Daniel_A__Berman

Firm Chairman, Founding Partner

Daniel A. Berman

Location

10960 Wilshire Boulevard
18th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90024
P (310) 481-7600
F (310) 481-7650

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Awards

Bio

Dan Berman co-founded and serves as the firm Chairman of Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman, LLP. In his role as Chairman, and previously as the firm’s Managing Partner, Dan’s responsibilities have included high-level firm management, execution of the firm’s strategic vision, and ensuring its overall effective operational management and progress. Under Dan’s leadership, WSHB has grown from a regional California based firm to one that is recognized today as a leading national firm with strong capabilities stretching from coast to coast. Embracing the use of internal data analytics and improved, more efficient processes, Dan utilizes industry leading protocol and programs to drastically change and innovate the manner in which legal services are delivered to the firm’s clients.

In his legal practice, representing Fortune 500 companies and mid-market businesses, Dan is a recognized authority on commercial and business law. He has received Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating of “AV Preeminent” and has been selected a California “Super Lawyer” on numerous occasions. Dan’s legal work spans matters involving business issues, professional liability, real estate, intellectual property, entertainment endeavors, and construction-related issues. Dan has worked for many years closely with the domestic and London insurance markets, has successfully tried numerous complex cases to verdict and has been instrumental in several groundbreaking favorable rulings in the appellate realm. He has served as a court appointed arbitrator and mediator, and serves as monitoring and coordinating counsel for clients throughout the United States.

Dan is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (Pacific Coast Gold Chapter) and currently serves as the chapter Chairman. He formerly was a member of the Board Directors for the YPO Santa Monica Bay Charitable Foundation and a Board Member of the YPO Pacific Region Board. Dan currently sits on the Advisory Board for the CLM (Claims and Litigation Management Association), the legal board of advisers for the National Association of Home Builders, the California BIA legal advisory board, and the Palisades-Malibu YMCA Board of Directors. Dan previously was a Vice-Chair of the DARE America Board of Legal Directors, and has served on boards for several real estate and start-up companies.

Education

Loyola Law School (J.D., 1992)

University of California, Santa Cruz (B.A., 1989)

Licensed to Practice in:

California

Practice Areas

Appellate
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  • Torres v. City of Madera, 648 F.3d 1119 (9th Cir. (Cal) 2011).
  • Maciel v. Simac Construction, Inc. 2006 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8228.
  • INCO Development Corp. vs. Superior Court (Haynes) 2005 DJDAR 9454.
  • Grove v. Retail Property Partner 2004 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5848.
  • Holmberg v. J.F. Shea Co. 2003 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 10344.
  • Luvisi v. Safeway, Inc. 2002 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2946.
Commercial and Business Litigation
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  • Handles litigation on behalf of commercial, corporate, and non-profit clients involving unfair competition, contractual claims, partnership matters, claims of malfeasance and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Represents individuals in claims for professional liability.
  • Represents board members and boards of directors against claims of breach of fiduciary duty, professional liability, wrongful acts, and fraud.
  • Defends corporate clients in class action claims, as well as suits brought by individuals, joint ventures, business partners and shareholders.
Real Estate and Land Use
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  • Represents many of the nation’s largest and preeminent land developers, owners and commercial contractors with legal issues involving construction disputes, land acquisition, construction defect claims, land use and entitlements, creditor and debtor rights, distressed real estate acquisition, foreclosure and lender liability matters, employment matters, and general real property litigation.
  • Provides transactional assistance involving land acquisition, sales agreements, joint venture deals and risk transfer methodology.
  • Provides risk management training and counseling on a host of issues including toxic mold, insurance coverage and employment issues.
  • Litigates construction-related class action suits, construction site accident cases, and other matters involving work site safety and environmental compliance.
Professional Liability
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  • Defense of professional liability and malfeasance claims against lawyers, insurance agents and brokers, real estate agents, appraisers, architects and engineers and miscellaneous professionals.
Entertainment and New Media
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  • Represents individual and institutional clients in contractual and licensing disputes, and handles litigation arising from entertainment ventures.
  • Represents entertainment clients in suits involving professional malpractice, intellectual property rights, and tort liability.
  • In the arenas of entertainment and new media, assists start-up companies with all aspects of formation, structuring and risk management.
Environmental
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  • Extensive involvement in mold and habitability litigation involving residential homes, commercial buildings, health care facilities, and apartments.
Mass Torts and Class-Action Defense
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  • Defends corporations, other business entities, and individuals, against class action claims, including habitability and other claims arising out of the landlord/tenant relationship, consumer fraud and violations of California Business & Professions Code 17200.
Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices
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  • Defended product manufacturers and health care professionals in claims involving professional negligence and product liability claims.
Product Liability
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  • Defense of product liability cases involving pharmaceuticals, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter health products.
  • Litigates cases involving both industrial and residential products (e.g., allegedly defective heavy machinery, home appliances, automobiles, power tools and sporting equipment).
Toxic Tort and Occupational Exposure
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  • Litigates toxic substance and chemical exposure cases involving toxic fumes, soil contamination, and lead paint claims.

