The American Bar Association has announced that Morrison & Foerster Senior Trial Counsel James J. Brosnahan is the recipient of the 2019 John H. Pickering Achievement Award. The ABA’s Senior Lawyers Division will present the award to Jim at its annual award reception and dinner on August 8 in San Francisco.
Established in 2007, the award recognizes lawyers whose legal work emulates that of the late John H. Pickering, whose outstanding legal ability and record of service to the profession improved access to justice for all.
One of the most recognized and respected trial lawyers in the United States, Jim embodies the qualities that the John H. Pickering Achievement Award celebrates. He founded the San Francisco Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyer Service Program (now called The Justice & Diversity Center), and has been an outspoken supporter of the Civil Gideon movement, which seeks to establish a right to counsel in civil matters when basic human needs are at stake.
Throughout his career, Jim has been recognized for promoting equal access to the justice system and for zealously advocating on behalf of low-income and disadvantaged individuals. In the year 2000, for example, Jim received the American College of Trial Lawyers’ Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award for his “significant, exceptional, lasting contribution to the improvement of the litigation process.” In 2007 he received the American Inns of Court Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Award for Professionalism and Ethics in recognition of a “lifetime devoted to the highest standards of ethical practice, competence, and professionalism.” In 2012, The American Lawyer named Jim a Lifetime Achiever, a title the publication bestows in recognition of outstanding professional success and a devotion to public service.
Having tried more than 150 cases to their conclusion, Jim is also an avid teacher of trial practice and litigation. He teaches a class on persuasion at the UC Berkeley Law, and is the author of “The Trial Handbook for California Lawyers.”
A past president of the Bar Association of San Francisco and a past Teacher of the Year for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Jim is a 1959 graduate of Harvard Law School. He graduated from Boston College in 1956.