Skip to main content

About me

Placer County-based attorney Sam Berns has been practicing law throughout Northern California since 2010. Sam will work hard to get optimal results for you in your legal matter.


Sam has a passion for advocacy and a strong desire to do what is right. He has obtained not-guilty verdicts, dismissals, and favorable settlements in criminal cases, and has advised successful businesses. Sam will pull no punches in working for you; past results include a case being dismissed when Sam showed the arresting officer to be motivated by racial bias and felony charges dismissed and all property including marijuana and money ordered returned to a client who had been facing prison. Sam has even worked successfully to help pass regulations favorable to his clients.


Beyond his core legal work, Sam is an active member of his community. He regularly volunteers at high school mock trial competitions in Placer and Sacramento Counties, and has assisted legal aid attorneys at Legal Services of Northern California. Prior to law school, he designed and taught a know-your-rights class for inner city youth in Milwaukee. He has volunteered at Public Defender's offices in Marin, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. He also works with several medical marijuana industry groups, and has contributed to a documentary film about three strikes law reform.


Whether you are trying to get the best of a good situation or pull yourself out of a bad one, Sam Berns is an attorney who will work with you to get a favorable outcome.



Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 40%
    6 years
  2. Business: 30%
    6 years
  3. Land Use & Zoning: 20%
    6 years
  4. Landlord & Tenant: 10%



Hourly ($150-400/hour), Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (sometimes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check

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

Law Office of Samuel D. Berns, Inc.

P.O. Box 7328
Auburn, CA, 95604


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