Dr. Matthew Kemner’s clients are predominantly German and US companies involved in matters across the globe. They turn to him to help them bridge the gaps – cultural, language, business, and legal – whenever they face legal disputes or business challenges.

    Fluent in English and German, and proficient in Russian, Matthew has spent much of his career in civil litigation cases that have a significant international component. He tried his first case in Texas more than 20 years ago, and has since represented European, Asian and US clients in a wide range of product liability, class action, intellectual property, ATCA, commercial and international law disputes. Matthew has also successfully argued appeals throughout the US, including but not limited, to California, Texas, Nevada, and various US federal courts. Equally at home in a US courtroom or a European arbitration panel, Matthew understands the expectations and apprehensions of European business people, and he excels at helping them win favorable outcomes in what is, for them, a foreign legal system.

    They particularly turn to Matthew to keep them out of US courts whenever possible. Recognized as a leader in the field of personal jurisdiction law, he has a long and successful track record of both challenging the jurisdiction of US courts and defending the due process rights of non-US defendants. His clients appreciate his zeal for winning such cases early – on cutting­edge legal arguments – rather than by pursuing lengthy and costly litigation. The trust he earns has become the basis of many strong long-term client relationships.

    Although primarily practicing in litigation, Matthew’s transactional practice has been significant as well, including major transactions as diverse as the purchase of international state-owned rail companies, and the sale of a large US oil company.

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    • Daimler AG v. Bauman 2014 134 S.Ct. 746 (dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction, involving alleged claims of complicity in high exposure human rights violations of Argentine military government by German manufacturer in Alien Tort Statute and Torture Victims Protection Act). See also Bauman v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 644 F.3d 909, 924 (9th Cir. 2011), rev’d sub nom.
    • Young v. Daimler AG 2014 228 Cal.App.4th 855 (California Court of Appeals finds no personal jurisdiction over German manufacturer in product liability case where key inquiry involved corporate separateness).
    • Viega GmbH, et al. v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court (Aventine­Tramonti Homeowners’ Assoc.), No. 59976 (Nev. 2014) (Supreme Court of Nevada finds no personal jurisdiction over German plumbing component company in high exposure yellow-brass construction defect cases).
    • Velasquez v. RC Treatt & Co., Ltd., B207868 (Cal. Ct. App. July 2, 2009) 2009 WL 1887287 (California Court of Appeals finds no personal jurisdiction over British chemical company sued in personal injury case in California).
    • ZAP v. DaimlerChrysler AG, No. B193331, 2008 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1392 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 21, 2008), review denied (Cal. May 14, 2008) 2008 WL 451034 (California Court of Appeals finds no personal jurisdiction over German automobile manufacturer in commercial litigation dispute involving breach of contract and related claims).
    • Robinson ex rel. Hunsinger v. Daimlerchrysler AG, 2008 WL 728877 (N.D Cal. March 17, 2008) (U.S. District Court in California finds no personal jurisdiction over German automobile manufacturer in Chrysler-automobile case, with issues focusing on corporate separateness and veil piercing).
    • Anchia v. DaimlerChrysler AG, 230 S.W. 3d 493 (Tex. Ct. App. 2007) (Texas Court of Appeals finds no personal jurisdiction over German car manufacturer in class action case alleging common design defect).
    • Represented Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW) in dispute before the ICC in 1995 against the government of Iran in dispute related to pre-Iranian-revolution purchase of HDW submarines by the government of the Shah.

    Education

    • The University of Konstanz, Ph.D., magna cum laude, 1996
    • University of Missouri, J.D., 1991
    • Southern Methodist University, B.A., honors, 1988

    Admissions

    • California

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • Texas Bar Association
    • Missouri Bar Association
    • American Bar Association
    • International Bar Association
    • German American Lawyers Association
    • Bar Association of San Francisco

    Languages

    • English
    • German
    • Russian

    • "US Gerichtszuständigkeit für Deutsche Mandanten," D.A.J.V., Berlin, Germany, September 2005.
    • "Personal Jurisdiction and Hague Convention Issues in U.S. Litigation," International Law Firm Network, San Francisco, April 2005.
    • "The Strengths and Weaknesses of the European Energy Charter Treaty," Doctoral Dissertation, Universität Konstanz, 1996.
    • "The Enduring Political Nature of Questions of State Succession and Secession," 17 U. Pa. J. Int'l Bus. L. 753, 1996.
    • "Die Auswirkungen des genuine-link-Grundsatzes auf die Anerkennung US-Amerikanischer Gesellschaften in Deutschland," 12/95 ZIP 972, 1995.
    • "Rescheduling the Sovereign Debt: A New Role for the Paris Club," 10 J. Int'l Banking L. 280, 1995.
    • "Personal Bankruptcy and the Myth of the Unchecked Homestead Exemption," 56 Mo. L. Rev. 683, 1991.

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