Stuart A. Berman

Stuart Berman brings the ability to see all angles of a case to his white-collar criminal defense, civil litigation, and appellate work at Lerch, Early & Brewer in Bethesda, Maryland. For nearly 30 years, Stuart served as a federal prosecutor, first as a trial attorney in the Department of Justice and then as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland. His experience with more than 40 felony jury trials benefits his clients: businesses, corporate officers and employees, and other individuals involved in white-collar criminal investigations and prosecutions, civil litigation, and administrative proceedings.

Stuart’s mantra is “Always be the best-prepared person in the courtroom. Don’t wear blinders--make sure you understand the other side’s view of the case--and the judge’s. And speak in plain English, not legalese.”

White-Collar Criminal Defense

Stuart knows how the government operates in investigations and prosecutions, so he can approach his clients’ defense from that vantage. From the early 1990s to 2014, Stuart served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, including serving as Greenbelt Branch Chief for more than seven years. He prosecuted many complex cases involving financial, economic, and regulatory crimes and public corruption. Among his significant prosecutions were the conviction of a Montgomery County cardiologist for evading taxes on more than $40 million in capital gains; a $500 million criminal conviction and civil settlement with a leading generic pharmaceutical company for manufacturing and distributing adulterated drugs; the conviction of the CEO of the Prince George’s County Public Schools on charges of fraud, evidence and witness tampering, and obstruction of justice; and the conviction of a Montgomery County businessman who violated the Iran trade embargo and laundered a $10 million payment from Iran.

Stuart now represents businesses and individuals facing criminal investigation and prosecution or civil enforcement action by federal and state authorities. His clients thank him for guiding them through the potentially frightening process of federal criminal investigations, and say that his familiarity with the system relieves their anxiety.

As a defense attorney, he has represented current and former officers and employees of businesses in investigations involving price fixing, fraud, money laundering, bribery, and conflict of interest. His clients come from a range of industries, including automobile parts, information technology, banking, real estate, and government contracting.

Civil Litigation

Stuart also represents businesses and individuals in civil matters, including ERISA litigation defense, breaches of contract, indemnification and warranty litigation, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He has also represented both companies and relators in whistleblower claims brought under the False Claims Act. Stuart often acts as local counsel to companies with concerns in the Washington metropolitan area.

Appellate

Stuart has briefed and argued many cases before the 4th Circuit and filed briefs in other appellate courts, including a successful petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court and briefs in in the District of Columbia Circuit, Federal Circuit, and 2nd Circuit. He edited and approved dozens of 4th Circuit briefs while serving as a supervisor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Greenbelt.

Stuart joined Lerch Early after a 28-year career with the U.S. Department of Justice and several years at a premier boutique litigation firm in Washington, DC. He received his Bachelor of Arts with distinction in all subjects from Cornell University, and his Juris Doctor cum laude from Harvard Law School. After graduation from law school, Stuart served as a law clerk for the Honorable Ann Aldrich of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. While with the DOJ, Stuart received awards for superior performance, outstanding public service, and integrity. He is a Master of the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court and is a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

Stuart is admitted to the bars of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and New York; to the federal court bars of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; and to the bars of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and District of Columbia Circuit.

Stuart and his wife Ellen, a geoscientist, are enthusiastic travelers who have visited dozens of countries and virtually every state. Before his knees gave out, Stuart ran marathons--including the Montgomery County Marathon in the Parks and the Marine Corps Marathon--and he now hikes the C&O Canal and the neighborhoods of Bethesda with his wife and their dogs. Stuart and his wife also enjoy scouring the Maryland and Virginia suburbs for the best international grocery stores and undiscovered ethnic restaurants. Earlier in life, he backpacked around the world and bicycled through northern California, the Pacific Northwest, and France. Stuart also enjoys music and theater and reading history, biographies, and periodicals, He obsessively follows the Nationals and Capitals.

