- All Federal Courts in California
- 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
- 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), J.D., 2006
Yale University, B.A.
- Cum Laude
- Honors in the Major
Honors & Awards
- Selected by The Recorder in 2012 as a "Lawyer on the Fast Track," one of the top 50 attorneys in California under 10 years of practice (2012)
- California Lawyer Magazine Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award (2012, 2019)
- Named a finalist for the 2011 Consumer Attorney of the Year Award by the Consumer Attorneys of California (2011)
- Honored as a Northern California "Super Lawyer," by Northern California Super Lawyers and San Francisco Magazine (2013-2015), and “Rising Star” (2009-2012)
- Named a finalist for the 2008 Consumer Attorney of the Year Award by the Consumer Attorneys of California (2008)
- Clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California
Justin T. Berger is a Principal at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP, where he handles high-profile cases of corporate fraud, including representing whistleblowers in qui tam actions under the federal and California False Claims Acts, individuals who have been wrongfully terminated by their employers, and co-founders who have been squeezed out of successful start-ups. Justin handles complex cases across California and around the country.
Justin has been recognized as one of the top young litigators in California. He has been named by the Daily Journal as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” attorneys in California, and was named in The Recorder’s "Lawyers on the Fast Track," as one of the top 50 attorneys in California with less than 10 years of practice. Justin has received a California Lawyer Magazine Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award, and has been named a finalist for Consumer Attorney of the Year three times by the Consumer Attorneys of California. Each year since 2013, Justin has been selected as a Northern California “Super Lawyer" by San Francisco Magazine, and from 2009 to 2012, was named as a “Rising Star.”
- Justin represented four former employees of Hyperloop Technologies, Inc. (d/b/a Hyperloop One), former Chief Technology Officer Brogan BamBrogan, Dr. Knut Sauer, David Pendergast, and William Mulholland, in a lawsuit against the company and its CEO Robert Lloyd, Board Chair Shervin Pishevar, Board member Joseph Lonsdale, and former General Counsel Afshin Pishevar (Click here for article).
- In 2018, Justin helped recover $102 million for California taxpayers against BP, in a case under the California False Claims Act alleging that the oil company overcharged the State of California on purchases of natural gas. The case was brought on behalf of a terminated employee, Christopher Schroen.
- Justin obtained $11 million for taxpayers from Marinello Schools of Beauty in a qui tam action filed by six whistleblowers, former employees of Marinello. Based on overlapping allegations, the United States Department of Education denied Marinello’s reapplication to receive federal student loan funds, forcing Marinello to close its doors. Prior to its closure, Marinello was one of the largest chains of for-profit beauty schools in the United States.
- Justin helped recover $75.5 million for taxpayers from VMware, Inc., in a qui tam suit alleging misrepresentations to the federal General Services Administration (GSA). Justin was selected as a finalist for Consumer Attorney of the Year, along with Niall McCarthy, for his work on this case.
- Justin represented the campaign committees of United States Senator Dianne Feinstein and several other elected officials against Kinde Durkee—the “Bernie Madoff of campaign treasurers.” Durkee was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for embezzling millions of dollars from hundreds of campaign and political action committees.
- Justin recovered $19.4 million from Diagnostic Laboratories, Inc., the largest provider of laboratory and x-ray services to nursing homes on the West Coast, in a case brought by two whistleblowers under the False Claims Act.
- In 2011, Justin was selected as a finalist for Consumer Attorney of the Year along with Niall McCarthy, for their work in recovering a record $300 million on behalf of the State of California in a case brought under the California False Claims Act against Quest Diagnostics and other medical laboratories.
Justin also represents employees, homeowners and consumers in class actions, cases of financial elder abuse, wage and hour litigation, and other complex cases. In 2008, Justin was selected as a finalist for the 2008 Consumer Attorney of the Year Award by the Consumer Attorneys of California, for his work on Komarova v. National Credit Acceptance.
Justin received his Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, graduating Cum Laude, with Honors in the Major. He received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). At Boalt, Justin was a member of the California Law Review and the LAS-ELC Workers’ Rights Clinic. In addition, through Boalt’s International Human Rights Law Clinic, Justin served on the trial team that successfully prosecuted the case Yean and Bosico v. Dominican Republic before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Following law school, Justin clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California.
Prior to law school, Justin served for two years as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador. Justin also served for a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at Casa Cornelia Law Center, a non-profit immigration law firm in San Diego. Justin is fluent in Spanish.
Justin is the President of the Board of Directors of Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, and is a past-President of the San Mateo County Barristers. Justin is a member of the San Mateo County Bar Association, Consumer Attorneys of California, American Business Trial Lawyers, and the San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association.
Northern California Peace Corps Association
San Mateo County Barristers (President)
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- November 9, 2012
- June 5, 2012
- February 10, 2012
- The Basics of "Lincoln's Law": Flase Claims Act LitigationJanuary 2012
- False Claims Act BasicsNovember 2011
- Current Trends in Loan Modification LitigationNovember 2011
- Current Strategies in Prosecuting Class Actions2011
- Elder Abuse Litigation 101January 1, 2010
- Four Views Of Consumer Fraud2012Forum, Vol. 42 No. 3
American Bar Association
California Bar Association
San Mateo County Bar Association
Consumer Attorneys of California
American Business Trial Lawyers
San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Taxpayers Against Fraud
- California Counties and Cities Announce Groundbreaking $305 Million Settlement of Landmark Lead Paint LitigationJuly 17, 2019
- June 10, 2019
- October 15, 2018
- September 12, 2018
- August 14, 2018
- July 17, 2018
- January 11, 2018
- January 11, 2018San Francisco Chronicle
- January 11, 2018Bloomberg
- January 10, 2018
- August 15, 2016
- August 15, 2016MarketWatch
- July 19, 2016
- July 12, 2016
- May 18, 2016
- February 17, 2016Modern Healthcare
- November 24, 2015
- August 17, 2015
- August 5, 2015
- July 16, 2015
- July 9, 2015
- VMware pays $75.5M for whistleblower claim: Local tech giant settles False Claims Act case, one of largest in historyJuly 1, 2015San Mateo Daily Journal
- July 1, 2015The VAR Guy
- June 30, 2015
- June 30, 2015CRN
- June 30, 2015Corporate Crime Reporter
- June 30, 2015Tech Crunch
- June 30, 2015Fortune
- April 9, 2015
- January 9, 2015
- California A.G.’s Office Joins Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy's Whistleblower Case Charging BP in Natural Gas RipoffNovember 13, 2014
- November 3, 2014
- July 17, 2014Washington Post
- First California Bank of LA Agrees to Multimillion Dollar Settlement for U.S. Senator Feinstein & Other CA Federal & State LawmakersJuly 16, 2014
- March 2, 2014The Sacramento Bee
- February 25, 2014NBC Southern California
- February 21, 2014
- February 21, 2014NBC Southern California
- February 21, 201489.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio
- July 24, 2013
- May 2011