Bethany Kristovich is a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson. Ms. Kristovich’s practice is focused on complex civil litigation, with a particular emphasis in class actions, trial work and contract disputes, including in the consumer protection area. Ms. Kristovich is co-chair of the firm’s class action practice group.
In 2015, Ms. Kristovich was named one of California’s Top 20 Under 40 lawyers by the Daily Journal, and she also was selected as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine. She also accepted on behalf of the firm the “Law Firm of the Year” award by the Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel (AMEC).
Since joining Munger Tolles, Ms. Kristovich has had a counsel-table role at 10 trials or arbitrations, two of which were class action trials.
- Occidental Chemical Corporation in litigation arising out of the Bayou Corne sinkhole in Assumption Parish, Louisiana.
- An independent television channel in a dispute with a large media company.
- Philip Morris USA in obtaining a favorable verdict in a false advertising trial in which plaintiffs, a class of nearly 200,000 smokers, received an award of $5 million – far less than the $1.5 billion in damages originally sought.
- Philip Morris USA in the successful defense of a three-month California consumer class action trial relating to the marketing of “light” cigarettes. Plaintiffs recovered nothing on their claims, and the judgment was affirmed on appeal.
- A major retailer in the defense and settlement of several unfair competition and false advertising class actions after early briefing.
- A major product manufacturer in obtaining a favorable settlement in a putative unfair competition class action.
- A major construction company in favorably settling litigation with a developer after vigorous discovery by Munger Tolles.
- A major technology company in obtaining a favorable settlement in a nationwide unfair competition class action on the eve of trial after significant discovery into absent class members’ claims.
- Southern California Edison in a breach-of-contract dispute.
- An independent television channel in a dispute with a distributor.
- A major national law firm in a lawsuit alleging violations of the California False Claims Act.
- A major technology company in a class antitrust case.
- An independent channel as plaintiff in a carriage dispute with a service provider in a JAMS arbitration. At the conclusion, the arbitrator found entirely in favor of the firm’s client.
- A law firm in obtaining a favorable settlement on the eve of trial in a legal malpractice action arising from the firm's representation of a Delaware corporation after extensive litigation and briefing.
- A law firm in obtaining affirmance in the California Court of Appeal of the lower court’s dismissal of malpractice claims on statute of limitations grounds.
- Various employers in a hearing before the Labor Commission and in mediations.
Ms. Kristovich is an active member of the community. In 2017, she was appointed as a member of the professional development committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation. She serves on the board of the California Women’s Law Center, and she is a previous member of the advisory board of the Western Center on Law and Poverty. As a former debater, she volunteers for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League, an organization that encourages high school students in urban schools to participate in debate.
In addition, Ms. Kristovich accepted, on behalf of the firm, the Disability Rights Legal Center’s 2010 Counsel of the Year Award, which recognized the firm’s extensive pro bono work on disability matters. Ms. Kristovich was among the Munger Tolles lawyers who assisted the DRLC with the class action Lauderdale v. City of Long Beach, which sought and obtained injunctive relief for a class comprised of deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The case was notable for promoting cutting-edge technology to facilitate communication between law enforcement and the hearing impaired.
In 2008, Ms. Kristovich took a leave of absence from the firm and served as a volunteer deputy city attorney. In that capacity, she tried four cases that resulted in a conviction.
Before joining the firm, Ms. Kristovich served as law clerk to the Honorable Edward Rafeedie in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Following her clerkship, she returned to her home state of Louisiana and volunteered for the Orleans Indigent Defender Program, the public defender’s office serving greater New Orleans.
Ms. Kristovich received her J.D. from the USC Gould School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as an articles editor for the Southern California Law Review.