Kathleen Fisher’s litigation practice over three decades has spanned numerous judicial and arbitration tribunals worldwide. She has been lead attorney in a number of high-profile, high stakes litigation over the course of her career, including representing Marin Community Foundation in the Buck Trust litigation, Bank of America on high profile financial services class action matters, the executor of the estate of DHL Founder Larry Hillblom in what has been called the “World Cup” of probate litigation, and the Japanese bankruptcy trustee for EIE International in a precedent setting $200 million settlement. Her current practice focuses on trust, estate and fiduciary disputes and complex cross-border litigation.
As a trust and estate litigator, Ms. Fisher represents high-worth individual beneficiaries, trust companies and other fiduciaries in matters involving breach of fiduciary duty claims, will and trust contests, interpretation of testamentary documents, disputes concerning the characterization and distribution of trust and estate assets, financial abuse allegations, and settlement of accounting controversies.
As a commercial litigator, Ms. Fisher has represented leading companies, banking and financial institutions, and public entities in complex, high-stakes, and contentious disputes and negotiations resulting in favorable judgments and settlements. As a trial attorney, Ms. Fisher has tried and won numerous jury and non-jury trials for plaintiffs and defendants in disputes involving consumer class action and unfair competition, eminent domain, real property, criminal defense, labor and probate matters. Ms. Fisher’s appellate practice includes successfully arguing before state and federal appellate courts on issues involving trust and estate, fiduciary, real property, employment, administrative, and contract law.
Ms. Fisher was formerly a partner with Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco where she was lead counsel on a number of high-profile cases. She became an associate at Morrison in 1976 and a partner in 1982. She was worldwide Chair of the firm’s Litigation Department from 1993 to 1996, longtime member of Morrison’s Board of Directors, and formerly Managing Partner of the San Francisco office.
Ms. Fisher’s accolades include being listed in "20 Women Leaders in the Law" by The Recorder, California's Top Women Litigators by the Daily Journal, and in Northern California Super Lawyers.
She has authored books and numerous articles on trial and ADR topics. She has been a frequent lecturer and panelist on a variety of topics in the civil litigation area for organizations such as the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the American Bar Association, Continuing Education of the Bar, and the Northern District of California Federal Practice Program.
Ms. Fisher is active in professional and civic organizations. She is a member of the San Francisco Law Library Commission and has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of San Francisco and various San Francisco-based non-profits. She is currrently a member of the board of directors of Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation. She has received numerous awards for community service, including the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s Leadership Award in 2004.
Ms. Fisher received her B.A. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles, cum laude, and her J.D. degree from the University of California, Davis Law School, Order of the Coif. She externed for Justice Raymond Sullivan of the California Supreme Court.
Trust and Estates
- Lead counsel representing executor in the Estate of Hillblom in prosecution and defense of claims involving over $500 million in assets in multiple jurisdictions. Successfully negotiated a global settlement with heir claimants and closure of estate probate.
- Successfully represented trustee in California in prosecution of claims for the return of over $1 million of community assets.
- Represented trustee in successful settlement of claims by removed beneficiaries.
- Represented trustee in the successful prosecution of claims against a series of fraudulent transfers and misconduct by various individuals of trust assets meant for a charitable foundation in Guam.
- Represent trustees in defense of defamation claims.
- Lead attorney in defense of the Government of Guam arising out of just compensation claims resulting in judgment of over $25 million.
- Lead attorney on behalf of the United Micronesia Development Association in Saipan in the successful prosecution of claims against former executive, board member and partners resulting in settlement of over $15 million.
- Represented real estate developer in successfully overturning zoning restrictions before the Supreme Court of Guam on a development project worth over $100 million.
- Represented real estate developer in arbitration against the Port Authority of Guam resulting in an arbitration award of over $12 million.
- Represented HopeLab Foundation in an arbitration before JAMS in a successful defense of a breach of contract claim for the development of a sequel to a videogame owned by HopeLab to assist young cancer patients adhere to treatment.
- Represented Olympic Gold medalist in prosecution and settlement of Title VII claims against the University of California.
- J.D., Order of the Coif, University of California, Davis Law School (1976)
- B.A., cum laude, University of California, Los Angeles (1971)
- Extern for Justice Raymond Sullivan, California Supreme Court (1976)
- Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Professional and Civic Activities
- Member, San Francisco Law Library Commission
- Member, Board of Directors, Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation
Honors and Awards
- 20 Women Leaders in the Law, The Recorder, 2011
- Northern California Super Lawyers List (2007-2011)
- 2004 Leadership Award from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation