Max J. Brandenstein was born in San Francisco on February 2, 1860. His parents were Joseph Brandenstein and Jane Rosenbaum Brandenstein. He married Bertha Weil in 1885 and had four children. In 1881, he established the firm of M.J. Brandenstein and Company (later, M.J.B. Coffee Company) and served as its first president.
The collection consists of legal records utilized in the dispute between Albert Trescony vs. M. Brandenstein and L. Godchaux, a case heard before the California Supreme Court. Specifically, the dispute concerned the ownership of Rancho San Lucas, a property that was adjacent to Rancho San Bernardo (later named San Ardo), California.