James Schurz is co-chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group. He represents clients in federal and state courts in the areas of consumer protection, advertising, product liability, environmental and food law.
Mr. Schurz has broad experience representing manufacturers, retailers and resource companies involving a diverse range of consumer products, technologies and industries. His recent cases have involved fruit juice, coffee, soft drinks, dietary supplements, baby food, over-the-counter drugs, home electronics and semiconductor chips. Mr. Schurz has served as trial counsel in class actions, MDL proceedings, 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 advised and defended clients in actions related to Proposition 65 (California’s unique toxics and labeling law) and California’s consumer protection and unfair competition laws. He recently prevailed in the largest Prop. 65 food case to go to trial, Environmental Law Foundation v. Beech-Nut et al. He regularly handles litigation and trial of suits brought by private litigants and law enforcement officials for unfair business practices and false advertising claims against manufacturers and retailers.
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. He is co-chair of the San Francisco Bar Association’s Arbitration Committee and co-chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s Advocacy Committee.
PLC Which lawyer? recommended Mr. Schurz as a “leading lawyer” in dispute resolution. He has received the San Francisco Bar Association’s Award of Merit and the Outstanding Barrister Award and the California Lawyer Angel Award for his pro bono work. In 2014, he was awarded an “Outstanding Public Service Award” by the Northern District Court of California and the Justice and Diversity Center for his bro bono representation of a group of homeless people in Arcata, California.
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.