James Schurz is a partner with Morrison & Foerster and co-chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group. He represents clients in federal court, state court, and a broad range of arbitration forums in complex civil actions. Mr. Schurz’s practice encompasses all manner of commercial transactions and intellectual property matters, including actions for breach of contract and business torts, unfair competition, fraud, trade libel, products liability, and joint venture/distributor termination. Mr. Schurz has broad experience representing energy companies, resource companies, electronics manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Schurz has served as trial counsel in jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations. He has appeared extensively in courts throughout California, in particular, San Francisco Superior Court, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of California, and the California Courts of Appeal.
Mr. Schurz has deep experience with many of the world’s leading arbitration forums, including the International Chamber of Commerce, the American Arbitration Association, and UNCITRAL. He has handled arbitrations involving intellectual property, distribution contracts, fuel contracts, joint ventures, and the development of infrastructure projects. He also has broad experience litigating the enforceability of arbitration clauses in federal and state courts.
Mr. Schurz has written and lectured extensively in the field of litigation and dispute resolution. He is an adjunct professor of law at the University of California, San Francisco, Hastings College of the Law (1998 to present), teaching courses in international commercial arbitration, negotiation, and settlement.
Mr. Schurz is active in professional and civic organizations. He is a member of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s Leadership Council and chair of its Advocacy Committee. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco and on the Board of Directors of Search for the Cause. In 2008, he received the NCLR’s Justice Award and the California Lawyer’s Angel Award for his pro bono work on Gammett v. Idaho State Board of Corrections. In 1998, he served as President of the Barristers Club of the San Francisco Bar Association and as a member of its Board of Directors from 1997 to 1999. In 1998, he received the San Francisco Bar Association’s Award of Merit. In 1999, he received the Outstanding Barrister Award from the San Francisco Bar Association.
Mr. Schurz received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in European history from Stanford University. He received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Immediately following graduation, Mr. Schurz served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marcus Kaufman, Associate Justice, California Supreme Court. He joined Morrison & Foerster in 1990.
He and his wife Julie Ruskin, have three children; Maxfield, Claire and Caroline.