Ruth Borenstein

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Ruth Borenstein
Partner, Morrison & Foerster

Ms. Borenstein is engaged in a complex, commercial litigation practice at both the trial and appellate levels in courts throughout the country.  Her work on the case Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport Association, 552 U.S. 364 (2008)earned her notice as a key practitioner by the National Law Journal.  She was a member of the team that successfully tried a high-profile smartphone case leading to a jury verdict of over $1 billion.

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.  Ms. Borenstein and her wife were the lead petitioners in Strauss v. Horton, the challenge to Proposition 8 in the California Supreme Court. 

Ms. Borenstein received her B.A. from Yale University in 1978, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1986, both magna cum laude.  She was Editor-in-Chief and an Articles Editor of the Harvard Women’s Law Journal.