Eric S. Berman

Partner
Berman Eric

Eric Berman practices in the areas of nonprofit, consumer protection and advertising, and postal law, where he represents clients in complex regulatory proceedings and in litigation. Eric’s focus is on the intersection of marketing and nonprofit issues: he advocates for charitable organizations, professional fundraisers, telemarketers, and direct mailers before state and federal regulators and in state and federal courts in high-stakes matters. He has strong relationships with many federal and state charity regulators, and serves as outside general counsel to the largest trade association in the U.S. serving the needs of nonprofit mailers.

Eric also has significant experience counseling national retailers, dietary supplement marketers, commercial co-venturers, and entrepreneurs on advertising and general business matters. He also represents national advertisers in reviews conducted by self-regulatory bodies.

Experience

Representative Matters

Nonprofit Organizations and Charitable Fundraisers

  • Lead counsel to large, national 501(c)(3) organization in nonpublic investigation by the attorney general of the District of Columbia
  • 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 (Onandaga County); defeated petitioner's motions for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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

Direct Mailers, Shippers, and Advertisers

  • Defending advertising claims in self-regulatory proceeding before the Electronic Self-Regulation Program (ERSP)
  • 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.
  • Representing coalition of business and nonprofit mailers 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 nonprofit mailers on USPS nonprofit postal rate eligibility rules
  • Negotiating agreements on behalf of for-profit mailers with nonprofit organizations to ensure compliance with cooperative mailing rules

 

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

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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  • Included in Washington, DC Super Lawyers, 2019
  • Included in Washington, DC Super Lawyers Rising Stars Edition, 2017
  • Recognized in Legal 500
    • Tax - Not-for-Profit (Fortune 1000 private foundations, and national trade associations and charities), 2019
    • 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

Personal Activities

  • Poker hobbyist, with consecutive in-the-money finishes at the World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event Championship (2017, 2018) and top 1% finish in 2017