Leading the Sacramento Office, Douglas Smurr has extensive experience in Commercial Litigation, Business Transactions, International, Cannabis, Hemp & CBD, Immigration, White Collar Criminal Defense, and Government Regulatory & Administrative Law. For over 30 years, he has been a practicing international business attorney maintaining a diverse litigation and transaction practice from offices based in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Mr. Smurr is a dual national of the United States and Mexico and is fluent in Spanish.
His Business Transaction work includes structuring complex multiparty international corporate and joint venture business entities, general corporate law, and choice of entity and jurisdiction selection. Mr. Smurr also advises e-commerce and start-up entities in structuring stock option plans in conjunction with angel, seed, series A and B funding with private investors, venture capitalists, and equity funds. In addition, his practice includes trademarks and copyrights, and appellate matters.
Mr. Smurr’s White Collar Criminal Defense and International experience includes defending domestic and international entities and financial institutions under Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, and Security and Exchange Commission investigations; advising clients in implementing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and Patriot Act compliance programs; and conducting corporate internal investigations. Additionally, Mr. Smurr advises clients on import-export issues including export control laws and regulations, NAFTA-USMCA, and the European Union. He also counsels governments on diplomatic law pursuant to the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations and their application to diplomatic and consular missions, official staff, and local employees.
Mr. Smurr has maintained an active cannabis and hemp practice since 2008, representing clients at the municipal, county, state, and court of appeal levels. He currently represents one of the largest cannabis entities in the United States and jointly represents clients in various states in the hemp, CBD, medicinal and adult-use cannabis sectors. His extensive cannabis, hemp and CBD practice covers licensing, regulation, land use and permits, business formation and structuring, mergers and acquisitions, international investment, banking, insurance, compliance with federal and state regulatory agencies, intellectual property, governmental relations, and related state and federal litigation.
Mr. Smurr has been assisting businesses and investors with work-related immigration matters since 1995. His immigration practice focuses on employment-based investors and workers, diplomats and foreign governmental officials, labor certificates, business formation, and drafting detailed business plans in strategic collaboration with his clients.
Mr. Smurr has also served as President of World’s Law, LLP in Paris, France from 2013 to 2017, and at its Washington D.C. office from 2006 to 2012. Prior to forming World’s Law, LLP, Mr. Smurr served as Director of the Latin America Department for Frank, Greenberg & Simone at its Los Angeles office from 1994 to 1998.
In 2000, California Governor Gray Davis appointed Mr. Smurr as the Managing Director of the Americas, for the California Office of Trade and Investment in Mexico City. As Managing Director of the Americas, he managed the California Offices in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, Argentina while promoting and protecting the interests of California throughout Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Academically, Mr. Smurr has served as a professor at Georgetown University, teaching Introduction to International Business from 2009 to 2012; and taught at UCLA from 1995 to 2002 the classes of Doing Business in Mexico, Introduction to International Business, International Business Management, and Doing Business in Latin America. In addition, Mr. Smurr served on the Board of Directors for the University of California, California House Mexico City from 2002 to 2005 which established and oversaw the University of California campus in Mexico. Currently, Mr. Smurr serves on the International Board of Advisors for the McGeorge School of Law.
Mr. Smurr is married to Ambassador Liliana Ferrer, a career Mexican diplomat, currently serving as the Mexican Consul General in Sacramento, California. The Smurr Ferrers have two children, María Cecilia who was born in Guatemala City in 2000 and Alexander Douglas who was born in Mexico City in 2002. Mr. Smurr is an avid snow skier, mountain climber, backpacker, cyclist, water skier, whitewater kayaker, triathlete, and amateur astronomer – a hobby through which he met his wife in 1980.
M.A., Global Master of Arts Program, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 2005
J.D., Emphasis in International Trade and Business Transactions, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, 1987
B.A., International Relations, Concentration in Latin America Affairs, University of California, Davis, 1983
California Assembly Resolution for immense personal distinction and public service in coordinating the strategies and projects of the Mexico City and Buenos Aires Offices of Trade and Investment.
Recipient of the Yiacatecutli Award for distinguished service to the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico in international trade and finance.
Intern, California Senate Select Committee on the Pacific Rim
Legislation Editor, Pacific Law Journal
District of Columbia
U.S. District Court, Southern, Central, Northern, and Eastern Districts of California
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Member, International Board of Advisors, McGeorge School of Law
Member, International Law Sections for California and District of Columbia Bars