Steve Berman (lawyer)

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Steve Berman

University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts, 1976

University of Chicago Law School, Juris Doctor, 1980
Occupation Attorney
Employer Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP

Steve Berman is an American[1][2] plaintiff's lawyer who founded and is Managing Partner of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, a 76-attorney (as of June, 2007) law firm based in Seattle, Washington.


Berman helped found his namesake firm in 1993. He was lead attorney in individual and class action cases against Enron, Washington Public Power Supply System, Purdue Pharma (over OxyContin), Exxon (with respect to the Exxon Valdez oil spill), Boeing, Intel (over alleged monopoly practices), Michael Milken, the Rio Tinto mining company (with respect to human rights violations and environmental destruction in New Guinea),[3] and VISA and MasterCard (in which he achieved a $3 billion settlement). He was also instrumental in the state attorneys general’s litigation against the Liggett Group and subsequent $216 billion settlement, against the tobacco industry, serving as special assistant to the various states. He was lead counsel for Microsoft during part of its defense against antitrust claims.[4]

In 2003 Berman and his family endowed the Kathy and Steve Berman Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Washington School of Law.[5] In April 2009 it was announced that funding for the clinic had been eliminated and it would not be continued beyond the 2008-2009 academic year.

He has been listed as top lawyer in Washington State and one of the 100 most powerful lawyers in the United States by the National Law Journal.

Several recent cases spurred public criticism. In 2006 he sued Apple Computer, alleging that iPod music players could cause hearing loss if the volume were too high.[6] In 2007 Berman filed a class action lawsuit against Avvo, a law-related review site, on behalf of Seattle, Washington attorney John Henry Browne, over the claimed unfairness of the site's rating system.[7] That suit was dismissed on First Amendment grounds.[8]

Aspirin litigation[edit]

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP was involved in a class action suit which had been settled with Bayer. [9]


  1. ^ Neil Modie (2006-08-02). "McGavick sued over Safeco payout". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  2. ^ Vanessa Ho and Mike Lewis (2006-03-04). "Seattle law firm told to pay $10.8 million". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  3. ^ Larry Johnson (2000-10-02). "Mining firm is sued for 'crimes' on Bougainville". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  4. ^ John H. Brinsley. "Recent Developments in United States v. Microsoft Provides Insight to Department of Justice's Stance on Antitrust Violations". Findlaw. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  5. ^ "Berman Environmental Law Clinic". Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  6. ^ Dan Goodin (2006-02-01). "Apple sued over potential hearing loss from iPods". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  7. ^ Tricia Duryee (2007-06-15). "Attorneys sue site that comes up with ratings on ... lawyers". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-06-16. 
  8. ^ Mike Carter (December 19, 2007). "Lawyers' suit over site's legal ratings dismissed". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  9. ^

External links[edit]