Overview

Robert A. Berns concentrates his practice in the areas of professional liability and ethics (attorneys, accountants, insurance producers, real estate, architects and miscellaneous professionals), directors and officers (D&O), commercial disputes, environmental matters and insurance coverage claims. Mr. Berns also represents clients in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claims, fidelity and surety disputes, construction claims and healthcare providers. Prior to joining Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, LLP, Mr. Berns was a partner in a large national law firm where he also represented insurers in coverage and declaratory judgment actions, defended general liability claims and counseled clients on e-discovery matters.

Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court
    • District of New Jersey
    • Third Circuit

Education

  • Whittier Law School – J.D.
  • Brandeis University – B.A.
  • Delbarton School
    • Whittier Law Review, Executive Editor

Reported Decisions

  • Estate of Arthur M. Picon, et al. v. FBR Group, et al., No. A-2305-12T3, N.J. Super. App. Div.; 2013 WL 5610862 – Obtained summary judgment in New Jersey state court on behalf of insurance producer client in a $5 million professional negligence claim arising out of the plaintiffs’ sale of two insurance policies on the life settlement market. Successfully argued to the court that the plaintiffs’ execution of a release at the time of the sale for “amounts arising out of the sale of the policies” applied to the plaintiffs’ allegations that the insurance producer negligently advised the plaintiffs to sell the subject policies. Subsequently, successfully briefed the matter before the Appellate Division, which affirmed the dismissal of the case.
  • Triarsi v. BSC Group Services, LLC, 422 N.J. Super. 104 (App. Div. 2011) – Clarified that the duty of care owed by an insurance producer sounds in negligence, not breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Connell Foley & Geiser LLP v. Israel Travel Advisory Service, Inc., 377 N.J. Super. 350 (App. Div. 2005) – Confirmed a contribution claim against co-counsel is cognizable under New Jersey’s Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Law.
  • T.W.B.C. v. Underwriters at Lloyds, 323 N.J. Super. 60 (App. Div. 1999) – Appellate Division confirmed the scope of surplus lines agent’s notice obligation.
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance, North Jersey Chapter, Vice President, 2013 – 2015
  • Morristown Jewish Center, Past President
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey: District V-A Fee Arbitration Committee, Secretary, 1993 – 2011

Community Service

  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance, North Jersey Chapter, Vice President, 2013 – 2015
  • Morristown Jewish Center, Past President
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey: District V-A Fee Arbitration Committee, Secretary, 1993 – 2011

Recognition

  • New Jersey Super Lawyers, Professional Liability: Defense (2016, 2017)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants (2016, 2017)

Publications

  • “To Text, or Not To Text, That Is the Question?” New Jersey Law Journal, October 2013

Presentations

  • “Everyday Ethics and Why It Matters,” Lorman Educational Services, June 2016
Super Lawyers Martindale Hubbel AV Preeminent Law 360