Publications

Model Home, Jobsite and Communication Compliance Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Standing Up To The Challenge – Courts Confirm Arbitration as a Favored Means of Dispute Resolution, Litigation Management – Winter 2013

Protected or Not?: California Supreme Court Addresses Work Product Privilege Related to Witness Statements

Defending Intellectual Property Claims, Vol II

DRI Intellectual Property Reporter, Fall, 2006: Right of Publicity

Residential Design and Build Magazine: "Winning The Liability Game"

The Brief (Fall 2003): A Mold Claims Primer

Author, Mold Contamination: Liability and Coverage Issues: Essential Information You Need to Know for Successfully Handling and Resolving the Claim Involving Toxic Mold, (2002) 8 Hastings West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law & Policy 1

Author, Right of Publicity: Proper Plaintiffs and Proper Damages, DRI Intellectual Property Compendium (2006)

Author, Anonymous Web Posting, Defending Intellectual Property Claims, Vol II (2007)

Co-Author, Blog Posts Amount to Misappropriation of Trade Secrets, The Daily Journal (August, 2012)

Co-Author, Trade Secrets and Agreements Not To Compete, California Chapter of DRI’s 2012 Compendium on Non-Compete Agreements (May, 2012)

Co-Author, Standing Up To The Challenge: Courts Confirm Arbitration as a Favored Means of Dispute Resolution, Litigation Management (Oct. 2012)

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All Publications »

Trial & Appellate Results

Pinnacle Museum Tower Assn. v. Pinnacle Market Development (US), LLC, (2012) 55 Cal.4th 223.

Torres v. City of Madera, 648 F.3d 1119 (9th Cir. (Cal) 2011).

Maciel v. Simac Construction, Inc. 2006 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8228.

INCO Development Corp. vs. Superior Court (Haynes) 2005 DJDAR 9454.

Grove v. Retail Property Partner 2004 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5848.

Holmberg v. J.F. Shea Co. 2003 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 10344.

Luvisi v. Safeway, Inc. 2002 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2946.

VICTORY: WSH&B Wins a Landmark Construction Defect Case!

View All »

All Trial & Appellate Results »

Events, Seminars & Presentations

Social Networking Sites: Strategies, Ethical Pitfalls and Practice Pointers for Litigating and Winning Your Case, West Coast Casualty Seminar, Anaheim, California (May, 2012)

Emerging Trends in Complex Commercial Litigation, Atlanta, Georgia (March, 2012) Internet and Social Networking Sites: Ethical Issues in Investigating and Litigating Your Case, West Coast Casualty Seminar, Anaheim California (May 12, 2011)

Internet and Social Networking Sites: Ethical Issues in Investigating and Litigating Your Case, West Coast Casualty Seminar, Anaheim California (May 12, 2011)

Commercial Litigation Emerging Trends: Views from Trenches, San Ramon, California (April, 2008)

Scenes from the Courtroom: Keys to Success in Winning the Judge and Jury, San Francisco, California (May 2, 2006)

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All Events »

Community Activities

Board of Managers, Palisades-Malibu YMCA Arbitrator (Pro Bono)

Board of Directors, ClaimVets

Board of Governors, Loyola Law School; 1999-2000

Los Angeles County Superior Court DARE America

Legal Board of Directors

Board of Governors, 1999-2004

Coaches several youth sports teams, 1999-2000

YPO Santa Monica Bay Charitable Foundation Board of Directors

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Memberships

Firm Chairman, Wood Smith Henning & Berman LLP, 2015 – Present

Managing Partner, Wood Smith Henning & Berman LLP, 2007 – 2015

Member, Young Presidents' Organization Santa Monica Bay Chapter (YPOSMB), 2009 – Present

Instructor at the Litigation Management Institute (LMI) at Columbia University Law School

Member, CLM Advisory Board

Member, CLM Professional Liability Advisory Board

Member, Council on Litigation Management, Professional Liability Committee

Member, California Building Industry Association Legal Action Subcommittee

Technology Committee Member, Defense Research Institute

Member, National Association of Home Builders Construction Law Attorney Forum

Member, Building Industry Association of Southern California

Member, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC)

Member, Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS)

Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America

Quarterly Contributor to Residential Design and Build Magazine

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Awards & Accomplishments

Los Angeles Business Journal's LA 500 Most Influential People List, 2018

Finalist, "Best Managed National Firm," Managing Partners' Forum (MPF) Awards, 2015

Finalist "Outside Counsel of the Year Award," Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), 2015

AV Preeminent Lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell

Named Southern California Super Lawyer, 2006 - 2014, 2016 - 2018

Corporate Counsel, Business Litigation, 2010 - 2011

Named Southern California Rising Star, 2004

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