James Brosnahan

James J. Brosnahan is a Senior Trial Counsel at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco. Mr. Brosnahan has 55 years of expertise in both civil and criminal trial work and has tried more than 150 jury cases to verdict. The cases have ranged from anti-trust to wire fraud and from patent litigation to white collar crime and murder.

Mr. Brosnahan has served as a faculty member or lecturer in many programs and seminars about effective trial advocacy. Mr. Brosnahan participates regularly in programs sponsored by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) a prominent, nationwide organization that specializes in teaching trial skills to practicing attorneys. For 40 years, he has served as Master Advocate on the faculty of NITA and was honored as NITA teacher of the year. He was recently recognized as a 2012 Lifetime Achiever by The American Lawyer which recognizes outstanding professional success and a devotion to public service.

Other honors include his induction into the State Bar of California’s “Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame” and the Samuel E. Gates Award by the American College of Trial Lawyers for his significant, exceptional lasting contribution to the improvement of the litigation process. In 2001, he was named “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the following year, the San Francisco Lawyers’ Club honored Mr. Brosnahan with its inaugural “Legend of the Law” award. He was named one of America’s most influential trial lawyers by the National Law Journal. In 2007, he received the American Inns of Court Lewis F. Powell Award for Professionalism and Ethics to recognize a lifetime devoted to the highest standards of ethical practice, competence, and professionalism.

Mr. Brosnahan’s lecture series, “Great Trials and Great Trial Lawyers,” has been featured with The Teaching Company’s America’s SuperStar Teachers. He wrote the Trial Handbook for California Lawyers and has written extensively on issues of lawyer training and other substantive subjects.


B.B.A., Boston College (1956)
LL.B., Harvard University (1959)