Eric S. Berman

Partner
Berman Eric

Eric Berman represents businesses, tax-exempt organizations, and executives in high-stakes government investigations, litigation, and regulatory proceedings involving the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state attorneys general, Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Postal Service, and Postal Regulatory Commission. Eric is a seasoned advocate before state and federal government regulators, and a litigator with experience in state trial courts, federal district courts, and the U.S. Court of Appeals. His practice focuses on consumer protection/advertising, nonprofit, postal, and antitrust issues. Much of his state AG practice involves representing charities and professional fundraisers, who benefit from his strong relationships with federal and state charity regulators.

Eric also maintains a vibrant general counseling practice. He is the outside general counsel to the Common Application, the leading organization dedicated to increasing access to and equity in higher education. He also serves as outside general counsel to the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, the largest trade association in the U.S. serving the needs of nonprofit mailers. Eric has significant experience counseling national retailers, dietary supplement marketers, commercial co-venturers, and entrepreneurs on advertising and general business matters. 

Experience

Representative Matters

Litigation and Government Investigations

  • Serving as lead counsel to senior executive in FTC and DOJ investigations
  • Serving as appellate counsel to multiple trade associations in appeal of postal rate regulations, currently pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit (NPPC et al. v. PRC)
  • Defending technology platform in civil False Claims Act investigation brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Represented financial education company in FTC marketing practices investigation
  • Served as lead counsel to large, national 501(c)(3) organization in nonpublic investigation by the attorney general of the District of Columbia, resulting in full closure of investigation
  • Served as lead defense counsel to a 501(c)(3) organization in an Article 78 proceeding filed by a former association officer in New York State Supreme Court (Onondaga County); won summary judgment and defeated petitioner's motions for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction
  • Served as lead counsel for defendant professional charity fundraiser in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit. Obtained grant of summary judgment for the client and dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint. Spiegel v. Reynolds, et al., No. 1:15-cv-8504, 2017 WL 4535951 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 11, 2017)
  • Represented high-profile international 501(c)(3) organization in nonpublic investigation by Michigan attorney general's office. Attorney general closed the investigation without taking any action
  • Secured dismissal with prejudice of cross-claim filed against 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. U.S. v. Tarpey et al., No. CV 15-72-BU-SEH (D. Mont. Sept. 29, 2016)
  • Served as lead counsel for defendant professional charity fundraiser in lawsuit filed by the Minnesota attorney general. Settled on favorable terms after court-ordered mediation, withdrawal of a key witness testimony by the attorney general, and removal of a named defendant from the lawsuit
  • Represented a professional solicitor in a nonpublic investigation by the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Attorney general had sought permanent fundraising ban and significant monetary penalty. Obtained unprecedented settlement with no fundraising ban
  • Served as lead counsel to two charities and three charity executives in first joint law enforcement action ever brought against the charity sector by the Federal Trade Commission, 50 state attorneys general, and the attorney general for the District of Columbia. Obtained removal of individual defendant from FTC/multi-state complaint and negotiated the preservation of organization’s flagship charitable program

Regulatory and Counseling

  • Serving as outside general counsel to the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, the largest trade association representing the interest of nonprofit mailers in the U.S.
  • Serving as outside general counsel to the Common Application (CommonApp). Advised CommonApp on acquisition of Michele Obama’s Reach Higher program assets (2018), and in negotiations with a major publisher to publish “Dear Class of 2020” anthology of virtual commencement event
  • Representing MPA – The Association of Magazine Media in proceedings before the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC)
  • Representing large parcel and package shippers in revenue deficiency and underpayment investigations brought by the U.S. Postal Service and the Postal Inspection Service
  • Advising leading pet health company in marketing and transactional matters

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. George Washington University Law School 2002
  • B.S. Cornell University 1999

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, District of Columbia Bar Association, Antitrust and Consumer Law Section
  • Member, American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law
  • Frequent speaker and writer on charity fundraising issues

Recognition
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  • Super Lawyers
    • Washington, DC, 2019 – 2021
    • Rising Stars, Washington, DC, 2017
  • Legal 500
    • Tax – Not-for-Profit (Fortune 1000 private foundations, and national trade associations and charities), 2019 – 2021
    • Advertising and Marketing, 2017

Community
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Pro Bono

  • Serving pro bono as counsel to the Board of Directors of Communities in Schools of the Nation’s Capital
  • Representing Guatemalan seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status