J. Max Rosen

J. Max Rosen

J. Max Rosen is a litigation associate in the San Francisco office of Munger, Tolles & Olson.

Mr. Rosen’s practice focuses on appeals, general commercial litigation, insurance litigation, and strategic advising.

Mr. Rosen has extensive litigation experience at the trial and appellate level. At the appellate level, he has drafted merits briefs in high-stakes appeals in the United States Supreme Court, the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, the California Courts of Appeal, and the Missouri Supreme Court. He has argued appeals in both the state and federal appellate courts. Recently, Mr. Rosen’s argued two appeals in the California Courts of Appeal that led to published decisions in favor of his clients.

At the trial level, Mr. Rosen has drafted and argued successful summary judgment motions and motions to dismiss in state and federal courts across the country. Mr. Rosen's general commercial litigation practice includes breach of contract, copyright, trade secret case, and constitutional law cases for diverse clients. He also has a growing insurance practice focused on high-stakes bad faith litigation across the United States in state and federal court.

In the past few years, Mr. Rosen has served as outside, national coordinating counsel for GEICO and has appeared on behalf of them in cases across the country—at both the trial and appellate level.

Outside the courtroom, Mr. Rosen has taken on the numerous complicated legal questions for government, tech, insurance, and entertainment clients, providing answers to difficult problems that never reach the courtroom.

Mr. Rosen also maintains an active pro bono practice and has provided pro bono representation to clients challenging unconstitutional election procedures, seeking justice for officer-involved shootings, seeking immigration relief, and challenging unconstitutional seizures. He is currently part of an MTO and Lambda Legal team challenging Idaho Senate Bill 1100, which categorically prohibits transgender people in Idaho schools from using sex-separated facilities aligned with their gender identity.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Rosen clerked for Judge Debra Ann Livingston of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge Alison J. Nathan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Judge Nathan would later be appointed to the Second Circuit).

Mr. Rosen graduated first in his class and summa cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as developments chair of the Harvard Law Review. He received his B.A. in English and music, magna cum laude, from Amherst College.

Mr. Rosen is a co-founder of the Yleana Leadership Academy, a program that prepares low-income high school students for the SAT, teaches them entrepreneurship skills, and helps connect them to compassionate peers and mentors. He also loves to sing and has performed as a baritone in the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus since 2017 along with several other members of MTO’s San Francisco office.



Mr. Rosen’s notable appellate matters include representing: 

  • The Coalition on Homelessness in the California Court of Appeal challenging the common municipal practice of towing vehicles without a warrant on the basis of unpaid tickets. Mr. Rosen briefed and argued the appeal. The Court of Appeal thereafter reversed the trial court and held, in a published opinion, that such tows violate the federal and California constitutions.
  • A landlord in Napa in successfully winning its unlawful detainer eviction action against a corporate tenant on summary judgment and thereafter receiving an award over $2 million in attorneys’ fees. Mr. Rosen briefed and argued the appeal in the California Court of Appeal, resulting in an affirmance by published opinion.
  • The petitioner in In re Grand Jury, a case in the United States Supreme Court addressing the standard for applying the attorney-client privilege to dual-purpose communications.
  • Block, Inc. (formerly Square, Inc.), before the California Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal, and California state court—ultimately resulting in the dismissal of White v. Block, an important lawsuit for numerous internet services companies facing claims of discrimination regarding their terms of service.
  • Plaintiffs in the Fourth Circuit challenging the use of winner-take-all to allocate electoral votes in South Carolina under the Equal Protection Clause and Voting Rights Act.
  • A copyright plaintiff in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in challenging Texas’s assertion of sovereign immunity as a defense against copyright infringement.
  • The Copyright Alliance and Recording Industry Association of America, in filing amicus briefs on intellectual property issues before the United States Supreme Court.

General Commercial Litigation

Mr. Rosen’s notable litigation matters include representing:

  • The Walt Disney Company in copyright infringement suits relating to the song “Let It Gofrom Disney’s Frozen and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
  • Quotient, Inc., in successfully opposing a TRO filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court.
  • Checkr, Inc., in successfully settling allegations of trade secrets theft, unfair competition, and breach of contract brought by Safety Holdings, Inc. over Checkr’s alleged development of a competing platform for pulling motor vehicle records. After discovering that the only trade secret identified in the complaint was publicly available online, we brought the case to a confidential settlement.
  • TIBCO Software in a successful suit against vendor Apttus and former employees for theft of trade secrets.
  • Former officers of a bankrupt entity in successfully achieving dismissal on the pleadings of breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by the company’s Trustee on statute of limitations grounds.

Insurance Litigation and Strategic Advising

Mr. Rosen’s notable insurance and strategic advising matters include:

  • Advising the Regents of the University of California on important constitutional and statutory questions.
  • Representing GEICO in numerous cases across the country, including:
    • A lawsuit pending in Nevada federal court stemming from a $65 million arbitration award issued against GEICO’s insured.
    • An ongoing case where a woman says she contracted a sexually transmitted disease in an insured man’s car. An arbitrator awarded the woman $5.2 million against the GEICO policyholder. GEICO filed a declaratory coverage action for a declaration of no coverage for the arbitration award.
    • Appeals across the country, including in state appellate and Supreme courts.

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, 16th Annual Entertainment & Media Law Conference, National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, Jan. 17, 2020 (addressing the Supreme Court’s decision in Allen v. Cooper and sovereign immunity for states defending against copyright infringement claims)