Meet Our Team
Robert H. Berkes
Robert H. Berkes is an equity partner of Berkes Crane Santana & Spangler. He was a founder of Berkes Crane Robinson & Seal LLP. He graduated from the University of Southern California and received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. His bar admissions include all California State Courts, the United States District Court for the Central and Southern Districts, and the United States Court of Appeal, Ninth Circuit.
For over thirty years, Mr. Berkes has concentrated his practice on the trial of civil cases. He has extensive jury trial experience and has handled cases to verdict in such areas as product liability, personal injury, construction accidents, accounting malpractice, commercial fraud, employment disputes and insurance coverage disputes. He has placed particular emphasis in his practice on the trial of asbestos and toxic exposure cases. He also has extensive experience over the past 20 years in successfully arbitrating over a dozen complex “high stakes” insurance disputes over coverage for asbestos-related claims arising out of the Wellington Agreement (“Agreement Concerning Asbestos-Related Claims”).
Mr. Berkes was one of the lead trial counsel in the California Coordinated Asbestos Insurance Coverage Cases (the longest running and largest insurance coverage trial in California litigation history) and was also lead defense counsel in the litigation arising out of the 400 South Hope Street crane accident, one of the most serious accident cases in the history of downtown Los Angeles high-rise construction. As a result of the creative jury trial skills demonstrated in his successful defense of asbestos-related bodily injury cases, Mr. Berkes was the featured lawyer in the cover article for the Verdicts & Settlement section of the Los Angeles Daily Journal on March 3, 2000.
Mr. Berkes has been recognized for his accomplishments as one of the top trial lawyers by his membership in the American Board of Trial Advocacy (ABOTA). Mr. Berkes also has been selected as a fellow by the Litigation Counsel of America, based on his excellence in the art of advocacy, his effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and his superior ethical reputation. This honorary society of trial lawyers comprises less than one-half of one percent of American Lawyers and selection is by nomination only. Mr. Berkes’ accomplishments have also been recognized publically by his inclusion in Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, by California Magazine’s Super Lawyers and by being selected by his peers as one of the “Best Lawyers in America.”
Mr. Berkes has been selected to membership in the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Membership in this association is only achieved after being thoroughly vetted by a blue ribbon panel of attorneys from independently neutral organizations, and approved by a judicial review board as exhibiting virtue in the practice of law. Due to the selectivity of the appointment process, only the top one percent of attorneys in the United States are awarded membership in NADC. This elite class of advocates consists of the finest leaders of the legal profession from across the nation.
Mr. Berkes is also a member of the USC Associates, the leading academic support group for the University of Southern California. Mr. Berkes and his sister, Beverly Flournoy, are also major contributors to the Ross and Marjorie Berkes Endowed Scholarship Fund, a fund created to provide opportunities for qualified students majoring in the field of International Relations at USC to study abroad.
Mr. Berkes also is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, and the Defense Research Institute (DRI).