SAN JOSE, Calif. — Stan Berliner, one of the founders of Berliner Cohen LLP in San Jose, was honored March 9 with Stan Berliner Day with his retirement after 50 years at the firm.
Berliner's retirement was announced Jan. 1 by his firm.
The day was proclaimed in Berliner's honor by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and the city council.
"On behalf of the partners, I'd like to thank Stan for the leadership, mentorship and friendship he has shown us over the years,” Mark Makiewicz, managing partner of Berliner Cohen LLP, said. “Each of us is a product of Stan's leadership and vision for what an attorney and member of the community should be. It has been a pleasure and a great honor to be part of the legacy that Stan has built."
Berliner moved to San Jose in 1964 after spending two years in the military as a lawyer in the Washington, D.C. area.
In 1966, Berliner established his own law firm in San Jose. Its first location was in an office in the Bank of America building at First and Santa Clara streets.
Berliner eventually formed a partnership with Sam Cohen, a Berkeley Law and Boalt Hall colleague. More than a third of the attorneys at Berliner Cohen today have been with the firm more than 20 years.
“I have always found Stan to be exceedingly ethical and very honest in all his dealings and have valued his counsel tremendously. Over the years our professional relationship has grown into a personal one, and I’m honored to name him among my closest friends,” Terry Rose, a realtor, Silicon Valley investor and developer and one of his earliest clients, said.
Some of his other clients have included the Sobrato Organization, Southern Pacific Railroad, Sequoia Pacific Development Company, Campbell Estate, Kimball Small Properties, FMC (Food Machinery Corporation), the San Jose Sharks, the Oakland A’s, and Federal Realty Investment Trust (Santana Row).
Berliner's firm represented Sequoia Pacific, FMC, and Sobrato Organization at a time when the region had strict limits on growth.
Many of Berliner’s clients are still with the firm, which has been a part of “The Best Lawyers in America” for the last 25 years.
"Stan has been far more than a lawyer for our family for the past 30 some years. He has also become a very trusted adviser to the family,” John A. Sobrato of the Sobrato Organization said.
Berliner was known throughout the country, having negotiated deals in London, Boston, Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and Honolulu.
"Although Stan and I were in law school at the same time, it was a few chance meetings across Europe while on summer vacation that really cemented our friendship,” John A. Flaherty, a former partner and Santa Clara County Superior Court judge, said. “When he called me to practice law together in 1968, I didn't hesitate. We worked together until I became a judge in 1977, but he remains a dear friend."