About Matthew Hersh

I'm litigator with long-time experience representing copyright owners, telecommunications companies, and other corporate entities at both the trial and appellate level.

My copyright practice involves nearly a decade working on behalf of record companies and artists with one of the nation’s premiere intellectual property litigation firms. I helped to formulate the music industry’s initial strategy for combating copyright infringement online, pursuing music pirates at home and abroad in order to clear the way for licensed online music services to get off the ground. As part of my work with the firm, I managed the implementation of a groundbreaking settlement with a website operator that resulted in the first-ever copyright “filter” in a commercial peer-to-peer music network. I was also a member of the briefing team for MGM v. Grokster, the Supreme Court case that established the liability of peer-to-peer file-sharing companies for infringing content, and I led successful litigation on behalf of a small family-run carpet designer and manufacturer against a major Las Vegas casino for the unauthorized use of a carpet design.

I've also developed a substantial appellate litigation practice over my career, briefing constitutional issues in the U.S. Supreme Court and a wide range of federal circuit courts and state courts. In August of this year, I submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in Warhol v. Goldsmith, a case with potentially groundbreaking implications for the “fair use” doctrine. In addition to the Warhol and Grokster copyright cases, I was a member of the briefing team in Rumsfeld v. Padilla, one of the first legal challenges to post-9/11 military detention policies to reach the Court, and I also contributed amicus briefs in Padilla v. Kentucky (a case establishing the right of non-citizens to effective representation at the pleading stage), Dickerson v. United States a case reaffirming the Miranda rule, Christopher v. Harbury (a case involving alleged human rights abuses overseas, and United States v. Arvizu (a case involving search and seizure rights). My other appellate work has included the successful representation of General Dynamics in the appeal of a multi-billion dollar judgment in a government contract case, the successful representation of the American Bar Association in defense of the constitutionality of lawyer trust accounts, and the successful representation of WorldCom in defense of the discharge of claims in bankruptcy.

Like my colleague Daniel Mestaz, I resigned my BigLaw position in order to provide legal services in a more diverse array of settings. In addition to my collaboration with Mestaz Law, I write a daily column on developments in copyright and trademark law for Intellectual Property Law Daily, a trade journal put out by the prestigious legal publisher Wolters Kluwer. I've has also maintained an extensive public interest and pro bono practice throughout my legal career, including the successful reversal of a murder conviction of an indigent woman in South Carolina and the successful representation of a young woman victimized by a sexual assault in the District of Columbia. I speak Spanish fluently (or at least, I like to think, as fluently as a non-native can), and I've lived and worked for many years in Latin America.