of Munger, Tolles & Olson.

He focuses his practice on complex civil litigation and trials, with a particular emphasis on privacy and data security issues.

In addition to his trial court results, Mr. Heckenlively counsels clients on privacy and data security issues and First Amendment obligations, and he speaks and writes regularly on those topics. He has spoken on privacy and data security litigation at the Practicing Law Institute’s Advanced Data Privacy conference and the Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel All-Hands Meeting. In 2018, he addressed First Amendment and campus unrest issues at the University of Texas System Legal Conference.

Mr. Heckenlively is committed to pro bono work and community organizations. Along with several organizations, he represents Native American students in a highly publicized case against the federal government seeking to obtain access to education. He has also represented public health organizations opposing a Florida law preventing physicians from discussing firearm safety with their patients.

In 2018, Mr. Heckenlively was named to the American Bar Association’s list of Top 40 Young Lawyers for exemplifying “a broad range of high achievement, innovation, vision, leadership, and legal and community service.” He has been recognized multiple times as a Rising Star by Northern California Super Lawyers

Mr. Heckenlively serves on the board of directors for the Bay Area Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society, the Leadership Council for the Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco, and the Advisory Board of the East Bay Community Law Center. He is involved with the trial advocacy program at Berkeley Law and has taught as a lecturer there.

Before joining Munger Tolles, Mr. Heckenlively served as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to Judge Lee H. Rosenthal of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.


Key Representations

  • University of California in:
    • obtaining dismissal with prejudice of all claims in a $23 million lawsuit brought by a member of the public who was injured during violent protests against a conservative commentator at the University of California, Berkeley;
    • winning a jury verdict as lead trial counsel in favor of UCLA Health System, which had been accused of negligently releasing medical records in violation of California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act;
    • obtaining dismissal of critical portions of a high-profile First Amendment lawsuit alleging unlawful discrimination against conservative speech at UC Berkeley; and
    • persuading a federal court to abstain from interfering with sexual-harassment disciplinary proceedings against the former Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law.
  • Morgan Stanley, as lead trial counsel, in obtaining a unanimous award requiring a former employee to repay an outstanding promissory note in full, plus interest and attorneys’ fees, and rejecting $9 million in counterclaims.
  • A major international contractor in obtaining a complete defense victory against a certified class following a nearly-three month arbitration hearing. The Daily Journal recognized that result as a Top Verdict of 2015.
  • ESPN and Disney Interactive in obtaining dismissals with prejudice in two putative class actions involving the WatchESPN and Disney apps for the Roku device and alleging violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision in the ESPN case in a precedential opinion.
  • HTC in nationwide class actions alleging that the installation and use of Carrier IQ software on smartphone devices violates the federal Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other laws. The court dismissed key claims against HTC following a motion to dismiss.
  • A biotechnology company in obtaining a favorable settlement of a major dispute with a large biopharmaceutical company related to development and commercialization of an oncology drug.