Hello, my name is David Berke, and I have been a Los Angeles lawyer for the past 27 years. I began my legal education at Osgoode Hall in Toronto (Canada’s finest law school, in my home town), before completing my degree at UCLA in 1985. I first joined a marquee New York law firm, before making my way to a Westside law firm specializing in entertainment litigation. During my 5 years at the firm, I had the good fortune of learning my craft under the tutelage of two great lawyers, one, a brilliant law firm manager, and the other, one of the finest trial attorneys in the country, and someone I count among the best people I know. In 1989, however, I made the decision to open up my own law practice, a scary enough choice, but one made for a very specific reason. Thus, the only true ambition I really ever had in life was to be the father of a family and, as I watched my colleagues miss innumerable milestones, vacations, and sometimes even the most modest family outings, I knew that big firm practice was incompatible with the type of parenting I wanted to experience and enjoy.
So, with in-house jobs becoming more scarce all the time, my only real option was to open my own practice. Unlike others similarly situated, however, I opted not to design my practice around high volume fields traditional to solo practitioners such as plaintiff’s personal injury or worker’s compensation. Instead, I choose a rather unconventional approach, whereby I essentially conduct a big firm practice by myself, favoring the maintenance of a few cases (from small to large, depending on the circumstances) which command – and receive – a greater degree of my personal attention. As such, I have often taken on very large matters for very prominent clients, but invariably for the purpose of keeping my clients out of the spotlight rather than place them in it. In this fashion, therefore, you might say that I am one of the best known lawyers in Los Angeles that you’ve never heard of, because I would rather focus on my clients’ needs than make a “name” for myself, and/or a spectacle of those I serve.
Please do not imagine, however, that my practice is somehow limited to the representation of well known entertainment figures; far from it. I have a wide range of legal experience involving contractual and business disputes of all kinds, as well as defamation, copyright, trademark (and other IP), employment matters, plaintiff’s class actions, and still others. There are also occasions where I am called upon to bring my litigation experience to bear to assist in cases which lie outside my traditional areas of expertise, such as probate, family law, and elder law.
As circumstances require, I will take my cases either to trial or arbitration, historically with great success. Nonetheless, the economies of the day, combined with my natural inclinations and my ethical compass, move me instinctively towards finding alternative means of resolving disputes, as opposed to churning my cases for legal fees. I want my clients to win, and so they do, but “winning” these days more often than not means arriving at a result that is satisfying, preserves dignity, and permits my clients to proceed with their lives with litigation far in their rear view mirrors as quickly and efficiently as possible.
As stated above, there is a legal maxim which holds, “for every wrong there is a remedy.” I want to be that remedy. Call or email me and let’s see what we can do to help.