Barry L. Bunshoft

Of Counsel - Retired

  • Barry L. Bunshoft
  • Phone: +1 415 957 3175

    Import to Address Book

  • Duane Morris LLP
    Spear Tower
    One Market Plaza, Suite 2200
    San Francisco, CA 94105-1127

Barry L. Bunshoft practices in the area of litigation, including business litigation, construction, insurance, intellectual property, marine and energy, and sports and recreation. He has more than 40 years' experience as a litigator and has worked on many high-profile trials, both criminal and civil.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Bunshoft served as a deputy attorney general for the State of California, prosecuting business and consumer fraud cases.

In addition to his work as a trial lawyer, Mr. Bunshoft has been a frequent speaker at seminars for the construction industry, the insurance industry, the ski industry and fellow lawyers. He has served on the boards of the Save San Francisco Bay Association, the Webb Schools of California and the Coro Foundation. He also has served as the member for the United States on the Legal Committee of the International Ski Federation and was named a Super Lawyer for Northern California.

A member of the American Bar Association and the Bar Association of San Francisco, Mr. Bunshoft is a 1961 graduate of Harvard Law School and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts.

Representative Matters

  • The Spade Cooley murder case - successfully affirmed on appeal the jury verdict against Spade Cooley, the well-known "king of western swing," for first degree murder and murder by torture of his wife. See People v. Cooley (1963) 211 Cal.App.2d 173.
  • The two biggest dam failures in America last century - represented the general contractors in the litigation of the failures of the Hell Hole Dam on the Rubicon River in California (lost) and the Teton Dam on the Teton River in Idaho (won).
  • The Morrison-Knudsen/Government of Iran Case - arbitrated successfully at the U.S.- Iranian Claims Tribunal at the Hague a multimillion-dollar contract dispute over a major road designed by Morrison-Knudsen for the Iranian Ministry of Roads and Transportation.
  • The Alpine Meadows Avalanche - tried to a jury and won a defense verdict for Alpine Meadows Ski Area in a tragic avalanche case which claimed the lives of seven victims.
  • The H. Salt Esq. Franchise Case - tried to a jury and won a defense verdict (against Melvin Belli in his prime) for Kentucky Fried Chicken and H. Salt Esq. Fish & Chips in a multi-million dollar breach of joint venture agreement case.
  • The Shell Oil/Rocky Mountain Arsenal Case - tried to a jury and won a defense verdict for insurers in an insurance contract dispute over responsibility for payment of the billion dollar cost of cleanup of reputedly the most polluted place on the face of the earth, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Denver, Colorado. See Shell Oil Co. v. Winterthur Swiss Ins. Co. (1993) 12 Cal.App.4th 715.
  • The Amoco Techite Pipe Case - following a $421 million dollar bad faith verdict against Lloyd's of London sustained by other counsel, successfully reduced the judgment to $110 million on a motion for new trial and reversed the judgment entirely on appeal.
  • The Moreland Case - defended successfully through trial and affirmed on appeal a multi-million dollar dispute over municipal liability for failure of a redevelopment agency to form a redevelopment contract with a developer.
  • The Berkeley Waterfront/Santa Fe Land case - represented the Save San Francisco Bay Association and the Sierra Club as amicus curiae in this landmark California Supreme Court case, which established the public trust over the tidelands of San Francisco Bay and prevented bay fill for a shopping center. See City of Berkeley v. Superior Court (1980) 26 Cal.3d 515.


  • California
  • Idaho


  • Harvard Law School, LL.B., 1961
  • University of Massachusetts, B.A., 1955


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Of Counsel, 2006-present
  • Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft LLP
    - Partner, 1975-2005
    - Chairman, 1985-2000
  • Cushing Cullinan Hancock & Rothert
    - Partner, 1970-75
    - Associate, 1965-70
  • State of California
    - Deputy Attorney General, 1961-1965
  • United States Navy
    - Lieutenant, USNR

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of San Francisco

Honors and Awards

  • U.S. News/Best Lawyers "The Best Lawyers in America"
  • Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, Business Litigation, 2010
  • Northern California Super Lawyers
  • Who's Who Legal California 2009 for Insurance and Reinsurance
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®

Board Memberships

  • Save San Francisco Bay Association
    - Former Board Member
  • The Webb Schools of California
    - Former Board Member
  • Coro Foundation
    - Former Board Member
  • Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group, Inc.
  • Kimpton Group Holdings, LLC

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • International Ski Federation
    - Legal Committee, Member for the United States

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Frequent speaker at seminars for the construction industry, the insurance industry, the ski industry and fellow lawyers, sponsored by, among others, the American Bar Association, the State Bars of California and Idaho, Andrews, Mealeys, the Construction Forum, the Practicing Law Institute, Fulcrum, Lloyd's of London and the National Ski Areas Association.