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About me

Samuel D. Berns joined the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg after he graduated from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco in 2010. Mr. Berns' experience ranges from  three strikes and murder cases to DUIs and other misdemeanors and anything in between, including defending cases involving allegations of possession and sales of marijuana and other drugs, theft, burglary, assault, securities fraud, fish and game violations, and diverse array of other cases; he has also represented attorneys charged with crimes on a number of occasions. Mr. Berns does works on juvenile as well as adult criminal cases.


Mr. Berns, a native of New York City, started his career as an advocate long before he was admitted to the State Bar of California. After he graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2005 with a bachelor of arts in political science and religious studies, Mr. Berns designed the curriculum and taught a class informing high school students of their rights. When he moved to California in 2006, Mr. Berns worked for a criminal defense firm in Oakland specializing in drug cases. While in law school, Mr. Berns worked for public defender’s offices in Sonoma, Solano, and Marin Counties, where he conducted a jury trial and argued more than a dozen contested hearings. He also won awards for his skills in trial advocacy and appellate advocacy, wrote three extensive research papers on criminal issues, organized and hosted a forum on marijuana law in California, and graduated with a criminal concentration.


Since joining the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg, Mr. Berns has volunteered as a high school mock trial judge and mentored law school students, and has been interviewed for a documentary on the “three strikes” law. He is a member of the Placer County Bar Association and is on the legal committee for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and has worked with the Cannabis Career Institute and the California Cannabis Industry Association, among other organizations, in educating and working to reform marijuana laws in California.



Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 100%
    5 years, 500 cases



Hourly ($150/hour), Fixed (sometimes), Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Stanley Robert Switzer

    I endorse this lawyer for any criminal cases in Placer County.


    Stanley Switzer Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Samuel Eugene Spital

    Sam Berns went to one of the top law schools in California and focuses his practice on all aspects of criminal defense. I am honored to endorse him after working with a joint strategy on a mutual case -- Sam handling the criminal aspects and I concentrating on the administrative law state Board licensing issues. Sam went above and beyond to protect his client in coordinating the case with my law firm, being mindful of the unintended consequences.


    Samuel Spital Administrative Law Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

1515 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA, 95603


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Cali/Witkin Award for Trial AdvocacyUC-Hastings College of the Law2009
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Law ClerkSonoma County Public Defender's Office2010 - 2010
Law ClerkMarin County Public Defender's Office2009 - 2010
Law ClerkSolano County Public Defender's Office2009 - 2009
Law ClerkLaw Offices of William G. Panzer2007 - 2010
Association namePosition nameDuration
NORML Legal CommitteeAttorney Member2011 - Present
Placer County Bar AssociationN/A2010 - Present
Publication nameTitleDate
DocumentaryDefending Three Strikes2011
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of California, Hastings College of the LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2010
University of WisconsinPolitical Science/Religious StudiesBA - Bachelor of Arts2005
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Marijuana Panel featuring US Attorney and othersIntroduction and Organization2009