Our Team

Steven H. Gurnee

Managing Partner

Since his admission to the California Bar in 1975, Mr. Gurnee has focused on civil trial work of all kinds, with a particular emphasis on the defense of businesses and individuals. He has a wide range of jury trial experience in high exposure cases involving professional negligence, employment, products liability, public entities, construction defects, flood, fire and agricultural losses, aviation, real estate and general personal injury matters. He is known as an expert in the field of funeral and cemetery law, and is frequently called upon by owners of funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria to provide advice and to defend litigation involving a wide spectrum of issues affecting those industries.

Mr. Gurnee received his undergraduate education at the University of California Santa Barbara, the Université d’Aix-Marseilles, France, and the University of California San Diego (B.A. 1971), and his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco (J.D. 1975). After many years as a partner with Sacramento’s Bolling, Walter and Gawthrop and, later, as resident partner in charge of Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley’s Sacramento office, he established his own firm in January 1996. The firm relocated to Roseville in 1998 where it has become known as a preeminent provider of legal service to the community.

Mr. Gurnee is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). In 2007, the Sacramento Valley Chapter of ABOTA named him its “Trial Lawyer of the Year.” As an active member of the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California (ADC) since 1978, Mr. Gurnee has served as a member of its Board of Directors (1989-2000) and as its Secretary-Treasurer (1996), Vice President (1997), President-Elect (1998), and President (1999). He also served as a member of the Board of Directors and as President (2004) of the California Defense Counsel, where he still serves as a senior advisor. He is also a member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI), the local bar associations of Placer, Sacramento and Los Angeles Counties, and the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA) in which he served as a member of its Executive Council (2009-12). Mr. Gurnee is an active, instrument-rated pilot and a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

Mr. Gurnee has wide experience and specialized training in alternative dispute resolution and often serves as an arbitrator, mediator or neutral in settlement conferences. He lectures to bar groups, other lawyers and client trade associations on trial practice techniques, claims avoidance, employment and management issues, and new developments in the law. Mr. Gurnee has been retained with regard to cases filed in courts located throughout the State of California and beyond including the States of Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Florida and Texas.

As the founder of the firm, Mr. Gurnee takes great pride in the wealth of talent, skill and experience reflected by the attorneys at Gurnee Mason & Forestiere LLP.