Duane Morris LLP
One Market Plaza, Suite 2200
San Francisco, CA 94105-1127
Phone: +1 415 957 3000
Fax: +1 415 957 3001
Attorneys in Duane Morris’ San Francisco office offer a breadth of services to an array of companies, public entities and individuals. The lawyers in this office have been practicing law in the city for decades and have long-standing ties to both the legal and business communities. The San Francisco office serves as a base for Duane Morris to serve its clients not only in the Bay area, but also throughout northern California, the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Rim nations.
Range of Services
Complex Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Lawyers in the Trial Practice Group represent clients in all types of complex litigation from inception through trial and appeal. The attorneys in the San Francisco office have handled complex litigation matters involving communications, e-commerce, information security, consumer class actions, environmental law, healthcare, insurance coverage, products liability and unfair business practices. Duane Morris attorneys have represented biotech companies, semiconductor manufacturers and other technology companies in litigation regarding alleged patent and trademark infringement, theft of trade secrets and proprietary information. The firm's litigators also represent clients in grand jury, SEC and other investigations relating to securities fraud, tax offenses, and trade and antitrust violations. In addition to representing clients in U.S. forums and before international tribunals, Duane Morris attorneys provide counsel on settling disputes by using alternative dispute resolution options, and they advise on methods to anticipate and avoid litigation.
White-Collar Criminal Litigation
Duane Morris counsels both individuals and corporations facing federal and state allegations of criminal conduct. The firm's lawyers advise clients accused of Medicare/Medicaid fraud and abuse, environmental crimes, securities violations, criminal tax fraud, fraud in government procurement, RICO violations, trade espionage and a variety of business-related offenses. Duane Morris attorneys also have extensive experience leading internal investigations.
Our attorneys counsel lawyers and law firms on professional ethics and liability issues in connection with conflicts, discovery, reporting offenses, multistate practices, advertising, professional relationships with public officials, Rule 11 sanction orders and many other issues. It is a privilege to represent our colleagues when their skill and reputation are called into question. Recent cases include underlying matters involving complex conflict issues, mergers and acquisitions, litigation malpractice, Ponzi schemes, patents, and bankruptcy. Opposing plaintiffs include bankruptcy trustees, receivers, our clients’ former opposing parties, investors in our clients’ failed former client entities, and former concurrent and successor counsel. We have tried dozens of these cases to verdict. In addition, we advise law firms on a variety of employment matters, including employment discrimination, sexual harassment and partnership and compensation procedures and decisions. We have also counseled law firms in connection with separation arrangements with former partners.
Products Liability, Toxic Torts and Product Safety
Duane Morris' 2006 merger with California-based Hancock, Rothert and Bunshoft further expanded the firm's experience and resources in products liability and toxic tort litigation. The firm's national litigation practice represents numerous international and national manufacturers and insurance companies in all forms of products liability litigation, including defense of product class actions, in both federal and state courts, and consolidated multidistrict actions, serving as lead counsel and as local, regional and national counsel. The firm's experience includes defense of mass tort litigation in which lawsuits from multiple districts are handled by a coordinated team effort. Whether defending a products liability client in a single catastrophic injury case or acting as national litigation coordinating counsel for a client with thousands of pending product cases, Duane Morris litigators are supported by the firm's state-of-the-art litigation technology, which is creatively applied to efficiently and cost-effectively manage the particular litigation.
In addition to handling litigation matters, Duane Morris products liability lawyers have a wealth of experience assisting clients in developing and implementing product recalls on a national and worldwide basis, and in representing clients involving reporting, recall and penalty proceedings before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The firm's product safety group also advises clients regarding product development risk management, labeling and instructions, safety standards, warranties, quality assurance and testing, records management, import-export, distributor and retailer relationships, and risk-shifting strategies involving contracts, insurance and other tools.
Business Reorganization and Financial Restructuring
Lawyers in the Business Reorganization and Financial Restructuring Practice Group work in tandem with each client, whether debtor, committee, trustee, lender, special servicer of securitized commercial mortgages, landlord, asset purchaser, court appointed receiver, vendor or other interested party, to determine appropriate strategies for deriving maximum value from a troubled entity, while simultaneously remaining mindful of each client's goals in a wide variety of bankruptcy cases and out of court workouts and restructurings. Clients draw on the firm's extensive reorganization experience as one of the most active bankruptcy practices in the United States with a national team of dozens of bankruptcy lawyers in numerous jurisdictions.
