JEFFREY K. BERNS
Jeffrey Berns concentrates his practice in consumer lending and consumer fraud class action litigations. He has played a prominent role in consumer lending and subprime litigation matters. Mr. Berns currently serves as class counsel in the following cases: Plascencia v. Lending 1st Mortgage, LLC, Case No. C 07-4485 CW (N.D. Cal.); Lymburner v. U.S. Financial Funds, Inc., Case No. 3:08-cv-00325 (N.D. Cal.), Castrejon v. Reel Security Corp, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC392524, Gonzalez v. All American Asphalt, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC 389814, Smith v. MV Transportation, Inc., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG 08-389864, and serves as lead and liaison counsel in In re Wachovia, MDL Docket No. 2015 - JF (N.D. Cal); and serves as lead and executive chair of plaintiffs' steering committee in In re Wachovia, MDL Docket No. 2015 - JF (N.D. Cal).
Mr. Berns' entire 20 year career as an attorney has been devoted to representation of the rights of consumers and employees. Mr. Berns' career has been dedicated to representing borrowers who have been victimized by financial institutions. Mr. Berns has also represented numerous catastrophic injury victims resulting from defective products, and handled other complex product liability litigation. More recently, Mr. Berns' has focused his practice on handling technology, banking, and complex consumer fraud issues. Mr. Berns has been consulted by ABC, NBC, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Journal, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, and CBS as an expert in the field of Subprime litigation. In addition to Mr. Berns' law practice, he has formed and consulted for several communications and informational transmission concerns and engineered and developed numerous communication and computer based communications systems.
Mr. Berns obtained his Real Estate Brokerage License and litigates and consults on a wide range of real property and real estate related issues. Mr. Berns received his B.A. in 1984 from California State Northridge, and his law degree in 1987 from Whittier Law School. Mr. Berns is a member of the American Association for Justice (formerly ATLA), Consumer Attorneys of California, and Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles. Mr. Berns has sat on the Board of Directors for a number of nonprofit corporations, such as Temple Beth Ami, Pet Orphans Fund, Temple Kol Tikvah, Wildlife Rescue Group, and the Summit Point Homeowners Association.
LEE A. WEISS
Lee A. Weiss is based in the firm’s New York office and concentrates his practice on
representing aggrieved consumers and investors in
class action litigation in federal and state courts
throughout the country and high-stakes commercial
litigation where he represents individuals and
institutions in complex commercial disputes. Mr.
Weiss represents borrowers in multiple federal class
actions arising out of deceptive mortgage lending
practices against major financial institutions, such
as Countrywide, JPMorgan Chase, Residential Funding
Company and RBS Financial Products, and has
represented plaintiff classes in consumer class
actions that have led to important and substantial
settlements with Wachovia (over $1 billion), Sulzer
Orthopedics, Inc. ($1 billion), Iomega Corporation
and Pioneer Corporation. Additionally he is
currently sole lead counsel for preferred
shareholders in a class action against the former
directors of Equity Inns, Inc., he has represented
investor classes in securities fraud actions that
led to significant settlements, including those in
In re IKON Office Solutions Securities Litigation
(E.D. Pa.) ($111 million), In re Computer Associates
Securities Litigation (E.D.N.Y.) ($134 million), and
Ridgway v. Ray (Titan Corporation) (D. Del.) (global
settlement in excess of $90 million), and he has
represented purchasers of deferred variable
annuities in multiple class actions based upon
deceptive sales practices that led to settlements
with some of the nation’s largest insurers,
including American Express (IDS), Principal Life,
and Pacific Life Insurance Co., for claims that
deferred variable annuity purchasers paid high fees
to insurance companies for a tax shelter product
that they did not need.
Mr. Weiss earned his undergraduate degree from Emory University in 1988 and his J.D. degree, with honors, from The George Washington University in 1991. Mr. Weiss is a member of the New York Bar Association. Mr. Weiss is admitted to practice in the state courts in New York, as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York and the District of Colorado, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits.
Mr. Weiss has served on the faculty of the Trial Techniques program at Emory University Law School and has been a panelist at various programs discussing securities and class action issues. He is co-author of
Be Careful What You Wish For: The Unintended Effects of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Int’l Journal of Disclosure and Governance, Vol. 3, No. 2 (June 2006) and
The Fiduciary Duties of a Public Pension Plan Trustee: From Monitoring Investments to Recovering Class Action Settlement Proceeds, Information Management Network's 2006 Indexing Almanac (2006).
MICHAEL J. QUIRK
Michael J. Quirk concentrates on consumer protection and class action litigation in addition to working on employment, civil rights, and products liability cases. He has extensive experience fighting against enforcement of overreaching mandatory arbitration clauses that are used by companies to strip consumers and workers of their constitutional right to a jury trial.
Born and raised in Englishtown, New Jersey, Quirk graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 1999. He received his bachelor's degree in history from The College of New Jersey and a master's degree in American history from the Rutgers University-Newark Graduate School. Before joining Berns Weiss, Quirk was an Equal Justice Works Fellow and then a Staff Attorney with Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (now "Public Justice") in Washington, DC. He was previously a Supreme Court Assistance Project Fellow with the Public Citizen Litigation Group, also in Washington, DC.
Quirk has litigated appeals on behalf of consumers regarding mandatory arbitration and class action issues in federal and state courts throughout the country. He is co-author of the first five editions of Consumer Arbitration Agreements: Enforceability and Other Topics (National Consumer Law Center and The Public Justice Foundation), published as part of NCLC's Consumer Credit and Sales Legal Practice Series. He also has written numerous articles and lectured frequently on consumer rights and access to justice issues. .
He is a member of the Pennsylvania, New York, and District of Columbia Bars. He also is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Third, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
He also is a member of the American Association for Justice, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, and the National Employment Lawyers Association. He currently serves as the Civil Justice Fellow Advisor for the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, a civil rights organization in New York.
Quirk lives in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia with his wife and daughter.