Business Disputes and Appeals

Paul Berning has represented clients in a wide variety of business disputes, from gold mining claims to computer hacking to sales of goods. He has litigated a number of cases involving creditor’s remedies and claims of fraud, unfair business practices and false advertising.
Mr. Berning particularly enjoys appellate work and has prepared appeals to the California Supreme Court, California Court of Appeal, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Mr. Berning became knowledgeable about consumer legal remedies while managing the pro bono legal clinic at Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges in San Francisco. As a clinic volunteer, Mr. Berning represented an elderly widow who was about to lose her home to foreclosure after being defrauded by a home repair conman. The Thelen team prevented the foreclosure, allowing the victim to remain in her home for the rest of her life.
Mr. Berning also founded and managed Thelen's LAMP (Legal Assistance for Military Personnel) program during the Gulf War in 1991-1992. The program assisted military personnel, particularly Reservists called to active duty, with consumer and financial problems.

Business Litigation, Disputes and Appeals Experience

Mr. Berning has represented:

  • A contractor in litigating fraud and unfair business practices claims against a construction lender.
  • A naval architect in litigation and an admiralty foreclosure proceeding against an America’s Cup yacht syndicate and one of its members.
  • A design firm in enforcing an international arbitration award against a foreign government.
  • Unpaid sellers of goods and providers of services in obtaining writs of attachment against debtors.
  • An auto parts wholesaler in bringing civil and criminal claims against a competitor for computer hacking under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. 18 USC §1030.
  • A gold mining company in mining claim disputes arising under the Mining Act of 1872.
  • Equipment buyers in disputes with manufacturers over quality and delayed delivery.
  • Real estate sellers in a dispute with their real estate broker.
  • An elder abuse and fraud victim in litigation with a real estate loan broker and notary public.
  • An acquisition company in a dispute with a construction company in dissolution over the purchase price of assets.
  • A property owner in coverage litigation with its insurer involving builder’s risk claims.
  • A newspaper company in making and defending against false advertising claims.
  • A contractor being prosecuted for manslaughter after a jobsite death.
  • A condominium developer and board member against claims by a homeowner’s association.
  • Consulting firms in obtaining payment from clients for work performed.
  • Homeowners in obtaining a refund of their down payment for a tract home.
  • Business owners and a consumer in defending against forged documents.
  • Property owners in dealing with problem tenants.
  • Commercial tenant in a dispute with landlord.
  • Business owner in negotiating a confidentiality agreement with a client.
  • A private guarantor / individual surety in fraud, breach of contract and false advertising litigation with bond principals