Geoff has handled virtually every kind of case. From representing corporations in complex multi-million dollar commercial disputes to employment matters, arguments over oilfield trade secrets, government and corporate investigations, there’s little he hasn’t handled successfully.
Geoff is AV Preeminent-rated 2000-2018, by Martindale-Hubbell, has been a Texas Super Lawyer in business litigation every year 2004-2018 by Super Lawyers, a division of Thomson Reuters, was a Rising Star before that, and is listed in Best Lawyers in America. 2012-2019, The Best Lawyers in America, by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.
Geoff has presented CLE programs dealing with legal ethics, and spoken at the University of Houston Law Center on trial strategy. He has also been hired by some of the largest and best-known firms in the country to offer expert testimony on attorneys’ fees.
Geoff makes frequent appearances on television and radio. He’s been on the Today Show, CNN, CNBC, and virtually every local station. The Houston Chronicle calls Geoff “one of the best-known experts and thinkers” in Houston.
Before founding Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP, Geoff was of counsel at Diamond McCarthy, a national trial boutique. Before that, Geoff practiced with his father, David Berg, at Berg & Androphy.
- Outside General Counsel for Atlas Commodities, LLC, Atlas Field Services, LLC, Atlas Retail and related entities, 2012 – Present. Ongoing handling of corporate, regulatory, and litigation matters.
- Litigated numerous employment / noncompetition matters for Atlas.
- Litigated commercial disputes for Atlas.
- Represented a prominent Houston-based private investigator in a suit brought by Robert Durst just before release of the HBO series, The Jinx. Case was not only dismissed, but the investigator was awarded the right to write a book about his experience with Durst. See Robert Durst, Arrested on Murder Charges, Also Allegedly Spoke of Killing His Brother, Washington Post, March 16, 2015
- 2013, represented an owner of multiple apartment complexes in a HUD/City of Houston investigation. Matter was resolved without charges.
- 2017, represented a CFO who had been sexually harassed by CEO. Case was resolved without bringing suit.
- 2017, represented claimant in confidential arbitration between former husband and wife over post-divorce asset distribution. Settled favorably on eve of hearing.
- With Susman Godfrey, represented an oilfield services company against a competitor in a suit involving breaches of fiduciary duties and misappropriation of trade secrets by former employees.
- Represented approximately 100 residents who sued over the condition of their apartments and common areas. Settled during trial for a confidential sum. Cause No. 2003-33350; Michelle Perez, et al. v. Pinnacle Realty Management, Inc. d/b/a Pinnacle Realty Management Company and Wentwood Lakeside I, L.P.; In the District Court of Harris County, Texas, 190th Judicial District.
- With David Berg, represented Samsung Electronics in a suit against Texas Instruments regarding a royalty-related contract dispute. Settled after three weeks of trial. Samsung v. Texas Instruments; In the District Court of Fort Bend County, Texas; 268th Judicial District.
- With Andrew S. Golub, represented an individual against his former employer for disability discrimination. Settled during trial for a confidential amount. C.A. No. H-02-0108; Walter French v. Navasota Industrial Supply, Ltd., In the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division
- With Sanford Dow, represented a homeowner whose property had been damaged by a neighboring developer. Settled during trial for a confidential sum. Cause No. 762, 351; Iris Silvers vs. Abercrombie Builders, Inc.; In the County Civil Court at Law Number Two (2) of Harris County, Texas.
- With Sanford Dow, represented a small software development firm against a giant oil services corporation for breach of partnership by implication. Cause No. 2003-00451; Offsite Management Systems, LLC vs. FMC Technologies, Inc.; In the 55th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.
- With Sanford Dow, represented a restaurant in a lease dispute with its landlord. Cause No. 2003-50812; Taqueria El Rincon De Mexico, Inc. vs. Milagro Garcia De Lapaz; In the 55th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.
- Represented a debtor in a commercial loan. The defendant, a citizen of Pakistan, did not appear at trial, but Geoff tried it anyway, mitigating the client’s damages. Cause No. 2004-10537; Chinkara Capital Limited vs. Proma (USA), Inc. and Tariq Mumtaz; In the 80th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.
