9454 Wilshire Blvd, Sixth Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Michael J. Berger


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Attorney Specializing in Bankruptcy

With over 40 years of bankruptcy law experience, Michael Jay Berger, Attorney at Law, represents clients in bankruptcy proceedings throughout California.  Mr. Berger is a certified bankruptcy law specialist, as determined by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.  As of December 1, 2021, only 166 attorneys in the State of California were designated as certified specialists in the area of bankruptcy law. For more than ten years, Mr. Berger was the only certified specialist in bankruptcy law in Beverly Hills, CA.  As of October 3, 2016, Mr. Berger’s Senior Associate Attorney Sofya Davtyan became the second attorney in Beverly Hills, CA to become certified as a specialist in Bankruptcy law. Mr. Berger has attained the highest possible rating of “AV,” indicating preeminent legal ability and highest ethical standards in the practice of law from Martindale Hubbell, the national directory of attorneys, and has maintained that rating for 26 consecutive years, from 1995-2021.  Mr. Berger is rated 10/10 Superb by AVVO.  Mr. Berger represents debtors, creditors and third parties in Chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings.  Please view the Firm Overview page of this website for a more detailed description of Mr. Berger’s practice areas.

Mr. Berger received his Juris Doctor Degree, with Honors, from the University of California, Hastings in 1981 and joined the California Bar later that year.  He graduated with Honors with a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University in 1978. Mr. Berger is a Mensa, certified genius, with the intellectual ability to craft creative solutions to even the most difficult legal problems.

Mr. Berger began practicing bankruptcy law with Rifkind & Sterling in 1981.  He then established his own firm in 1983.  Mr. Berger served as a Judge Pro Tem for the Beverly Hills Municipal Court and as an Arbitrator for the Beverly Hills Bar Association.  He also served as an Editor of the Beverly Hills Bar Association Journal. He maintains active membership in the Beverly Hills Bar Association Bankruptcy Section, the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum, the California Bankruptcy Forum, the Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys’ Association, and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Mr. Berger’s  clients include accountants, actors, advertising agencies, ambulance companies, bail bond companies, book stores, car washes, churches and synagogues, clothing companies, construction companies, construction supply companies, contractors, cosmetic companies, dentists, designers, doctors, entrepreneurs, film companies, gas stations, hospitals, hotels, insurance agencies, insurance sales people, investors, landlords and tenants, landscape companies, lawyers,  lenders, magazines, manufacturing companies, musicians, nightclubs, online sales companies, pawn shops, physical therapists, radio stations, real estate brokers, real estate developers, real estate investors, restaurants, retail stores, schools, screenwriters, security guard companies, shopping centers, song writers, stock brokers, students, teachers, television stations, trucking companies and veterinarians

Mr. Berger is also an accomplished runner, having completed 45 Marathons and 12 ultramarathons. Mr. Berger’s most recent marathon was the Revel Mt. Charleston Limited Edition Marathon on November 14, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. His most recent ultramarathons were the Umstead 50 Mile Trail Run on April 1, 2017, the Orange Curtain 50K on February 25, 2017 (finishing time 5:57:17, a new PR), the OTHTC High Desert 50K on December 4, 2016 (finishing time 6:29:33), the Gu Run 3 TransRockies Run, a 58-mile race in Colorado, on August 9, 2016, the Javelina 100, a 100 Kilometer trail race in Arizona on November 1, 2014, and Comrades Marathon, a 56-mile road race in South Africa on June 1, 2014 (finishing time 11:28:38).  Mr. Berger is an active member of Track Club Los Angeles, and was its Most Improved Runner in 2002, its Volunteer of the Year in 2013 and its Cross Country Runner of the year in 2021. https://trackclubla.org/

For a detailed record of the more than 274 races that Mr. Berger has participated in, see his profile on Athlinks https://www.athlinks.com/athletes/10041986. Mr. Berger has received the USATF Gold Phidippides Award “For Outstanding Performance and Endurance in Long Distance Running” fourteen years in a row, from 2009 through 2022, and is the first person ever to receive the prestigious 10-year Phidippides Award. In 2021, he won the 60+ age group in the USATF Southern California Cross Country Grand Prix.

Mr. Berger is also the lead singer and occasional guitar player for the rock and roll band DTF.  Recent gigs for the band include headlining the show at the world-famous Troubadour on January 28, 2023,  opening for Michael Angelo Batio and his MAB Band at The Viper Room on December 10, 2022, a 1 hour set at the Whiskey a Go Go on November 12, 2022 and an epic 2 hour and 20-minute show at the Viper Room on August 27, 2022 For more information about the band and its upcoming shows, see the band’s official website:  https://dtfofficial.com/. To see videos of the band’s performances, check out its YouTube page: www.youtube.com/@dtfrock .  Extra love and FREE TICKETS to the next DTF show for all clients who subscribe to my DTF band YouTube channel!




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Representative Cases

Michael Jay Berger is an outstanding and highly successful trial lawyer.

A significant case that he won recently is entitled Thomas Michel vs. Robert Maghame, Linda Maghame and Saeed Sattari, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. SC123645.

This case was a lawsuit for rescission of a contract to purchase the famous West Hollywood Bar and Nightclub Rage. On April 29, 2016, after a three day court trial, judgment was awarded in favor of Michael Berger’s client Thomas Michel and against the defendants in the sum of $364,474.17 and defendants received nothing on their multi-million dollar cross-complaint. Even more impressive, Michael Berger collected this judgment in full plus additional sums for costs on May 11, 2016! Thomas Michel is now a very satisfied client and a good friend of Michael and the firm. He has posted glowing reviews of Michael and the firm on Google and Yelp. Here is a photo of Michael and Thomas celebrating their victory and a great shot of Thomas in front of the Santa Monica Courthouse where the case was tried before Judge Gerald Rosenberg.

Victory Celebration Victory


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