Bethany W. Kristovich

Bethany W. Kristovich

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 high-stakes trials, including in the consumer protection, product defect and personal injury contexts. She also handles contract and indemnity disputes, including in the media distribution area. Ms. Kristovich is co-chair of the firm’s class action practice group and a member of the firm’s policy committee.

Ms. Kristovich has earned recognition for her legal victories. She was named to the Daily Journal’s Top Women Lawyers list in 2020, 2021 and 2022 and named a 2020 Women in Law – USA honoree by Lawyer Monthly Legal. Ms. Kristovich was also named one of California’s Top 20 Lawyers Under 40 by the Daily Journal and selected as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers. Ms. Kristovich was also part of the legal team that helped the firm win Law360’s Class Action Practice Group of the Year award for her work as part of a trial team for Philip Morris USA.

Since joining Munger Tolles, Ms. Kristovich has had a counsel-table role at numerous high-stakes trials and arbitrations, two of which were class action trials in which the plaintiffs requested over a billion dollars in damages. She has also been called upon to defend against numerous applications for preliminary injunction.

Ms. Kristovich is a prolific speaker and author who has addressed a range of legal issues at such events as Digital Hollywood and conferences hosted by the ABA and Ms. JD.

Ms. Kristovich is an active member of the community. She is a board member of the Friends of the LA County Law Library and was appointed by the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California to serve as a member of the 2019 Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation. The commission assists California’s governor in the judicial selection process by providing independent evaluations of candidates for judicial appointment and nomination. In 2017, Ms. Kristovich 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.

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.

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.


High-Impact Litigation

  • Juul Labs Inc. in multidistrict litigation involving novel product liability claims and allegations regarding its marketing practices.
  • MGM in noteworthy civil litigation arising from the Oct. 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. Ms. Kristovich led every aspect of the case, both in court and in mediation, that resulted in a settlement of plaintiffs’ claims. MGM’s insurance carriers will pay for the vast majority of the settlement, which was reached before discovery commenced.
  • 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. This victory was recognized by the Daily Journal as a Top Defense Verdict of 2013.
  • Occidental Chemical Corporation in significant environmental litigation and trial arising out of the Bayou Corne sinkhole in Assumption Parish, Louisiana. At trial, Ms. Kristovich put on the direct testimony of several key witnesses and cross-examined the president of the opposing party; she also delivered a significant portion of the closing.
  • A major technology company in a confidential product-defect arbitration with a nine-figure demand.
  • A confidential bet-the-company arbitration between an independent television station and a major distributor. After arbitration, the arbitrator ruled entirely in Ms. Kristovich’s client’s favor.

Class Actions

  • 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.
  • Intel in:
    • obtaining a settlement in a certified class action brought on behalf of several million purchasers of computers containing the first version of the Pentium 4 processor alleging violations of the Unfair Competition Law.
    • defending, preparing for trial, and ultimately obtaining a settlement in an antitrust case brought by a class of current and former employees of various technology companies alleging that the defendants conspired to abstain from cold-calling each other’s employees.

Contract Disputes

  • A major gaming company in successfully resolving contract disputes following a cross-border equity acquisition.
  • An independent television channel in a dispute with a large media company.
  • A major construction company in favorably settling litigation with a developer after vigorous discovery.
  • Southern California Edison in a breach-of-contract dispute.
  • An independent television channel in obtaining a favorable settlement in a dispute with a distributor after arbitration had commenced.
  • 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.

Professional Liability

  • A major national law firm in a lawsuit alleging violations of the California False Claims Act.
  • 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.

Other Noteworthy Commercial Matters

  • J. Paul Getty Trust in settling claims and obtaining dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America alleging that eight pages from the Zeyt’un Gospels, a medieval Armenian gospel manuscript, were the property of the church.

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Current Litigation Trends in Sports & Entertainment, Association of Corporate Counsel Networks, May 17, 2022
  • Speaker, Understanding, Avoiding, and Litigating Sanctions,  ABA Fall 2021 National Legal Malpractice Conference, September 23, 2021
  • Speaker, Impacts of COVID-19 on Federal and State Enforcement Actions and Clean-Ups: Force Majeure in the COVID Era, Environmental & Energy, Mass Torts, and Products Liability, Litigation Committees’ Joint, Virtual Regional CLE Program, American Bar Association, January 28, 2021
  • Panelist, Impacts of Covid-19 on Federal and State Enforcement Actions and Clean-Ups, ABA Roundtable, Environmental & Energy Litigation Committee, May 20, 2020
  • Co-Panelist with Charles D. Cowan and Jeffrey B. Simon, Nature of the Damages, The Opioid Litigation Conference, June 6, 2019
  • Panelist, The Outlook of Class Action Issues Going Forward, Bridgeport Continuing Legal Education Seminar, March 1, 2019
  • Panel Moderator, Effective Oral Advocacy: How to Prepare for and Handle Oral Argument, ABA Conference, 2018
  • Panel Moderator, Mitigating the Impact of Complex Litigation, Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference, Oct. 5, 2018
  • Panelist, Tech-Savvy and Talented: Competition in Employment Practices, ABA Antitrust Section’s Joint Conduct Committee Panel, May 22, 2018
  • Co-Panelist with Juanita Rose Brooks and Patricia Astorga, Effective Cross-Examination: Case Studies from Recent Trials, ABA Webinar, April 11, 2018
  • Moderator, Consumer Class Action Conference, Orange County, California, Jan. 19, 2018
  • Panelist, Working with Clients and Opposing Counsel, Bridgeport Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Aug. 18, 2017
  • Panelist, Digital Deals - Networks, Studios and Producers - Monetizing Content Across Platform, The Digital Hollywood Experience, Digital Hollywood Spring, May 25, 2017
  • Speaker, Competition Torts in the Trenches: Lessons From Recent High-Profile Cases, ABA Antitrust Division Panel, Nov. 21, 2016
  • Panel Moderator, Compensation of Objectors, Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies Class-Action Settlement Conference, Oct. 7, 2016
  • Speaker, Fundamentals of Taking Depositions, Bridgeport MCLE Mastering the Deposition Los Angeles Conference, Sept. 9, 2016
  • Speaker, Using Discovery in Class Actions, Corporate Counsel Webinar, May 24, 2016
  • Speaker, Strategies for Defeating Class Certification, Bridgeport MCLE Class Action Litigation Conference, April 15, 2016