- With David Berg, represented the Chairman of the Board of Regents of Texas A&M University who was accused of misappropriation of state funds. Cause No. 24,423085; The State of Texas v. Ross Margraves; In the 85th Judicial District Court of Brazos County, Texas.
Dispositive Motions / Judgments
- Represented the President and CEO of a publically-traded multi-billion dollar corporation in a shareholder derivative suit. Suit was dismissed soon after filing on defense motion.
- Lead counsel for plaintiffs in a five-state class action against SBC Communications, Inc. and related entities for alleged misrepresentation of the speed of DSL internet service. Cause No. 00-4540-E; McLaughlin, et al. v. SBC Communications, Inc., et al.; In the 347th Judicial District Court, Nueces County, Texas.
- Represented partners and firm in suit by a defendant in an unrelated matter. Sought and, following an evidentiary hearing, obtained sanctions against plaintiff and his attorney in addition to dismissal. Cause No. 2006-55425; Steinocher v. Dow Golub Berg & Beverly, LLP, et al.; In the 164th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.
- Represented a Houston-area commercial transport company. The plaintiff, seeking around one million dollars in damages, claimed the transport company lost a shipment of denim en route to a factory in Mexico. On the transport company’s motion, the suit was dismissed with prejudice prior to trial. CA No. H-04-1448; Meri-Tex International, Ltd. vs. Benchmark Worldwide Transport, Inc.; In the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.
- Represented two individuals who had been sued in a multi-million dollar breach of contract case in Federal District Court in the Northern District of Texas. The case was dismissed based on defense motions. TPG Partners III, LP v. Kronfeld, et al; Civil No. 401-CV-0895-A; In the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division.
- Represented a Lutheran Minister in a criminal matter. Obtained an order suppressing evidence which lead to the dismissal of all charges. Cause No. 4:99-cr-00178; United States v. Carlson; In the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
- Represented a group of creditors against a debtor and his publicly traded company. Obtained two separate judgments against the debtors for the full amount of the note, plus pre and post judgment interest and attorneys’ fees. Sachnowitz, et al. v. George T. Sharp, et al.; Cause No. 2002-06647; In the District Court of Harris County, Texas; 334th Judicial District. When the debtors failed to comply with a post-judgment collection agreement, a second suit was filed and judgment obtained awarding the full amount of relief sought. Cause No. 2003-59016; Sachnowitz, et al. v. Sharp Holding Company, et al.; In the District Court of Harris County, Texas; 334th Judicial District.
- Defended a Houston radio station in a suit for slander and libel. The suit was dismissed on the defendant’s motion. Civil Action No. 99-4030; Melendres v. Infinity Broadcasting Corporation; In the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.
- Successful mandamus in the Supreme Court of Texas compelling the inclusion of a Democratic judicial candidate on the ballot against an otherwise unopposed Republican incumbent. The Republican incumbent was represented by former Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Phillips. In Re Jim Sharp, 186 S.W.3d 556 (Tex. 2006).
- Successful defense of an order denying a defendant’s motion to disqualify trial counsel. In re Melawer, 2003 WL 359070 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, no pet).
- Successful reversal of a conviction for misappropriation of state funds for personal use. Margraves v. State, 34 S.W.3d 912, (Tex. Crim. App. 2000) (later reversed by Margraves v. State, 34 S.W.3d 912 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000).
- Represented an Israeli doctor who had entered into a joint venture with a large European medical device manufacturer. Case was filed in Harris County, Texas and settled for a confidential sum.
- Represented an online business which had entered into a joint venture with Latin America’s largest telecommunications company. The plaintiff sought $120 million. Following extensive discovery and dispositive motions, the parties reached a favorable confidential settlement. Cause No. CV 00157 JM;Bidland Systems, Inc. v. Telefonica, S.A., et al.; In the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, San Diego Division.
- Obtained a favorable settlement for an online aeronautical educational company in a suit to dissolve a joint venture. The client had been sued for dissolution and responded by filing a counterclaim. Less than two months after the counterclaim had been filed, the plaintiff agreed to settle by paying the company a confidential sum. Cause No.2002-54110; Northrop Rice USA, Inc. vs. Aeronautics Innovation, Inc.; In the 127th Judicial District Court, Harris County, Texas.
