Geoffrey Berg Partner
Geoff Berg has been a Partner with Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP since 2014. Prior to forming his current firm, he worked with some of the best regional and national firms for his practice areas of commercial litigation, employment litigation, and civil litigation. He has worked in the legal industry since 1995. In addition to his current work, he has also represented clients in personal injury matters and in insurance litigation. Geoff has extensive experience handling matters himself at every stage of litigation, from filing lawsuits through appeals in courts across Texas. In addition, Judge Mike Engelhart of the 151st Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas appointed him Special Commissioner to rule on eminent domain matters.
Of his approach to his practice, Geoff begins with a focus on trying the case. He believes that a case in litigation is about the ultimate trial and thinks about trial strategy from a matter’s inception. The reason he has been successful is because he never looks for the quickest way to settle, which puts him on the path to obtaining the best possible result for each client. Clients will get the best possible resolution when they work with a trial-oriented lawyer that other parties know is prepared to go to trial, because that affects potential case value.
Of what it’s like to work with Geoff, his attorney peers say, “When one of my clients needs a lawyer to handle a matter that might involve business litigation, I send him to Geoff. Geoff is an outstanding lawyer with a fighter’s heart; I endorse his work wholeheartedly.” Clients like working with Geoff and his team because they win and because he makes them feel like their case is his only case by responding quickly with detailed and thoughtful responses to their every question. He understands that at times a client’s entire business is on the line and that matters to him in terms of how he works with each client and how he approaches each matter. His goal is to help his clients be able to sleep at night during the pendency of their business litigation matters.
Geoff is licensed to practice in Texas, as well in the United States District Courts for the Southern District of Texas, Northern District of Texas, Eastern District of Texas, Western District of Texas, and District of Colorado. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Subsequently, he obtained his law degree from University of Houston Law Center in 1994.
Geoff has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation for 10 consecutive years, and has achieved the highest possible rating with Martindale Hubbell – an AV Preeminent Rating. He was also selected by his peers for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers from 2004 to present as well as previously in Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars in 2004. He received the Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award, was named among the Best Lawyers in Texas by The Wall Street Journal, named a Top Rated Lawyer by American Lawyer, named to the inaugural list of Texas Super Lawyers in the Corporate Counsel Edition, and has received numerous recognitions for his legal successes by H Texas magazine and Houstonia magazine.
Geoff’s cases have been featured in media outlets including but not limited to New York Times, CNN, ABC News, Washington Post, HBO, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Fox News, Los Angeles Times, CBS News, Wired, Houston Chronicle, Philadelphia Tribune, New York Post, Beaumont Enterprise, Houston Public Media, Law360, Texas Lawyer, Law.com, and more. The Houston Chronicle calls Geoff “one of the best-known experts and thinkers” in Houston.
He was selected as a Texas Bar Foundation Life Fellow, an invitation-only honor he maintains today. He is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Houston Bar Association Commercial and Consumer Law Section, and State Bar of Texas.
- Business Litigation
- Employment Litigation
- Civil Litigation
Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP
February 2014 – present
Diamond McCarthy LLP
November 2012 – February 2014
Berg & Androphy
September 2008 – November 2012
Dow Golub Berg & Beverly, LLP
September 2001 – September 2008
Berg & Androphy
1995 – 2001
- University of Houston Law Center, Juris Doctorate, 1994
- Attended Hebrew University School of Law, Harry Sacher Human Rights Institute, 1993 – made the highest grade in two classes: Comparative International Law and Human Rights
- Graduated early
- New York University, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, 1992
- Graduated early
Bar and Court Admissions
- Texas, 1995
- Colorado, 2007*
- Pennsylvania, 2009*
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
- United States District Court for the District of Colorado
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- State Bar of Texas
- Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Colorado Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Houston Bar Association
- Commercial and Consumer Law Section Member
- Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation, 2014 – 2023
- Texas Super Lawyers, Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney, 2004 – 2022
- Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2004
- AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale Hubbell, 2000 – 2022
- Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award, 2019
- Appointed 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 Texas, The Wall Street Journal, 2016 – present
- Top Rated Lawyer, American Lawyer, 2014
- Named to the inaugural list of Texas Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, 2008
- Named one of Houston’s Top Young Professionals, H Texas Magazine, 2007
- Top Lawyers in Houston, H Texas Magazine, 2004 – 2008
- Top Attorneys in Houston, Houstonia Magazine, 2006
- Professionals on the Fast Track, H Texas Magazine, 2005
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 publicly-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 led 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.
- 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.
- National Futures Association-Compliant Anti-Money Laundering Presentation, Atlas Commodities, LLC, 2012 – 2020
- 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
- The Ethics of Truth: Do Lawyers Need To Believe in Their Case, Jewish Ethics Institute, 2012
- Federal Criminal White Collar Appellate Update, The Appellate Advocate, State Bar of Texas Appellate Section Update, Spring 2000
- Critics of our Israel policy are outside mainstream, Houston Chronicle, 2008.
- Is Hamas viable ‘partner for peace’? No. Hateful covenant makes cooperation an impossibility, Houston Chronicle, 2006.
- Both Sides Need to Give on Jerusalem Issue, Houston Chronicle, 1997.
- Israel’s ‘Bibi’ Can Forge a Secure, Lasting Peace, Houston Chronicle, 1996.
- Americans Getting a Notion of How Israelis Feel, Houston Chronicle, 1995.
- Smoke, An Awful Noise and Fear on Flight 1499, Houston Chronicle, 1994.
- Israelis, Arabs Mustn’t Let Extremists Write a ‘Bosnian Future,’ Houston Chronicle, 1994.
- Anti-Defamation League, Former Board Member
- Harris County Democratic Party, Judicial Screening Committee
- NAACP, Life Member
- Atlas Scholars, Board Member