Attorney Profile

Brian P. Berson

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Brian P. Berson has received the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell in both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards. The State Bar of California has certified him as a specialist in criminal law. Since 2015 he has been listed as Northern California Super Lawyers.

Brian has been practicing criminal defense exclusively for more than 30 years.He defends people accused of — or suspects in — everything from homicides to white collar crimes to DUIs and petty theft.

Brian has tried dozens of cases and most of his clients in those trials have been found Not Guilty of all charges. Brian’s last eight out of 12 jury trials have resulted in acquittals (Not Guilty verdicts) on all charges for his clients. Those cases included charges of attempted murder, drug conspiracy and distribution with mandatory minimum prison terms if the clients had been convicted, false statements to a state agency, fraud, criminal threats, unlawful firearms, driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and criminal contempt of court.

In 2016, Marin County charges of assault with a firearm, a strike, with personal use of a firearm and mandatory state prison enhancements in People v. V….., were dismissed after the judge presiding over the preliminary hearing found the evidence insufficient to sustain them.In 2013, Alameda charges of elder rape and rape with a foreign object in People v. E……. were dismissed after Brian’s cross examination of the alleged victim/accuser during the preliminary hearing. Also in 2013, major federal fraud charges were dismissed against Brian’s client in U.S. v. H….., a Ponzi scheme prosecution involving more than $100 million, in response to Brian’s pretrial motion work.

In 2012, Brian convinced the lead detective in an Alameda father-daughter child molestation investigation to recommend that the District Attorney’s office not file charges. The DA declined to prosecute.Prior to those cases, Brian’s trials, most of which resulted in acquittal of all charges, included money laundering (Not Guilty), money structuring, attempted aggravated rape (8-year old alleged victim, client found Not Guilty), Armed Career Criminal (Not Guilty, 15 years to life penalty had client been convicted), bank fraud, mail fraud (client signed confession, Not Guilty), embezzlement (Not Guilty), theft and various serious felony drug charges — usually with mandatory minimum penalties of five or 10 years if his clients had been convicted.

Email Brian P. Berson or call him at (415) 788-2707 for a free consultation.

Admitted to practice

  • California,
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1987
  • Louisiana, 1983
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana; 1983


  • Tulane University of Louisiana, J.D., cum laude, 1983
  • George Washington University, B.A., 1978; M.A., 1982


  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • State Bar of California
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
  • California Trial Lawyers Association
  • California Public Defenders Association.

Awards and honors

  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®
  • 2015 Northern California Super Lawyers