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About me

I do principally litigation -- meaning broadly suing people and defending people who are being sued.  In a long career, I have done a wide variety of cases, large and small, complex and simple, representing businesses and individuals. I have large firm experience and expertise, but I often can perform the same job more efficiently and hence at lower cost to the client.


I am available to serve as local counsel in federal and state courts at all levels in Washington, D.C., and Maryland, or in any useful way to assist attorneys from other areas with matters in the courts here.


Increasingly, I am representing individuals in consumer rights cases -- representing them against collection efforts and when possible turning the tables on the collectors when they resort to abusive tactics. I also have successfully represented individuals with civil rights claims especially in the area of police misconduct.


Practice areas


  1. Litigation: 100%
    39 years, 500 cases



Hourly ($350-500/hour), contingent (15-33%), Retainer (sometimes), Pro bono (10%)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

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  • Malosack Berjis

    I endorse this lawyer.


    Malosack Berjis Personal Injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

3 Bethesda Metro Ctr Ste 700
Bethesda, MD, 20814-6300


DCActive 197505/24/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Best Lawyer - Civil RightsWashingtonian Magazine2009
Pro Bono Attorney AwardAmerican Civil Liberties Union of Maryland2001
CommendationMaryland NAACP2001
Distinguished Visitor From PracticeGeorgetown University Law Center1991
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
OwnerLaw Office of William J. Mertens2004 - Present
Of CounselAsbill Moffitt & Boss2000 - 2004
Distinguished Visitor From PracticeGeorgetown University Law Center1991 - 1992
Of CounselSwidler & Berlin, Chtd.1986 - 2000
Visiting ProfessorGeorgetown Univ. Law Center1984 - 1986
Assistant ProfessorUniversity Of Oklahoma Law School1982 - 1984
Chief of App. and Dep. Chief Trial Sections, Staff Atty.Public Defender Service For The District Of Columbia1975 - 1982
Association namePosition nameDuration
American Bar AssociationN/AN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Pitt v. District of Columbia, 491 F.3d 494 (D.C. Cir. 2007)Substantial judgment against DC and individual police officers
Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. v. U.S. Dep't of Energy, 169 F.3d 16 (D.C. Cir. 1999)Successfully reversed adverse trial court decision
Wilkins v. Dep't of Maryland State PoliceObtained landmark consent decree to stop illegal targeting of minority motoriosts
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Georgetown University Law CenterLawJD - Juris Doctor1975
Yale UniversityEnglish LanguageBA - Bachelor of Arts1970