Representative Matters

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White Collar

  • Represented employees of multinational corporations in U.S. Department of Justice price fixing investigations
  • Represented former investment bank executive in DOJ fraud and money laundering investigation
  • Represented former CEO of independent drilling company in DOJ securities fraud investigation
  • Represented current and former state and corporate officials in DOJ fraud and conflict of interest investigations
  • Represented current and former federal construction contractor employees in DOJ bribery and fraud investigation
  • Represented employees of medical device manufacturer in DOJ investigation of “off label marketing” violations of Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act
  • Represented former executive of information technology company in enforcement action resulting from Securities and Exchange Commission litigation
  • Civil Litigation

  • Represented dental implant manufacturer in patent and trademark litigation
  • Represented software manufacturer in contract, quasi-contract, indemnification, and warranty litigation
  • Represented whistleblowers and defendants in False Claims Act litigation
  • Represented corporate victim of fraud committed by former chief information officer
  • Appellate

  • Drafted petition for writ of certiorari granted by the U.S. Supreme Court

Honors and Awards

  • Director's Award for Distinguished Service as an Assistant United States Attorney (2009, 2006)
  • Gary P. Jordan Award (2009, presented to an AUSA for exemplary performance demonstrating the highest traditions of the office: integrity, ingenuity, dedication to public service, and fairness)
  • Barnet D. (Barney) Skolnik Award (2008, presented to one or more AUSAs who demonstrate outstanding professionalism, determination, and creativity in a case of unusual public significance)
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General's Integrity Award (2003)

Professional Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court (Master)

Reported Decisions

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  • United States ex. rel Shea v. Cellco Partnership, 135 S.Ct. 2376 (2015), on remand,  2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164617 (D.D.C. Oct. 6, 2015), appeal pending, Nos. 15 7135, 15 7136 (D.C. Cir.)
  • Surgcenter of W. Md., LLC v. Cigna Health & Life Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172800 (D. Md. Dec. 30, 2015)
  • Conn. Gen. Life Ins. Co. v. Advanced Surgery Ctr. of Bethesda, LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91689 (D. Md. July 15, 2015)
  • NAACO Materials Handling Group v. Kollmorgen Corp., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11474 (E.D.N.C. Jan. 30, 2015)
  • Zest IP Holdings, LLC v. Implant Direct Mfg., LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171223 (Jun. 16, 2014), 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113075 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 14, 2014), 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156003 (Nov. 4, 2014), 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167563 (S.D. Cal. Dec. 3, 2014), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2080 (S.D. Cal. Jan. 7, 2015), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46817 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 3, 2015), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49052 (S.D. Cal. Mar. 16, 2015)
  • United States v. Modanlo, 954 F. Supp. 2d 384 (D. Md. 2013), 493 B.R. 469 (D. Md. 2013), 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12683 (D. Md. Jan. 31, 2014)
  • United States v. Hornsby, 666 F.3d 296 (4th Cir. 2012)
  • United States v. Srivastava, 411 F. App’x 671 (4th Cir. 2011)
  • United States v. Hernandez-Mendez, 626 F.3d 203 (4th Cir. 2010)
  • United States v. Srivastava, 540 F.3d 277 (4th Cir. 2008)
  • United States v. Afridi, 241 F. App’x 81 (4th Cir. 2007)
  • United States v. Hughes, 401 F.3d 540 (4th Cir. 2005)
  • Lin v. United States Dep’t of Justice, 132 F. App’x 920 (2d Cir. 2005)
  • United States v. Hawkins, 110 F. App’x 302 (4th Cir. 2004)
  • United States v. Wellington, 82 F. App’x 828 (4th Cir. 2003)
  • United States v. Perry, 335 F.3d 316 (4th Cir. 2003)
  • United States v. Najjar, 300 F.3d 466 (4th Cir. 2002)
  • United States v. McGill, 50 F. App’x 602 (4th Cir. 2002)
  • United States v. Lemon, 5 F. App’x 258 (4th Cir. 2001)
  • United States v. Ward, 171 F.3d 188 (4th Cir. 1999)
  • United States v. Thompson, 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 10194 (4th Cir. 1998)
  • United States v. Grannum, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17816 (4th Cir. 1998)
  • United States v. Williams, 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 10501 (4th Cir. 1998)
  • United States v. Phillips, 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 1577 (4th Cir. 1996)
  • United States v. Agubata, 60 F.3d 1081 (4th Cir. 1995)
  • Dicken v. United States, 862 F. Supp. 91 (D. Md. 1994)
  • United States v. Wolfe, 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 6962 (4th Cir. 1994)
  • United States v. West, 2 F.3d 66 (4th Cir. 1993)
  • United States v. Mitchell, 1993 U.S. App. LEXIS 10287 (4th Cir. 1993)
  • United States v. Sanders, 964 F.2d 295 (4th Cir. 1992)
  • United States v. Dudley, 941 F.2d 260 (4th Cir. 1991)
  • United States v. Mahoney, 698 F. Supp. 34 (D.D.C. 1988)