Energy and Water & Natural Resources
Duane Morris energy attorneys assist clients with advisory, regulatory, litigation and legislative matters involving water, natural resources, energy and environmental issues. These attorneys are frequently called upon to counsel clients with respect to their interactions with federal, state and municipal authorities, as well as with industry participants. Often the firm's energy lawyers work in tandem with Duane Morris Government Strategies to seek solutions for clients. To better focus the firm's alternative energy experience, the firm has established a national group concentrating on Renewable Energy and Sustainability. The group includes lawyers throughout the country in a multidisciplinary team with the ability to represent the firm's clients from the inception of a project, including intellectual property; in the permitting stage, by addressing construction claims; and in later stages regarding matters of a corporate nature. The firm's attorneys also address ongoing issues that arise post-start-up, including relicensing. Similarly, the firm has groups dedicated to other energy sources, including nuclear energy.
The attorneys in the San Francisco office practice before the regulatory agencies that oversee water and energy development, and are familiar with the state and federal statutes that enable and regulate development, operations and maintenance of these resources. The energy attorneys in the San Francisco office work with their counterparts in Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta and Texas on national and international issues. Attorneys in the San Francisco office have strong relationships with California's agricultural and urban water suppliers and have served as general and special counsel to a number of public- and investor-owned water and energy utilities.
Insurance Coverage and Reinsurance
Since its merger with California-based Hancock, Rothert and Bunshoft, the Insurance practice at Duane Morris has been repeatedly recognized as one of the best in the United States. Chambers and Partners' survey of the American legal profession referred to Duane Morris as having "a preeminent insurance practice" and it quoted an industry source saying "as a group, the firm's lawyers are among the most knowledgeable in the insurance arena." Attorneys in the Insurance and Reinsurance Practice Group have been engaged in representations of insurance industry interests for many years, having served as counsel to numerous property/casualty insurance companies, life insurance companies, reinsurance companies, HMOs and PPOs, rating bureaus, captive insurers offshore, and alternative market entities and guaranty associations. The firm has also represented underwriters of public offerings of insurance securities.
Duane Morris' background in the industry contributes to the firm's ability to address client concerns effectively. Duane Morris attorneys have an in-depth understanding of actuarial, underwriting and policy coverage matters affecting the business and legal issues of insurance industry clients. The firm has handled matters affecting financial examinations, market conduct examinations and other regulatory issues, as well as general corporate matters.
The Duane Morris International Practice Group integrates the services of attorneys from various disciplines who practice around the world, bringing together lawyers with international experience and enhanced sensitivity to cultural differences. In the area of international trade regulation, Duane Morris attorneys provide advice regarding domestic and international regulatory and commercial aspects of trade in goods and services, including product labeling and other domestic and foreign regulations that affect imports and exports.
Duane Morris attorneys represent clients in all aspects of contracting with federal, state and local governments, governmental entities and international agencies. Attorneys in the San Francisco office regularly assist clients with contract proposals and awards, bid protests, and contract claims and terminations. Duane Morris attorneys have extensive experience in the mediation, arbitration and litigation of public contracting disputes involving major construction and supply contracts. In transactional matters, the lawyers represent clients developing and operating a wide range of facilities under public-private partnerships with government agencies. Duane Morris attorneys also advise clients regarding development, acquisition and licensing of technology under government contracts.
Duane Morris' intellectual property lawyers recognize the importance of clients' intellectual capital to the success of their businesses and understand how to uphold intellectual property rights to increase opportunities for clients to enhance market share. The firm's experience includes trademark and copyright, patent matters and brand protection, domestic and international.
