Robert G. Bernstein

Partner

  • location icon San Diego, CA
    701 B Street
    San Diego, CA 92101

Robert Bernstein is a partner in the San Diego office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the General Liability Practice. Mr. Bernstein’s practice focuses on the defense of clients in litigation matters, with an emphasis on construction-related litigation and construction defect claims. In 26 years of practicing law in California, Mr. Bernstein has represented the developers of large residential and commercial projects and both large and small general contractors. Mr. Bernstein has also represented subcontractors for various trades, including grading, concrete, framing, plumbing, windows, sheet metal, roofing and landscaping, as well as manufacturers and suppliers of building components, including windows, plumbing, sheet metal and landscaping. Mr. Bernstein also has experience in the areas of common interest developments and homeowners associations, including claims against associations, disputes among owners and organizational documents created under the Davis-Sterling Common Interest Development Act.

Over the past three years, Mr. Bernstein has expanded his practice to include land use and entitlement matters, including litigation arising out the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the preparation of complex agreements between and among real estate developers, consultants and governmental entities, and the representation of developers before state and local agencies and governments.

Over the past several years, Mr. Bernstein has spoken before risk managers and insurance adjusters regarding recent decisions and developments in California construction agreements and litigation.

Mr. Bernstein began his career as a research attorney with the San Diego Superior Court, gaining valuable insight into how lawsuits are reviewed and evaluated by judges and in how to effectively advocate to judges on behalf of his clients.

Mr. Bernstein has extensive experience in all phases of litigation, including investigation and discovery, mediation, arbitration and trial. He has resolved over 250 construction-related claims in the past 20 years. He is involved in insurance issues relating to the construction industry, including working with clients to handle their self-insured retentions (SIRs), providing education and counseling on SIRs and deductible payments, and advising clients regarding claims associated with Wrap (Owner Controlled Insurance Policy) programs. His work on  real property matters includes purchase/sale disputes, claims against homeowners associations and interpretation of governing documents, including association by-laws and declarations of covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R’s).


He is also experienced in the preparation and review of construction contracts and in litigation related to contract disputes and construction collections. At the start of his career, Mr. Bernstein worked as a research attorney with the San Diego Superior Court, assisting judges with the review and preparation of decisions on a wide variety of civil cases. That work provided experience and insight into how courts review disputes and arrive at solutions to litigated issues and claims.

  • Research Attorney, San Diego Superior Court (1989 – 1991)
  • Private practice with emphasis on construction defect claims, 1991 – present
  • Land Use and Entitlement matters  2012 - present

Publications

  • Editor, San Diego Defense Lawyers “Update” (1997 – 1999)
  • “California’s Unfair Trade Practices Law – An Effective Tool or Potential Problem for You and Your Business,” California Asphalt Magazine, April 2000
  • Counsel of Record, Alcala Company v. Superior Court (Uptown District) (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 1308 (prevailed in writ petition regarding sliding scale settlement)

Admissions

California

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Associations

  • State Bar of California, admitted 1989
  • San Diego Defense Lawyers Association

Education

University of San Diego

Juris Doctor, 1988

University of California at Los Angeles

Bachelor of Arts, 1985

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