David W. Berry
The Berry in Berry & Fritzinger, P.C. is David Berry, a man who initially made his name in the courtroom. Widely recognized as a gifted trial lawyer, David will tell you the favorite part of his job is trying a case to a jury – folks who often bemoan being picked until, after trial, they appreciate their essential role in our system. David has successfully handled and tried complex cases involving real estate, business transactions, construction defects, and probate matters. With more than twenty-five years on the job, David knows that many problems are best solved outside the courtroom. Though most clients initially come to him with problems to solve, many use David for long-term counsel as they navigate through business and life.
For decades, David has donated his time to community service. Currently, he is president of the Sonoma County Bar Association (SCBA) and chair of Food from the Bar, a collaboration between the SCBA and the Redwood Empire Food Bank for local lawyers to donate money, time and food to help fight our community’s hunger crisis. He was the inaugural chair of the SCBA Real Property Section, and is its current chair. He has been on the Board of Directors of the SCBA for more than a decade. He was a long-time board member of Legal Aid of Sonoma County (LASC). During that tenure, he was its president and vice-president. LASC’s mission is to promote social justice and advance basic human rights for vulnerable people in our community. David has taught numerous seminars and classes to local lawyers and our broader community.
United States District Court, Northern District of California
United States District Court, Southern District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 1995) Hastings Law Journal, Member.
University of California, Berkeley (B.A., 1992; Recipient of the Student Life Achievement Award, 1992)
Sonoma County Bar Association: President (current); vice president (2021); secretary (2020), board member (2009-2011, 2013-current); Real Property Section chair (2010, 2013-current); Membership chair (2014-2019).
Food from the Bar: Chair of the committee (inaugural and current).
Legal Aid of Sonoma County: Vice president (2004); board member (2001-2005).
See Our Community Involvement page for more information.
Northern California Rising Star, which identifies Mr. Berry as one of the top trial attorneys in Sonoma County, as selected by Super Lawyers, 2009 and 2010.
Who’s Who in Law. North Bay Business Journal, published on March 29, 2010.
Leadership Santa Rosa graduate, 2009. This is a year-long educational program for selected community leaders and is intended to develop and equip class members via exposure to pertinent issues, broad thinkers and the richness of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County.
Forty Under 40 Recipient. Selected by North Bay Business Journal as one of the forty exceptional business leaders under forty years of age in Sonoma, Marin, and Napa Counties.
Presenting Evidentiary Exhibits, Seminar
(February 9, 2017) Presented with Hon. Arthur A. Wick at the Sonoma County Bar Association
Getting it Admitted into Evidence, Seminar
(March 12, 2015) Presented with Hon. Gary Nadler at the Glaser Center
Offers of Judgment: CCP § 998, Seminar
(December 11, 2013) Presented at the Sonoma County Bar Association
Real Property Update, Seminar
(August 15, 2013) Presented at the Sonoma County Bar Association
Eminent Domain and You, Seminar
(June 10, 2013) Presented at the Sonoma County Bar Association
Real Property Update, General Issues, Seminar
(May 30, 2012) Presented at the Sonoma County Bar Association
Show Me the Money: Hot Issues in Construction Defects, Seminar
(April 27, 2012) Presented at the Sonoma County Bar Association
Real Property Update, Adverse Possession, Seminar
(March 26, 2010) Presented at the Sonoma County Bar Association
Real Property Update: Foreclosure, Seminar
(March 15, 2010) Presented to the Sonoma County Legal Secretary Association
Evidence Code § 1119: What You Don’t Know About It Will Hurt You, Seminar
(February 26, 2009) Presented with Hon. William Bettinelli at the Sonoma County Bar Association
Law of Easements: Legal Issues and Practical Considerations in California, Day-long Seminar
(2007 and 2008) Presented with three other experts at the Sonoma County Bar Association
998 May Change Your Case’s Fate. Published by David W. Berry
(2014) The Bar Journal – Summer issue
When Your Commercial Building Is A Lemon. Published with W. Barton Weitzenberg and Patrick W. Emery
(2007) NorthBay Biz Magazine – Best of the North Bay issue
Buying Property Can Pose Substantial Risks.
(May 14, 2007) Press Democrat – Business Section
Drawing The Line, an article about property issues and rights
(June 2006) NorthBay Biz Magazine
Asserting Your Rights In A Neighborly Way.
(June 19, 2006) Press Democrat – Business Section
Obtained a $5.8 million dollar settlement for a winery that had defects in its tasting room, production facility and cave.
Defended client who settled a $31 million dollar claim for wrongfully shutting down a planned giving program for a major Los Angeles nonprofit for less than $1 million dollars.
Defended client who settled a breach of contract claim for a 710 acre Kern County carrot farm for pennies on the dollar, after successfully moving to compel psychiatric records.
Won real estate trial by proving adverse possession of portion of a commercial property in the city of Santa Rosa, based partly upon ambiguous handwritten deed from 1871.
Won breach of oral contract jury trial case, including requirement that opponent pay all of David’s client’s lawyer fees and costs.
Won easement trial by proving location and use of easement road built in 1928, including requirement that opponent pay David’s client’s lawyer fees and costs.
Won overburdening of easement trial by proving that opposing party misused easement and had to terminate many uses of the easement.
Obtained multimillion dollar settlement payment for company that had been sued by the County of Sonoma, and others, for $12 million dollars.
Obtained construction defect settlement for a local school that reimbursed the client for the entire $6 million dollar cost of repair and lawyer fees/costs.
Obtained construction defect settlement for local school that reimbursed the client for the entire $6 million cost of repair and lawyer fees/costs.
A wise man once said, “Resilience is woven deeply into the fabric of Oklahoma. Throw us an obstacle and we grow stronger.” With a long and storied family history in Oklahoma that predates statehood, David is lucky to call Tulsa his birthplace and home during his formative years. He carries his Oklahoma roots with him everywhere he goes – including and perhaps especially in the courtroom – and they have served him well throughout his stellar career.
Anyone who knew David growing up, or who knows him today, would not be surprised to learn that he enjoyed arguing – with his friends, his parents, and his classmates. That passion led him to the University of California at Berkley where he majored in Rhetoric. It was this passion – this lifelong passion – that created the unstoppable advocate we know today. When David takes up a cause, he always does so wholeheartedly with vigor, passion, and conviction.
David again showed his inner strength and resolve – the very traits that make him such an amazing advocate for his clients – when his family home was destroyed by the Tubbs Fire in 2017. As survivors, he and his wife, Liz Berry, were determined to take back their home and their lives after such a devastating tragedy. They knew it would be a long, tough road, but were not cowed by the prospect of hard work and committed to the Santa Rosa community they call home.
David and Liz are the proud parents of a daughter and son and together the Berry Family has overcome one of the greatest obstacles imaginable. They have literally risen from the ashes of the Tubbs Fire to rebuild a better life among their friends and neighbors. David’s determination to conquer any obstacle makes him a formidable opponent, a tireless advocate, and an overall amazing asset to the Santa Rosa community.