Ruth Borenstein is engaged in a complex litigation practice at both the trial and appellate levels in courts throughout the country. She has successfully defended companies against tort, statutory, and contract claims in a variety of contexts, ranging from consumer class actions alleging overcharges to franchisees' complaints about profitability and franchisor support. She has won dismissals or summary judgments for defendants in numerous cases and has successfully defended those results on appeal.
Ms. Borenstein is one of the country's leading experts on federal preemption of state statutes and common law that affect the pricing and service practices of airlines and motor and air cargo carriers. She has represented carriers and carrier associations in successful challenges to state laws that affect deliveries, including representing carrier associations in victories in the federal district court, First Circuit Court of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court in a case establishing that states may not restrict carriers' deliveries of regulated products. In addition, she regularly represents carriers in defending state law claims related to their pricing or service practices, including class actions.
Ms. Borenstein's work on the case Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport Association earned her notice as a key practitioner by the National Law Journal, which also named the firm to its annual Appellate Hot List in 2009.
Ms. Borenstein has always maintained an active pro bono practice, focusing on civil rights issues. Her pro bono matters have included representing same-sex couples in marriage equality cases in state and federal courts in Montana. She has filed amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and the highest courts of several states for clients that include Harold Hongju Koh and other leading foreign and comparative law experts (discussing international law developments in support of marriage equality in several cases, including Hollingsworth v. Perry and Obergefell v. Hodges); the American Bar Association (supporting petitioners in Lawrence v. Texas); California Now and the California Women’s Law Center (urging a gender-neutral interpretation of the California Uniform Parentage Act); the National Association of Social Workers (supporting challenge to Kansas statute that excluded same-sex couples from law exempting consensual, under-age couples from criminal penalties); and the City and County of San Francisco and other cities (supporting New York City Equal Benefits Ordinance).
Ms. Borenstein has served on the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF), and as co-chair of its Sexual Orientation Diversity Committee. She was the primary author of the BASF Model Domestic Partner Benefits Policy, and has been honored with the organization’s Award for Achievement in Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights.
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