David W. Berry
David Berry is an accomplished trial lawyer whose practice is largely focused on resolving business, real estate, construction defect, elder abuse, trust, and probate disputes. Known for his approachable manner and tireless devotion to the success of his clients, he obsesses with distilling complex disputes into simple themes that are easily understandable by local juries and judges. He is a long-term resident of Sonoma County and has a vast knowledge of the North Bay courts.
Mr. Berry is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he received the Student Life Achievement Award, and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he was a member of the Hastings Law Journal. He has received many awards and distinctions for being an excellent lawyer. He considers his most significant achievement and goal is to serve his clients well and foster their belief that he is their tenacious champion.
He has amassed substantial trial experience involving cases centered on:
- Business disputes including breaches of contract and fiduciary duty
- Property disputes including construction defect, failure to disclose, boundaries, and easements, elder abuse
- Probate disputes representing both fiduciaries and beneficiaries
His clients include the largest land-owners in Northern California, winery and vineyard owners, numerous businesses, banks, and individuals with high-stakes disputes. Mr. Berry thrives on molding legal strategies to his clients’ individual business and personal needs. No legal strategy is brilliant if it is not best for the client. Many of Mr. Berry’s clients retained him years ago to resolve a single dispute. These same clients now call him with all their legal questions. If the client’s needs are not within his area of expertise, Mr. Berry will direct their case to other experts.
Mr. Berry has deep community involvement, with an emphasis on improving the lives of others. He has served on numerous charity boards, including Legal Aid of Sonoma County, where he is a past President. He is chair of the Real Property Section of the Sonoma County Bar Association. His is committed to helping lawyers become better at their craft. He regularly teaches lawyers on a variety of topics including best trial practices.
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 1995) Hastings Law Journal, Member.
- University of California, Berkeley (B.A., 1992; Recipient of the Student Life Achievement Award, 1992)
- Legal Aid of Sonoma County (president, 2005; director, 2001-2005).
- Leadership Santa Rosa, Class 25 Member.
- Sonoma County Bar Association, Real Property Section (inaugural chairman).
- Sonoma County Bar Association (board of directors member, 2009-2011).
- American Inns of Court (Richard M. Sangster Chapter)
- State Bar of California.
- Santa Rosa Active 20-30 Club (former member)
- California (1995)
- United States District Court, Northern District of California (2000)
- United States District Court, Southern District of California (2004)
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2000)
Honors & Awards
- Northern California Rising Star, which identifies Mr. Berry as one of the top trial attorneys in Sonoma County, as selected by Super Lawyers, 2009 and 2010.
- Who's Who in Law. North Bay Business Journal, published on March 29, 2010.
- Leadership Santa Rosa graduate, 2009. This is a year-long educational program for selected community leaders and is intended to develop and equip class members via exposure to pertinent issues, broad thinkers and the richness of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County.
- Forty under 40 recipient. Selected by North Bay Business Journal as one of the forty exceptional business leaders under forty years of age in Sonoma, Marin, and Napa Counties.
Speaking Teaching Experiences
- Presenting Evidentiary Exhibits, Seminar on February 9, 2017, presented with Hon. Arthur A. Wick at the Sonoma County Bar Association.
- Getting it Admitted into Evidence, Seminar on March 12, 2015, presented with Hon. Gary Nadler at the Glaser Center.
- Offers of Judgment: CCP § 998, Seminar on December 11, 2013, presented at the Sonoma County Bar Association.
- Real Property Update, Seminar on August 15, 2013, presented at the Sonoma County Bar Association.
- Eminent Domain and You, Seminar on June 10, 2013, presented at the Sonoma County Bar Association.
- Real Property Update, General Issues. Seminar on May 30, 2012, presented at the Sonoma County Bar Association.
- Show Me the Money: Hot Issues in Construction Defects. Seminar on April 27, 2012, presented at the Sonoma County Bar Association.
- Real Property Update, Adverse Possession. Seminar on March 26, 2010, presented at the Sonoma County Bar Association.
- Real Property Update: Foreclosure. Seminar on March 15, 2010, presented to the Sonoma County Legal Secretary Association.
- Evidence Code § 1119: What You Don’t Know About It Will Hurt You. Presented with Hon. William Bettinelli on February 26, 2009.
- Law of Easements: Legal Issues and Practical Considerations in California. Day-long seminar presented with three other experts in 2007 and 2008.
- 998 May Change Your Case's Fate. Published by David W. Berry in the 2014 Summer issue of The Bar Journal.
- When Your Commercial Building Is A Lemon. Published with W. Barton Weitzenberg and Patrick W. Emery in the Best of the North Bay issue of NorthBay Biz magazine, 2007.
- Buying Property Can Pose Substantial Risks. Published in the Business Section of the Press Democrat, May 14, 2007.
- Drawing The Line, an article about property issues and rights published in NorthBay Biz magazine, June 2006.
- Asserting Your Rights In A Neighborly Way. Published in the Business Section of the Press Democrat, June 19, 2006.