- Represented a group of plaintiffs who had been molested by a Catholic priest. The plaintiffs alleged that the leadership of the church knew about the molestation and helped the priest flee the country. Following extensive discovery, including the deposition of the Archbishop of San Antonio, the case settled for a confidential sum. The church additionally agreed to publicly read a written apology to the boys and their families during a Sunday service at the church they attended. No. 95-4862-E;Arredondo, v. Most Rev. Rene H. Gracida, Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, et al.; In the 148th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas and No. S-96-5841-CV-A; Rodriguez, et al vs. Father Jesus Garcia, et al; In the 36th Judicial District Court of San Patricio County, Texas.
- Represented a central Texas plant worker who had been injured on the job by a malfunctioning fence. The claim was settled for policy limits before filing suit.
- Represented a nursing home patient against a large health care institution which resulted in a favorable confidential settlement.
- With David Berg, represented the plaintiffs in a mass action against the Marriott Corporation. The plaintiffs alleged fraud in the inducement by Marriott in convincing them to enter into limited partnerships with the hotel chain. Following extensive discovery and summary jury trial, the case settled for $425 million. Cause No. 96CI-08327; Whitey Ford, et al. v. Host Marriott Corporation, et al.; In the District Court of Bexar County, Texas, 285th Judicial District.
- Represented a former high-level employee of a lumber company. The employee had been sued for breach of his non-competition agreement, misappropriation of trade secrets and copyright violations. Following extensive discovery and the filing of dispositive motions, the case settled favorably on a confidential basis.
Honors & Awards
- The Best Lawyers in America© 2021
- 2000-2019 AV-rated, Martindale Hubbell
- Appointed to serve as a special commissioner to rule on eminent domain matters by Judge Mike Engelhart of the 151st Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.
- Best Lawyers in America 2012-2019, The Best Lawyers in America, by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.
- 2016 – Present, Best Lawyers in Texas, The Wall Street Journal
- 2014 Top Rated Lawyer, American Lawyer
- Best Lawyers, US News 2012-2019, The Best Lawyers in America, by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.
- Named one of Houston’s Top Young Professionals by H Texas Magazine in 2007
- Named to the inaugural list of Texas Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition (April 2008)
- Named one of the Top Lawyers in Houston by H Texas Magazine in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008
- Named one of the Top Attorneys in Houston by Houston Magazine in its Top Attorneys & Law Firms section (an honor limited to less than 10 Houston lawyers and firms) in 2006
- In December 2005, H Texas Magazine identified Berg as one of its “Professionals on the Fast Track”
- Occasional Columnist for the Houston Chronicle
- National Futures Association-Compliant Anti-Money Laundering Presentation, 2012 – Present, Atlas Commodities, LLC
- Should Immigrants Have a Right to Counsel? ADL Debate, 2017
- Weekly Radio Presentation, KPFT/Pacifica Radio, 2008 – 2018
- Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award Presentation, 2014
Areas of Practice
- J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 1994
- Early Graduation
- Hebrew University School of Law, Harry Sacher Human Rights Institute, 1993
- B.A., New York University, 1992
- Early Graduation
- Double Major: Political Science / Journalism
- Texas, 1995
- 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1995
- Southern, Northern, Western, Eastern Districts of Texas, 1995-1996
- Colorado, 2007
- 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, 2007
- District of Colorado, 2007
- Pennsylvania, 2008
Professional or Trade Affiliations
- Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
- Board Member, Anti-Defamation League
- Judicial Screening Committee, Harris County Democratic Party
- Life Member of the NAACP
2019 The Best Lawyers in America for work in Commercial Litigation.
2019 Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award
2019 Top Rated Lawyer
2004-2019 by Super Lawyers, a division of Thomson Reuters
2014 Top Rated Litigator in Commercial Litigation by The American Lawyer
2000-2019, by Martindale-Hubbell
Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation
2021 Best Commercial Litigation Lawyer in Houston, Texas
2022 Best Commercial Litigation Lawyers in America