Robert S. Bernstein, Co-Managing Partner
Board Certified, Business Bankruptcy Law, American Board of Certification
Board Certified, Creditors’ Rights Law, American Board of Certification
Named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer by Philadelphia Magazine since 2008
Robert S. Bernstein became aware of the intricacies of the legal system at the age of 14, while working for his father as the firm’s liaison to the sheriff’s department. Today he serves as a mediator and counsel to commercial landlords, equipment lessors, bankruptcy trustees, creditors’ committees, creditors and reorganizing businesses in proceedings throughout Pennsylvania and the Middle Atlantic States, concentrating in the many facets of bankruptcy and commercial law.
While fulfilling his duties as co-managing partner of Bernstein-Burkley, P.C., Bernstein represents other businesses of all sizes and types in many areas of their operation, including representation in reorganization proceedings. He has extensive experience in credit recovery matters, including collection, secured transaction and mortgage foreclosure.
His book, Get P.A.I.D.TM : A Guide to Getting Paid Faster (and What to Do if You Don’t!) lays out an innovative strategy for businesses to successfully manage their credit policy and collect for their sales. Get P.A.I.D. is Bernstein’s comprehensive system for businesses and credit managers to increase profits, reduce costs and delays, while developing better relationships with customers.
Bernstein is part of the firm’s Preference Defense Team, a specialized group within the firm dedicated to the effective and efficient representation of clients against whom preference payment claims are made.
Bob writes and lectures for local and national groups on matters of collection, bankruptcy, business law, and professional ethics and, for more than 19 years, has been certified as both a creditors’ rights and business bankruptcy specialist by the American Board of Certification. Currently, few attorneys in the country hold both certifications. He is a regular contributor to the 5 Minute Legal Master Series – a video series where expert attorneys help people master important legal topics.
As a trained mediator, Bernstein is also a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, an organization dedicated to the practice and public understanding of conflict resolution.
Bernstein served as both president and treasurer of the Commercial Law League of America, North America’s oldest creditors’ rights organization. He served as chair of the Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility of the CLLA. Bernstein served as chairman of the American Board of Certification, the country’s only bankruptcy and creditors’ rights certifying organization. Bernstein also works on several committees within the Allegheny County Bar Association, where he is a past chairman of the Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section, the Technology Utilization Committee, and the Professional Ethics Committee. Bernstein was a member of the Legal Committee of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) and is the founder of the Lease Enforcement Attorney Network (LEAN).
Bernstein has been a named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since 2004 in the area of bankruptcy and workouts by Philadelphia Magazine. Since 2013, Bernstein-Burkley, P.C. has been given the ranking of a Metropolitan First Tier Law Firm in the areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law and in Litigation – Bankruptcy by US News and World Report – Best Lawyers. Bernstein has also been named by his peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Bankruptcy each year since 2009 .
- Creditors’ Rights Specialist – American Board of Certification (1993-present).
- Business Bankruptcy Specialist – American Board of Certification (1993-present).
- Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Admitted State jurisdictions: Pennsylvania; Florida; West Virginia; and New York
- Admitted Federal jurisdictions: the United States District Court for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of Pennsylvania ; the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court
- University of Pittsburgh (B.A., 1976)
- Duquesne University (J.D., 1981)
- Commercial Law League of America : President (1995-1996); Board of Governors (1991-1994); Recording Secretary (1989-1990); Treasurer (2001-2002); Chair, Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility (2002-2004); Chair, Young Members Section (1986-1987)
- American Board of Certification; Chairman (2006-2007); President (2005-2006); Treasurer (2003-2005); Chair, Standards Committee (2001-2002)
- Lease Enforcement Attorneys Network, Founder and Chairman
- Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA); Legal Committee (2000-2003)
- Allegheny County Bar Association; Chair, Professional Ethics Committee (2003-2005); Chair, Technology Utilization Committee (1996-2001); Chair, Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section (1992)
- Commercial Law Foundation, Fellow
- Association for Conflict Resolution, member, trained Mediator
- Duquesne University Law Alumni Association: President (1994-1995)
- American Bankruptcy Institute: Member
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Allegheny District Chapter: Chairman, Board of Trustees (2006-2009)
- Temple Sinai , Pittsburgh , PA : President, Board of Trustees (2005-2007)
- Riverview Towers Board of Directors, Pittsburgh, PA, Member (2013-2016)
- When A Tenant Files Bankruptcy
- How, Why, and When to Seek the Appointment of a Chapter 11 Trustee
- Bridging the Abyss: Reorganization Without Bankruptcy
- Pre-Bankruptcy Lease Termination: Overlooked Benefit?
- When a Residential Tenant Files Bankruptcy
- A Primer on Preferential Transfers in Bankruptcy
- A Short Series on Security Interests for Credit Managers
- A Short Series on Reclamation for Credit Managers
- Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
- A Short Series on the Disappearing Debtor
- Will the Good Times Last? (From a Collection/Enforcement Perspective)
- Protecting Lease Transactions in Indian Areas
- Consignments: My, How You’ve Changed!
- Lessors and Bankruptcy: A New Look at Critical Vendor Payments in Chapter 11 Cases
- Attention: Chinese Vendors-In U.S. Chapter 11 Cases, Immediate Action Is Required
- Five Essential Contracts for Small Businesses
- BAPCPA Amendments to Bankruptcy Code Provide Extra “Teeth” for Unsecured Credit Sellers
- What Credit Grantors Should Do Just Before Sunrise
- Chapter 9: even the government is out of money
- Ethics and Professionalism: A New Look. Let’s See if we Can Avoid Boring!
- Ethics and Professionalism: But, Your Honor, I am Only Local Counsel!
- Ethics and Professionalism: Duty to Keep Clients Funds Separated Under Rule 1.15
- Ethics and Professionalism: But, She Was Only Supposed to be “Local Counsel!”
- Ethics and Professionalism: Sorry, Local Counsel You are COUNSEL!
- Ethics and Professionalism: Inadvertent Disclosure of Documents
- Ethics and Professionalism: The “Professionalism” Part
- Ethics and Professionalism: When Is a Contingent Fee Not a Contingent Fee?
- Ethics and Professionalism: Professional Courtesy v. Zealous Representation
- Ethics and Professionalism: What Would You Do?