Employment and Immigration
The San Francisco attorneys in Duane Morris' Employment and Immigration Practice Group have significant experience in defending employers against all types of claims, including: discrimination (race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability); harassment; retaliation; wrongful discharge; breach of express and implied employment contracts; ADA compliance; defamation; invasion of privacy; interference with contract; and whistleblower claims. The attorneys also routinely defend against wage-and-hour class and representative action claims, Labor Code violations, misclassification and contractor status claims. The attorneys are also experienced in representing and counseling employers regarding traditional labor issues, including representation of employers before the National Labor Relations Board in unfair labor practice proceedings, collective bargaining negotiations and arbitration proceedings, and civil litigation involving claims for breach of collective bargaining agreements. They provide counseling to corporate and business clients, educational institutions and other organizations concerning obligations under both state and federal employment statutes, including ERISA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and state and federal fair employment practice and wage-and-hour statutes. They also represent employers in administrative agency actions, including before the California Civil Rights Department, Cal-OSHA, Employment Development Department, state Labor Commissioner, DOL, EEOC and OFCCP. The group provides advice and counseling on all aspects of the employment relationship from hiring to discipline to discharge including: employment discrimination; harassment and retaliation leaves of absence; reasonable accommodation and the interactive process; wage-and-hour law; reductions in force; background checks; workplace investigations; drug and alcohol issues; progressive discipline; workplace violence; recruiting and retention; termination; and numerous workplace issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their practice also includes drafting an assortment of employment agreements, policies and handbooks, and conducting a wide variety of executive, manager and employee trainings.
Duane Morris Immigration attorneys serve a diverse group of clients, including large multinational corporations, small professional businesses and financial institutions. The attorneys represent these businesses with regard to securing both long-term immigrant visas (green cards) and non-immigrant temporary work visas for our clients’ employees. Our immigration attorneys also represent individuals in family-based petitions and applications for U.S. citizenship and are involved in pro bono efforts involving DACA, deportation matters and asylum. The attorneys have a comprehensive knowledge of the legal, political and business context in which immigration concerns arise. The immigration attorneys not only have a thorough understanding of immigration law, but also understand the bureaucratic intricacies that frequently arise when dealing with decision-makers at the Departments of Homeland Security, State and Labor.
Information Technologies and Telecom
Duane Morris has assembled a dedicated group of attorneys possessing specific industry knowledge and interdisciplinary skills to address the transactional, finance, regulatory and dispute resolution aspects of structuring and implementing a wide range of information technologies and telecommunications projects. Members of the Information Technologies and Telecom Practice Group in the San Francisco office have distinguished themselves in landmark cases and are relied upon by the media to shed light on technology-related legal issues.
The attorneys in the Real Estate Practice Group represent many of the country's largest and most sophisticated investment managers, financial institutions, developers, pension fund advisers, corporations, governmental entities, REITs and other property owners in the full range of real estate transactions. Our lawyers advise clients on myriad sophisticated real estate transactions involving joint ventures, acquisitions and dispositions, property secured and mezzanine financing, and leasing Our group has access to all of the necessary ancillary practice groups including tax, ERISA, bankruptcy, environmental and securities. Our experience spans a broad spectrum of property types, including office buildings, R&D, hospitality, multifamily, industrial and warehouse facilities, hotels, retail and other projects.
Team members also have extensive experience advising clients in a wide variety of restructuring and workout matters, including forbearance agreements, modifications, assumptions, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, sales of real estate owned (REO) and related transactions.
Land Use and Development
Duane Morris attorneys represent a wide spectrum of land developers and property owners in multiple jurisdictions at the local, state and federal levels. Our land use attorneys are experienced in planning, zoning, subdivisions and use permits. In addition, we coordinate all the disciplines involved in land development, including federal and state environmental and coastal regulation, climate change, air quality, discharge permits, water quality, water supply, endangered species, critical habitats, vested rights, development agreements, exactions, affordable housing and redevelopment. Our commercial, residential and industrial projects range in size from master planned communities of thousands of acres to smaller, intensive urban infill development.
Duane Morris' Construction Group has extensive experience in handling both transaction and litigation issues that arise in the design, development, financing, performance, management and close-out of major private, public and public-private partnership construction projects. The firm's representations include public and private owners and developers, construction managers, prime contractors, subcontractors, equipment suppliers, architects, engineers and other design professionals as well as sureties on a multitude of project segments (industrial, utility, energy, commercial and green building/sustainable projects) and a wide range of delivery systems (design-bid-build, design-build, CM and PPP) and on emerging technologies, such as BIM.
Construction Defect Litigation
We handle claims, including changed or unforeseen conditions, delays, disruptions, loss of productivity, acceleration, payment disputes, insurance coverage and allegations of defective design or construction.
Banking and Financial Services
For decades, Duane Morris' global banking practice has provided leading national and international financial institutions with comprehensive legal services, including commercial loan documentation, corporate and mergers and acquisitions, regulatory and compliance, mortgage lending, asset recovery, securities, operations, project finance, litigation, and financial technology (fintech). This extensive experience has forged strong relationships with several of the top U.S. bank holding companies, banks and financial services companies.