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Marcy L. Berkman

Deputy County Counsel

Marcy L. Berkman joined the Office of the County Counsel in 2000.   She advises the County Clerk-Recorder, the Assessment Appeals Board, the Assessment Appeals Board Value Hearing Officers and the Assessment Appeals Board Legal Hearing Officers. 

Marcy has expertise in state, federal and appellate litigation including complex litigation and litigation of novel cutting-edge issues. She successfully argued before the California Supreme Court in Spielbauer v. County of Santa Clara, 45 Cal.4th 704 (2009), resulting in a favorable decision upholding the County’s interpretation and application of the 5th Amendment in the public employment context.  And she has obtained numerous favorable published appellate opinions on a wide range of issues including access to courts, property tax issues, and employment issues.  In 2009, Marcy received the Dwight Herr Perpetual Award for Outstanding Appellate Practice from the County Counsels’ Association of California.   

In the state and federal trial courts, Marcy has successfully litigated cases in a wide range of areas including the following: constitutional law, redevelopment law, California Environmental Quality Act, the California Public Records Act, employment and discrimination cases, property tax, contract and tort issues.  Marcy has previously supervised affirmative litigation for the County in its public nuisance lawsuit against lead paint manufacturers and its false advertising lawsuits against various drug manufacturers.

Marcy’s professional expertise includes:

  • Taxation and assessment appeals
  • State and federal appellate litigation
  • State and federal civil litigation, especially complex litigation
  • California Public Records Act – advice and litigation
  • Statutory interpretation

Education

  • Cornell Law School, J.D., 1990
    • Note Editor, International Law Journal
    • Specialization in International Legal Affairs
  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A. with high honors, Dean’s List, 1987
    • Vice-President, Prytanean Honor Society

Prior Experience

  • Associate/Special Counsel at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich (now DLA Piper) (1995-2000)
  • Associate at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison (1990-1995

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